Dark Horizon Reviews (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Critic Reviews

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GamePlasma (Nov 30, 2008)
Dark Horizon is a beautiful and easily accessible game that does justice to a genre, which has been woefully under-represented in recent times. For those of you who took great joy in dispatching Kilrathi in their droves then you will almost certainly find a welcome home among Dark Horizon’s Mirk-infested stars. It even has the playability and the looks to draw in plenty of gamers who have never played a space-sim in their lives. This is a superb space-opera even if there are no big cats in sight.
Digital Chumps (Sep 22, 2008)
In a nutshell, Dark Horizon is a deep and fun space combat game with a good dose of RPG that will easily appeal to fans of space and flight combat.
What makes Dark Horizon work is that the little flaws in the combat engine are balanced out perfectly by the highly detailed world and strong plot, which is revealed to you in a variety of ways including background text, cut scenes, and even in-cockpit voice dialogue. It’s one of those games that will hook you in and have you playing just one more mission to see what happens next. And of course that one more mission becomes one more and one more, until it’s suddenly morning and you forgot to go to bed. Especially if you like space simulations, Dark Horizon is that good. I much prefer the “full freedom of exploration” type titles to the linear plot type ones, and even I found a good home in Dark Horizon’s brooding, deep world.
Game Captain (Nov 18, 2008)
Dark Horizon ist eine Neuauflage von Tarr Chronicles mit interessantem Prequel Plot, aber ansonsten eher marginalen Änderungen und Neuerungen. Das actionreiche Konzept macht zwar einigermaßen Spaß, aber die relativ kure Spieldauer und die wenig abwechslungsreichen Seek and Destroy Missionen bieten kaum Wiederspielbarkeitspotenzial bzw. Langzeitmotivation. Als nette Ballerei zwischendurch ist Dark Horizon durchaus zu empfehlen, aber Schwächen in der Steuerung und der nicht mehr ganz taufrischen Optik verbieten eine Topwertung.
Game Vortex (Feb, 2009)
If you played the original The Tarr Chronicles, I think you would feel that this game is redemption on this original property, judging from what has been written about it. I had a good time, like I said, but with the repetitive missions and non-immersive story, I had to say that this was a fairly average game. It looks great, and is really well-balanced, keeping it from being lackluster. A little more time would have done this game some real good. A little more time to vary the missions and better explain the story could have made this a great game, instead of a good one. I am off to take down my flight toys. Guardian Wumpus out.
411mania.com (Sep 26, 2008)
While Dark Horizon isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, it is by no means a poor representation of the genre. If you’re looking for something new and ground-breaking, don’t expect it here. If you just want a good ole fashioned space sim, Dark Horizon fits the bill.
GamersHell.com (Nov, 2008)
I am quite disappointed by the fact that the game felt so unpolished and crashed so much. The game really captured me sometimes, but I totally lost the continuity because of the crashes. By continually having to restart Dark Horizon, you have to replay big parts of a mission, which is boring and disrupts the story-telling aspect of the game. The game certainly has some good bits—like the dogfights, the rich story universe and some nice ship configuration options—but, in the end, these cannot make up for the sheer amount of game instability and incoherent storytelling. There is a big patch being released in the next few weeks though, and that might make the game a fun, but not fantastic, experience.
4Players.de (Dec 23, 2008)
Dark Horizon möchte gerne ein Wing Commander sein und gleichzeitig eine tiefgehende Story bieten. In beiden Belangen scheitert das Spiel: Zwar sind die Gefechte dank der unterschiedlichen Kampfmodi einigermaßen gelungen und flott, jedoch wiederholen sich die (ungenau beschriebenen) Aufgaben zu häufig und wenn die Gegner nicht gerade auf Speed sind, versuchen sie euch aus dem Weltraum zu rammen, was eher lachhaft ist. Außerdem kommt trotz düsterem Weltraumumfeld irgendwie keine Atmosphäre auf, was hauptsächlich an der total zerstückelten und monoton präsentierten Story sowie der verkorksten Soundkulisse liegt - derart harmlose Laser- und Explosionseffekte habe ich lange nicht mehr gehört. Selbst die guten Ansätze wie das Ausrüsten des Schiffes können sich nicht durchsetzen, insbesondere hier fallen Steuerungs-Unzulänglichkeiten auf und zwischendurch stürzt das Spiel auch gerne ab. Somit ist Dark Horizon kein würdiger Ersatz für Wing Commander oder FreeSpace.
IGN (Sep 29, 2008)
There's no doubt about it; Dark Horizon is flawed. From flat-out errors to those moments where you can't help but wonder what, exactly, the developer was thinking, the game feels almost unfinished. Ultimately, we'd like to see what Quazar could do if it joined forces with a high-end publisher/financier to iron out the wrinkles. However, if arcade space-shooting in often-spectacular environments appeals to you, and if going wild in the most complete garage facility ever constructed in outer space sounds like fun, you'll likely enjoy it despite its foibles.
gameZine (UK) (Sep 30, 2008)
Anyway, as I’ve said, the combat is solid enough and you’ll have a decent amount of fun when engaged in the skirmishes themselves. However, the tedious storyline means few players will be sitting down for extended sessions on DH – there is just no real impetus to continue. Load it up, do a mission, quit – that’s what I found myself doing. The whole process is very disjointed, lacking any real coherent narrative. Unless you put in the effort to read all the text between missions, each one will mean very little. It just goes to show how important the cut-scenes in Wing Commander were, when you think about it. They provided an emotional link between the combat and the ongoing narrative. You did genuinely care whether Iceman or Maniac got killed in a mission, because they were real characters to you, not just a collection of words on a screen. I digress, though. Dark Horizon has everything you’d want from a space combat game – except a real reason to actually play it. A terrible shame.
GameStar (Germany) (Jan, 2009)
Eine detailreiche Hintergrundgeschichte, Zwischensequenzen im Homeworld-Stil und das einfallsreiche Spiel mit tarnender Systemkühlung und dem Überhitzen der Laserwaffen verleihen Dark Horizon das Potenzial zum ordentlichen Wing Commander-Klon. Doch die Raumjägerhatz scheitert an Designmacken. Die dümmliche Kamikaze-KI nervt, der Schwierigkeitsgrad schwankt enorm, und zufällige Lasersounds irritieren.
Gameplay (Benelux) (Oct 24, 2008)
Quazar Studios strooit een paar halfbakken nieuwigheden op een bedorven spelformule. Werp eens een blik op X3: Terran Conflict ...
NowGamer (Sep, 2008)
This isn’t enough to save Dark Horizon from feeling mediocre, however. It’s a decent enough simulation, but the few extra features and an obscure storyline aren’t enough to halt the feeling that you’re following a well-worn formula. This isn’t helped by the visuals: Dark Horizon doesn’t look as if it’s moved on from the days of Freespace 2, which is almost a decade old. Maybe a die-hard space combat fanatic could see Dark Horizon through to the end, but we were struggling to remain enthusiastic after just an hour.
Cheat Code Central (Oct, 2008)
Dark Horizon is a game that should be seen, not heard. Whether it should be played depends on just how empty your life is.
GamingExcellence (Dec 09, 2008)
The verdict here should be pretty obvious. For a simplistic shooter it’s actually great. The space setting gives the graphics folks a real chance to shine, and they do - nebulas melt into deep space like oceans and explosions bloom in the night sky like daisies. You get to make your cruiser a serious hotrod, you get to relieve any stress work might be causing you - as a blow-stuff-up free-for-all it really works. For a game built on a battle system designed to be fun and simple, you have to wonder why the story’s just so complex and grim. In the end, it turns out a lot like space: majestic and somber, but even emptier than air.
GameSpot (Nov 10, 2008)
Perhaps the best choice is not to play the game at all. Dark Horizon is an undeniably subpar effort, although so few space dogfighting games are made for the PC today that it might still appear passable to anyone seeking to relive the Wing Commander/X-Wing/TIE Fighter era. But don't be fooled. Even with so few choices available in this genre today, this isn't a good game.
DarkZero (Feb 09, 2009)
So, Dark Horizon isn’t a horrible game. It’s just not a very good one, either. While nothing about it is particularly offensive, it still absolutely fails to generate any interest in a genre that, in most people’s eyes, stagnated a long time ago. Pretty visuals are always nice, but when they’re shoved together with a confusing and poorly-told story and dull, dull, dull missions, they won’t hold your attention for long. Take your money elsewhere, boys. This one’s a turkey.
Sadly, Dark Horizon is a disappointment in a lot of ways. Looking at the screenshots, you might be tempted to pick up a copy because the game is certainly pretty, but the frustrations that come with it are not worth the price. Fans searching for a game to come along and rescue the space fighter sim will have to keep looking.