Darkstar One

aka: Darkstar One: Broken Alliance
Moby ID: 22561
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Darkstar One puts you in the shoes of Kayron Jarvis. Fresh from the flight-academy he learns from an good friend of his father, that his mysterious death was caused by sabotage. As a last gift from his father, he gets the ownership of the one-of-a-kind ship Darkstar One and now makes his way to find out the truth behind his fathers death.

Darkstar is a mix of Freelancer and Wing Commander: Privateer as you can fly your ship either with a mouse or a joystick.

As you solve the riddle you can visit 330 star-systems in which you can trade goods from other systems, take contracts like blasting a pirate gang out of the sky or try to be a pirate yourself. Every action influences the reputation with at least one faction and the game gives you total freedom in what you want to do or what career you want to pursue.

It is also possible to search for artifacts. As opposed to other games of this type, you don't buy a bigger ship. Through the whole game you only fly the Darkstar One. You upgrade the ship through artifacts you found in asteroids. If you have enough artifacts for an upgrade, you can boost the basic attributes of the ship. This enables you to install more and bigger weapons or goodies like a shield-booster.

Spellings

  • 暗星一号 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

182 People (171 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 70% (based on 60 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 1 reviews)

Merely adequate space sim

The Good
Darkstar One follows in the tradition of other space fighting/trading sims such as the Privateers in that you start off with a slow weak ship and have to trade and fight your way through the universe, and complete the plot along the way.

As with other games in this line you can choose to become a Merchant, Pirate, Bounty Hunter etc. depending on the types of missions you take and the state of your relations with the various factions and authorities. There are 5 different species to interact with, each with their own ships and weapons. The explorable universe is huge, with hundreds of systems to visit. Some systems are not listed on the star map until you've been given its coordinates, which you can get as a reward for completing certain special missions.

Upgrading your ship is done in two ways. There is the traditional cash-for-guns approach, common to all games in this line. There is also the means by which your ship can be upgraded by discovering alien artifacts which allow you to increase your ship's abilities (such as max speed and power output).

The game has some truly stunning visuals. The cut-scenes are atmospheric, the in-game visuals are bright and colourful (bordering on the garish), and the control system and menus are intuitive and well laid-out.

The Bad
Having said all that, the game is let down in several areas, which I'll touch upon in turn.

Firstly, despite the huge universe, there is little differentiation from one part of the galaxy to the other, and may as well all take place in a single star system. Each system has almost the exact same contents (in terms of stations and ships and shops) as the one before it. Visiting hundreds of carbon copies of the same system gets a bit monotonous after a while.

Secondly, the trading system is highly simplistic, and holds little of interest. There are roughly 10 goods that can be traded, and the prices do not fluctuate all that much between systems. Trading quickly becomes unexciting, and is reduced to something you do only when you're flying to a new sector anyway and figure you can pick up a few credits along the way. Even the original Privateer had a more interesting trading system.

A problem that it shares with Freelancer is that despite being "open-ended", you cannot explore freely without completing the long and convoluted plot sequence. As such the game tends to feel rather linear in that it allows you to explore and upgrade only in distinct progressive chunks. The plot itself develops very slowly and you're given the impression that they are just trying to stretch out the gameplay as long as possible.

And finally, you only have one ship to fly throughout the whole game (the eponymous Darkstar). Similar to X: Beyond The Frontier, you can upgrade this ship extensively, but there really is only one viable upgrade path if you want to survive in the universe. Even with upgrading the ship does not change all that dramatically and it adds to the game's monotony.

The Bottom Line
DS1 is Ascaron's entrant into the space-sim market, but sadly it doesn't hold up to the others in this sub-genre. It is more of a good attempt along the lines of Tachyon The Fringe. Too simplistic, not enough depth to warrant a replay. Rather try Freelancer or any of the X games, as they have more depth and variation. If you already enjoy those games, give this one a miss as you'll just feel disappointed. But if you find those titles too complex and inaccessible, DS1 would be an easy introduction for beginners trying to get into the world of space trading and exploration sims.

Windows · by StJude1 (4) · 2008

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If the game detected an attempt at copy protection circumvention, it would increase prices of all in-game items 10 times.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sicarius.

Xbox 360 added by Cantillon. OnLive added by firefang9212.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, DarkDante, Cantillon, Starbuck the Third, Plok.

Game added May 30, 2006. Last modified March 15, 2024.