As soon as you dive into the melancholic and downtrodden world of Darkout it quickly brings back memories of similar games like Terraria and Minecraft. You begin as a defenseless being but quickly learn to scavenge, adapt and build in order to survive, adding a sense of progression that only a few games manage to pull off. Darkout presents an interesting but generic sci-fi setting, but its clunky interface and irritating learning curve gives you little motivation to discover what it has to offer, but once you dig in deep you might find something to enjoy.
Darkout has a story, but its incredibly basic. You begin the game in a crashed escape pod which you immediately scavenge to built yourself shelter on what seems like a mysterious hostile planet. Whilst playing you can often come across data or audio logs which shine some light on what may have occurred on the planet, emphasizing the dark and oppressive atmosphere that constantly plagues your exploration. The generic visual style unfortunately hinders the effect this has, since there is little to love in the plain environments and awkward character models.
Darkout begins just like the titles it takes inspiration from, gradually easing you into its mechanics that constantly reminded me of Terraria. Other than its evidently darker tone and atmosphere it doesn’t seem like Darkout attempts to differentiate itself from other members of the genre and it kind of suffers because of it. The mechanics aren’t nearly as intuitive or polished as they could have been, as you’ll frequently find yourself battling with the mediocre camera and often confusing tutorials that constantly feel at odds with the archaic interface the game utilizes. One of the more interesting gameplay features is the inclusion of a research system, which breaks the flow of harvesting the same material over and over. It makes Darkout feel somewhat unique, but isn’t quite enough to detract from its basic template which becomes increasingly repetitive the longer you play.
The controls work relatively well although you may have a bit of trouble getting used to traversing the environment at first, until you realize that chipping away at the ground beneath you is often the best way of exploring the map, and you can often build your own bath, constructing an intricate staircase to discover more of the detailed yet unfortunately limited 2D plain Darkout takes place in. One of the best features of the interface is how it automatically selects the appropriate tool for whatever task you are performing, saving an arbitrary slog through your interface, it doesn’t quite do the same for materials and such when you are constructing and building but it’s a welcome feature.
If you find yourself becoming invested in Darkout there is a lot to enjoy here, especially once you master the mechanics and controls, which took me a while to master. The more time you sink into Darkout the more satisfying it becomes as you begin to gather vital resources and improve your surroundings, and exploring the daunting world and defeating enemies becomes a lot less frightening when you obtain a bright and colorful suit. Nothing better than exploring alien planets in a pimped out space suit even if at times it feels repetitive and tedious. Overall Darkout gets a 5 out of 10 and shows promise but fails to deliver the vision it was going for in an impactful way.
Overall Score: 5/10
Publisher: KISS Ltd
Available On: Windows PC
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jordan King on 20131222 and was last modified on 20131222 .