Darkout – Preview (PC)

written by Stephen Hanley on 22.9.13 darkout 1

Darkout, which is created by indie developer Allgraf, lands players on a harsh and random planet of Illuna where it is the objective of the player to gather resources, craft weapons and do whatever it takes to survive. Darkout has also recently been greenlit and is coming to Steam quite shortly so the question remains, how good is Darkout and is it worth spending £10 on.

As soon as I began to play the game, a comparison between Darkout and the popular indie title Terraria due to similar ideals, yet Darkout’s graphics far exceed the 8 bit style of its peer, featuring lush backgrounds that ooze colour. I could sit there all day and admire the beauty of the backgrounds and graphics, something that should be more of a focal point of the game. The gameplay, however, is a bit of a hit and miss situation and will appeal to a core number of fans who appreciate this type of survival based approach.

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The pacing of the game is rather slow and tedious with progression occurring at a slow rate, ultimately making any form of gameplay a tedious experience as players attempt to explore. Whilst there is no punishment for dying in Darkout, it is all too easy to die in its current state, especially as you attempt to explore and are consistently being killed. Again whilst players of games such as Terraria would see this as part of the fun and normal, for the wider player base this leads to a frustrating time. Too many enemies early on, including rather powerful ones at the start of the game and not being able to admire the scenery before having to respawn again all work against a game that has such potential to be excellent.

Players can spend time gathering resources to build a base, which is a rewarding process, albeit slow as you are only able to place one block at a time instead of a continuous stream of blocks. It’s a little thing but it makes for a frustrating time playing the game, especially for those familiar with similar games in this genre.

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There is no levelling up system featured within the game, but rather it has been replaced with the acquisition of research points, which allows the player to create new items including armor and weapons. I rather like this approach as while it makes gaining new armor and weapons more tedious, it gives you a sense of progression and accomplishment the further on you progress into the game.

The game is beta and of course, there were various bugs and annoyances within the game. Nothing ground breaking and something to be expected, but hopefully it is something that the developers are aware of as what they have here is the makings of a great game with tons of potential. Featuing random generated levels and characters who can swap between created levels without losing their inventory. Hopefully by the time it is released on Steam, it will have ironed out these few creases and tuned up the gameplay overall.

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Darkout is a game to keep your eyes peeled on as it has the potential, and with the proper execution and development time it needs without a rushed release to get it on Steam, it could potentially do quite well and become a favourite amongst the wider gaming community.

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