Darkout – Review
Follow Genre: Sandbox Platformer
Developer: Allgraf
Publisher: Allgraf, KISS Ltd.
Platform: PC

Darkout – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Cool setting, promising
Bad: Feels unfinished, frustrating mechanics, limited story
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

After your ship crashed, you are stranded on a strange planet. You’re only able to salvage a few components, barely enough to survive. Communications are being blocked as well. Your main objective is to find a place to stay, a base of operations. One thing is clear though: you are not alone.

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Story

When you first start the game and create your character, you get a little bit of story. After that there’s not a lot of it. You get little chunks of information as you find objects around the world but they don’t tell a whole lot. It makes everything more mysterious but also doesn’t give you a lot of guidance. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do. Apart from yourself there are no other characters you can encounter besides alien creatures. You’ll quickly feel alone and lost which adds to the gaming experience but will also end you up quitting the game due to a lack of progression.

Graphics

Darkout has its own feel thanks to its graphics. You could describe it as a 2D sandbox platformer. The world feels mysterious and vibrant. There’s a cool lightning system that makes the night look very dark. Some nights you won’t even be able to see anything without some sort of light on you. Plants, trees and creatures all look like they’re actually from another planet which makes the playing experience more real. Mind you, it’s not next-gen. The graphics are simple but still more advanced than games like Terraria and Minecraft. That and the setting is what differentiates it from games of the same genre.

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Sound

Soundwise, the game again sticks to mystery. The background music when playing is nice, not too intrusive, and creates a nice atmosphere. Creatures make strange noises that can often be heard before you even see them. Weapons like the gun sound satisfying and also chopping down a tree or mining have their own feel to them.

Gameplay

The game is built around gathering, constructing, crafting and researching. Before you can use your hands or head, you need to gather so that’s what you’ll be doing most of the time. Basic materials at the start are wood and dirt. You’ll be able to build your first safe house with them. Soon, you’ll move on to metals found underground and get to the likes of steel and compound materials like magnesium. Other items you can find include plants, essences from creatures and liquids like water and tar. Gathering in itself works well, provided that you have the necessary tools in your inventory. You can use one hotkey to use all of them and the game will automatically select the right one. Other items then can be made combining things you’ve found.  You get a list with things you can research. To do so, you have to provide the materials it would take to build one of those items. You’ll unlock more options as you research and while venturing the world, you also may find blueprints. Some items can only be found in random chests though.

When starting out, the inventory system works quite well too. It’s after a while that problems will surface though. In your hideout you can build closets to store materials you find. If you ever want to move your closet, you’ll have to put each item in your inventory in order to transfer it to another storage space. You’ll have your normal items in your inventory already so you’ll be mindlessly running around trying to move items. This all gets frustrating because after a few hours you’ll have gathered/crafted so many things that the job of managing all of them will be tiresome. Also the other menus you need to craft and research are a pain as more items are added to them.

Darkout creates a completely randomized world for you when you start a new game. It’s nice to know that no one else is playing on the map you are on but also means you’re on your own. The game’s tutorial system is limited and you can’t check online for locations where to find certain items because everything is completely randomized. If you want to find things, you’ll have to do so yourself. At a later stage, you’ll be able to craft some pretty cool items but sadly most players will not bother to get that far because they probably don’t even know that they’ll eventually get access to such items.

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Conclusion

Sadly, Darkout doesn’t feel finished. While additions to the game are planned in forms of additional chapters, the game as it is now is not yet where it could be.This is quite a shame because there is so much potential. You need to get further into the game to unlock the cool items but the further you get, the more frustrating it gets. Interested players are wise to keep an eye out for an updated version of Darkout.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Veflow
Veflow


I'm currently studying software-development. My main hobbies are gaming (software/hardware) and music (jazz saxophone player). I game primarily on PC (and also love building them) but also play on PS3, iOS and Android.

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