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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hands up if you ever wanted to be like Han Solo?
Well this is the closest you're going to get to being Han Solo..
..that is until George lucas realises that star wars fans dont just want to wave their lightsabers about!
Okay,this isnt Star wars i know but everything from the space battles to the trading & smuggling will make you feel like you're in a galaxy far,far away...
..Except for the fact that you...
Published on 6 Nov. 2010 by Kindle Customer

versus
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better...
Darkstar One is a game I really wanted to love. Even up until the final battle, when it was clear that this was going to be an infuriatingly 'just OK' gaming experience, I wanted it to turn it up a notch and dazzle me. Unfortunately this just never happened.

Let's start with the negatives. The main plot is pretty forgetable. It isn't that bad, it's just the...
Published on 13 July 2010 by brianmcl89


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better..., 13 July 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Darkstar One is a game I really wanted to love. Even up until the final battle, when it was clear that this was going to be an infuriatingly 'just OK' gaming experience, I wanted it to turn it up a notch and dazzle me. Unfortunately this just never happened.

Let's start with the negatives. The main plot is pretty forgetable. It isn't that bad, it's just the typical 'boy's father is murdered, boy sets out to find the truth only to find a larger, far-reaching conspiracy' story that has driven countless mediocre movies over the years. Add to that a couple of potentially interesting sub-plots that were left severly under-developed (escalating Oct'o/Arrack border dispute, Thul race being descended from Terran splinter group with penchant for genetic modification) and it all adds up to a very disappointing story.
Don't be fooled by the promise of 'Full HD', this a direct port from a game released in 2006 - and it really shows graphically. While the views of planets and stars from your ship are fairly picturesque, up close things can get pretty messy. The cutscenes are, simply put, ugly. In a year that has seen the release of the likes of Mass Effect 2 and God of War 3, aesthetically Darkstar One seems like a massive step backwards. The different alien races have their own ship and trade station models, as you would expect, but that is where the variety ends. Every Raptor pirate is flying the same one-man fighter, just as every Terran cruiser looks identical and every trade station for the different races are made up of the same components arranged in a different manner. Some of the best games are guilty of over-using cookie cutter design models, but Darkstar One takes it to a new level, which simply smacks of laziness on behalf of the design team.
Which brings me to the voice acting, which veers from the hilarious to the simply cringeworthy. Reading the credits, it's clear that the voice talent on display are almost exclusively German, which goes a long way to explaining the indecipherable accents, as well as strange turns of phrase used by enemies to taunt you ("I will see to it that you personally do!" Just seems off, doesn't it?). I find this hard to put down as a real criticism as it is geniunely funny at times, and I had a lot of fun trying to guess exactly where some space pirates were supposed to be from (so this one's an...Irish alien space pirate? Indian? South African?).

So that brings me round to what I liked about Darkstar One. Although the ships were lacking in variety, the alien races themselves were fairly well-realised. Each uses their own unique weapon which deals out damage in a different way (some can devastate shields, others deplete hulls more rapidly, while a couple do equal damage to both) and all can be fitted to the Darkstar One, either as a forward cannon fired by you, or an automatic turret that fires on the closest enemy. The combat tactics also vary from species to species, the Klingon-like Mortock use reverse thrust when chased to escape from your line of fire, while the Raptor use a combination of a shield-depleting weapon and missiles that can cause problems.
The Darkstar One itself is another well thought-out and executed aspect of this game. It is split into 3 upgradeable sections - hull, wings, and engine - that are advanced by collecting artifacts found in certain systems. This allows you to tailor the ship to your own style of play, those intending play as traders upgrade the engine and hull to improve the ships performance when laden with cargo and make your ship robust enough to shake of pirate attacks, while those going down the bounty hunter route will want to concentrate mainly on wings to make the Darkstar One more nimble and to ensure it packs enough punch to make light work of pirates and fugitives.
The biggest plus point, for me, has got to be the combat system. Simple enough to be completely accessible, though more advanced players can add upgrades to their ship to manually manage things like the power ratio between shields and weapons, and targeting assist can be turned off to make proceedings more challenging. It strikes a good balance between having to be mindful of your surrounding (much of the fighting takes place in Star Wars-style asteroid fields), trying to counter the way your opponent fights, and keeping an eye on the Darkstar One's shield strength and weapons power.
All in all, Darkstar One is a decent game that would have made an excellent Xbox Live Arcade download in it's current form. Given that it is a full retail release, it really should have been given a more substantial update than an unconvincing HD facelift. The biggest positive that can be taken from this game is that it has shown that space combat sims can work on current gen consoles, so hopefully major developers will take note and revive a genre that has been in decline in recent years.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elite for the pre-generation console, 20 Sept. 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
This is an ok game. It gives a very big nod to the old Elite game, but suffers from the graphics being a bit ropey for this generation. It does have it's plus points and the main one being the duration of game-play (and even more so when so many games can be completed in under 5-6hrs). OK, that game-play can become quite repetitive, but then so do a lot of games.

All in, this is probably the best spaced-based RPG for this generation...not that there is much competition.

Not worth full price of £40, but if bought for less than £20 it will pass away a few hours when you could be doing something more productive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a tease..., 17 Dec. 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Firstly, I always put myself in the shoes of someone who would actually buy the game I am reviewing. Darkstar one will only appeal to those genuinely interested in space simulators, if you are not that person, DO NOT BUY THIS GAME as you will play it once and put it on the shelf.
If you are interested it doesn't get much better, I was lucky in the fact this was my first space trading game, those of you who have played the likes of 'Eve' will not rate this game highly.
Lets start with the gameplay. Its actually quite decent, the storyline is corny as hell but I love that in a space game it made me smile and cringe at times ha ha. The game gets a bit repetitive (myself to blame as I only really bothered to do trade not bounty hunt or do missions). You do get total freedom in space though, its up to you how to make your money, whether or not you become a criminal, how you modify your ship etc. Once in the main area of a system (around the trade station) you can fly about freely, apparently one of the achievements is to fly 100U away from the trade station not that you would ever want to, but this demonstrates the size of the gaming area.
Ok so now for main good bits:
Total freedom in space, you decide your own fate.
Darkstar one is the only space trader out for xbox 360, so its the best automatically.
Storyline will make you laugh.
You can modify your ship to suit your selected role.
Game is long so prelongs lifespan.

Main bad bits:
Graphics awful on cutscenes (from the original game in 2006 I think). Looking really dated now.
No craft variety, you can only use darkstar one.
Would have been epic with online play, but again none of that here :-(.

Overall I loved this game, but thats because its my first space trader. Still haven't completed it yet and I still enjoy playing it. You have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy this type of game and if you are you already probably play Eve to which this game is no comparison. Great for fist time space sim though just a shame it was what it was, it could have been epic with a bit more of a budget, in the end I just feel teased. Online play would have been enough to substantially improve my verdict which is,
This game is a good one but only if you are into sci-fi and haven't played any other space trader (like Eve) on PC cus they are better. Best one for the xbox, that said it is the only one. Enjoyable and will kill many hours of your time if you get into it. Just cant help feeling it could have been a classic with just a few little extras. In the end I just feel teased...
My rating: 70% recommended (only if you are into sci-fi, if not 53% as it wont have much appeal and you will become bored pretty quickly).
Genre: Action adventure, Strategy, Space simulator.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hands up if you ever wanted to be like Han Solo?, 6 Nov. 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Well this is the closest you're going to get to being Han Solo..
..that is until George lucas realises that star wars fans dont just want to wave their lightsabers about!
Okay,this isnt Star wars i know but everything from the space battles to the trading & smuggling will make you feel like you're in a galaxy far,far away...
..Except for the fact that you have'nt got a wookiee sitting next to you,instead you have a girl named Eona...a close second i guess.
Darkstar one is one of a kind on the 360..or any console for that matter.These sort of games only seem to come out on the pc which is a shame.
A space-sim action/adventure game that has alot going for it but sadly alot lets it down aswell.
You play Kayron whos in search of the man who sabotaged his fathers ship and in turn died at the hands of the 'Thule'.You're given a ship (called Darkstar 1) which's one of a kind in the universe & it can be upgraded by finding alien artefacts that're hidden throughout the galaxy..(could the ship be the reason for his fathers death?)
As you upgrade with these alien artefacts the ship gets faster & better & changes shape aswell!
Apart from the main story,you have lots of side quests and things to do,among them are hunting down pirates & smugglers to eavesdropping & recording secret meetings to trading & smuggling goods (careful of the police tho)
With over 300 star systems (and its a big old universe to explore,kinda like gta in space),different alien races and with tons of things to do,this sounds awesome and should be something that lucasarts should make!!
But sadly,with all the cool things you can do,other things lets it down..
Among many of the problems,it can get very repetitive!!
But i personally dont think its as bad as some of the reviews (amazon included) have said.In fact,i enjoyed this more than i did the likes of mass effect and gears of war.But games are a personal thing (just like any kind of entertainment) and if it wasnt for the repetitiveness this would get 5 stars!
Hope this review helps,now if you'll excuse me,i have some videogames to smuggle :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recreates Elite, but could use more gameplay variety, 4 Mar. 2012
By 
Jonathan Elder (Southampton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Darkstar One is very much a spiritual successor to the original Elite. It has retained the free-form exploration and progression options, and layered on top a story line and some more in depth missions.

Gameplay is primarily space combat based. The combat is effective, but without being overly complex. The ship uses basic front weapons plus missiles that are controlled by the player, plus automatically targeting turrets. All these elements are upgraded to more powerful versions as the game progresses. However, the enemies also seem to upgrade at a similar speed, so the overall effect is not as pronounced as you would expect. Combat itself is fairly basic, but the inclusion of occasional large capital ships makes things interesting, as these force you to adapt your tactics to successfully destroy them.

The combat is designed to be simple, and suits the console controller well. As well as avoiding incoming fire and targeting opponents, you have to watch shield and weapon power supplies, but this mostly consists of trying to keep out of trouble for a few seconds. The special weapon can be used occasionally to boost weapon power or shields, or temporarily disable enemy fighters, which gives a welcome assistance in the tricky moments and gives a bit more variety. Speed control is very basic, with only three speeds - stop, go and 'boost' generally available to you.

However, during the game, the combat does not vary significantly enough. The simple procedure of boosting towards enemy groups, and then dogfighting until they are all gone. Capital ships usually require you to either get into a blind spot, or launch powerful but slow moving missiles. A couple of the missions require you to drop explosives near a capital ship before running away and setting them off, but for the vast majority of the game requires no change in your basic tactics.

There are two sorts of missions - the main plot based and generated mini missions for cash or upgrade rewards. Most of these just require you to go to a particular location and destroy something, or defend another ship from attack. Occasional fetch missions degenerate into almost the same format with the addition of having to collect an item after you have destroyed the opposition. There are only a handful of the basic missions, and most are very similar, rapidly losing your interest.

Plot missions are a little more varied, but still the simplistic combat can make these quite formulaic. There are a couple more variations, with planet based canyon running challenging your manoeuvring and targeting skills.

As well as the missions, you are free to trade between planets, with the amount of goods in stock directly affecting the prices, meaning you can force price changes by your buying or selling actions. You can also adopt the life of a pirate, attacking and stealing cargo from transports, or a bounty hunter, destroying pirates for instant cash rewards.

Outside of gameplay, the graphics are pretty - especially some of the space backgrounds. Ship models show their age, and there are only a handful of types, but as you generally do not get more than a passing glimpse as they explode, this is not really an issue. The voice acting in the cut scenes is poor - especially the main character - and rapidly begins to grate.

Overall:
An interesting game, especially for those of us old enough to remember the original Elite. However, the game lacks depth and variety, which it's pretty visuals cannot hide.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best space game for 360, 16 Sept. 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Yes I know, this game is not perfect. However, I was waiting for a space game for the 360 for years and it looks just fantastic on my HD-TV. I already finished the story and from times to times I am just flying around a little bit, do some fights... I like the action, I like the visuals and I like the sounds/music. The atmosphere is just great. And as long as there is no other space action game approaching our home planet, this will be my game...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkstar, 2 April 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
If your searching for a space trading game that was like elite all those years ago, well you've just found it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great escapism, 18 Mar. 2014
By 
GT (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Not enough of this genre around. Good graphics. Not enough solar systems. Would love a sequel. Enjoyed the journey. Needs greater variation as the pirates attack in the same formation
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Elite for 2010 with no update, 27 Jun. 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
For all those fans of Elite, the space trader/pirate game of so long ago then this is the nostalgic trip you've been hoping for these long near 20 years.
That said, there's very little been done to update the game in those two decades. A few improved graphics and so on doesn't fit the bill in that timespan. The cutscenes and voice acting are weak - indeed as so much of this review will tell you - it's childish. Comical in the sense that watching juvenile humour can be.
The game plays very similar to Elite and will benefit from being the only thing of such a vein in the 360 marketplace but there is just not enough use of the power of the 360.
I'd like to see cutscenes akin to Mass Effect 2, more variety of ship styles and most of all, something more to do in the space stations!!! Oh good lord, if only there was anything in those stations. The interface in the stations is as basic as can be, barely better than something on the N64, it's a poor effort.
Anyone thinking RPG for this game - no. It's not. I hear RPG I think Oblivion, Fallout something akin. This is not.
Just because you can upgrade your vehicle does not make it RPG, nor the fact that choosing missions of a type that will eventually lead to a bonus make it a 'choose your own adventure'.
This is just a weekly updated version of an old classic, and it doesn't do all that it could and really ought to strive for.
But I enjoy if for the nostalgic value, and that alone. Do not pay more than 1/1000 of your annual salary, it'll break your heart.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elite-lite, 12 July 2010
By 
P. Southcott (York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dark Star One (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
As has already been stated, this game is a lot like an Elite updated to around 2007. This is when the game came out on PC, and it must have looked dated even then.

Overall the gameplay is pretty enjoyable. The plot is pretty dopey, the graphics a bit ropey (especially in the cut-scences), and the voice acting is abysmal (I don't think I've ever heard native English-speakers show such a lack of familiarity with their own language before), but the gameplay and mechanics are solid enough for none of this to matter too much.

Not a classic, but if the development team get a bigger budget the next time around, the follow-up could be.
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Dark Star One (Xbox 360)
Dark Star One (Xbox 360) by Kalypso Media (Xbox 360)
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