-Darkout Game Review- A sci-fi Terraria?! Naw man it’s Darkout. A sandbox game that can truly hold it’s own.

February 13, 2013 in Beginner's tips, Darkout, Game Review, Indie, pay to play, PC, Sandbox

NOTICE/UPDATE: At the moment, new updates and features are getting worked on and when more contents are implemented, I shall update the review (5/16/13). Interview with the developer at the end of the review as well.

First, A Trailer for Ya

 

If you were like me that cried her woes upon hearing that Terraria is no longer giving updates (well for us PC gamers anyway, they’re still updating away on the console platforms) I feels ya pain peeps. After finally getting over my denial about this sad fact, I started scavenging for sandbox games that have as much customization and beastly fun as Terraria. Now, I was originally going to get this game called Starbound (Another Sci-Fi sandbox game in development) but I just have been missing and craving my Terraria so much that I was having a hard time waiting. So as I was searching away, I accidentally stumbled upon Darkout and my goodness was I ever glad.

You guys will read quite a few critics and gamers telling you to stay away from the game because it’s a rip-off of Terraria. However, please DO NOT be swayed because you will be missing out on a wonderful game. I research the shizneh on games that perks my interest, especially ones I’m going to pay for (hey man, I’m the typical broke college student) Am I glad I didn’t heed those people. Now, before I talk about all that jazz let’s show ya’ll the game first. I will also provide some beginner tips because there’s not much out there right now since the game just released (2/10/13).

Darkout is a sidescroll sandbox game that was of course, inspired by Terraria’s mechanics. Mechanics they wish to improve on and surpass as well. So it wouldn’t be exactly fair to claim that it’s Terraria’s clone . Much like how Terraria isn’t a minecraft clone (another game that people tried to compare Darkout with). Terraria was merely the muse so to speak. The developers also mentioned that this was inspired by the movie Avatar as well (the muse for Darkout’s environment), now let me tell you, it really shows. When you play the game, you definitely will feel that darkly beautiful and dangerous vibe of Pandora. Personally, I feel like they were also inspired by the movie Aliens.

There is no denying this game is gorgeous. As you can see the dark ambiance and the beautiful glowing plants were obviously inspired by the atmosphere and floras of Pandora.

 

This game have many biomes and many more to come!

Nooow do you guys see what I mean by “possibly inspired by the movie Aliens”. This guy be lurkin all up on my mining spot. When you see this guy be careful! He’s a spitter! Like on the picture below

 

Yeah, he changes color after a time, I’m not exactly sure yet what this could mean.

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Gameplay and Features

Upon starting the game, you pretty much get thrown into a randomly generated world (big, small, or large depending on what you picked). They are however, planning on creating a background story for your poor, currently hobo-status character. Also, there is really no tutorial at the moment, but don’t fret my dears, I’ll lay down some tips and what not later just like I promised. For now, salvage/mine, explore, and build a home or underground bunker ASAP. You saw the monsters on the picture above. You do NOT want to be spat ickly colorful things (or later on, pure acid vomit which I’m not ashamed to admit…kicked my ass) and die from it. The good thing is that there is no penalty for death, although running back to the area you died at can be a pain, especially if that was a good mining spot. This may change though because right now they’re asking the community what they want as penalty for dying.
Nomnomnom precious ores

An interesting feature in the game is Research. Unlike Terraria and other sandbox game where you have to play around mixing materials to discover recipes (or if you’re lazy like me, make wiki your best friend), you earn RP (Research Points) for actions you take such as mining or crafting; and you may use this points to research new recipes that you can craft. Some of these recipes are pre-requisites for more advanced recipes. Don’t worry too much about the points though. Like I said, it’s quite easy to acquire just by farming and crafting. Fighting and gaining experience also give you RP.

Research window

 

Crafting window. There’s a LOT of things you can craft within those tabs

In terms of items and customization, I do love it. Being the Sci-Fi game that it is, our weapons range from bows and arrows to guns that go pew pew b!ches. We also get to have body hugging space suits. Sexy. Oh, and if you’re like me that likes to make her home beautiful and practically have a mansion, you’ll enjoy the fact that we do have furnatures in the game, as well as wallpapers (Sci-Fi themed of course!)

My humble abode so far. It will be bigger and more awesome later :) I have an underground mine going on there.

 

My newly crafted body suit. I glow so pretty.

 

At the moment, you can only play as a female, however this will change on a future update. The male counterpart will have all the armors and items that the female character currently have. Hey, if I didn’t mind capturing pokemons as a dude for a long time, it shouldn’t be too bothersome for you fellas.

Multiplayer is being worked on at this time so we will get to play with our buddies soon enough. :) I’m very excited about that myself.

Enemy spawning gets a bit crazy sometimes but the devs are addressing this issue right now.

As for the controls, it took me a little bit to get used to. It’s not difficult or anything, it’s just that to do certain things, like use items or put them back in your bag, unlike the typical just click the left or right button on your mouse; you have to hold shift+click (L/R). Don’t worry, I’ll cover them on my beginner tips later.

For a game that just came out, in terms of what we have so far, everything is pretty smooth. Though of course we get bugs here and there that they quickly remedy. When I say quickly, it was fairly quickly. Many were done the same day they were informed about the bugs.

Right now, all that seems simple enough, but don’t be fooled. It is extremely time consuming. I spent two days on the game and I only unlocked tier 2 crafts. It basically turned me into a zombie the next day when I had to go to school since I ended up playing until 7 am just trying to build my home. I did enjoy every minute of it.

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Developers-Community Relationship

What about the devs? Will they listen to our woes if we come across problems or things we may not like? not many people realize that the answers to these questions can either help improve the game towards beastness, or end up putting the game into the fail end of the stick. Especially if it’s a small independent company like Allgraf. Many indie games also experience these problems because when they refuse to listen, they really do indeed turn into a clone of whatever game inspired it. We all have witness a couple of big games that shut down or ended up getting angry gamers mutilating the shizneh out of em’ due to this.

Darkout has already pushed out 3 updates upon release, so one thing is for sure, the developers ain’t no slackers. I myself had seen how much they value the feedbacks from players. They’re really active in terms of communicating via social networking sites concerning their game. They also respond to problems players get in a friendly and professional manner. You guys can pretty much tell from this that the game will have a good future if they keep it up. We all know what happens when the developers no longer listen to the gamers and stubborn their way through. The game ends up broken. If we look at it from our angle, our love for it stops  and we all end up disappointed, disgruntled, while some may even flip some chairs or desks here and there. The good thing about the developers of this game is that the moment they read the problems and qualms of players, they immediately go to work and push out fix related updates. They also reach out to the community, asking for advice on what should be implemented, what worked and did not work so well within the game, and all that jazz. This is just the beginning my beastly readers. They just released a notice concerning what the upcoming updates will entail and future plans.

Because I feel like being benevolent, I shall post the masterplans they are currently plotting on:

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(Copy and pasted from official website)

Just briefly we’d like to cover this release, plans for game improvements, and answer various other questions you may have.
1. Initial release state
We now have the Base level complete in which you can mine, gather, craft, research, and create a ton of gear. Enemies are all around to kill or avoid, the game environment is big and chock full of resources etc. and there are abandoned camps sites, and rare crashed pods to find all with random loot for the taking.
The goal of this state was to have a version where you can explore a small, medium or large world, start gathering resources and building up a base and tech that will help you survive as the world around you starts noticing that you are there to stay, and it does not want you there.
Do we still have some bugs? We have been openly and honestly addressing bugs very quickly for 3 months now, the feeling that we gather from the community at large is that you appreciate the fast response, the quick updates, and that we do listen to the requests put forward for small improvements etc. The HUD for instance, well we thought it would function for first pass, but clearly it was causing frustrations, so we replaced it and added a bunch of features which was not planned for this initial release state. Darkout is all the better for it even with a lot of sleepless nights. :P
2. From this point forward
We have a lot more features and content planned for Darkout. This is just the Initial release which is the first part in a long line of staged patches, 1.0.0 was where we had the basic gameplay and features in and now we will be expanding with more content, extra suits, enemies etc.
We are expanding and adding to the game to improve combat, add bosses, enemies, Biomes, weapons, multiplayer, a male character, more powerful suits, teleportes, unique treasures, forms of transport, implement the back story, preparing scenarios for the future end game and TONS of other stuff.
3. Planned Content patch 1.1 (Currently at 1.0.4 = 2/12/13)
  • The very next thing we are working on now is multiplayer. This will also spawn HUGE worlds, and a few modes you and your friends can choose to play. Be it defend your base, capture the others Combinator or survival modes.
  • Male character with all current suits will be added and another tech level containing a new set of armour
  • Remote, with which you can set traps like triggered grenades, trap doors, trigger floods, lava flows, etc. the possibilities of this system are endless. Bunker yourself in, and surround yourself with a dungeon of traps no one can penetrate or create a room that you can turn completely dark, trap shadow creatures and then flip on the lights and turrets and kill them all.
  • Turrets for base defence and mountable on your sled
  • Achievements and also implement a backstory/history for the world of Darkout via Data Relics you uncover in camp sites, crashed pods etc. these will also contain blueprints unlocking new items to craft, and other gear.
  • Expand on the crafting and usage of crystals in suits. Not only will they grant you a different colour light, but the crystal can add an extra ability to a suit piece.
  • And various other bits we’re working on
4. Brief of content patches after
We also have planned
  • Vehicles / Mech
  • More Biomes (swamp, beach, mutated jungle, new look and dangers in the sky islands, etc.)
  • Collapsing mine shafts, old mine shafts, derelict subways and a cloud city / floating fortress
  • Extra enemies & Bosses
  • Underground bunker with derelict tech and evolved/mutated survivors
  • A hidden and dangerous facility hidden deep under the city where the outbreak possibly began
  • Underwater city/ruins
  • Submersible
  • More weapons and Player tech
  • Expanded wire and pipes system for fluids
  • Weather with rain, and wind and volcanic eruptions
  • Thermal power, elemental power based on wind or lighting
  • New enemy types
  • Shadow Realm
We hope this sheds some light on the future plans for Darkout and rest assured we will reveal a lot more about the developments in coming months.
Thank you to everyone who supported the beta and to everyone who are buying the game, without you we would not be able to continue working on Darkout and improving it for a long time to come!

There you have it! Many exciting goodies are going to come our way.

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Price, Final Verdict, Where to Buy

The game is priced at $14.99. Is it worth it? I believe it is. Like I said, I make sure I research the game prior to purchasing it so personally, I felt like I picked well and it was a money well spent. I’m actually very happy.

With everything the game has so far, and as you guys have read, many more new and exciting features to come, Yes, I do believe it is worth it. I’m really liking the fact that the devs are trying to tailor the game towards the suggestions and constructive criticism of the community. The devs seems like they’re really trying to reach out to us in order to help improve their game. They also ask the community to help them decide what to create or implement next. These are unpaid developers who created this beautiful game and wished to share it with us, so honestly, if I have to pay 15 buckaroos to show them love back and support, I really don’t mind. Like I said, I’m also receiving more than $15 worth of current and upcoming updates and features.

Here’s the game link: Darkout Official Website

The game can be purchased from a couple of retailers though I personally got mine from Desura. The following retailers are: Desura, Gamersgate, Amazon, Gamefly, GetGames, and Gameolith. Also it is currently in pending in Steam Greenlight so help em out =) and vote!

Thank you for reading through my humble opinions and rumbling. Be sure to check out the Beginner’s tips if you decide to purchase!
-For more reviews on other games: Game Breakdown Reviews: Released/Beta/Alpha
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Beginner’s Tips! (Hoohah!)

(If I missed anything or you wish to help contribute suggestions, hints, and tips just comment it below and I’ll add it :D )

  • Be sure to check the keyboard and UI layout image on there by pressing esc
  • Check your ship and grab all the shizzles in there! it will help your buttox out! then salvage the heck out of that poor used and abused ship
  • To activate devices you must hold shift+left click. To put items back in your bag press shift+right click
  • When you log into the game, it’ll look like the screen froze but don’t panic! that’s just how it is, it’s just loading. Wait it out.
  • Having torches/lights by you or around your place helps keep the spawning at bay
  • Ropes are quite important, especially since you need it to make a bucket that is needed to get all this liquids which in tern will be used to build other items *whew* so if you see vines down the dirth, salvage that thang.
  • Salvage a lot of flowers to make goo lights because you will need this to craft your first equipment and for lightsource.
  • You can switch mining/chopping/etc between one blocks at a time or three at a time by pressing M
  • When you find a tar pit, just equip the bucket and press shift+left click to acquire the tar. If you can get a LOT of tar. You’re going to need it for a lot of materials too.
  • If you’re having a hard time finding those precious minerals you need, you can try creating another world and taking your current character there. You can treat it as a resource world.
  • Salvage as much scrap metals as you can
  • Try to build a house and a bed (for spawn point and HP regen purposes) asap.
  • Try to build a furnace first
  • Some of you might experience this, if you purchased from desura, when it tries to verify updates, it’ll say fail. Just wait it out. You should eventually see the loading bar start to go and everything will work fine from there.

 

And now you know and knowing is half the battle!

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Credit:
Darkout logo image was taken from the Darkout fan kit.