Darklight Conflict is a no nonsense action packed space combat game. There's no full motion video or superfluous animations to interfere with the ultra challenging action. Unfortunately, the game does not include a couple of features which would have lowered the frustration level and increased the fun factor.
There are two playing options in Darklight Conflict: Arcade and a campaign mode. The Arcade mode throws a relentless and non-stop stream of enemies at you until you're blown into space dust. The campaign mode features 50 plus missions which are linear. They must be successfully completed in order to move on to the next mission. Get ready to replay a number of missions over and over again.
You assume the role of a fighter pilot abducted by aliens to fight against their dreaded enemy. The plot gets interesting as you slowly realize there's more here than meets the eye.
The action is fast and furious with a variety of missions. The first 9 missions are training missions which help to prepare you for the challenges ahead. After you complete training, the missions that follow are: attack, defend, rescue, reconnaissance, bombing runs, and destroying comets. You get to fly a fighter, bomber and gunship. Weapons include a variety of guns, missiles and bombs. There's also a cloaking device, tractor beam and a powerful drive unit.
The graphics are well done and include brilliant lighting effects and lens flares. The fiery explosions, hyperspace portals and other effects are well done. The cockpit display is easy to read and understand. The soundtrack, although not impressive, compliments the on-screen action. The special effects sounds are top-notch and really enhance gameplay, especially when the bass is cranked up. The BIG negatives are the lack of analog support, and there's no option to adjust the level of difficulty.
A major ingredient for making any simulation enjoyable is "control". Using a standard controller for precision flying in Darklight Conflict is awkward and very difficult. When you struggle to control your ship and line-up on targets, fun and gameplay suffer. Analog joystick support SHOULD have been included in the game.
Make no mistake, this is a very challenging game with some extremely tough missions. A difficulty option would have allowed the player to adjust the action to a comfortable level.
Bottom Line: If you're looking for a space combat game that's extremely challenging then this is the game for you. On the other hand, if you get frustrated easily, or if your looking for a game with moderate difficulty you'd be advised to rent first so you can determine if this is the game for you.
Street Price: $49.99 Password: Yes Memory Card: No Supports: Nothing Graphics: 85 Sound: 90 Soundtrack: 80 Learning Curve: Moderate Difficulty: Very Hard Controller Options: 4 Manual: Good Replay Value: Low