Darkstar One offers a fantastic amount of freedom of choice. The story-based missions gradually lead you deeper into the galaxy to new races, new technologies and ever stronger opponents. Explore a vast array of solar systems in search of hidden artifacts of ancient races, essential objects for upgrading your ship--the Darkstar One.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (215 reviews) - 79% of the 215 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 14, 2006

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Includes 3 items: Darkstar One, Patrician III, The Great Art Race

 

About This Game

Darkstar One offers a fantastic amount of freedom of choice. The story-based missions gradually lead you deeper into the galaxy to new races, new technologies and ever stronger opponents. Explore a vast array of solar systems in search of hidden artifacts of ancient races, essential objects for upgrading your ship--the Darkstar One.
In addition to artifacts, acquire credits to purchase better equipment, such as weapons and shields. Earn credits in a myriad of ways: by taking on assignments, bounty hunting, piracy, smuggling, trading, escorting, transporting, rewards and more.
  • A vast, simulated universe with many unique races, space ships and battle tactics.
  • Elaborate story, related by more than fifty minutes of video sequences.
  • Configure and upgrade your ship, Darkstar One, any way you choose--build a fast attack ship with many light weapons or a near-invincible cruiser with heavy weaponry.
  • Over two hundred different weapons, shields and equipment items.
  • Rockets, torpedoes and mines feature special tactical uses: mines can fire at opponents or distract approaching missiles.
  • The "Spell Weapon": a special weapon with a powerful effect similar to certain spells in role-playing games. This weapon becomes increasingly versatile throughout the game and greatly increases tactical options.
  • Acquire weapons from other races - Mount distinctive weapons from other races on "Darkstar One," each featuring unique functions that require different battle tactics.
  • Embark on special missions - explore canyons or even underground on unknown worlds.
  • Freedom of choice - earn credits in many ways: fighting, piracy, assignments, smuggling, trading, escorting, transporting, rewards, and more.
  • Play as the "good" or the "bad" guy and take advantage of political disputes.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • Supported OS: Windows XP (32 bit)
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz Intel or AMD processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Sound: DirectX compatible Sound Card
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible 128 MB graphics card with support for pixel/vertex shader 1.1 (GeForce 3 and above)
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB HD Space
    Recommended:
    • Supported OS: Windows XP with SP2
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz Intel or AMD processor
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Sound: DirectX compatible Sound Card
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible 256 MB graphics card with support for pixel/vertex shader 3.0 (GeForce 6/Radeon x1x00 and above)
    • Hard Drive: 7 GB HD Space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mostly Positive (215 reviews)
Recently Posted
Pawprint
0.5 hrs
Posted: August 22
Oh how I would love for Steam to have a Maybe option as well as Yes and No, because this game is a complete Maybe. I bought DarkStar One when it came out years ago. I was hoping it would be the next Freelancer, and it tried, but it didn't try hard enough.

DarkStar One has a lot of good points, but the biggest negative is the repetitiveness. Now if you've never played the game and have read some reviews here, you may think, "A lot of people talk about repetition, but just how bad could it be?" Bad. Really, really bad. It would be one thing if there were just a few mission TYPES that you had to do over and over, but you effectively do THE SAME MISSION over and over. I remember one in particular where you have to eavesdrop on a conversation (I think some crime lords are having a meeting or something). You always went to the EXACT same station type, parked in the EXACT same spot to do the eavesdropping, and then the people would have the EXACT same conversation, and at the EXACT same point in said conversation they would notice your presence. Then the EXACT same three ships would launch from the station and attack you. It got to the point where as soon as I was discovered I would fly over in front of the landing bay for the station and pick off the ships as they came out. It was an absolute slaughter. Good for me in terms of reward, but bad in terms of mind-numbing gameplay.

The mechanics of the game are fine, and it would be a lot of fun if there were more variation. If you ever played the first Assassin's Creed and got tired of the same thing over and over, this game is worse, and I would advise that you don't get it. If, on the other hand, you don't mind that sort of thing, then I say get this game. So yeah, it's a big Maybe.
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tommypies
8.3 hrs
Posted: August 14
Like the X games, but more focused on playability than on mechanics, really fun!
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Iconian
64.9 hrs
Posted: July 28
Not a bad game. Not a great game. I'd call it good.

Fly around, kill space pirates with your own space fighter, do some trading, complete some missions, earn money, and upgrade your ship. Quite a bit of freedom to choose your own path, and explore different star systems.

Sit through the mostly badly acted cut scenes.

Then play some more, blast away some more pirates. It sounds like it should be more tedious, but I think it's actually a pretty fun game. In spite the poor acting/voice, Darkstar One has some interesting zaniness that keeps you interested, as well as some interesting quests. And there are several different alien races you can learn about, a number of different organizations, lots of interesting news items in the news feed. That's probably a lot of what kept me going--reading about the stuff going on--international machinations, and the various groups that hire you out to take care of one task or another. All while the galaxy inches closer and closer to war.
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martorell_fs
115.9 hrs
Posted: July 19
GAME-BREAKING BUGS, DON'T BUY!

(the bug is one where if you don't do the missions in the specific order you're supposed to, you simply won't be able to finish the game)

By the way I know the game reflects I played it for 115h, but it' s mostly AFK (and also getting rid of "wanted" status on occasions, which is done by being afk).
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ebonweaver
5.5 hrs
Posted: July 17
Not a great game, but it's pretty solid. Yes the dialogue is poorly acted and the CGI cut screens are dated at best. Yes it's a little limited in what you can do (basically kill dudes or trade, and trade is not lucrative). However, it keeps you moving, combat is pretty dynamic, it looks good and plays good, and you have a good sense of advancement. Overall, enjoyable and getting my money's worth out of it.
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Raka
0.7 hrs
Posted: July 9
It just won't start on my Win10 x64 10586, always load error 0x03, tried everything from Google but no luck.
One does not simply install Windows XP just for this single game.
It IS lots of fun but not THAT much fun.

And for the game, it's Freelancer simplified, one of a kind years ago.

May the 300 blessssss me and let me sssstart this game...

===Edited Aug/20/2016===
It magically works on 14393 now!
Okay so after all this years I can get my heart broken again...

Game itself is pretty linear, and do not need much effort to equip your ship all MK6 turrets and weapons and missles and blow everything up.

It has the most amazing ending among all the games I've played so far.

Well often you see a male and a female on game box art and you'll think that romance will take place somewhere in the game but nooooooo...
The male protagonist has been used as a tool, you thought you got lucky for getting a female companion but nooooooooo....
SHE'S SOMEONE ELSE'S GIRLFRIEND...
After all those life-risking missions, you'll know the truth about your father's death then she dumped you because she's reunited with her boyfriend.
And that's not enough she even programmed the main computer on your ship to use her voice all the time after to eternity.
You used me. You dumped me. Now I have to listen to your voice every single f**king time I did something.
So years ago I deleted this game after I got 100 artifacts and blew up the easter egg mothership.
Worst ending ever.
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Horny Ethanol in tha House
0.9 hrs
Posted: July 2
♥♥♥♥ing love it
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XaeroDegreaz
5.3 hrs
Posted: July 2
Product received for free
Wow, this game has really held up over time. Great game so far. The only bug that I can consistently see is that the mouse is not constrained to the game window. This means that if you're a multi-monitor user, you can see your mouse travel off of the game scren and onto your other monitor. If you click outside the game it seems to lock it up and requires a hard restart of the game.

This isn't as big of a deal as it seems as long as you're fairly good at space combat games in general. Only noobs would be so far off target that they would click outside the screen during a firefight, but it does kinda suck for downtime when you're chilling on a station and want to do something on your other screen. I don't see any options to fix this in-game, but it's not really a big enough problem to merit me trying too hard.

For $1.50 it's practically criminal not to purchase this game.

Matter of fact, I'm just gonna check the box below this review form that says "Check this box if you got this product for free".
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Dies-A-Lot
11.9 hrs
Posted: June 25
I realize this isn't how reviews are normally done. I never claimed to be normal. I'm going to play through the game and post the various issues I've had here. Folks can decide if it's the kind of thing they'd expect in a game, or not.

Problem 0: [will never be resolved] flight physics. Sigh. Yet another "space" game that assumes space is a large bowl of clear mud, and that Newton was completely wrong. Freelancer got the right combination of proper space physics and simple controls. So far, I've not found another game whose developers actually understand anything about physics AND simplicity. Just for that, Darkstar One is going to have to be an awesome game to get a "recommended" from me.

Problem 1: [resolved, kind of]. Glad I got it for $2. Graphics are non-existent on my system. Cutscenes are the quality I'd expect, then I get an early 1980's mainframe VT100 "interface" during flight. Whether this is a bug, or by design, I don't know. And frankly, I don't care. If they sell a game with advertised gameplay graphics. that's what I expect.
RESOLUTION: reduce to lower screen resolution. Seems it can't handle the higher resolution, even if it claims it can.

Problem 2: [resolved] Tutorial says to select cargo container, but couldn't find it. Turns out text was a grey on darker grey background in an unexpected and unlabelled section of the target selection text list. Grabbing and releasing container wasn't an issue, FINDING the damn thing was the issue. Future cargo containers should be easier to find. Things are always easier once you know how. Not very impressed with the organization of the target selection list.

Problem 3: [kludge found, not really resolved] crashes during combat. Often. Regularly. It's made the game almost unplayable at this point. Further analysis shows that it might be due to a combination dual-monitor setup and Darkstar not having a true "fullscreen" mode, but only a "borderless windowed" mode that they *call* "full screen". So the mouse goes off the edge of the screen when fighting, I click to fire, and it clicks on the desktop. Darkstar then crashes. Haven't found a way to force Darkstar to have true "full screen" mode where the mouse is restricted to the single screen. And yes, Darkstar crashes 90% of the time when I use Alt-Tab, and 100% of the time when I click on the desktop even when not in combat.
KLUDGE: use "WinKey"+P to cycle through display options. If your "main" monitor is (2), select "projector only". If your main monitor is (1), select "computer only". Then start the game. Pain in the a r s e, almost as bad as Steams Puritan-s h i t h e a d censoring system. Still looking for fix that tells Darkstar One to create a REAL "full screen", mouse-capturing option while leaving the other monitor alone.

Problem 4: [unresolved] Then there's what's almost become a trope in video games, the "let's screw the player over with a totally new interface that acts nothing like what they've been practicing with all this time, and make it a boss fight that you have to complete in order to continue the game". To be precise, the "flak" fight. It's effectively a poorly done space-invaders mini-game, but written either by someone who really doesn't care about games, or someone who simply hates the people who buy their games. Either way, it has no place in Darkstar One. Just for that pile of steaming excrement, this game will never get anything other than "no recommended". Opponents are pretty much invisible against the background until they get really close, the "radar" doesn't actually give accurate locations, nor does it give any idea of how far the opponents are. Unplayable, at least for me. I'm tired of wasting my time on this game.

Opinion: stay far, far away from this game, even if you get it for $2 it's not really worth it.
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plk Lesiak
0.6 hrs
Posted: June 25
This games is extremely similar to Galaxy on Fire 2, so if you played that one you definitely shouldn't bother with this one (and vice versa).

As for the game itself, it has most of the problems that make me not recommend GoF 2. The combat is quite simplistic, with little dynamism and skill involved. Enemies don't manouver in natural way, just go straight towards you in a very predictable patterns. Side missions have little variety and a very linear progression mechanics, scaling to your abilities (sounds fine in theory, but in reality it nearly nulifies any real risk-taking and uncertainty when you take them).

I would be able to reccomend it a few years ago, when there were no good space sims on the market, but nowadays it's just not worth the time, even if it's cheap. Buy Rebel Galaxy and you'll find much more refined and complex experience.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
Oh how I would love for Steam to have a Maybe option as well as Yes and No, because this game is a complete Maybe. I bought DarkStar One when it came out years ago. I was hoping it would be the next Freelancer, and it tried, but it didn't try hard enough.

DarkStar One has a lot of good points, but the biggest negative is the repetitiveness. Now if you've never played the game and have read some reviews here, you may think, "A lot of people talk about repetition, but just how bad could it be?" Bad. Really, really bad. It would be one thing if there were just a few mission TYPES that you had to do over and over, but you effectively do THE SAME MISSION over and over. I remember one in particular where you have to eavesdrop on a conversation (I think some crime lords are having a meeting or something). You always went to the EXACT same station type, parked in the EXACT same spot to do the eavesdropping, and then the people would have the EXACT same conversation, and at the EXACT same point in said conversation they would notice your presence. Then the EXACT same three ships would launch from the station and attack you. It got to the point where as soon as I was discovered I would fly over in front of the landing bay for the station and pick off the ships as they came out. It was an absolute slaughter. Good for me in terms of reward, but bad in terms of mind-numbing gameplay.

The mechanics of the game are fine, and it would be a lot of fun if there were more variation. If you ever played the first Assassin's Creed and got tired of the same thing over and over, this game is worse, and I would advise that you don't get it. If, on the other hand, you don't mind that sort of thing, then I say get this game. So yeah, it's a big Maybe.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 14
Like the X games, but more focused on playability than on mechanics, really fun!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
63 of 65 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
224.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 14, 2014
This isn't the next coming of Freespace or X, but it doesn't pretend to be either. It's a nifty space shooter with a side of RPG elements, and for what it is, it's actually a great wee game. Given the disappointments in the genre that are available today, going back to titles like this is actually kinda refreshing.
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60 of 65 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
48.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
About 90% as good as "Freelancer," this game's flight and combat mechanics are easy to pick up and consistently rewarding. The just slightly campy (and lovably so) story is told well, too.

While some games in this genre focus on getting the next ship, "Darkstar One" is all about making one ship work for you. It's a slightly different take on the formula, and it's a good one. Also, the game is pretty forgiving, which is nice when similar titles can be "brickwall difficult" experiences.

I was actually quite surprised with how engaging "Darkstar One" turned out to be. Going in, I was prepared to be disappointed. Instead, I was enthralled.
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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.8 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: November 26, 2013
Nice space sim. Sadly enough, that's about it. The character animations and voice acting are a bit stiff, the story is kinda boring and predictable.

BUT the fighting is fun, the upgrade system is great, the game looks nice and the alien races are distinct. And in a genre that is as starved as this, that's enough sometimes.

Well, at least until Star Citizen is released next year.
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25 of 26 people (96%) found this review helpful
Recommended
53.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
This is one of those games that, while you play it, it is enough to keep you playing and, once you finish it, you forget about it. Not bad, but not amazing.

I think those who would appreciate it most are those that haven't played games like Freelancer or X before. The rest will see it as an alright game that doesn't do anything new, but was amusing nonetheless.
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25 of 28 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2015
I wish there was an option for 'Meh' for recommendations.

As far as Space Sim shooters go, this is definitely a good catch on the market. The learning curve is hardly a curve at all (if you are able to get on good terms with relativity of direction), and it will keep you going for a while.

However, at the time of writting this, 7 hours in, it's becoming more and more apparent just how repetitive this game becomes, and offers you no replay value. The missions are all pretty much the same ("Go there, kill things") and it turns into an incredible grind fest if you're a completionist like me. Eliminating all the gangs, liberating the systems, flying through asteroids for upgrades and a silly sidequest now and then that is even more repetitive if that's even possible.

The game would also like to suggest that there are multiple ways of making money and choosing different paths and sure, there are indeed multiple branches that you can gain reputation in, to become a Merchant or a Smuggler, a Mercenary or a Pirate, a Killer or a Bounty Hunter...

Well, except that Merchant and Smuggler are the same thing with a slight risk and much larger reward for Smuggler, Mercenary and Bounty Hunter are just you shooting the bad guys, Pirate is you shooting the good guys and stealing their stuff to sell for Mercenary or Smuggler, and Killer is the same thing except you shoot to kill. So really, not much of difference at all.

And even though there are indeed dozens and dozens of systems to explore, there really isn't a reason to. It's all the same anyway, slight differences here and there (image of a planet in the background, number of objects, possible sidemission/collectible (that you can see and check news stand about locations of beforehand)), but other than that, you're probably not going to visit a lot of systems for more than a few seconds while your jump drive recharges.


Anyway, to wrap it all up, I would only suggest this game if you want to play a space shooter. If you're looking for a trader game, I would suggest you look at other Kalypso titles, as the trading system isn't really all that great here. If you're looking for something you can pick up and play casually whenever you feel like blowing some space ships up, this is the game for you.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
31.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2014
Customizing your ship with weapons and special abilities is the best part about this game. While space battles are well done, fun, and with good physics, it does get boring somewhat quickly. The main missions and side quests can be interesting as it progresses through the storyline, but it does not give you a feeling of great accomplishment as you go through them. The trading aspect of the game can and might as well be ignored completely. It provides you with minimal profits in comparison to the other means to acquire credits. Speaking of credits, I completed the game with 8.5 million credits in my possession. After a while, the amount of credits you accumulate will become obsolete, as you will have more than enough to get whatever you want. The game suffers from extreme repetitiveness, which also creates tedium and dullness when you do the same two or three activities over, and over, and over, and over. Simply put, the game is about 20 hours too long. The developers should have been more concise and implemented more diverse aspects in more ways than just this. The end game is surprisingly bland and unexciting. Also, throughout the game, you are given a false sense of freewill. Your progress is almost completely linear.

Darkstar One is good.
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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
43.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 18, 2014
Good fun. Kept me playing for 9 hours (so far). That's not bad for £6 (I actually got it in the sale for less, but I would have been happy even if I'd paid the full price). Fly around space, shoot space pirates (or become one), be a mercenary or a trader transporting resources between systems to make money, do odd jobs for people etc... Think if X2/X3 had a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ child with an arcade machine...

Graphically it's not bad, actually looks quite nice considering it was released 8 years ago. Some of the backdrops are brilliant, an effect only slightly let down by the special effects and textures (which to be fair aren't bad, but nothing special today either).

The bad? The voice acting is terrible (so just like most other games in this genre), the story is painful, and the cut scenes look like they belong on a PS1/N64. Also it doesn't capture your mouse, so if you use more than one monitor you will occasionally find yourself clicking on the wrong screen and making the game drop to desktop (disabling the screen in your graphics card control panel fixes it, there may be another fix I haven't bothered looking). Game's crashed twice on me in 9 hours, pretty sure it was to do with the multi screen problem as it hasn't happened since.

If you can look past the voice acting (as any fan of this genre has to be able to do), and ignore the low res cutscenes (of which there aren't many anyway), then this is fun.



Update: 16 hours... It's more fun than sim, and Turrets are totally OP: my first turret is a lvl 3 railgun turret - every time I get in a fight I hear constant fire from the turret, keep dodging, kill everything!



Update 2: 33 hours. I am fury. I am pain. I am Death. I have blasted, burned and obliterated my way through dozens of star systems. Hundreds, maybe thousands of souls floating through the void are my responsibility. A silent testament to my rage. Pirates are afraid to even think of my name. Now my sights are set on Broniss corporation.

Flying through a Broniss subturanean complex, and the lead character comes out with the single best comment in a video game of all time "These Bronies are gonna get it." So I guess that's that. Bronies beware...

One, Two, Funky's coming for you.
Three, Four, missiles to your door.
Five, Six, wait till you see my tricks.
Seven, Eight, plasma burning bright.
Nine, Ten, you'll never breath again.

Hmmmm... Maybe I should take a break from this game.
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
43.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2013
Entertaining, although not very versatile. The idea of mixing RPG elements by creating an evolving ship is nice, but merely replaces the opportunity to switch spacecrafts and try out new combinations. Missions might become repetitive (and far less challenging) once you understand the basic components which they are constructed with.

If you are looking for an in-depth 4X game along the lines of X: Beyond the Frontier and its sequels, this might be too shallow for you. If you are looking for a more space combat focused game, give it a try. Do not expect the intensity of a Freelancer or Freespace, but at least it might still the hunger until a next Indepence War sequel arrives.
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