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: Very Positive (96 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 14, 2006

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


Recommended By Curators

"Overlooked Space Shooter - the game is divided into different action role-playing quests. Escort, bounty, transport & espionage missions - Very Good!"

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

    • 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
    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
26.2 hrs on record
Speaking frankly, this was the first space sim-like game I played in my life back into 2007, when my previous experience was limited to only watching of Descent Freespace as a kid and one failure of getting along with X series. And that was hilarious for the first try! Years apart, after clashing Galaxy on Fire, I suddenly remembered about that title, and here I conquered it again, now on Steam. Still, the years away the game was released did not hinder my player experience, and this is why:

- Plot. It's easygoing - you've got a girl, some friends, and some business to do, which eventually brings you to saving the galaxy;
- Easy UI. Everything you have hidden in the settings layout is present on the main screen and can be accessed via "Space+Mouse", which makes the game as easy as your tablet app. Way to go, X;
- Good graphics. I am not saying the CG is excellent or anything, but giving that I am running it on a retina screen and the eight years this title is away from released hot, I cannot afford myself speaking something against: this is why it goes for pros;
- Freespaced. I trust this is not a spoiler, and having accomplished your road-trip to hell and back, you are free to gladly rest at any beloved system and to watch clouds running on some blue planet sphere;
- Descent difficulty. That's as highlighted, not too easy, not to harsh, except for some AA turret missions, where you have to play a very lucky sitting duck;
- Funny names of space systems. There is an entire sector devoted to Russian names. No balalaika cruisers though;
- A cutie! Cubisctic though.

However the feedback would not be true if I don't mention what I didn't like:

- One -your- ship. I know it is the best, but still;
- Fairly limited assortment of side missions;
- Unskippable animations. I mean those you meet while striking a mission, teleporting, or simply embarking a station. I do know how they are beautiful, but trust me, once will suffice;
- No mining fun. As it is said: you need to... fire asteroids to mine them. I wonder if I ever be old enough to be busy with it. And even so, the outcome costs nothing;
- Limited musicbox. That's a space game, not a CofD!
- Some achievements and/or cards would be welcome;
- The cutie left me alone in the end.

Anyway, if you are new to the space flying genre, you are saving the Galaxy on Fire for over-Atlantic flights, and still willing to grow to something much difficult and multisided as X, this is where you have to start from. And don't delay it until MS Spaceflight Simulator!
Posted: September 28
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7.3 hrs on record
My initail reaction to this game is that it is a really good entry level SpaceSim. Games like X3 have a learning curve that can turn off most people who never played a game like this before. This one has a fast and easy tutorial that covers everything you need to get started. You are taught everything else you need as the game progresses.
As for graphics, they are good for the year this game came out and they hold up to this day. The game is not demanding and a lot of machines at this point can easily run it. My first reaction rating is 8/10. I recommend it. Especially for the price.
Posted: September 30
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86.1 hrs on record
One of my favourite space games. DarkStar One has a nice story, a nice universe and a nice playability in general.

Even after completing the game story and maxing out my ship several times, finding all the artifacts, I always feel like starting over and playing the whole game again.

I consider it a must-have.
Posted: October 2
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27 of 28 people (96%) found this review helpful
224.1 hrs on record
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.
Posted: May 14
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
64.6 hrs on record
Ok, so here is my review of Darkstar One. I was kind of hesitant to get this game, but at $2.49, what the hell, right? I had read other reviews, seeing positive's and negative's about the game. I decided to give it a go. So far, I like the game. Good graphics, decent story line, some pretty good space-combat. All in all, not a bad game and is definately worth the price. I like all kinds of genre in games, from Dungeon-crawlers to space sims, to racing and first-person shooters. I grew up on Atari, Nintendo, Panasonic 3DO, Playstation, etc. So, I know gaming. Darkstar One is a good game. It has it's moments, lag, glitches, etc, but so far, I'm having fun playing it. My opinion, if you enjoy space combat, open-"universe" games, you might really enjoy this one.
Posted: May 14
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
43.6 hrs on record
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.
Posted: May 18
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
50.6 hrs on record
For a older game its dam good for a space game and there are a few mods out there for it but not too many of them. In its time i think this game was over looked because of bigger names like Wing Commander and star wars and so on, To tell you the truth for a space game i would put it up there with them, Maybe a little past them for this reason, It does have a story line in it and yes you have to follow it to get anywhere in the game but there is so many things in the game you can do, you can be a miner, a trader, most wanted man in knowing space, bounty hunter and so on, for a time you are all of them. I would give this game a 9 out of 10.
only reason why it lost one what because of the graphics, the game is old but the graphics are still up there for its age.
Posted: May 22
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
The game could have been a real contender in the space sim genre, but the severe gamekilling bugs and general errors the game suffers from completely obliterates any chances this game had, even back in 2006 when the game launched DSo suffered from a morass of issues the worst being the save game corruption which leads to the infamous infinite loading white hyperspace bug which is near impossible to fix leading to potentially hours of lost time and work - most people who have finished this game will tell you, save the game often because save games will get corrupted on a regular basis.

If your easily frustrated by bugs, having to repeat missions due to bugs/crashes and hate near constant corrupted files then never bother with this game.
Posted: August 18
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Big discount on Strategy First games? Okay. Let's see what they have... Hmm, interesting, here's a neat little game.

I won't compare Darkstar One directly to any of the Big Four. In case you have no idea what I am talking about, then let me give you a hint: The Big Four games in this genre start with the letters F, P and X. (Two share the letter 'F' for their name.) These games are held by many of space sim/combat games to be the pinnacle of the genre.

But I'm not going to invoke the Big Four in direct comparison to Darkstar One. Comparing DSO to any of those has been done before in other reviews, and at times, I feel this comparison is unjustified, particularly when people say DSO isn't "as good" as the Big Four.

I suspect the developers of DSO have played the Big Four. There's lots of elements from those games present in DSO -- And, in fact, I would argue that you couldn't MAKE a space sim/combat game without having those elements, either borrowed intentionally or re-created without realizing it. It's like hold-left-dragging to select units in an RTS game. That is an extremely common and intuitive manner to select lots of units. It's become a common verb in RTS games, and in hind sight seems like a very obvious thing to implement and if you were to create an RTS today, you would implement mass-unit selection in that very manner. To do otherwise would be unnatural and new players would complain. Someone else found the most optimal verb for expressing an intent, and it's become a part of the building bible for the RTS genre.

Therefore, DSO uses a lot of the same verbs as the Big Four. If you've played the Big Four, then practically nothing in DSO will seem out of place. It's all there, it works like you expect it to, and that is what makes this game a lot of fun, even for someone such as myself. I've played practically every major and note-worthy space sim/combat game out there, and that's not really much of a boast considering that I can only think of a dozen in my entire lifetime as a gamer. This isn't a genre that gets a lot of attention.

DSO does it right and does it competently.

If you are a die-hard Big Four fan, you can't go wrong with DSO. Just give it a chance. The graphics are good, the voice-overs are decent, the plot and characters are okay, and the game mechanics are just fine. There's all the elements you would expect from this genre: Exploring, trading, bounty-hunting, alliance/allegiance shifting, pirates, Big Scary Aliens Doing Bad Stuff To Everyone, Mysteries to Uncover, etc. The whole kit and kaboodle.

The only real issue with DSO is that it doesn't bring much new to the table aside from the single, upgradable ship instead of the more typical ladder-climbing of purchasing better ships. I also like how they implemented the cargo carrying system, as it allows your super agile combat ship to suddenly take on the characteristics of a slow, vulnerable cargo vessel without forcing you to switch ships or land at a station first. That was well thought out.

The game is well made and both looks pretty good and plays well enough for what it is. And damn, you can't beat the price. (Under $3 as of this review. I would have gladly paid far more for this game, if I had known about it before hand.)

If you aren't a fan of the Big Four, and in fact if you are confused about what I am talking about: Give DSO a try. It's a good starting point for someone interested in this genre. If you want more, then don't worry. The Big Four are still around and you can pick them up at bargin prices. (For the uninitiated, most of the Big Four are really old games. Like, one of them is a DOS game! See what I mean about this genre not getting much love and attention?)

DSO is worth it, no matter if you are a fanatic of the genre or not. It's not going to blow you away, but it will provide many hours of solid, fun gaming and that's more than can be said for %90 of what is on Steam. :)

Kudos to the developer of DSO for making such an enjoyable game in this genre!
Posted: May 18
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Wonderful game but sadly ONLY Single Player game.

Wish there was a DarkStar Two but that probably will not ever happen!
Posted: May 22
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Like many others out there, the game freezes on the third training mission and there's no way past it. No amount of uninstalling and reinstalling DirectX, drivers, or the game helps. I would love to try this game, but I can't get past the first 20min of play.
Posted: May 28
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
A poor resource trading game with awful FPS missions. The game has some good pointssort of feel, in that you can pick and choose which way to do some missions and some of the characters are quite interesting. However everything else is dire, the FPS sections are absolutely awful, non-skippable and not easy either, there's too many fetch quests, and on the whole the game has no depth. I continued playing after the first level as it felt as if it was building into something quite enjoyable, but it didn't...
Posted: June 11
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1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Horrible controls. Can't target things in space easily. Can only select ship abilities when the ship is crashing into something and speeding out of control. A very, VERY unfinished game. DO NOT PLAY.
Posted: May 18
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0.7 hrs on record
A classic space game. Showing it's age now, but given there aren't actually that many good space games out there, it's worth a buy in the steam sale.
Posted: June 18
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10.6 hrs on record
It is a very intresting gamre it reminds me alot of Galatic Cibilization 2!
Posted: May 18
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26.6 hrs on record
Interesting storyline and smooth gameplay (mouse + keyboard).
A simplified version of Freelancer though not exact copy of it - which is a good thing. You get one ship that You can upgrade by collecting alien artifacts, but You have to be carefull what You upgrade because of limited artifacts.

Finished the game in about 25-30h and I don't remember the difficulty, but it didn't get in the way of progressing the storyline.
Posted: July 3
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3.2 hrs on record
Honestly, I would only recommend this game during a sale. I spotted it for 2 dollars and went ahead and purchased it and I am really glad I waited. If you are a huge space sim/shooter fan and have not given this game a try then wait for it to go on sale. The game has some nice things about it, don't get me wrong, great controls, nice and clean ui, and a huge space to explore...but if you are hoping this game is gonna bring you a deeper experience you will be disappointed. It is shallow in that regard. Missions take about 2 minutes to complete, which I hope gets better as I move forward into the later parts of the game. Trading doesn't really have any depth and I do not believe there is any mining options. If you are in the market for a great space shooter then just stick with Freespace and Freespace 2. If you want a mix of shooter and more freedom then go with Independence War 2. Even Wing Commander Privateer is a great choice over this game. I will continue to play this to the end but I can definitely say this game will not be memorable. Play it, get whatever you can from it, and get Elite Dangerous when it releases.
Posted: July 3
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6.3 hrs on record
Great game, very similar to the Freelancer style of gameplay, or privateer 2 for those from the wing commander era. Very open world with side jobs and missions, you are stuck in the one ship the whole game through but once you see what it can do you'll be happy you aren't flying the rust buckets you're easily blowing out of the sky. Greatly recommended for those that like the space shooter / trade / ship progression genre.
Posted: June 29
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3.4 hrs on record
This should have been the bright start for a new Space-Action-RPG-Style Opera. Unfortunatly for some reason the Devs ended the support prematurely. It had potential, it was fun. There were some edges in the mission design that could have been fixed and the story could have been better developed. It's still worth the 10 Bucks for which it is offered for and still a lot better then some of the prime major disappointments being released as Space Combat Sims.

Ascaron did a terrible job abandoning this game which should have been the bright beginning for a new series. I really would have loved a Dark Star Two with major improvements to the known weaknesses of Part One. Nowadays we would probably even get life-scaled solar systems which would add to the atmosphere. I don't blame the game for not having that since back then the requirements for hardware would have been too high.

Posted: August 30
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51.9 hrs on record
Overall a decent game with what I found to be rather fun combat. While the cutscenes are alright they aren't the best out there, some of the dialogue I found a bit clunky. The customisation is quite good and the game does offer many ways of earning money required to purchase these upgrades. There is also a special ability tree that allows you to play to your strengths and I found it to be quite well thought out. Truthfully I have yet to complete the game but from what I played it has been fun, however I cannot comment on replayability. I hope this helps.
Posted: August 22
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