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:
Mostly Positive (203 reviews) - 79% of the 203 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 14, 2006

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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
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (203 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 2.1 hrs on record )
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 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: [still not 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.

Until I can get this game actually working according to what I was expecting, it gets a "not recommended". I do wish Steam had a middle ground though, sort of a "meh".
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plk Lesiak
( 0.6 hrs on record )
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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Mr. Needful
( 12.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 4
DarkStar One is a space shooter with a fair amount of RPG elements that make it great for burning a few hours at a time. The space combat is exciting, and though there's not much variation from battle to battle, they're generally quick enough to prevent it from being tedious. There's also a bit of an economy you can learn, as well as a sort of reputation/morality web that gives you certain perks based on your playstyle. It'd be nice if the game wasn't so dependent upon its story, but then again, it lets you know up front that its RPG elements are strictly secondary. Really hope they make a sequel that goes a little more in depth.
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( 78.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 12
Darkstar One is like a mashup of sandbox space trading games and more quest / storyline driven games like "I-War 1" or "Freespace". It's a good job it does combine the two ideas together. Otherwise this game would not be quite so good.

The trading part of it is almost a complete rip of the original "X-Tension" - except MUCH lighter - you only have one ship to pilot (though that ship does evolve as the game progresses), there's hardly any weapons / equipment to spend your credits on, very few, and very repetitive, sandbox mode missions. In fact if this was the only aspect to the game, Darkstar One would be one of the most pathetic turkeys in history. Luckily this "X-Tension" part to the game plays only a support role to the main "quest" part of the game, enough to keep your ship equipped up to the challenge of the next sector's worth of quest missions. Which IS worth playing through. Again though, the spectre of "repetition" will haunt you throughout the entire game. Presentation wise the scenery is very nice for the time of it's release - but eye candy alone won't make a game a classic. This is not a classic. It's good, but not THAT good.

Your character Kayron Jarviss may as well be Guybrush Threepwood's wimpier brother. The taunts he uses against enemies are just laughable..... "I'm behind you (duckie)", "Oooh, nearly got you (schnookielumps)" etc..... seriously amusing!

My copy running under Windows 8.1 constantly crashes randomly. Which brings up a really detailed error reporting system to report the problem to Ascaron. This error reporting system then ALSO CRASHES every time. Jesus. H. Christ!
Still, thanks to the continuous autosaves done at every available opportunity, you'll never find yourself loosing more than five minutes worth of effort!

It's 1000% worth the £1.19 that's it's currently on offer for the next few days, along two other titles! (After May 18th 2016 - you'll pay £6 for it by itself - not quite as good a deal)
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( 12.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
The game actually has a plot. You are a merchant that moves from one solar system to another solving the mystery to the death of your father. You have a spaceship that you can upgrade to using credits you receive from sale of goods. This game is not worth it if its above $5. Most of the graphics (stars, planets, asteroids) are just copy / pasted over and over again.
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Cracktus Jack
( 34.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 16
Darkstar One is a 3D space craft action simulator. After learning information on a man responsible for your father's death, you inherit a ship called Darkstar One and set on a chase across the galaxy to uncover a plot against the Galactic Union.

Pros: The game offers very intuitive controls that can easily be mastered by even the most novice to the genre, although difficulty might be light for a veteran. The galaxy is a large place with a huge amount of systems you gain access to as the story unfolds. Rather than changing ships, you upgrade the Darkstar One by uncovering mysterious alien artifacts hidden in asteroids or held by criminal gangs, allowing you to tailor your ship to your play style, be it hull strength & turrets, agility & firepower, or cargo & speed, but you still customize your weapons layout and special equipment to your needs.

Cons: The story is the worst kind of unimaginative cliché that has its place in a kid's cartoon. The game is extremely repetitive, every system feels identical except for the color scheme, as you always jump in with a single trade station always located at the same distance from the jump gate, while enemy hideouts aren't even hidden by distance or debris fields and are often blatantly identified as "bandit hideout". But you're stuck tediously landing in each of them one by one, not by interest or desire to explore, but by necessity to find the very occasional side mission that unlocks some of the systems holding artifacts, as those aren't hidden at all and you'll know exactly where to find each of them. Graphics are awful by today's standard, textures are so low resolution that space backgrounds appear to be an overstretched 80x80 bitmap. The world itself is so bland you have no interest in doing trading or contracts as you quickly make more money then you can spend.

Verdict: ★★☆☆☆ - Forget it

This game is a poor attempt at replicating an open-world space game. I spent every minute of my playthrough wishing I was playing Freelancer or any other superior games in the genre. Once the game is over, the boring galaxy offers little to nothing worth visiting again, so you should probably skip this one.

This was just my opinion.

If you found this review helpful, please consider giving it a thumbs up, and feel free to check out more of my (purely opinionated) reviews.
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( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 1
Game didn’t really clicked on me, will have to try again later when I find it interesting.
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( 13.9 hrs on record )
Posted: March 7
Just bought the game and have issues within the first hour or so. There is a problem with loading when going to another star system. You get a white screen just after you initiate the jump and the new star system does not load. Have reloaded the all my save files up to that point and when I reach the point of needing to jump, I get the same white screen. Have looked through the community hub and found two posts about the same problem and no fixes.

As of now I can not recommend this game until I see it has been updated with a patch to fix the issues I have seen in the community hub.
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( 6.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 3
Right off the bat. The graphis are nice. The music good. Controls are good. I used a mouse and keyboard and didn't miss the joystick for this one. Story is interesting.. or was, what I got up to. At one point, shortly after I reached Earth, I suffered what I now know as the infamous "White Hyperspace Bug". It is where your hyperspace load screen goes white and freezes.. Rather, you hear the engine, music.. everything appears to be working.. except it's white and frozen. After some research in the forums and google, this is due to a corrupt save. Simple fix right? Go back a few save points. *WRONG*. Most people had to reinstall the game and lost their efforts/progress. This is an issue that the developers never fixed and will never fix from what I'm seeing. I requested a refund to my steam wallet for the $1.99 (a pittance I know, but it's the principle.. a *broken* game should not be sold.), but since I didn't encounter the bug until 7 hours into my gaming, I was denied: Twice. Thank you for nothing, @Steam, ABSOLUTELY *SH!TY* customer service and a rip off. My only solace is that I grabbed this on sale and am only out the $2. Some people were lucky and never had this problem. If you're feeling lucky, well.. good luck. Save often. Pray. It would have been an enjoyable game otherwise.
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( 23.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 16
This is a fun space sim. Gorgeous art work, nice ships, good gameplay design...the missions are a little samey, but that is a fault with a lot of space sims. It has it's challenges, but as you mod/upgrade the ship, everything gets doable. Good for a casual player too, cos you can leave it and come back to it without really losing the thread of things.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
51 of 53 people (96%) found this review helpful
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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50 of 55 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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31 of 35 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
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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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
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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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
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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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
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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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
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
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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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
27.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 16, 2014
A really good addition to the space sim genre, really simple and easy to pick up and play, story is somewhat broken up at times but its more about the journey in the ship and its evolution rather than the over arching story line in my opinion. All said and done its a fun Space shooter game and would deffinately give it a try if your into the spacesim genre.
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2013
A fun, inexpensive space combat and trading game with some customization options and a servicable story. Can be quite addictive and is easy to get into, unlike some other games in the genre. Becomes a bit repetitive after a while, but you could probably push through and finish the main story a lot quicker than I did. If you're looking for something in the genre and don't want something too insanely deep or hard to get into, it's worth a shot. May not sound like the most resounding endorsement, but this game ended up being quite high on my hours played list and I certainly enjoyed it the entire time I did so.
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