Well I picked this game up as part of a bundle, and truly did not expect to have as much fun with it as I have. I understand it is technically still being added to, although it is no longer in beta, but it feels far more complete to me than many other Early Access/Early games in the same genre that I have played. As the game stands now, it has furnished me with many hours of entertainment and I have still not maxed out all of the tech trees or fully explored the world I generated. In general, my rule for buying games that are not yet finished, is this: If, hypothetically, development on this game stopped tomorrow, would I still enjoy playing it? And I feel that with Darkout, the answer is probably yes.
If you are familiar with 2d sandbox-style sidescrollers like Terraria and Edge of Space, you will feel at home here. However, what Darkout does differently is adds light as a game mechanic, since the world you are building on is never fully illuminated, and enemies both spawn and gain health in darkness. There are several beautiful glowing plants that spawn and will keep you from dying before you set up your homebase, but you'll very quickly find that creating light sources will become your primary occupation. Once you've progressed further down the tech tree, your options for creating light sources become more elaborate, and you can create your own wonderland of lights just for the heck of it, if you like. I should probably also mention that this game does not have very many RPG elements, which is a big plus in my book. One of my gripes with other sandbox games is that they relied too much on random drops or big boss fights to get to the next level of crafting.
There is a storyline in the game, but finishing these quests is optional and shouldn't interfere with the rest of the game. As far as I know, you can completely ignore it if you wish, and still manage to find every ore, tool, machine, etc. while you build to your heart's content.
It is true that some of the building systems in the game are a little bit unintuitive, and if that's something that tends to get on your nerves, you will probably be unsatisfied, as I did find myself having to look a few things up here and there. However, having grown up with older games in which this was much more common, it's never particularly bothered me. The graphics in the game are quite lovely and allow for some really impressive building options. I suppose one of my gripes is about the music, which resembles the sort of track you'd find in a space-themed action movie these days. I guess it fits, but I get a little bit annoyed after a while, since it is tense, and I feel like the pace of the game is slower and a bit more peaceful.
- Looks great
- Huge tech tree, lots of crafting options
- More based on crafting than roleplaying
- Multiple options for gathering ores
- Playing with light and colors is fun!
- Crafting is sometimes unintuitive
- Music gets annoying at times
- A few other small gripes which don't break the game: (Trees don't currently respawn, Game occasionally gets interrupted by autosave)