Darkfield VR Alpha 4.5

Posted April 29, 2014 by in All

All Demos: ,
 
 
 
 
Developer: VR Bits
 
Demo Release Date: 14-04-2014
 
Version: 4.5 Alpha
 
Type: Space Sim
 
Platform: PC, Mac
 
HMD: Oculus Rift
 
Download: www.darkfield-vr.com
 
Control Schemes: Xbox Controller, Keyboard and Mouse
 

Best Part:

Great arcade style gameplay
 

Worst Part:

AI and Cockpit models need a little work.
 
Bottom Line

Overall Darkfield VR is a great experience and we are amazed at the progress which has been made since its first demo release a few months back. What’s more amazing is that such a small indie team are creating such an ambitious game and are delivering the quality seen in this Alpha build. If you’re looking for a more Arcade type experience for your space shooter then this is the game for you.

Rating

Graphics
 
 
 
 
 


Sound
 
 
 
 
 


Controls
 
 
 
 
 


Gameplay
 
 
 
 
 


Comfort Level
 
 
 
 
 


Immersion
 
 
 
 
 


Total Score
 
 
 
 
 

3.5/ 5

by David
Full Article

Darkfield VR is a Multiplayer space dog fight game that is currently being worked on by Australian indie developers VR Bits.

The current version of the game is in Alpha testing and we got to play version 4.5 for this review.

When you login to Darkfield you will start on board a large star ship where you can freely walk around the hanger looking at all the ship models used in the game.  There are three main classes of ship , The Sparrow Class is a lightly armoured ship but extremely fast and manoeuvrable, The Liberator class ship is a heavily armoured ship but is the slowest and finally The Pigeon class which is the most balanced ship with regards its armour and weapons.

darkfield-3As you view the ship models you will see too distinctive ship styles for the opposing forces in the game. You can play as either the Alliance ( in blue ) or the Rebels ( in red ).  All the ship models look pretty on the outside but they do require some work on the interior which is still a work in progress.

To start the game you need to first choose if you want to play Multiplayer or Single Player. Currently in this Alpha build the single player and Multiplayer sections will only allow you to play Annihilation mode where you can attack or defend sectors.  Other types of game modes are shown in the menu such as Deathmatch and Flight Training but are not available yet.

Once you choose your game type and your allegiances you have the choice of two levels. The first level is Station 32 and looks like a standard space environment however it has hundreds of asteroids floating around the massive station which you are protecting. The environment looks great and as you accelerate out of the hanger you really get a sense of speed which can often be lacking in space flight simulators.

darkfield-4One factor of gameplay we do enjoy is dodging enemy fire by weaving through massive asteroids, however you will notice that some of the space ships controlled by the computer AI seem to ignore the asteroids and bounce of them quite regularly.

When I first tried to play Darkfield VR I used the Sparrow Class ship which was a big mistake. The control and rate of turning was super sensitive and I really had no control over the ship I was piloting. After 10 or so minutes of trying to destroy an enemy ship I had to give up and try the Liberator Class ship. This made a massive difference and after a few games with this class of ship I was accustomed to the controls and moved up to the Pigeon class which was a bit faster but I found that now I could handle the controls  a lot better.

The second environment that is available to play is the Rina 4 atmosphere level. This is a great show case environment for the game and really reminds me of the luxury cruise ship scenes from the late 90s movie The Fifth Element.  You get a greatly enhanced sense of speed in this environment as clouds zip past you and this section of the game really feels like an Ace Combat inspired dog fight. The lighting effects for this level are fantastic and really stand out as the sunset looks very natural.

darkfield-2It’s clear to see that a lot of time and attention has gone into Darkfield’s environmental design as they look so polished and beautiful in the rift. The ship interiors and turning animations however are a bit unfinished at the moment and when you’re looking at the display console in the cockpit you will notice that the info jumps quite a bit which is a small bit irritating at first but you quickly forget about it when your barrow rolling around an asteroid or large space ship.

Overall Darkfield VR is a great experience and we are amazed at the progress which has been made since its first demo release a few months back. What’s more amazing is that such a small indie team are creating such an ambitious game and are delivering the quality seen in this Alpha build.  If you’re looking for a more Arcade type experience for your space shooter then this is the game for you.

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About the Author

David

David Whelan a professional web developer has been a serial early adopter of the latest technology. From an early age playing on a C64 he always dreamt of entering virtual worlds and exploring the endless possibilities that could be offered up by the platform.

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