Darklight Conflict

Lack of competition makes Darklight Conflict the best space shooter available

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Rage Software
Genre: Shooter

Released on the PC earlier this year, Electronic Artís Darklight Conflict is one good-looking space shooter. It has all the makings of a great shooter, including some amazing light sourcing, but unfortunately the game falters when it comes to one very important element: control.

Darklight Conflict begins with a series of training missions which, while they do get you familiar with the controls, are extremely boring and put off the meat of the game. Perhaps an option to get around the training would've helped - some of us don't want to bother training. Just let us die if we want!

Once past the training, however, the game picks up. Most of the missions are standard fare - search and rescue, escort friendly ships - and feature a high degree of action. Portals are used to pass between levels, and treat the gamers to a brief third-person respite (the majority of the game is first person).

The game's biggest problem by far is the control. Space travel wasnít meant for the D-pad, with its continuous stiff tapping. The lack of analog support hurts, especially with the Sony analog controller just around the corner. As youíre flying in 3D space, the HUD is especially useful though, and is one of the bright spots of the game. The 3D arrows are great for finding those elusive targets.

The graphics are really dazzling, with beautiful light sourcing and realistic backgrounds of suns and planets. However, the lack of a dogfight mode or any kind of two-player combat is a serious mistake.

Darklight Conflict looks great and plays solidly, despite the few problems. It is the best space shooter available right now, although this will probably change when Psygnosis releases Colony wars later this year. Until then, though...