Dark Orbit – New Player Experience Review
From veteran free to play MMO publishers BigPoint (FantasyRama, Pirate Storm) comes a unique science-fiction based MMORPG that thrusts players into deep space with the challenge of trying to survive in a hostile universe. Dark Orbit is widely considered to be one of the most influential free to play online space shooters released in the last decade, already amassing a staggering 65 million registered users since its original release in December 2006.
The purpose of our New Player Experience Reviews here at xmmorpg are to give players a taste of what they can expect to experience during their first few hours of game play. The majority of MMORPG games tend to introduce players to the core features of the game, such as combat and questing, within a few minutes of playing so the purpose of this review is to expose the best core features of Dark Orbit with the hopes of saving you some time if it’s not your kinda thing.
When players first begin their journey in Dark Orbit they get to select which faction they want to represent. There are three different factions in total, Mars Mining Operations, Earth Industries Corporation and Venus Resources Limited. The main purpose of each faction is to separate players for the PvP in Dark Orbit, although they do have subtle other differences.
Once you’ve chosen your faction you’re thrown into a tutorial. It’s a very basic tutorial and can be completed in just a few minutes but it does a good job at introducing players to the core features in the game. During the tutorial you’ll be introduced to movement, combat, collecting materials and changing zones. Combat is very basic but also quite addictive, you can auto-attack enemies simply by clicking them, but you can also launch more powerful attacks such as Rockets and Torpedo’s. Each weapon you can equip has different stats, making them all useful in certain situations, a skilled pilot must be able to differentiate the different strengths and weaknesses of each ammo and weapon type. The majority of combat situations involve multiple enemies and the fast-paced action of the combat really sets Dark Orbit apart from typical browser-based MMO games.
That’s pretty much the end of the tutorial, you’re then left to your own devices. You can then continue through the game, destroying enemies and harvesting materials to purchase better ships, ammunition and weapons. It’s quite disappointing really as you’re exposed to literally every in-depth mechanic the game has available within the first 15 minutes of playing. There is a large, competitive PvP scene in Dark Orbit but it can take quite some time to get ships strong enough to survive longer than a few seconds.
Overall, Dark Orbit doesn’t really add anything special to the browser genre, but it does a good job of offering players an alternative style as a space themed shooter.
by Blaine Smith