Dark Orbit review: Kicking Butt in Outer Space



By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), Onrpg writer
Dark Orbit is a space shooter MMO from BBgames that puts you in the seat of a pilot working for one of the three biggest mining companies in the universe. It’s your job as the company’s pilot to search space for the resources and materials that would keep your company at the top.

The Company you work for

There are three big companies that are vying for power in Dark Orbit. They are namely the, Mars Mining Operations, The Earth Industry Corporation and the Venus Resource Unlimited.
The three companies serve as identification in the game and have no actual gameplay use save the starting area per company. The starting ships, credits, quests and items are all the same regardless of where you start off. The three companies serve as the story-telling medium that you the game uses to set off the mood.

Game Features and Gameplay

Dark Orbit’s most appealing feature is that the game can be played right off the browser. You don’t have to download or install any client. Your browser just needs to have Flash installed on it and you’re all ready to go.
You control your ship via mouse while the weapons systems can either be controlled through the mouse or the keyboard. Your weapons vary from lasers to missiles and you have to stock up on them every time you go into the game.
You start of in whatever spawn area your company sends you to and you have to go through various portals as you travel along space. You will be facing NPC spaceships in your travel that serves as this game’s enemies. There are also boxes that are scattered in the map that would either give you ammo, credits, parts or resources.
Besides the usual NPC monster attacking your ship there are players that do PK as well. So it’s better to stick to safe areas as you continue your journey in Dark Orbit.
There’s also a unique system that in Dark Orbit, it’s the jackpot system. In the jackpot system the money which is collected in a map will be pooled into one big pot. To get the pot you have to win a Jackpot battle that is held, you need to register first before you can join. The one who’s left alive wins the pot.
The game also has quests, they cycle around either eliminating certain NPC ships, escorting other friendly NPC ships, resettling colonies, rescuing ships and collecting a certain amount of resource for the company. Quests rewards you experience points and credits as well and serves as an alternative goal as you play Dark Orbit.

Conclusion

For a browser MMO that’s running on flash, I must say that Dark Orbit has its core gameplay pegged. The controls are not that complicated that anyone can immediately pick it up, plus everything is self explanatory and that if you still find yourself trying to figure things out the FAQ and the help guide are stocked with the things you need to know.
Dark Orbit is a good example of an MMO that maximizes the potential it has as MMO space shooter with the limited technology it uses. However, this is already a common case with most browser based MMOs these days so it may be that you have stumbled into a game that’s like this one.
The game is fast paced for a browser game. This is fitting for a MMO space shooter. The game’s got the core gameplay down unlike other browser space shooter games where it has other elements that are not even part of the game concept.
Quests in Dark Orbit also help out as another reason for playing the game. If you get tired of harvesting resources and eliminating NPC monsters for level and experience the quests or jobs from your company is the one for you. Of course as your level increases in the game the difficulty the quests increase as well.
Of course it must be expected that there are aspects of the game that doesn’t go quite well with Dark Orbit. For example, the BGM of the game, for the first few hours of game time the BGM can be quite exciting. However there is a lack of variation on the music that is why it’s highly possible that you would eventually just turn down the music.
Another problem I see in Dark Orbit is the abuse of the high level players. You would often see bigger ships being bullies as you travel the different maps in the game. This doesn’t fare well for the whole community especially to those who have just begun playing, though of course this should be expected as the game does center on being the best.
The game’s other problem is the lack of loot protection. Everything that is dropped in Dark Orbit is free for all even if the kill we yours, this is very irritating especially for those who are not used to this kind of gameplay.
Overall, Dark Orbit is one of those browser games that is fun to play for the first few times but eventually gets boring as you progress. The game itself doesn’t give you much of anything besides blasting ships to smithereens or collecting resources for your company, that gets tiring fast especially if you’d want a richer gaming atmosphere to play on.
If you are after a MMO space shooter that is fast-paced with no downloads require, you should try Dark Orbit, the game does deliver what I promises, however, if you’d like your space shooter to have more substance then I might suggest you try other games out there.
Pros
-The game is fast paced for a browser game
-The maps size are just right, they’re not that small nor that big
-Quests give you an objective besides pk-ing
Cons
-BGM becomes irritating after hearing it over and over
-High level characters usually abuse and pk players even the low level ones
-There is no item lock for drops, other people can easily steal your loot

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