Darkstar ‘Interactive Movie’ Coming Q2

After 312 years, you don't want to know how many Facebook statuses he has to catch up on

With more games weathering the accusation of being little more than interactive movies, it is a bold developer who actively steps up  to the plate and announces that their game is just that.  A sci fi adventure game/interactive movie.  Parrallax Studio have been working on Darkstar for over ten years now and, in conjunction with Lace Mamba Global, plan to release it in the second quarter of 2011 in what is shaping up to be a heavy year for adventure fans.

Promising a blend of sci-fi and dark humour, Darkstar makes extensive use of FMV and boasts a cast which includes names from the cult series Mystery Science Theatre 3000, and narration from the late and lamented Peter Graves of Mission Impossible fame (in what would be his last role).

It is the year 2499 and Captain John O’Neil wakes from a cryogenic sleep aboard the starship Westwick to discover he has been under for over 312 years.  The ship is lost and damaged, and is currently in orbit on the far side of the galaxy around an alien planet.  O’Neil’s memories have succumbed to the ravages of time and have been lost and his crew mates have fared no better, with one still trapped in her cryo chamber and another having been brutally murdered by person or persons unknown.

It is up to the player to step into O’Neil’s boots and explore the ravaged ship in search of answers, not in the least to what has happened to the Westwick and her crew, and the fate of Earth itself, which is no more.  The story unfolds as you explore, in more than 13 hours of FMV sequences, which delve into the mystery and backstory, eventually leading to one of Darkstar’s whopping two dozen possible endings.

Quite how the game will turn out after so long in production is anyone’s guess, but the developer’s unashamed tack of openly producing an interactive movie/adventure is intriguing, especially in an age when story is fast becoming more important.  It may be exploring the familiar territory of a ravaged, lost vessel and a slumbering crew awaking to an unknown horror, but it is a sound setting for an adventure game.  While obviously not a title for the sort of heretics who skip cut scenes and refuse to pay homage to the story, it will be one to watch in a year which promises more traditional haunted settings of moors and mansions in its upcoming adventures.

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