Darkorbit: Become a space pilot, explore dangerous galaxies & win interstellar battles

Spaceship Game Online

Play On: Windows XP/Vista, 7 & Mac

Rating: 73%

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About the Space Game

Dark Orbit is a free browser based MMO space shooter game in the sci-fi genre. Taking advantage of the online gaming world, it offers excellent PvP adventures for spaceship game fans. It creates a very sophisticated and fantastical world in outer space. With several exciting activities to pursue and battles to take part in, Dark Orbit offers players the opportunities to grab a share of this fictional galaxy.

Game Review

Dark Orbit does not require you to download and install any program. As long as your browser has Flash working, you are all set. You can register free with Bigpoint and you're all set to compete against thousands of players who are members of this exclusive galaxy. Like all other browser based games, Dark Orbit loads up fast and has simple graphics and commands. The idea is to get you up and running in little to no time.

Turmoil in Deep Space

The dark orbit spaceship game is set in our own galaxy in a period when Mars and Venus have been colonized by mankind. Rich resources are being mined in those planets and deep in dark space. Including Earth, the three planets have immense resource mining opportunities that have been grabbed by profit hungry business magnates.

dark orbit spaceship game screenshot

Enter a world of intense spaceship wars and competitive player vs. player battles.

Each planet is controlled by extremely ruthless corporations that do not hesitate to attack and loot one another through violent means. Each one wants to take over the mining operations in the other two planets. It's survival of the fittest as lawlessness rules. As a spacehip pilot by training, you will join forces with one of the planets.

When you enter the Dark Orbit game, you have to decide which planet you will choose as your home base and you will become part of the corporation that runs that particular planet. You will be presented with a screen with three optional factions supported by futuristic voice over's that explain their differences.

You can choose to join the Mars Mining Operation which is always on the lookout for increasing their profit share. On Earth, there is the Industrial Corporation which is more social in nature. It demands complete adherence to the goals of the company. The Venus Resources Unlimited or Protection Corp has high aims to guard the galaxy. It also looks after its employees.

Each faction offers its own way of operating and gives you some variety in game play. As an explorer of the vast frontier and dark space, you fly far and wide representing your home planet, and conquering unclaimed areas in its name. Your aim is to search for resources for your employer and ensure the profitability of that company.

Although there are three factions to choose from, there is little difference in the game play no matter which one you choose to align yourself with. You can switch sides during the game but the costs to do this are very high so it's not recommended.

Battling Monsters and Aliens

dark orbit choose your ship

Pick your ship

You don't have any characters to customize in the Dark Orbit game, unlike some other role playing games. It wants you to just be yourself, placed centuries ahead in time. As a master of your own space fighter, you control your destiny in Dark Orbit. The first page gives you an overview of your place in the spaceship game with links to all the other important areas.

The first thing you would want to do is access the Quests page from its tab in the overview section. At this point, the client portion of Dark Orbit will be loaded and you're sent off into a spawn area of the galaxy. Your spaceship materialises there and you begin your assigned quest.

User controls are very basic. You use the mouse or the keyboard to move and fly around the huge open space. A cool feature is the auto pilot that will take you to any point that you click on the map. You will need to navigate between other NPC spaceships.

You have various missions to run by giving and taking orders. You carry objects to their destinations and fight off enemy vessels that come in your way. Shooting down a target craft is as easy as clicking on it and pressing the CTRL key.

You can utilise the portals called jump gates to zip through to other maps. These are found near the edges of maps and are shaped as purple ringed circles. Clicking on them turns them to blue and allows your spaceship to fly through them.

The initial quests are simple tasks to collect mineral ores scattered about in space. You will also find some surprise boxes that will help you win some bonuses such as parts, credits and useful resources. It's a good idea to open as many bonus boxes as possible as that will help you avoid visiting the cash shop too often. You can pick up money, ammo and other objects that may be useful.

In the world of Dark Orbit your aim is to collect one of two indicators of wealth. They are Uridium and Credits, and you are allotted a small amount of each to get you started. The value of a Credit is only one tenth of Uridium. Uridium is harder to come by and so is more valuable. You can buy some in the cash shop if the need arises. You will need Uridium to buy top grade ships and weapons, as these are not sold for Credits.

Arming your Space Ship

Your first spaceship is a basic one, good enough for the simple quests. But you need to upgrade this as soon as possible. Once you've learnt the skills of combat, you need to get a new spacecraft with a powerful engine, as well as solid defensive armour. You can find a range of ships, weapons, shields, rockets and ammo in the hangar page.

There are ten ships available - Yamato, Liberator, Bigboy, Goliath, Phoenix, Defcom, Piranha Speed, Leonov, Vengeance and Nostromo. Learn about the specialties of each one. Spend your money judiciously so you're well equipped. After your purchases, it's time to take on some of the bigger opponents, at least in the first few levels.

Dark Orbit game offers some great quests and combat missions for you to undertake at various levels. Apart from attacking certain enemy ships, you may also be asked to safeguard ships belonging to friendly forces. You will also work towards establishing colonies on certain planets and offering aid to ships in distress. The quests get increasingly harder as you are promoted to higher levels.

You can continue to upgrade your weapons and spaceship's equipment. If your ship is damaged but not completely destroyed then you can use the repair bot to get it fixed. You can purchase a repair bot in the purchase area in the Hangar section. You pay for this facility with credits if your ship is the standard kind. If you have an elite ship then you will have to pay for the repair bot in Uridiums.

You are allowed to keep one repair bot at any one time, but the good thing about the repair bot is that it can be used for an unlimited number of times. It remains in your possession until you go and buy another one. You activate the repairing operation in the Extras menu. It will basically restore your ship's Hit points to the full level. The standard repair bot will restore at the speed of 5000 HPs per minute while the more expensive one will do this at 50,000 HPs per minute.

War of the Worlds

Once you feel you are battle ready in this dark space spaceship game, you can attempt to engage some of the NPC spaceships. Select quests that will allow you to get into combat. You have laser missiles and rocket options in your ship. You can utilise either one to attack your target. Your destructive power depends on what kind of ammunition you're using. Keep a watch on your ammo inventory, though, as you will need to stock up after any serious combat.

It's a good idea to use the cheap ammo against the computer generated ships. You will need the more powerful ammo bought with Uridium to cause any worthwhile damage to ships manned by real players.

The actual combat scene is done in real time which is quite exciting. You can strategically position your ship when attacking or defending, and you can fly about while firing on your opponent. When you are engaged in battle, the jump gates on the maps are disabled so you cannot use these portals to escape to another map.

While it is fun to play against NPC ships and test out your strategies, the real meat of the game is in the PvP combats. It's a dangerous journey you're on and ships belonging to any of the other two planets could attack you at any time. In fact, some of the rogues in your own faction could also target you. It's a ruthless world and you have to be watchful of everything around you in dark space. So, it makes sense to be fully equipped and alert while cruising in space.

You will need to learn new and smarter ways to do battle with other players as they may be able to pre-empt your movements. You may find it is better to use strafing techniques in order to avoid the opponent's attacks. With every victorious battle, you are rewarded experience points or credits. You also loot your opponent's possessions, including their weapons, mineral ores and other items. However, be aware that other players may descend on your kill and partake in the loot as well. It can become a free for all. Remember, it is a wild, wild world in outer dark space, and it's each man for himself.

Honour Among Rogues

dark orbit choose your engine

Pick your engine

You also collect honour points in the spaceship game, which is a very interesting concept. Although the environment is intensely competitive, it also finds room for a moral aspect through the use of honour points. You collect these every time you successfully complete any quest. Some quests give you the chance to gain some bonus honour points and these are related to specific events or festivals such as Christmas.

The more honour points you have the better prices you will receive for your resources when you go to sell them. But there are certain situations when you could lose some of these honour points. This happens if you do some dishonourable acts, such as shooting down a friendly spaceship or looting the contents of a ship that you did not shoot down yourself. You are considered a rogue for committing these fouls and are penalised as such. Another downside of losing honour points is that your power to attack other ships goes down in proportion as well.

The Dark Orbit game can be one of the most ruthless space games for the newbie as there is no control over who can attack whom. Many senior players who are experts will be hunting for minnows to cut down and this can lead to disappointment for players who are just getting their feet wet.

You can team up with other players and find protection in numbers. This will be a vital strategy when you move up to the higher levels. There is an established clan system in dark space. You can start a new clan or join an existing one. You can search for a clan to join. The advantages are that clans can team up to attack massive alien ships with enormous firepower. A single player would be no match in such an encounter.

You pay a fee in credits to join a clan. However, the benefit of being in a clan is the financial support you could probably get through the social taxation carried out by the clan to support its weaker members.

The spaceship game also offers plenty of help and a detailed FAQ page in case you run into problems. Being a MMO game, there is a very active forum and chat board where you can post questions and get advice from some expert players.

The chat window is available through the game interface itself. You can use a variety of options to chat. You can chat globally with all players at the same time or choose to chat only with those from your planet, from your clan, etc.

The game allows for your professional growth as well. You move from being a basic space pilot in the beginning and rise in rank as you complete levels. You are promoted through ranks such as sergeant, captain, major, colonel etc. until you finally reach the rank of General. Your rank is displayed against your name, and next to your ship as a striped insignia. This will also let you know the rank of your opponents and you can decide if you want to attack them or not based on how high or low their rank is to yours.

When you have mastered the skills and survived many real battles against other players, it's time to play for some real money. If you're playing Dark Orbit through Bigpoint, you are eligible to enter a free for all contests every month where you can win a cash award of 10,000. This is a head to head battle and the best fighter can claim the top prize that is based on the number of jackpot points they have collected throughout the month. Of course, with thousands of players from around the world aiming for this prize, it's not going to be easy. But this competitive aspect is what makes this game so exciting.

Space Shooting Extravaganza

In spite of the limitations that browser based space games have when designing graphics, Dark Orbit game delivers adequate visuals to supplement the outer dark space environment. Don't expect flashy graphics or colourful explosions in battle sequences. Although they may be lacking, the tension and impact of the events is real enough to deliver a thrilling experience.

The developers have done a commendable job designing the game that uses limited resources and yet is an action packed space shooter. It stays true to its concept and does not distract with any other superfluous content.

One of the weak points of Dark Orbit is its use of background music that is quite repetitive. It builds up the tempo and puts you in the right frame of mind to confront the action for the first hours. However, it becomes monotonous after a while and starts to get on your nerves. You might want to turn the volume down so you can actually concentrate on the game. It would have been nice if the music had some variations as you move from level to level.

If you're seriously devoted to Dark Orbit, then you will need to spend some cash to buy the rare Uridium currency. You will need this to buy elite ships and other important weapons for you to progress further in the spaceship game. You may need more than one million Uridiums to buy most of the sophisticated equipment. You should look around for special times when Uridiums are available on sale, such as Happy Hours or Mega Happy Hours. Search online for discounted Uridiums and you may be able to get them at lower prices.

Some players new to this format may find the content not very deep, and the quests too limited. However, Dark Orbit lets players decide their own storyline in the space game by offering an enormous space to explore. With PvP options, the sky is the limit. There are several servers in Europe, America and Asia that you can join.

Dark Orbit gives you the chance to align with other players and create factions that allow for massive PvP battles. If you prefer to play against the computer then there are 18 levels that will keep you engrossed for days. There are many quests to complete at each level and you can also purchase certain items for cash.

The spaceship game is single minded in its approach, so do not expect a deep and layered plotline to follow. It's a simple MMO space shooter that offers fast paced action to the thrill seeker. With millions of registered users and players around the world, this is an incredibly popular game.

Game Rating (out of 10)

Playability (out of 10) - 7

Being a fast paced browser game, the controls are simple to learn and fast to execute. You can use your mouse and simple keyboard controls to move and attack. The interfaces are detailed with clear instructions so you can plan your strategies well.

Graphics/Visuals (out of 10) - 6

Since it is a browser game, the graphics are not stunningly attractive but do their job pretty well. It sustains the arcade style action adventure feel through its ship details, combat activity and deep maps.

Originality (out of 10) - 6

Dark Orbit is a space shooter which is a common game genre, but it builds a novel twist by having mankind spread out throughout the galaxy and fight for supremacy.

Game Detail (out of 10) - 7

There are hundreds of unique maps of deep space to explore. Many alien NPC monsters challenge you at every step. There are dozens of quests from the most simple to the really difficult ones that will keep you involved.

Storyline (out of 10) - 6

Dark Orbit has an interesting storyline and back story built into the game. The three corporations on different planets in a war torn period in mankind's history presents unique plotlines to discover.

Addictiveness (out of 10) - 7

If a hectic space shooter is what you're after, Dark Orbit fits the bill. It challenges you to fine tune your shooting skills as well as strategic capabilities to arm your ship and lay out your battles. Being part of a company and a clan raises expectations for honour and loyalty that can be very addictive.

Longevity (out of 10) - 6

Dark Orbit is quite engrossing as the quests are diverse. There are several space locations to explore. The game can hold your interest for long periods at a time.

Final Say

Dark Orbit is an intense space shooter game with strategic design. It has a few limitations in graphics and sound, but focuses instead on game play and an original storyline to hold your interest. The PvP aspect of the game opens up many exciting real time opportunities to collaborate and compete with real players around the world. As a free browser game with millions of players, Dark Orbit offers you an out of this world experience.

Final Score: 72%

Click here to play Dark Orbit at BigPoint Arcade.

If you enjoy playing Dark Orbit you may also want to try out BigPoint's latest space game - Battle Star Galatica Online. Featuring all the official characters from the television series, state of the art graphics and exciting game play galatica online is yet another free mmo that offers gamers a multiplayer cooperative experience with explosive action.