Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 80
    But for sheer shoot 'em up fun in outer space, enhanced with enough peripheral activities to make things interesting, there isn't much out there today like it.
  2. This game "gets" the template of 1985's Commodore 64 classic Elite in a way that many other space-trading games released over the past decade or so didn't, thanks to its emphasis on the mid-'80s classic's simple principles of buying low, selling high, and blasting pirates for fun and profit. It comes with a few minor problems in the fit-and-finish department, but the game is still an outstanding return to the frontier spirit that made Elite so memorable.
  3. Even when completed, you can go back and play it over accepting different missions and/or playing with a different style.
  4. While it does have some minor deficiencies that affect its replay value, it should satisfy any cravings you have for blowing away intergalactic pirate scum. The story is engaging, and despite the bad voice-acting, the game kept me coming back to see what happens next.
  5. 50
    It's enjoyable for a few brief moments to blow away vessels in a manner that harkens back to the classic Wing Commander. The thing is, without a robust economic engine, an interesting and dynamic universe to explore, or even a decent storyline to follow, DarkStar One is destined to sink into the black hole of gaming obscurity.
  6. The key element of the game, of course, is combat and here it excels...Compared to many of its peers, Darkstar One may seem slight - but what it does, it does expertly.
  7. 70
    If you've been craving the flavor of hot ion bolts and heat seekers, but can't bear to reinstall Freelancer yet again, DarkStar One should hit the proverbial spot.
  8. Fortunately, it's easy to detach yourself from DarkStar One's story and immerse yourself in the moment-by-moment excitement of traversing a sometimes-hostile galaxy in a hot-rod of a ship.
  9. games(TM)
    Essentially it's the same five minutes of entertainment repeated over and over again and it quickly becomes wearing and repetitious. [Sept 2006, p.118]
  10. A failed epic, DarkStar One refuses to dig into the depths inherent to the sci-fi genre, and largely comes up with what they aimed for: A cheaply fun but ultimately shallow, forgettable experience. The graphics taste great, but the gameplay is less filling.
  11. PC Gamer
    Though not the game "Freelancer" fans have been waiting for, space-adventurers will still find plenty of targets to blow up here. And we'll take what we can get. [Oct. 2006, p.105]
  12. 60
    A bunch of nice ideas and fun combat wrapped up in a fairly bland game. There’s nothing particularly deep going on here, but it sure is a big galaxy.
  13. It's visually appealing, easy to pick up, and the combat has a nice competitive edge to it. But this feeling doesn't last as long as perhaps it ought to. Once you've plundered your way through all the game has to offer, the lack of variety is clear to see and the story isn't good enough to hold things together.
  14. The problem is that veteran fans such as myself will have a field day in pointing out the game’s vital flaws, and the technical bugs alone don’t’ really help either.
  15. Pelit (Finland)
    The streamlined gameplay helps a little, but the game itself is too repetitive and simplistic. There is no real freedom, and the galaxy turns out to be beautiful but dull. [Sept 2006]
  16. 70
    As good as the combat is, Darkstar One is too simplistic to evolve into a real classic. It's a great look back at a fading genre, but lacking a stronger story and economic system, it's not likely to foster a major revival.
  17. 70
    Constricted. It isn’t so much that Darkstar One is a bad game, it’s just that the developers failed to optimise on good ideas - it seems as though they took the easy way out rather than expand on them.
  18. Darkstar One is as cold and empty as space itself once the novelty of trading or being a "system rebel" wears off.
  19. Computer Games Magazine
    This is not a stingy game. Nearly everything you do will earn you some sort of profit, but it's about the long-term gratification. [Oct. 2006, p.66]
  20. Though hardcore 4X fans might stay away due to the game's melting-pot depth, DarkStar One is a fun career-oriented romp that deceptively allows for a lot of personal freedom in play style in a style similar to Privateer that not many games have been able to recapture.
  21. With a bit more beefed up graphics and a major fix on the controls it would have been a must buy, still, there is an awful lot of fun to be had playing Darkstar One.
  22. It is DarkStar One's repetitiveness that decimates its chances with anyone other than space-sim buffs. While it's addicting, the gameplay just isn't varied enough to fulfill the game's potential greatness, nor keep you engaged for the game's lengthy storyline.
  23. If you have been looking for a space combat game this is not the end all game, nor is it the best trade sim ever or exploration game, however it does combine all three of these options better than most of the other games out there that have tried to put them all together.
  24. The biggest problem that Darkstar has by far is the fact that it simply feels like a pale copy of other, far more successful games in the genre.
  25. The breadth of the world in DarkStar One which is part of what makes it such a great game can also be adownside as well.
  26. PC Gamer UK
    It's clear that Darkstar One is the most amusing space game in many months. It's just a shame that it weighs in like a cash starved version of "Freelancer," without any particularly inventive ideas to back up its broad scope and sense of ambition. [Sept 2006, p.98]
  27. DarkStar One is the game you might have played before, but everything that you’ve seen before is done just as well here, if not better and still makes for an enjoyable experience.
  28. It was fun to play a space action game that used trading to get you into opportunities for a fight rather than study for a degree in advanced intergalactic economics.
  29. PC Format
    Hour after hour of repetitive gameplay. In space, no-one can hear you snore. [Aug 2006, p.99]
  30. A good solid game worth the price of admission.
  31. The X series' universe is much more dynamic and vibrant. DSO does story better, but very little else. [Oct 2006, p.72]
  32. Not a terrible game, but far from a good game, DarkStar One finds itself right in the middle, orbiting the planet mediocre.
  33. The simplicity of the trade system, some shortcoming regarding the interface, the lack of variety for missions and solar system design – all these could have been forgiven if Darkstar One would have had multiplayer.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 59
  2. Negative: 9 out of 59
  1. Oct 4, 2012
    2012 and the game plays quite nicely. I have Windows 7, and so far no bugs like the many forums have reported. The missions are repetitive,2012 and the game plays quite nicely. I have Windows 7, and so far no bugs like the many forums have reported. The missions are repetitive, the storyline, well hardly engrossing, but get it for cheap, play it for 30 minutes at a time, and it is quite nice. It's Xwing/Elite style fighting. Personally I prefer the better cleaner environment of X3, this is too colourful for my liking, but it's easy on the eye. And easy to play, mostly. Oddly you often need to take your hand off the joystick, press space plus action the mouse to do something, then return to the joystick. Bizarre UI, who thought that would be good. (For a 2006, I'm quite tolerant of it, but I see XBox had a 2010 version. I hope it is vastly improved and deeper for Xbox, if this game were to be released in 2010 I'd be far more harsh on it). Full Review »
  2. Dec 1, 2011
    Following the likes of Wing Commander and the X-wing series, DarkStar One is certainly not an original concept, but it is still an incredibleFollowing the likes of Wing Commander and the X-wing series, DarkStar One is certainly not an original concept, but it is still an incredible space opera--a well delivered story, great voice acting, an open galaxy, intuitive user interface, multiple side missions and other fun stuff will keep you entertained for many hours. Trade, smuggle goods, steal cargo, kill pirates, or just go postal and kill anyone you meet. The limited side missions get repeatedly boring after a while, especially given the vast number of solar systems, but there are keyboard shortcuts for everything allowing you to skip most mundane tasks. The space combat is really enjoyable and gets progressively more difficult as the story progresses. Add ship upgrades and you ultimately become one bad hombre. I got roughly 40 hours of enjoyment--your mileage may vary. This is not a space simulation--it is highly action based. Space shooter fans will not be disappointed. Full Review »
  3. Jun 27, 2011
    It's a space shooter AND an RPG. Awesome! It has a completely unique take on controls for a space sim(hard to descxibe). While not as tight asIt's a space shooter AND an RPG. Awesome! It has a completely unique take on controls for a space sim(hard to descxibe). While not as tight as Descent or Freespace controls it definitely works. Your character is your ship and can be upgraded and geared out big-time.(see me screenshots) The shooting is super-fun(you can upgrade you ship with turrets as well as front weapons) and the RPG elelments are spot on. It'll have you running all over the galaxy completing side-quests in order to upgrade enough to beat the next story mission. This game still looks great and is not very hardware-taxing which is a great combination. The story and cutscenes are complete crap but the fact that all the alien races are visualy interesting and hilariously over-acted makes up for it. Full Review »