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Hands-on: Dark Void

There's not much we can say about our latest hands-on session with Dark Void that we haven't said five times before. The jetpackery? Still breathtaking. The vertical cover system? Still brilliant. The visual presentation -- well, you get the picture. Needless to say, Capcom hasn't taken any of the previously seen awesome stuff out of the build we just played -- but they've added more than a few subtle differences that caught our eye and quickened our pulses.

The most important difference we noticed? The build of Dark Void we just played featured a helmetless Will, so perhaps it's time to cut out all the "toasterhead" jabs. Dude's got feelings, too.

Actually, the most impressive difference we saw in the game's E3 build was the implementation of Bear McCreary's amazing music. We apologize if you're sick of hearing our praise for the Battlestar Galactica composer's work, but we feel like we can't stress this enough -- it's a beautifully composed score that changes dynamically depending on how you're playing the game. Flying through the air? Sweeping orchestral themes and brass overtures. Hopping between vertical cover points and dodging robotic gunfire? Fast paced percussion and Ondes Martenot fills.

The gameplay reaches levels of freshness few games are able to tap into.

We also got a chance to check out an early level in the game -- a level that occurs before Will gains his oft-lauded flight capabilities. When you first acquire the jetpack, you're only able to do a simple double-jump and hover. While you're floating, enemies on the ground have a hard time hitting you. Said enemies also have a proclivity for hiding effectively behind cover -- sometimes, the best strategy was to rocket upwards from behind your own cover, and pick off enemies as you slowly descend.

Mixing that gameplay mechanic with the standard cover-based gameplay we've come to expect from third-person action titles helps to keep things really fresh. When you finally gain the ability to fly, and some of your adversaries become similarly airborne, the gameplay reaches levels of freshness few games are able to tap into.

Our opinion remains unchanged. We love what we've seen from Dark Void.

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