Once you don your fully powered jetpack, things get a lot more interesting. You can launch into the air at any time, and the flailing liftoff animation is a great visualization of the forces that propel you. If you don't aim properly, ground-based takeoffs can send you careening into the earth, but once you get the hang of it you can take to the skies with ease. You can quickly switch between flying, hovering, and landing/free-falling, and there are a number of acrobatic maneuvers you trigger while flying to help you evade or pursue enemies. Alien UFOs are similarly maneuverable. This makes them formidable foes and means that you'll be comfortable in the cockpit when you hijack one. Other vehicles aren't as fun to fly as your jetpack, but they do provide variety to aerial combat.
When you punch a robot in the head, bright blue goo comes out.
Despite the reasonable amount of versatility in both ground- and air-based combat, the action doesn't mesh into something truly entertaining until you take the initiative. Sure, you could land on that hangar deck, shoot your way into the control room, smash the panel, and then shoot your way back out. You could also fly in there at top speed, bludgeon the guard to death, and then take off, racing back through the narrow opening. It's risky, and you might smack into a wall and die, but if you aren't trying reckless and daring stunts, what's the point of even having a jetpack? Likewise, you could stop to hover every few feet as you make your way down a vertical shaft, or you could just skydive the whole way down and ignite your thrusters when you are seconds from splattering on the ground. Dark Void's best moments are those you create yourself, and the game's chief success is allowing you the freedom to be creative with flight.
It's a shame that Dark Void doesn't capitalize on it's high-flying potential as well as it could. And it's even more unfortunate that there's no way to face off with your friends in aerial combat or stunt competitions. Dark Void offers only a single-player campaign, and the story has enough intrigue to keep you mildly interested throughout. The adventure is reasonably long, and once it's over you can replay sections you enjoyed and continue to upgrade your arsenal. Even so, there isn't enough content to justify paying full price for the game. If you are hungry for some jetpack-fueled excitement and willing to spend a few hours to earn it, then Dark Void will reward your determination with some great opportunities. The thrills are in there, but you'll have to handle a lot of baggage if you want to find them.