Dark Orbit is a MMO browser game where you fly around in a little spacecraft. It was released on December 2006 by Bigpoint, a company that also has games like Seafight and Deepolis. In Seafight you control a pirate ship and in Deepolis you control a submarine. Seems like they really enjoy making games where you control some form of a ship. Anyways, Dark Orbit is their most popular browser game with over 30 million registered users. There are servers for most countries translated into their native language.
You start out having to select to join one of three companies, and you are friends with all other players inside your company. You could compare it to horde and alliance of world of warcraft, apart from the fact that there are 3 factions in Dark Orbit and all fight against each other. You start out with an introduction to the game in form of quests you have to do. This is a very common way for browser games to teach new players how to play.
You control your ship both with your mouse and the keyboard. I found the controls quite different to get used to at first, and sometimes it is hard to see what is really going on cause of pretty poor graphics. Eventually your starship will get drones beside it, and with many ships shooting in the same area with drones and everything the whole screen will be filled with laster shots, bombs and explosions.
Dark Orbit is a PvPvE game, and your PvE enemy is all the alien ships flying around in the galaxies. The aliens are very weak near the home sectors where you start out, and they increase in strength as you move further away from home. There are lots of sectors in the game and a pretty large area to explore. Levelling is done combining alien griding and doing quests, and leveling is fairly quick. In several quests you have to PvP as well. As you gain levels you can upgrade your ship, get better weapons and other useful items.
The money in the game is in form of credits and uridium. You can make credits just playing the game, killing aliens, etc. Uridium however, you have to buy for real money, and that’s how BigPoint make money of the game. To get the best ships and weapons out there you have to spend quite a bit of money on the game.
Overall Dark Orbit is a pretty cool game to spend a few evenings with, but I don’t think many players will find the game interesting week after week. Out of the 30 million players I believe less than 5% are active players. The graphics are also not great, really ugly at times to be honest. Also, once you are done leveling there is not that much to do in the game.