Will Grey is a cargo pilot who, after an ill-considered detour into the Bermuda Triangle, crash-lands in an alternate universe called the Void. There, a small band of humans are fighting for survival against far more powerful aliens called the Watchers.
There's one wild card: inventor Nikola Tesla, who's busy retrofitting Watcher tech for use by the humans.
Tesla's main contribution is the jet pack, which initially gives Will the ability to make vertical leaps like LeBron James. That leads to the niftiest innovation of Dark Void: its vertical combat, which takes the find-cover-then-shoot style of Gears of War into the third dimension.
Unfortunately, the aerial action is broken up by ground-based fighting that's as generic as it comes. The Watchers' artificial intelligence is terrible, with most of the metallic monsters stuck to predictable attack patterns. It can take a lot of ammo to kill a Watcher - although, bizarrely enough, a single punch is often enough to take one down.
And despite the intriguing setup, there aren't many surprises in the story. There are frequent reminders of Sony's Uncharted 2, from its jungle setting to its saucy female sidekick. But in every aspect - the graphics, the dialogue, the level design - Dark Void feels like a pale imitation.
RATING T for Teen
PLOT Fly and fight against UFOs in an alternate universe
DETAILS Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $60
BOTTOM LINE Jet-pack tale runs on fumes