Dark Matter: a sidescrolling sci-fi Metroid-like from the creators of Nuclear Dawn

Nothing good has ever happened on a spaceship. Nothing good will ever happen on a spaceship, so someone should probably stop Richard Branson before he dooms mankind to extinction via grisly alien parasites or a race of malevolent space-gods. Dark Matter is the latest game to offer proof of humanity's hubris. It's a sidescrolling survival horror/action/exploration game set - you guessed it - on a hulking piece of space-junk, populated by carnivorous aliens. It's due out next year, and InterWave Studios have just released its first gameplay video . You'll find it beneath the event horizon - but beware of a demonic Sam Neill.

If you were expecting action, you might want to adjust your expectations. This is a video that takes a few seconds out of its schedule to show off the light switches - but what lovely light switches they are. Technically, Dark Matter is looking pretty impressive, boasting a fairly impressive lighting engine, vital for that all-important atmosphere. The other thing to note is that CRAFTING. I have a feeling crafting will be in every game ever from now on - even Tetris - and it certainly seems a good fit for survival horror.

The website still says that Dark Matter is expected to be finished by the end of the year, but as IndieGames note, there isn't really much of 2012 left. A developer comment now puts the game down for 2013, which is shaping up to be a good year for dying horribly in space .

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.