Dark Horizons Lore Wiki
Dark Horizons Lore


Release Date April, 2004
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows,

Mac OS, Linux
Developed By Max Gaming


Published By GarageGames
Genre First Person Shooter

Single Player /

Online Multiplayer
Series Dark Horizons Lore
Engine Torque Game Engine

Budget Around $4000
Followed By Dark Horizons Lore:


Dark Horizons Lore is a 2004 first-person shooter video game, developed my Max Gaming Technologies and published by GarageGames. It is the first title in Max Gaming Technologies' Dark Horizons series. It was developed and supported using GarageGames' Torque Game Engine.

Since version 2.0 of Lore, released in 2005, the game was renamed and updated as a new title - Dark Horizons Lore: Invasion, dropping all support fo the original Dark Horizons Lore title, since then.

Support for Dark Horizons Lore: Invasion ended in 2008. However, the community modded the game to run multiplayer again in 2019, and an informal player site page was set up.


Gameplay in Dark Horizons Lore

Gameplay in Dark Horizons Lore

Dark Horizons Lore is a first person shooter. In the game, the player takes control of a large mech in battle against the enemy team's mechs. There are two factions in Dark Horizons Lore, that players choose to join during games. Every game mode in Lore, has both factions against each other. Each faction has a selection of four MAV classes, that the player can choose from, each differing in their play styles.


Dark Horizons Lore, is mostly focused on multiplayer gaming, with multiplayer being the main mode of the game. Lore featured a multiplayer lobby that players would connect to, where players communicate with each other and join game servers. The lobby featured a large map of the "North American Sector", showing the current Maps, and control statistics of the maps (which faction controls which maps) in Lore. What this means, is that victories in different maps, would gain more points for a faction on that map, which results in the map being controlled by the faction with the most points. Also featured in the lobby was an IRC chatroom, that players would use for chatting, setting up games and get support from administrators.

The playable online game modes in Lore are:

  • Free for All - (was only available in early Beta versions)
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Capture The Core - similair to Capture the Flag in most multiplayer games, with a core, instead of a flag.
  • Assault - (Named "Capture and Hold" in early Beta versions) - teams have to capture waypoints on the map, and keep hold of them. The first team to capture them all and hold them for one minute, wins.
  • Arena - (available from version 1.0) A free for all match, set in a small arena-shape map.

Team Deathmatch, Capture The Core and Assault servers also reported all gameplay stats to ComCent - a feature in the game which shows the stats for each player and faction, showing which faction has most control over the maps. ComCent also keeps track of each players' individual deaths, kills, scores, etc.

When joining a multiplayer game, the player is also given access to a MAV customization screen (similar in function to the MAV Lab in Lore: Aftermath). Here, the player can select the MAV they want to use, select the primary and secondary weapons of the MAV and then customize its' Armor/Speed ratio.

Since the update of Dark Horizons Lore to Dark Horizons Lore: Invasion, all multiplayer support for the original Lore title was dropped, making the muliplayer features of the game impossible to access.

Support for Dark Horizons Lore: Invasion ended in 2008. However, the community modded the game to run multiplayer again in 2019, and an informal player site page was set up.

Single Player[]

While Lore doesn't contain a dedicated single player campaign, earliest Beta versions of the game did include a single player tutorial, meant to familiarize the player with the game and how the gameplay mechanics work. The campaign starts with 3 tutorial levels, and then 3 simple missions. Each level is designed to teach the player different mechanics of the game. The player can't customize their MAV in single player. During the last 3 missions, the player can only choose from a given selection of 4 MAVs.

The single-player feature of the game was dropped from later versions of Lore, eventually replaced with a feature called Instant Action where the player simply sets up a multiplayer match, played with AI bots.



Dark Horizons Lore is set in the year 2163. The Federated States, comprised of The United States and most of the European Union, and The Eastern Confederation, a new Soviet Union, are at war, caused by a nuclear attack on the United States in August 2010, for control over the North American East Coast, now dubbed No Man's Land. Due to the high levels of radiation, No Man's Land isn't suited for manned operations, so both factions use giant, remote-controlled mechs called MAVs (Mechanized Assault Vehicles), instead. The player takes part in this war, by taking part in multiplayer matches, the results of which help give control over different sections of No Man's Land to each faction.


The single player campaign (featured only in early Beta versions of Lore), sets the player in the role of the "Trainee" - a new Federated States recruit, as he is put trough MAV training by Captain Garvin.

After having completed his training course, and being approved by the supervisor, the Trainee eventually gets promoted to Lieutenant rank. He is then sent on a rescue mission to find Garvin, who's MAV was damaged, by a number of turrets deployed from an Eastern Confederation landing site nearby, while out on patrol. The Trainee finds Garvin, and escorts him safely to base, whilst fighting off the turrets.

The Trainee is then sent on a mission to take control of several waypoints scattered across a mining area, before a Federated States attack party moves in and engages the nearby Eastern Confederation forces. The Trainee manages to secure all waypoints, though he does encounter several Confederation MAVs along the way.

The Trainee is sent on another mission. A Federated States dropship was shot down behind enemy lines, while delivering a replacement core for the Southwest power generator. The Trainee is sent to recover the core and deliver it back safely to a nearby Federated States outpost. The Trainee manages to make his way into an Eastern Confederation base, built around the crashed dropship, and capture the core, while engaging the Confederation forces stationed there. The Trainee manages to escape the base and make it to the outpost with the core secured.



Dark Horizons Lore was created by Max Gaming Technologies founder and Dark Horizons Series creator Adrian Wright. Wright had been making text-based games and online leagues since 1989, one game that he had written at one point, was set in, what would later be called, the Dark Horizons universe. Max Gaming Technologies was founded in 1998 and they eventually began work on Lore, using the Torque Game Engine, released by GarageGames. Originally, Lore was developed under the title "Critical Subterfuge", later changed to "SOL 2160: Lore" and finally "Dark Horizons Lore". The game would be centered around Mechs as most of the Max Gaming Technologies staff were fans of Mech games and films. Wright had intended to make the MAVs faster and more agile than customary Mechs, to add more of a First Person Shooter feel to the game, to make it different from usual Mech simulation games. Wright described the resulting game as a "60/40 hybrid of FPS/Mech Game". In creating the game, Max Gaming Technologies had modified the Torque engine, to allow them to do things like adding custom MAV classes, customizable weapons etc.

A large impact on the game's development was in player feedback. Max Gaming Technologies had released a Beta of Lore and they were constantly testing new patches and updates, while listening to player suggestions and feedback, in order to make the game better for the community. Following on community suggestions, many changes were made on the game from its' Beta stage, to its' public release such as: redesigned HUDs, redesigned menus, the inclusion of Assault MAVs and more.

As showcased at 2004's E3, a build of Lore had been played on the Phantom console, which was a system meant to be able to run current and future PC games. However, the Phantom had never been made publicly available, so Lore has never been released on it.

For the version 2.0 update of Lore, Max Gaming Technologies added significant updates and changes to the game, such as improved graphics and features. So much so, that they changed the title of the game to Dark Horizons Lore: Invasion. All support for the original Dark Horizons Lore title was dropped from then on.

Support for Dark Horizons Lore: Invasion ended in 2008. However, the community modded the game to run multiplayer again in 2019, and an informal player site page was set up.

External Links[]