Review by MafiaReborn
"A solid addition to the PS3 library"
Over the span of my life, there have been epic games like Doom and Goldeneye that really set the tone for games to come . Well, once again we have to come to the table to tear this beast apart at the seams to see what this baby is worth.
You are a young mobster named Jackie Estacado who was supposed to pick up cash from a drop point, until your uncle Paulie decides to ambush you. While they do succeed in killing you, they lucked out because you are resurrected by mysterious yet amazingly brutal powers. These powers are often referred to as "The Darkness", hence the title of the game. However, since Uncle Paulie is very persistent and doesn't like being pushed around by punks with guns, he takes certain measures to ensure your misery.
"The Darkness" is a game that sets a brutal, yet enticing pace from start to finish. As the game goes on, your powers become stronger and more stylish. Don't feel like having a full-blown shoot out with corrupt cops? No problem, just create a black hole that will vacuum the life out of anything in the vicinity. Since, Jackie doesn't seem to have his switchblade handy, you could always just impale your enemies with your demon arm. But, while everything is stunning, gruesome, and vulgar the game seems to lack superb artificial intelligence. Occasionally, your darklings may become hinged in the wall. At other times it seems as if enemies lose their aggressiveness creating an imbalance in the combat system. Despite the flaws with the A.I. you will find that they still do a solid job and often give you a run for your money even with all your darkness powers.
"The Darkness" benefits dramatically from this category of this game and I could not bear to think what the game would be like with mediocre graphics. The atmosphere in New York flourishes with detail and has a very dark mood. Since the game takes place at night, the streets are bare with minimal civilians, making you feel very isolated and uncomfortable. Which are typical places to fight corrupt cops and mobsters. After you stop drooling over the sheer amount of effort put into the city, you will notice that the character models look identical to human beings. The gameplay part of this game benefits from the graphics because they are so immersive that you are pressed to find new ways to kill because it looks so brutal and cool. However, like many multi-platform games, this version suffers from washed out colors, less anti-aliasing, and frame rate issues.
Another aspect of this game that is perfect is the sound. The weapons sound loud and the darkness powers sound vicious which are perfect for this scenario. The voice acting helps many aspects of this game as it significantly adds a big chunk to the story and atmosphere. The anonymous being (I do not want to give away any spoilers) that advises you on what to do with your power adds to the creepiness of the game with his demented voices.
One of the minor problems I had with the game was the controls. When I first started playing the game they felt sluggish. But, this was no problem as they give you the option to adjust the sensitivity to your liking. Another problem that was easily fixed in the options sector was the auto aim which had to be lowered a considerable amount to get the proper feel for the game. Once you get the Creeping Dark power early in the game it allows you to scout ahead with one of your snake heads and kill enemies in a stealthy manner. But, for certain parts of the game that required using the snake to unlock doors I found it problematic to get the snake through a vent. Another problem in which the blame falls on the developers is the poorly mapped out controls. While the controller isn't exactly the top candidate for an FPS there is no excuse for this poorly thought out control system. At times I wish they made dual weapons fire with one button because using R2 and L2 to fire is a pain in the ass.
Differences between both versions (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3)
While the original thought was that both versions were identical, they're not. As everyone knows that the PS3 has 2 more movies you can watch on televisions spread across the city. Also they contrast graphically as the Xbox version is sharper, while the PS3 version is washed out, has frame rate issues, but is more vibrant in colors. The controls on the 360 are superior as it is more fitted for FPS type games. For the PS3 version you must use L2 and R2 to fire both weapons, which combined with the layout of the analog sticks, can result in frustrating moments as you struggle to use the oddly mapped controls.
Despite the differences for each console, don't let it hinder your views on the game. This is a AAA quality game that has raised the bar for games of all genres. This proves to all developers that in order to make a great game you should include an immersive atmosphere, good graphics, and most importantly of all good voice acting. All of which this game has, making it an epic and brutal experience that should not be missed by any gamer.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/29/07
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