Review by Sinister187

"Wreak Havoc With 'The Darkness'...."

From the makers of the critically acclaimed game, 'The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay', Starbreeze Studios, comes yet another great and innovative First-Person Shooter. This one being based off a comic-book series from the early-nineties called, 'The Darkness'. I only vaguely remember the comics, so I can't say how well the story has been translated over to the gaming world, but rest assured, it is a good one and the gameplay is also top-notch. Now, with the intro aside, read on further to discover what awaits in, 'The Darkness'....

You play as Jackie Estacado, a hitman for the Franchetti crime family. On your 21st birthday, a timeless force known as, The Darkness awakens within you. It has a mind of it's own and it's Hellbent on taking you over, unless you can find a way to control it. And to top it off, your Uncle Paulie and his chief enforcer, Captain Edward Shrote want you dead. Can you find a way to control the Darkness and use it's incredible powers to your advantage? Or you will end up found in a shallow grave with a bullet in your head. The story is very good and will keep you interested up until the violent ending, it's deep and sad in parts, well done on this end.

A refreshing FPS, the gameplay here is solid and fun all around, the powers of the Darkness are really cool and different from other 'weapons' found in this genre. They are savage demons that emit from your back and are able to do such things as, lift cars and throw them like rag-dolls, impale enemies in a gory fashion, create black-holes that suck in and destroy everything around you. As well as biting the faces off foes and ripping their hearts out of their ribcage and devouring them, yes, it's a bloody game. You are also able to use pistols, shotguns, and various automatic weapons to send enemies to their maker. Upgradable are the Darkness powers as well, done so by eating human hearts as I mentioned earlier, this makes your powers stronger, of course. You can also summon evil Darklings to help you along on your journey, there are four different Darklings that you can choose from. Ones that jump on your enemies and stab them in the head, others that run up to your enemies with bombs strapped to them, exploding upon impact and ones that blow your enemies into pieces with huge gatling guns. But be sure to watch out for lights, they drain your Darkness powers, to prevent this, taking out lights is a must, by means of shooting or smashing them with your tentacles. Aside from shooting people and tearing them apart, you can also, unlock extra content by finding phone numbers and so on and dialing them on the payphones, scattered around the areas. Talking to other people around you can result in some funny conversations or side-quests, the game is much like 'Riddick', but far more cooler thanks to the Darkness powers. There is multi-player as well, but for those looking to bring over a friend to play, you might as well forget about it considering it's online only.

The graphics are simply put, amazing, Starbreeze really put a bunch of effort into the graphics on this game and it shows. The character models move and look realistically, when shot, bullet-holes appear on the body and look really gruesome. Blood splashes to great effect and puddles underneath dead bodies, and the Darkness powers look phenomenal, the heart-eating sequences are enough to make your jaw drop. Aside from being gory, just for the fact of how incredible it looks. Bump-mappings are present and done well, as are some motion-blurs, which are seen pretty good when using the, 'Creeping Darkness' mode. Clothes and hair move to perfection, textures, lighting and sound effects are immaculate. Especially the voice-acting, it's some of the best I've heard in awhile, Kirk Acevedo gives a great performance as Jackie and Mike Patton (From the band, Faith No More) does an absolutely awesome job doing the voice of, The Darkness. The music is good also, ranging from melodic relaxing tunes to some heavier stuff when the action kicks in, overall, great work.

Controls are fine here, it might take a little getting used to, but after awhile, they shouldn't be a problem. One thing is when picking up certain heavy objects is that it is a bit hard to aim and throw them in your desired direction. It's not a huge annoyance, but it could have been fixed up a little better. The auto-aiming helps alot, because you are mostly shrouded in the dark, so when you need to blast away at enemies, it targets them without hassle. The controls are as follows, Triangle is to jump, Circle is to reload, X is to use, and Square is to redirect Darklings. The R3 button is to look/toggle zoom, the L3 button is to move/toggle crouch, the Directional Buttons are used to switch weapons and Darkness powers. L1 is used to manifest the Darkness while L2 is to fire your left weapon, R2 fires your right weapon and R1 activates the Darkness power. The Select button opens your Journal and finally the Start button is to pause the game.

Overall, this is definitely a must-have game, especially if you own a PS3, with all the unlockable content, and in-game stuff including full-length movies (Sonny Chiba's 'Street Fighter' movies are all here for your viewing pleasure). You are sure not to feel robbed when spending your money on this game. And when the story mode is done, you have online multiplayer to still keep you coming back. Go out and purchase this unique title and witness the powers that, The Darkness have to offer.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/07


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