Review by I_Die_A_Lot

"Eating their hearts out"

Note for parents: Very strong language… I say this… as it is actual dialogue that you would expect from adults in a mob family. Everything in the book is used. This isn't thrown out there in a South Park fashion, it adds to a sense of realism and draws you into the story; that said it is most certainly for adults unless you have no restrictions on that.

Background Story:

This game places you as Jackie Estacado, a member of a predominate mob family. Adopted into the family from an orphanage, you become a lackey to help “handle the family affairs” which are ordered out by your Uncle Paulie Franchetti. Paulie has gone off kilter and are making horrible decisions for the family, acting on knee-jerk impulses and bring disrespect onto the deep rooted organization. You suffer from a “curse” in your family, which triggers on the 21st birthday. I won't get into detail about this curse, as it is laid out along the way and do not want to spoil the story.

Story: [9]

The game is not very long for single player. I revved through it in about 12 hours I'd say, but looking back there are a few side quests I didn't do that could have lengthened the play time. This was on normal. I'm not going to say much here… again, I don't want to ruin it. Suffice it to say it is realistic (going to hell and back is also included… though this isn't exactly realistic) and worth it.

Graphics: [10]

My wife is not a gamer. But she walked in several times and said… “What movie are you watching?” That says something. The cut-scenes between zones (which you can pretty well return to any time) can get repetitive, but something that I found was useful, that if the cut-scene had voice in it, you were transitioning into the next area you should be going to (hence furthering the story). Using your darkness powers are great, and the video quality never differentiates, the cut-scenes are rendered… and do not need CGI, as the game is beautiful. Posters on the walls are readable, and tons of detail is included. The muzzle blasts can blur your vision as you live to fight in the dark, as they should when dual-wielding Uzi's. When you get shot, the screen progressively blurs out worse with each hit, and you will need to kill them before they kill you or run off and hide to “recharge”. You'll see what I mean about the detail within the first minute of game play.

Controls: [9]

This game has an auto-aim feature which is pretty liberal on its standard setting in normal mode. You can ramp it up even farther and it turns the game onto a definite easy mode (while still remaining in your selected difficulty setting). You can sneak up or run up to someone and fire and depending on the hand (left or right) and facing the enemy in a cetain direction, Jackie will perform different execution moves which also change with the gun you use. Nothing real fancy or special other than that. I give it a 9 because the use of the “creeping dark” power could have been much, much worse. Since it isn't, I say they did pretty decent here. Sensitivity and inverting options as well.

Sound: [9]

Voice acting is great. Accents aren't outrageous and fit the characters and setting. The music has a heavy metal feel when in combat. Things will jump out and the darkness voice over is fitting. Lots of special effects that are clear and dialogue from those you are about to fill so full of lead that they could be used as a pencil. Not cheesy… a rarity it seems these days…

Replay: [7]

This is really up to the player. If you live for online FPS multiplayer, CTF, DM, etc. then you'll get a lot of replay out of this. If you a diehard collector type (which there are 100 things to collect which all grant unlockables, or want to fulfill every achievement which there are a lot of) you will replay this a second or third time. The game is not miserably difficult nor is it a run and spank. You can replay the game limiting your darkness powers (not an option, just something you can do) as I already have and killed almost everyone with the creeping death. That was fun. The multiplayer boasts being able to play as a human, demon, or human/demon matches (meaning you can switch back and forth in real time on the playing field… hard to explain, but is fun).

Conclusion: [8]

Rent this game ; you'll be glad you did. I have had it for 5 days now, beat it twice and have been tearing people up in multiplayer. Good fun, lots of killing, great graphics, awesome sound/voice-overs, and many ways to handle the groups of enemies you are faced with. This is a FPS that mixes games like Splinter Cell (staying in the shadows, and ninja kills) and Black (a solid FPS).

Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/05/07

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