The Darkness is the latest first person
shooter based on the once popular Top Cow comic book, the Darkness which
revolves around Jackie Estacado, a hitman for the Franchetti crime
family who unbeknown to him becomes empowered by the demonic powers of The
In comics, The Darkness is passed down a
family line from father to son, leaving the previous user (and taking
his life) as his first child is conceived. The power then manifests in
the child on his 21st birthday. Darkness users can create anything they
desire with the darkness, even sentient beings, but anything they make
will crumble to dust in the light.
As these powers manifest in Jackie, our forsaken hero must now learn to control these demonic
powers before they engulf his soul and in order to compound the
situation for our hapless hero, his uncle Pauly Franchetti, a mob boss is gunning
for Estacado for a past failure.
With the popularity of the comic series, 2K Games with Top Cow
have created an amazing first person shooter with state of the art graphics,
engaging game and one of the most well written storylines of the year.
Combining elements of modern crime drama and supernatural horror, this
game has that true blockbuster feel to it as soon as you are thrown into
the game. What is even scary in this title is that you are actually
drawn into this wonderful universe, whether it's watching TV with your
characters girlfriend or interacting with the denizens of New York, it's
flawless from start to finish.
Although the Darkness may seem like your traditional first person
shooter, the title has a twist which allows your character to become
engulfed by his demonic powers which allows you slaughter your way
through the ranks of your enemies. The Darkness also allows you move
through places that humans are incapable of such as moving up walls and
scaling air vents as you seek mortal flesh.
However in order for your
nefarious powers to work, Jackie will need to destroy whatever lights
are in the environment in order for his powers to be of use. Another
bonus power for Jackie is that he can summon Darklings that not only
assist him in areas that are inaccessible but also lay slaughter to your
enemies. Think of a psychotic version of Golem from the Lord of the
Rings, especially the one with the mini-gun.
Then again, it's also quite entertaining to
use your traditional weaponry such as shotguns to blow your foes to
their next life. The combat of the Darkness is brilliant and you can do
targeted attacks such as blowing a man's knees out and as he falls to
the ground, one shot to the head and he has been dispatched.
in mind, The Darkness is quite a graphic and violent title and depending on
your prowess, the title offers three modes of difficulty. On the easy
level, the AI is quite brain dead, however by upping the ante, the AI
does become stronger but more experience gamers will easily be able to
defeat this title on a medium difficulty level.
The gameplay of The Darkness is a
combination of collecting clues from the gaming environment, engaging in
a variety of mission objectives, solving the mystery of the title and of
course saving your girlfriend from the clutches of the Mafia. It's more
than just a first person shooter as the gamer almost becomes part of the
story, so don't expect to play this title on and off because once you
play, you can't stop!
Graphically, The Darkness is very impressive looking title on the XBox
360 that features some realistic character models that are almost human
like. The main character
Jackie Estacado has been given the most attention to detail in the title
with realistic hair and clothes physics. Between missions and loading
points, Jackie is seen from a third person perspective where he gives
you words of wisdom.
The developers have also really
given the title a gritty noir feel as you move through the streets of
New York and the attention to detail is amazing. I was blown away in one
of the characters apartments where you can actually watch an old B&W
movie and after five minutes, the movie was still playing.
The special effects of The Darkness have a real otherworldly
feel to them which really breeds a distinction between Jackie and The
Darkness. Like mentioned before, the developers have really successfully
intertwined the crime and supernatural genres perfectly.
As with the graphics, the soundtrack of the
Darkness is nothing too intensive but really suits the title and when
the action heats up, so does the music. The voice acting is extremely
professional and most characters have a Bronx-like drawl. The Darklings
are extremely clichéd as is the "Darkness" but sounds quite scary at the
best of times.
In conclusion, The Darkness is great first person shooter for the XBox
360 that is easily one of the most superior titles out for the system at
the moment which contains great gameplay, next-generation graphics and a
kick ass storyline that not only pays homage to the comic but truly
compliments the series. Definitely an Editor's Choice title! Highly