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The Darkness XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 9.2
Graphics 9.2
Sound 9.2
Value 9.3
Distributor: 2K Games
Review Date:
June 2007
Andrew Bistak


The Darkness

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 Darkness.

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.


  • Based on the best-selling comic The Darkness created by Top Cow. Launched in 1996, the highly popular comic is currently published in 19 different languages around the world.
  • A seamless and unique blend of modern crime drama and supernatural horror with both first and third person non-linear game play
  • Highly destructible environments: Stalk the gritty New York slums, harbors, subway tunnels and rooftops, then defeat the terrifying creatures of The Otherworld-a parallel reality where the Darkness dwells
  • Developed by Starbreeze-the team behind the best-selling and critically acclaimed The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay

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.

With this 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 Recommended!


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