Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Xbox 360 & PS3 - The Darkness

The Darkness by 2K games

The Darkness is one of those games that seems like it should be a taboo subject. In reality, if you can ignore the semi-demonic aspects of the main character and what you have to do, the story is really pretty decent. However, this is a first person shooter through-and-through.


The graphics in this game were always fluid and functional (unlike Mass Effect). The Darkness gives you everything you want to see in a first person shooter. You have a first person view, you have special powers, you can pick up weapons from just about everywhere. So, there's no lack of weapons in this game.


The sound quality of this game, while not a masterpiece, certainly fits the mood properly. The key story moments offer more compelling soundtrack themes while the background music is kept to a minimum. This leads to a good balance of music to gameplay. The music also works quite well to enhance the gameplay.

Story Line

The Darkness is effectively about an orphaned kid who was taken in by a fictitious mafioso-type family. Then, this family turns on him later and effectively wants him (your character) dead. In that light, we come to find out that this character also has the power of 'The Darkness' (when he turned 18) which is a demonic creature that gives certain powers to the inhabitant. These powers give you the ability to kill much more efficiently than with a gun alone. As you progress through the game, these Darkness powers grow and expand giving much more powerful Darkness powers.

The way the game unravels is well done. The romantic encounter is a bit stilted because there was little setup. But, it kind of worked in an awkward kind of way.


Overall, the character is easy to control and the darkness powers are easy to switch between. The hardest part of this game was knowing when you can and can't use the darkness powers. For example, if you're standing directly under a bright street lamp, you can't use them for long. By the same token, you can either shoot out the lamp or use a darkness power to break it. Once it's dark enough, your darkness powers regenerate and can be used. Also, so long as it remains dark, you can regenerate the powers continually.

The guns in the game are reasonably decent. Mostly small handgun varieties and a few semi-automatic and automatic weapons. They're reasonably efficient to use. But, the real benefit is in the darkness powers. This is really what the game wants you to use.


The Darkness is kind of like Grand Theft Auto (review coming soon) in that you get assigned quests by specific individuals you meet. So, you have to roam the game in order to find these people in order to complete their quests. Some of the quests are intrinsic to moving the story forward and others are side quests that you do just to get extras. The game doesn't force you to move in a linear progression specifically. If you choose to wander around and do all side quests, you can leave your main quest activity hanging until you're done. So, in this way, it is kind of like an RPG style questing system.


This game does offer an Xbox Live multiplayer component. So, if you're looking to get all Challenge Points, you will have to play the multiplayer portions. Note, though, that you are required to basically set up your own server in order to host games. Most times, people aren't hosting games on Xbox Live, so you're likely the one who will have to host them.


The game was lengthy enough to be well worth the money. The Darkness powers work well to get you through the game. The 3D performance is stellar when compared to some other recent games. The 3D detail is reasonably decent, but not nearly as detailed as some more recent games.

Overall, I'd recommend this game if you like this type of genre. If you're not into the demonic aspects and the killing of the game, then you might want to skip it. Note, the replay value of this game is low because if you've done nearly everything, then going through it a second time less than thrilling as there's not much else to do (other than look for more bonus things).


  • Graphics: 8/10
  • Sound: 9/10
  • Gameplay: 8/10
  • Story: 9.5/10
  • Overall: 8.5/10
  • Replay Value: 4/10

No comments: