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The Darkness is a horror/fantasy First Person Shooter for the PS3 and Xbox, originally released in 2007 and based on a comic book that I had never heard of before the game was released. It picked up a few very impressive review scores and being a fan of FPS games, particularly ones that try to be a little different, I grabbed a copy.
The player takes the role of Jackie Estacado on his 21st birthday. Jackie is an unconventional sort and rather than spending his birthday drinking too much alcohol and singing showtunes, he's involved in a frantic car chase across town. We soon learn that Jackie is a hitman for a powerful crime family, his uncle pulling all the strings. Jackie's birthday gift is a pair of twin pistols that will take you through the game, they're comfortable weapons and will cover most options, though some more entertaining weapons come along later.
After getting aclimatised, a plot twist I enjoyed and have no intention of spoiling turns up barely ten minutes in and the player is embroiled in the chaos of mob war. On top of that, Jackie discovers he is the vessel for "the darkness." A set of demonic powers that manifest in the form of vile snakes sprouting from his spine. The Darkness allows Jackie to perform stealth attacks, access hidden areas or heal by devouring the hearts of his victims. It's all pretty monstrous fun but buyer beware, the game earns its 18 certificate. Activating the Darkness also allows the player to summon creatures from a some spooky realm beyond, represented in the game by a big glowing hole in the ground. These imps can be your soldiers or just muscle for moving obstacles. Handy. On top of the already very comfortable shooting mechanics, the darkness powers add on a lot of varied and clever gameplay that really set the game apart. There's a hitch, however. The Darkness powers only work properly in the dark, most of the game is set in city streets full of lights, even at night. To work through the game without getting shot to pieces, you'll need to take out as many lights as possible and crack out the Darkness powers. It's a great way of limiting the powers, which would otherwise have made the game too easy and isn't as cliche as a simple power bar or time restriction. It makes the darkness ability feel more like a true part of this world.
A lot of the game takes place while traversing the city, very little is given in the way of navigation aid and getting lost is easy. This was a source of frustration at times but didn't become too much of an issue. Eventually the story will carry the player through into the Otherworld, the hellish source of the Darkness powers. This dual setting keeps the game varied and is fortunately carried by a very strong plot that is best experienced first hand.
The Darkness has a lot of strengths but I think what sets it apart are its really strong characters. Not Jackie, unfortunately. He's a pretty meaningless character that never says anything that isn't a cliche. However, he has a girlfriend, Jenny, who is a very authentic and believable character. A lot of Jackie's old friends, fellow gangsters or relatives spring up aswell. They speak with genuine affection and despite the whirlwind of events surrounding them, all new to the player, there is a sense that you are stepping into everyday life for many of these characters.
Possibly the biggest stumble the Darkness makes is in trying to do too much. Often the game will confront you with a challenging puzzle, intriguing story moment and guns blazing shoot-out all in the same scene. It's hard to keep on top of and sometimes I found myself wishing the game would slow down. It also suffered from its tendency to set you free in unfamiliar streets, expecting you to know the city as well as the character you played. This was just about manageable thanks to the many maps outside subway stations but inevitably I would end up in a gun fight and get completely turned around. The game introduces some pretty interesting ideas with the Darkness powers but there's always the feeling they never go anywhere. I couldn't help feeling they would have suited a less shooting orientated game, a sort of horror based Metroid Prime.
Graphically this game is a mixed bag. The PS3 version ships with no anti-aliasing and a native resolution of 576p, the same as british Standard Definition TV. The 360 version on the other hand has 2xAA and runs at 720p. If you own both a PS3 and 360 then I'd not choose this one. However, if you only own a PS3 then you're probably used to no anti-aliasing by now. I wouldn't let that stop you picking this up. It might not look a sharp as it could but it is perfectly playable. Not only that but the game's own visual style is absolutely beautiful and a few minutes playing and you'll be totally wrapped up in it anyway. The game makes wonderful use of dynamic light and shadow and the darkness serpents themselves are works of art. It's a pleasure to experience.
The Darkness has been out a while and has been available at a budget price for longer than most games, don't let that put you off. It's a very enjoyable game. It is, however, quite difficult at times and can be slow paced. It's hard not to recommend but it's not suitable for children and aimed at more of a horror film audience.
This game is firstly worth the money I bought it preowned for eight pound. Playstation three have been finding it really hard to try and bring out great playing games. As for x box they have had a wide variety of hits and award winning games that have sold out in hours.
So the playstation have a game that is an action shooter and is very cheap. If you think about it days of fun for just eight pound. A great game with a dark twist to make it unique. The story starts with a guy by the name Jackie he is in the maffia. He is being chased by the cops his mate dies in the chase and he saves his other friend but he dies and gives him a gun which is his 21st birthday.
Although he gains a strange power from the dark side of evilness. His uncle is a maffia the boss and he is looking jackies head. So he has sent his mean including corrupt cops to track you down and finish you off so it is a game of survival.
The game is very graphical with great graphics and effects and full of evilness and dark powers. A game I thouroughly enjoy playing a great shooting game with blood and guts and a brillant storyline and also gives you the oppurtunity to talk to people and you reply with selecting different options each option having a different outcome. I have became addicted to this game days of great exciting gameplay. It is rated eighteen but you expect that as the charcters speak with foul langaunage and the game would be distrubing for some people. It is an unpredictable game and I have bagged a bargain with this game so I would like to share it with everyone and encourage them to buy it.
Whilst Resistance: Fall of Man was undoubtedly the pace-setter in terms of the PS3's early FPS output, in many respects it was The Darkness that first hinted at the gameplay advancements gamers could look forward to from the burgeoning technology.
Based on an obscure comic of the same name, The Darkness is as much driven by its story as it is its shooting elements, as you take control of 21 (going on 35) year-old mafia hitman Jackie Estacado, who begins his tale with a police pursuit that culminates in a violent car crash. He is then set up, betrayed and nearly blown to bits by his mad Uncle Paulie and to cap it off, he finds that he has inherited the malevolent, soul-destroying power of the Darkness. All in all, major bummer.
It's a game that affords the player a little bit more freedom than similar titles, as the various streets and locations you'll visit are linked by a couple of subways, which in turn house a number of people who will at varying times request Jackie's aid for a variety of quests, both secondary and primary to the main storyline.
There's no denying the games unique selling point was always going to centre on the Darkness powers, and here it doesn't disappoint. Frequently a crux of so-called 'superhero' games, superhuman skills are often used to gloss over a lack of imagination, with developers tending to play it safe by assigning humdrum tasks to remarkable abilities. However, in The Darkness many of the action sequences and puzzles are directly tailored to get the maximum out of Jackie's abilities. His curse has a range of perks, including the 'creeping dark' ability that allows you (as a darkling-tentacle thing) to slither up and over walls, through vents and otherwise-difficult to traverse areas, and is mighty useful for taking out enemies obscured by cover. The pick of the rest is the black hole; a devastating move you'll acquire late on that sucks up all nearby enemies and objects and sends them spinning through a violent vortex before dumping them back down to earth in suitably satisfying style.
In many ways though, it's actually the frailties of the powers that make for the most interesting gameplay elements. The equation is simple enough; you absorb and retain power in the shade, whilst it drains away if you linger in the light. Thus lights in the environment need to be switched off, shot or smashed. Some well-constructed locations help intensify your awareness of the surroundings, as you seek to limit potential dangers in the event of an ambush. The mix of claustrophobic tunnels and wide open streets offers a potent and disarming contrast as you chop and change between the two, each harbouring their own dangers and therefore challenge you to adapt your playing style. There's the odd memorable scene, such as a Church shootout whereby your assailants use floodlights in an attempt to gain the upper hand. Thanks to fantastic attention to detail, the noir-like streets and alleyways retain a creepy allure throughout. The only notable letdown in terms of environment design are the World War One trench sections; given that the setting is highly unoriginal in a game of this sort, it feels tacked-on and totally out of place, with the dreary landscapes looking noticeably less impressive than their modern day equivalents. Nevertheless, the Darkness powers prove a cool addition that builds greatly on the decent but largely unremarkable shoot 'em up elements.
Whilst the blasting is handled well enough, it isn't quite as satisfying as it could ultimately have been. It's difficult to point the finger at one specific factor, more a culmination of several smaller ones; the faint but noticeable aim-assist, the increasingly huge powers and therefore superiority you are afforded over your mortal enemies; Jackie's quick rejuvenation from bullet wounds and the slightly underwhelming selection of firearms are all contributing factors.
However, that paints a rather poor picture of a game that is anything but. It's a thinking-mans FPS at heart with some great locations and superb, cinematic touches. The streets and subways are some of the most impressive yet seen in a PS3 game; not only do the several-dozen characters you'll meet look fantastic, each and every one of them looks different - there are no duplicates. It's also notable that Starbreeze are one of a very select bunch of developers to have taken advantage of 1080i/p HD screen resolutions so it all looks mega sharp and crisp.
Some of the smartest presentation touches are among the smallest. At one stage, Jackie gets to spend time with his girlfriend Jenny at her apartment, whilst To Kill A Mockingbird is playing on her TV set - not just a trailer, but the whole film! Elsewhere in the game TVs are put to good use as you can catch bulletins directly relating to Jackie and the games narrative path, and the sets are even used on the odd occasion as a tension-building red herring, as you hear rock music steadily cranking up to an ever-more frantic level, only to discover a TV set to the music channel.
You'll get a little under a weeks worth of gameplay before the credits roll, though the lacklustre multiplayer is unlikely to coax FPS fans into playing much beyond this time-scale. It does at least deliver a large horde of extras, unearthed chiefly by finding phone numbers and then calling them on one of the games pay phones. Admittedly, the laughs they deliver quickly wear thin with the messages usually consisting of nonsensical rants in a variety of highly unconvincing mock-accents, though the game was never going to live and die on something so trivial. The trove of comics and concept art are, provided you're armed with a HDTV, not bad at all.
The Darkness is a very good FPS with an interesting story, a decent cast of protagonists and smart enough use of special powers (and weaknesses) to keep things interesting right to the end. It isn't the game to buy if you're after a strong multiplayer, but if you're after a distinguished representative of the increasingly saturated 'troubled superhero' niche, then this is right up there with the best of 'em.
The Darkness, a superb horror game to hit the game market back in 2007. Thanks to the bargains on Play.com, I found a new copy for £11 including postage. Reading the reviews, it seemed I would more than likely enjoy this game and seemed well worth the low price. The Darkness would still be worth the expensive price of £45, even three years after its original release. Many reasons in which I will explain why.
---- Plotline ----
The player takes control of a young Mafia hitman. Jackie Estacado, taking place on his 21st birthday where a mission soon goes wrong. After being ambushed by a rival crime syndicate, Jackie soon becomes possessed by an evil spirit known as The Darkness. Being able to kill enemies viciously with demonic powers. However, along with failing his boss and putting up with this evil power, everything soon hits the fan for Jackie's life.
---- Gameplay ----
The gameplay offers a variety of weapons for taking down your enemies. From the standard sets of pistols all the way up to different automatic weapon types. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses and should be used carefully depending on the situation the player is in. Ammo for these weapons is scattered and usually dropped by targets that the player picks off.
The Darkness is a special ability to be used throughout the entire game. Devouring targets with demon attacks such as ripping them to shreds with claw attacks to summoning creatures to do your dirty work for you. Starting off with a basic darkness level, this can be levelled up by sadistically ripping out human hearts from fallen victims and then eating them. This is rather graphic and definitely a dark idea the developers thought of, hence why the game was called this title. Having the darkness activated will constantly spook out your enemies, making them panic or run away under the pressure. After all, seeing someone with demon heads is not something you would see every day. However, well lit areas will weaken your powers and will stop you from summoning your minions. To correct this problem, players will need to shoot out lights or turn them to make everything pitch black. In terms of what creatures you can summon, one will do a standard melee attack, another will be armed with a minigun, another armed with a suicide bomb and finally a creature that can take all forms of light in the area and electrocute targets. Now I haven't completed the game, so it brings many question on what this darkness is. It could just be an evil spirit or even Satan himself, but time will tell for every player that has the pleasure of going through the entire game. Although, the voice of the darkness is extremely evil indeed. More than enough to put shivers down your spine.
Execution ability is also possible against targets, very much the same idea used in The Punisher game. Attacking an enemy at close distance will trigger an instant kill in a black comedy type of way. For example, kicking an enemy in the groin and then shooting him in the skull when he is down on his knees in agony. Lots of possible ways and I get something unique every single time.
No health bar is used in The Darkness, so you will never know how many hits you can take before its game over. Instead, the player will need to take cover or finish off the target before the entire screen goes red. Taking too much damage will trigger the screen to turn red, meaning your condition is in critical and on the verge of dying.
There is a fair bit of unlockable content in the game, such as a bonus material from the developers on how they created the game. Triggering an unlockable is a little different than normal. There are scattered phone numbers in the game in which have to picked up and then dialled on a phone. This will be a random person or a random business leading to a comical phone conversation or a funny statement about what the business does, very much like the comedy you would hear in the Grand Theft Auto series. After the phone call has ended, an unlockable has been achieved. Besides looking for these scattered numbers, they can also be given to your character by doing side quests.
General movement is slow and takes an eternity to get around the game. The character's quickest movement seems to be a jog and one of the slowest I've ever seen. Every area of the game is extremely big too and this doesn't help the fact your character takes a century to reach them. Most of these have nothing to do in them either or you have to wait until you're further into the story. There are a few side quests in which can be completed to achieve bonuses, but far too little. Shortcuts can be taken throughout The Darkness by using the subway, one of the easiest ways to get around the city.
Loading times are very long indeed and get very repetitive. However, the developers seem to have took that into account and put in mini cut scenes to watch when the game is loading the next area or scene. In these mini cut scenes, Jackie seems to be talking to himself in his mind about certain events from the past, present or future. A nice touch to add to stop the boredom of waiting for loading times to finish stopping.
The story starts off very slowly giving off the impression it's going to be a bore fest, although it soon picks up and you fall right into it. I became extremely interested and couldn't stop playing until I had to go to work. It takes a lot for the story to make me feel emotion as a gamer, and I even started to feel sad during some moments of the game which I won't spoil for anyone. A love interest and romance angle has even been added to this dark storyline. Jackie, the main character is rather mysterious and seems rather quiet. Despite this, he comes across as very likeable and charismatic. Very rare for a game to have such a young hero too, its mainly in the late 20s or 30s to have the average age for the hero.
---- Multiplayer ----
Although I haven't tried the multiplayer yet, it seems to have it flaws already due to the lack of popularity with this feature. Many of the rooms seem to be offline, even at prime time of the day.
There is rumoured to be lots of lag, even with players on high speed connections. Lag is a big downfall on any multiplayer game and decreases enjoyment right away.
From what I have read in the manual there are many game modes to choose from in a multiplayer game. The standard death match mode, taking on other human players under a specific time limit or kill limit. Team deathmatch, same thing but in teams. Survivor mode in which everyone is against one human player, in which that person must hold out as long as they can. Last human mode in which one human must take on the demons, however the human player is the only one that can score the points. The most interesting seems to be the shape shifter mode, humans versus the demons. Last but not least is a classic capture the flag. The object of this is to capture your enemy's flag from their base and transport it back to your own.
---- Graphics ----
Next generation graphics definitely are present in The Darkness. No doubt about that. Like with many of these latest games, you really do need an up to date TV. Of course they are still amazing with a standard TV set, but an LCD gets the most out of the animation.
As The Darkness does concentrate on the light and dark element, the general lightning is pretty amazing. A lamp post in the street will truly light up an area of the street and will quickly make it dark again when the player shoots it out.
The developers seem to have included a hit box too. For instance, shooting an enemy in the leg will make a bullet wound in that specific area. One of the most important graphical aspects to add in my opinion. On that note, all the deceased bodies will stay in that area until you proceed to another.
Despite top graphics, they certainly come with its bugs. Much of the lightning can blur and flash with too many pixels moving on the screen at once. Not exactly noticeable, only when you're concentrating hard.
Many of these games now have people looking almost real to the point where you forget its animation, The Darkness is another one of these. I even had my parents asking what movie I was watching when I was playing this.
---- Sound and Music ----
On the subject of music and sound, I have to say I'm very impressed. Each of the music track fits the scene perfectly, blending in well with the background sounds.
Just like in action movies, the music will pick up when a fire fight starts. Dramatic rock music that fits in so well when you're letting off a machine gun against multiple targets. Something you would hear in a war game, yet it works perfectly for horror games too.
Due to the fairly depressing nature of the game, the theme of music is that. It quickly sets your mood down too, maybe to feel the emotion of the character you're controlling.
Voice acting is top notch, lots of emotion and effort put behind the actor's words. Enemies sound like they are genially in pain and you can hear the fear in their voice when you are activating your dark side against them.
---- Recommendations ----
No doubt it, well worthy of buying for any first person shooter fan. Horror combined with pure action and suspense. Very cheap now despite being of the PS3's finest games on the market. Easy to find too online and in many high street stores.
I feel the gameplay could have been worked on and one of the reasons it didn't get maximum stars. There were times in the game where I was wandering around doing nothing and wondering where I had to go next, knocking my boredom up. Possibly making areas a little smaller or having more to do, such as more side quests would have corrected this problem.
The type of game you can play after a bad day to let your anger out, lots of multiple ways to toy with the enemy.
## Review also on my Ciao account. ##
I decided to get this after it came out on the PS3 as I loved it the Xbox. Of course it was the same as the Xbox version with a superb storyline. The atmosphere in this game is outstanding, you feel like you are in the game, like you are the character. That to me makes this game stand out, especially on the PS3 where the great games are few and far between. As a PS3 owner I see this game as a must have, simple as that, it is too good to not own on that console, definitely for that price. The multiplayer is also not as "laggy" on this as it is on the Xbox, which is great if you own it, not so great if you own other multiplayer games though as compared to them this is not in the same league. The multiplayer is too generic and is poor over all, but do not let that put you off, this is an excellent game, so do yourselves a favour and buy if you have not already. There are not MANY better for the PS3 at the moment.
This game was not of much interest to me when first released, but is now just over £6 on Amazon. However, instead of just buying new, I checked my local store too and got it for £3.99 pre-owned, the cheapest I have ever bought a PS3 game.
The Darkness is rated 18. It is for 1-8 players and is a first person action game. You have to battle various enemies, set in a rather scary area. The controls are pretty much what one would expect. Your weapons are also a little far out. Apart from regular weapons, you also have special 'Darkness' powers (Creeping Dark, Demon Arm, Darkness Guns, and Black Hole). Sometimes these are quite powerful, but I found them frustrating. Black Hole is pretty good though and sort of sucks anything into it that comes into range.
The single player game is pretty good, multiplayer on the other hand is lacking. The game presentation and idea is good. However, the graphics could be more polished, as could the opponent AI. So, not the best PS3 game, but for a fiver it is a good value purchase.
In the game, you play as Jackie, an Italian American who has connections with the Mafia. You have to try and fight the main character's demons, both mentally and physically.
The graphics aren't very good compared to other PS3 game using a HDTV. The soundtrack will get you in the mood as it fits the game.
Mainly, the game is a FPS but takes place in an open world environment. You unlock more of the world. You can go wherever you want and collect pieces of paper which can unlock more collectables, such as bonus content. The world is totally interactive.
The game isn't too hard but some of the collectables can take a lot of play before they can be reached. However, this makes it great value for money. The game is one of the cheapest on the PS3 and should be brought by every FPS/ open world fan.
The game has a great pace and includes some exciting situations and shooting scenes. The game is about the right length, it isn't too short or too long. The gameplay is very addicting and will keep you playing as you try to unlock everything.
The game has no trophies or offline/ online multiplayer.
The game also has some glitches but not many. It also crashed my PS3` a couple of times while I completed the game.
I first came accross this game sort of by accident, ebay gave me a voucher for £10, and after recently buying a PS3 I was in need of some games, so I thought I'd give this a go, and as it turns out, its a brillient game.
What is it?
The Darkness is about a Mafia hitman, 'Jackie Estacado' who becomes possessed on his 21st birthday. This power which has taken over him will grow throughout the game, becoming ever stronger.
At its most basic, the Darkness is an FPS (first person shooter), with a bit of a twist. The game is completely free roaming, with missions that you decide when and inwhich order to do them (Allthough certain areas on the game will be closed off occasionally, and if not then they can sometimes be deserted if you enter them before they are needed in the story).
Without putting in any spoilers, which I always try not to, the games story is a very intense venture into the life of Jackie. You are controlling him at a time when he is finding out more about his past, and the 'darkness'.
As said earlier, a majority of the missions can be accessed at anytime and in almost any order. There are also lots of little side missions during the game to amuse yourself with, aswell as collectable phone numbers, which when you ring them on the payphones ingame, unlock extras available through the menu. These extras are things such as the original 'the darkness' comic, aswell as the usual concept art drawings etc.
Rather unusually for an FPS game, the weapons are not the main focus here (well once you have your darkness after about 20mins of play). Which is just aswell, seeing as these are the only fault I can really find with this game. The problem here is that all of the guns sort of feel the same, the only difference being the magazine capacity, and rate of fire. But apart from that, you will find that all the pistols and magnums etc do the same amount of damage.
A worthy addition to your PS3 collection. Also it is worth mentioning that this is the first game I bought that is fully 1080P compatible, and it really shows here, some of the buildings, especially the detail (such as the graffitti) look very good on here.