Product Type: Take 2 Xbox 360 games
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The Darkness (Xbox 360)
Member Name: mchitty
The Darkness (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Original gameplay quirks, really wonderfully atmospheric
Disadvantages: Gameplay isn't particularly smooth
Contrary to it's title, this game has absolutely nothing to do with the neo-hair rockers that burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. No, 'The Darkness' is definitely something much... well, darker.
The Darkness is a first person shooter game set in a gritty New York underworld. You play as a gangster...... with a difference. You see, you're not just a gangster, you're also some sort of horrendous demon-beast with a whole array of evil and nasty powers.
Sound appealing? Yes? No? Well, it's a matter of opinion really. It certainly adds some interesting gaming mechanics. For a start, one of my favourite features goes by the name of 'Creeping Dark'. This is... how do I put it, a tentacle with a mouth on the end of it. Basically you can unleash this nasty piece of work, which you directly control in the first person, sending it slithering along the floor, up walls and eventually right in the face of an unsuspecting baddie. That is, unless you get completely confused as you climb up walls and your viewpoint changes and you get disoriented and start inadvertently backtracking!
Unfortunately this leads me neatly on to one of the games downsides - although it gets easier with a bit of practice, there are quite a few elements of this game that you may find to be a little sluggish. Your 'Darkness' powers, for example, require Darkness to work to their full effect. This means that if you want to make full use of them, light bulbs are just as important as targets as baddies. This can get a bit tiring as the game goes on, especially if you're a fan of rushing into rooms and causing all out havok.
Another of your powers is your 'Darklings'. There are four different 'Darklings' who you can get to help you. One of them that I stuck with throughout knocks out the lights for you. Very handy, especially considering the downside I pointed out earlier!
The real highlight of the Darkness is the atmosphere and cinematic feel of the game. The cutscenes are remarkable - you have to see them, they're amongst the best in-game cinematics I've ever seen. Aside from this, the graphics are lovely in a gritty and grim sort of way, and the lighting effects are equally ace.
Overall the Darkness is an interesting and impressive FPS game. Although the occasionally sluggish gameplay lets it down at points, overall it's a fresh and original shootfest that's definitely worth a go if it sounds like your type of thing.
Summary: Lives up to its name - this game is dark and grim
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