Reviews// The Darkness (Xbox 360)

Ban this sick filth!

Posted 27 Jun 2007 18:00 by
Companies:
Games: The Darkness
While the rest of the world was getting itself into a tizzy over the sociopath-making hack/slasher that is Manhunt 2 over the last week or so, SPOnG was busy crying ?Ban this sick filth!? in an entirely different direction. Namely, another title that falls under the Take 2 umbrella: The Darkness.

For those of you who aren't aware, The Darkness spins out of the comic of the same name that originally spawned from the minds of Marc Silvestri (of X-Men fame) and Garth Ennis (of being-mildly-disturbed and writing Preacher fame). It follows the life and loves of Jackie Estacado who, on the advent of his 21st birthday, finds himself with the dubious honour of possessing the Darkness, a sinister supernatural entity that pre-dates human history. Yeah, that's right. On your 21st you were/will be drinking bizarre cocktails invented by your mates involving vodka, beer and mud, and this guy's dealing with evil from the dawn of time. Since he just happens to be a hitman for the Mafia, much bloodshed ensues.

For the game, much of the fantasy that decorates the comics has been ditched in favour of a gritty, more horror-based feel. Jackie's not the pretty-boy he was in the comics, he hangs about in seedy back alleys and subways rather than glamorous night clubs, and he looks a bit Goth instead of a bit Gucci. You won't see fancy armour or drop-dead-gorgeous angels in his game?s outing. Instead, expect a long leather coat and ugly mobsters.

Throughout the entire game the feel of The Darkness is, well... dark. It abounds with grimy, seedy locales crawling with creepy types wanting to put a bullet.

The Darkness successfully manages to place a good chunk of the action in darkened alleys without ever getting boring. When playing F.E.A.R., one of my biggest complaints was that in the quest for a spooky atmosphere, Monolith had made the game drab and a bit boring.

The Darkness developer, Starbreeze, does not fall into the same trap. There's nary a spot of daylight to be had in the game; the city maps drag you into the quagmire to be found at the bottom of society.

Jackie's girlfriend invites you into her apartment, excited because she's so excited about it, and (at the risk of sounding like a big old snob) my skin crawled slightly at the place. A large portion of the game takes place in subways, warehouses, a burnt-out orphanage... the list goes on. But rather than the real world portions of the game becoming dismal and tedious, they instead ooze insipid life.

The lighting, for one, is extremely well done. Just the right amount of eerie illumination is cast across the gloom to keep it looking interesting, and in a game where playing in the dark gives you an advantage, that's crucial. Likewise, the shadows move brilliantly, a touch that subtly adds to the atmosphere.
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Companies:
Games: The Darkness

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Comments

king skins 27 Jun 2007 19:37
1/4
Good review enjoyed it and I'm quite tempted to get this after never getting around to buying Riddick and this seams really interesting.

I need something else to distract me from Forza2.
LUPOS 27 Jun 2007 21:12
2/4
If you don't get this then AT LEAST go the bargain bin route and grab Riddick. I Love that game. Absolutely no complaints about it. A Complete joy start to finish. And well worth the 5-10 you'll probably end up paying. I'll most likely pick this up next week as my b-day was yesterday and I don't buy anything till I see what I've been gifted....


... HURRAY HALO3 ZUNE :-D

Me? Off topic? Noooo....
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king skins 27 Jun 2007 21:40
3/4
Well, I'm going to buy the Darkness on Friday so I'll check the second hand section and see if they have it and i'll pick it up to. Enjoyed the films.

Cheers for the recomendation. Are those Zunes any good? Not sure if you can actually buy them over here yet. I was looking at getting a Creative Zen Vision M. Broke my last MP3 player, had a bad habbit of dropping it on the floor :(
LUPOS 28 Jun 2007 13:59
4/4
king skins wrote:
Well, I'm going to buy the Darkness on Friday so I'll check the second hand section and see if they have it and i'll pick it up to. Enjoyed the films.


As did I. Though honestly Chronicles was a bit s**t. Tried to fit way to much into a single film and the change of tone was unfortunate. Little tom-boy = hot sexy super killer? Uh hu....

The game is actually much better than the second film even story wise if you ask me.

king skins wrote:
Cheers for the recomendation. Are those Zunes any good? Not sure if you can actually buy them over here yet. I was looking at getting a Creative Zen Vision M. Broke my last MP3 player, had a bad habbit of dropping it on the floor :(


Love it so far. Screen is quite nice for video watching and the sound is quite strong. My gf owns a 30gig ipod vid and is already rather jealous. When i hooked it up the first time the software actually scoured my computer for videos and automatically converted whatever it could and transfered them. I just set it before I went to bed and woke up with it full of music and vid and pictures. The software is a little persnickety but there are already a few hacks that help. One removes the whoel "guest" login thign so you can have full control of the zune on any PC (work and home for me). And another trick that makes it convert AVIs and one that makes it do divx and xvid. Something it sadly doesn't do by default.

The radio is nice for work but I'm in the subway a lot so haven't really used it. One little thing that I really appreciate is that it can be plugged into the PC and you can still listen to it. My GF was doing the audio book thing while at work and cant very well keep like 5-10 gigs of mp3 on her hard drive here so would listen to her ipod. When it would die however she had to let it charge for like two hours before she could use it again. Tis a semi minor thing but it can make a big difference depending on the circumstance. (course she coudl always by an actual wall plug but who wants to do that!?)

Assuming my usual role of MS ass kisser I would also say that most of the things people have complained about in reviews are kind of silly. The "send" feature that allows wireless sending of songs to other zune owners is indeed limited but it's still more than any other MP3 player does. I've seen people knock it for this but ipods don't get points reduced for not having the feature at all yet they complain it lacks features they wish it had. Hardly fair.

Also since its a new toy I had to go and instantly absorb as much info as possible and I found out that IGN gave it audio player of the year for 06. Though they basically say that it's only because apple didnt release a new ipod. t**ts! ;)

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