The Darkness

Moby ID: 29038
Xbox 360 Specs
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Description official descriptions

The Darkness is a first-person shooter based on the Top Cow comic of the same name. Jackie Estacado, a Mafia hit man in modern New York City, becomes possessed by an ancient evil on his 21st birthday. The curse has been passed down through the generations in his family to the first born, starting with his great great grandfather. Jackie is about to be taken out by the henchmen of Mafia don Paulie Franchetti when the curse grants him supernatural powers. He is able to eliminate the hit men and goes after Paulie next, as the Mafia don wants to kill his girlfriend Jenny Romano.

The game offers a mixture of classic first-person shooting with regular weapons, along with the powers of The Darkness. The latter cannot be used in well-lit environments. In dark areas, Jackie can combine both powers. Jackie can switch back and forth during gameplay, and as The Darkness, the viewpoint is placed lower, but with a broader point-of-view. Darkness powers allow Jackie to summon darklings (different types of creatures), summon dark tentacles that grow from his back to break through barriers and smash opponents, along with maw tentacles for close combat. Estacado can also create a black hole and force it to collapse on itself for wide-range damage, and summon darkness guns that fire lightning bolts.

The game takes place in a modern environment, but also in the fictional Otherworld and Hell. The Darkness manifests itself as a voice in Jackie's head and tries to gain complete control of the body. The force feeds on the dark and requires a live human body to exist.

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Credits (Xbox 360 version)

396 People (335 developers, 61 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 47 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 3 reviews)

The Darkness

The Good
- Competent story, fantastic characters writing. Elevated by the voice-acting. - Unorthodox gameplay for a first-person shooter, lots of NPC interactions, exploration. Gunfight is mostly good. - Semi-open world with side-quests and pretty creative collectibles. - One of the best musical scores in the history of video games (so far).

The Bad
- Lots of story or design decisions that are just weird or underdeveloped. - Same goes for most of the Otherworld levels. - The engine is held together with a duct tape and a prayer. Occasional bugs and events not working as they should. - Why does this needs a multiplayer? Which is dead anyway.

The Bottom Line
One of a kind, despite every single bug.

Xbox 360 · by SanfordMorgan · 2023

A Solid Supernatural FPS

The Good
Voice Acting is a main attraction in this game. Mike Patton, the ex-singer of the band Faith No More, provides the voice of The Darkness. The rest of the cast do a fantastic job in the voice department. The targeting system is very flexible and does its job. The Darkness powers make you feel like the ultimate demonic warrior. The story is for the most part okay, but problems do arise with it (see below).

The Bad
First off, the game can be very hard at spots. At some parts it's extremely easy, and others it's unbearably hard. The story does have good aspects of it, but most of it gets dumped in favor for the gameplay. For instance, the Purgatory level will confuse you, and it won't give you any answers to any of the questions you may have. Another is the graphics. They are stable for the most part, but the purgatory level is freaking choppy. It maintains a stable framerate, and things will look gorgeous, but then it is nearly unplayable.

The Bottom Line
If you like FPS games, give this game a shot. If you like the demonic themed games like Devil May Cry or gangster themed games such as The Godfather or Mafia, give this game a try. I bought it used for 18 bucks, and it was worth every penny of it. If you can find this one cheap, pick it up. If not, rent it.

PlayStation 3 · by William Baker (8) · 2009

A beautiful, introspective poem of a game

The Good
When I got my copy of the Darkness for Christmas I balked. It had been out for years and for my sister to buy this for me for around $20 when I spent almost $120 on her gift felt like a slap in the face. Nevertheless I popped it in my PS3 anyway to see if it was worth playing and from that moment I spent the rest of Christmas Day immersed in Jacky Estacado's New York City.

You play Jacky Estacado who featured in the Darkness comics. On the day of his 21'st Birthday Jacky is almost killed by his Uncle (whom happens to be the Don of the Mafia family Jacky belongs to) because he feels Jacky is disrespecting him. From this moment Jacky and Paulie (his uncle) exchange blows both psychological and physical while Jacky struggles with a supernatural affliction; The Darkness. The Darkness is an entity that manifested as Jacky was fleeing Paulie's hit men. It torments Jacky, forcing him to do things while allowing him access to its hideous powers. The Darkness also functions as a powerful metaphor. Jacky doesn't want to show his Darkness to Jenny, his girlfriend and the source of much heartache and this metaphor is extended as the game continues. The Darkness itself is a hideous creature that snarls and mutters distorted threats at Jacky, it is a menacing entity, threatening to consume him completely.

There are times when playing The Darkness that you become so lost in Jacky's desperate struggle that you feel emotionally connected to him. You feel so sorry for him but at the same time you understand that he has done bad in the past. His words and emotions are so raw and so human. It's poetry of the soul, the product of an accomplished script. The most powerful example of this is in Jenny's apartment, shortly after escaping Paulie's goons. Jacky is surprised by Jenny, who offers him a birthday cake and then tells him to sit down with her. From here, a tender piano dirge plays and what you do next is up to you. If you sit with her, you experience one of the most genuine displays of emotion and romance in not only any game, but any media in general.

The story would be nothing without some solid game play to break up all of that introspection. Of course, Starbreeze does not disappoint. The shooting is precise but a degree of auto aim is present, Jacky can dual wield small weapons and points them automatically over things or around corners when you approach. It feels fluid, natural and accomplished.

Using the Darkness powers in conjunction with weapons is the key to success. You have access to a power called the Creeping Dark which you can use as a scout or Darkness Arm which is essentially a long tail which can disembowel enemies and then fling them away. You also have the option of summoning Darklings. Awesome little creatures that can be used as shock troopers, gunners or to knock out lights which impede darkness power regeneration. The Darklings are fantastically characterized, can be dressed in little costumes and spout hilarious gibberish such as "I like Penguins" when they are summoned.

In between traditional FPS section there is a subway system which acts like a hub connecting two stations together. This subway is full of people who need help and Jacky, being the old school "help out the community" style Mafia guy is just the guy to lend a hand. You unlock collectables which function as phone numbers, complete with hilarious messages (such as the emergency contact line that asks, amongst other things if the caller is being stabbed, is stabbing someone or is on fire) further extending the replay value, discussed later on.

The sound design is one of The Darkness' strongest suits. The music, which is a fantastic combination of driving Heavy Metal, haunting ambient symphonic pieces or heartbreaking piano dirges accompanies the on screen action with a precision and seamlessness like I have never seen before. It just feels perfect, nothing feels forced or out of place, it's just perfect sound design.

The Darkness comes complete with a full fledged achievement system, some solid multiplayer albeit with modes found everywhere else and extra's including videos (including the full versions of To Kill a Mockingbird, The Man with the Golden Arm and several cartoons to watch throughout the game) and concept art. These all extend the replay value of this game phenomenally.

The Bad
There were points where I wanted to summon Darklings but couldn't, having to back track to summon Darklings again. This was most evident near the end of the game in the Turkish Bath House and during Jacky's trip inside the Darkness.

Some of the side quests offered by the citizens in the subway were a little vague, requiring a fair degree of trial and error to resolve.

I did notice when I was using multiple Darkness powers and there were a lot of enemies on screen the frame rate did tend to dip, however this was in frequent.

The Bottom Line
The Darkness is unlike any other First Person Shooter I've ever played. It succeeded in evoking an emotional response from me, which rarely happens when playing a game. I was truly moved by Jacky's plight, his resolve to kill Paulie and master his own darkness. It's a fantastically written, magnificently paced masterpiece that deserves to be in your collection.

PlayStation 3 · by AkibaTechno (238) · 2010

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Darkness appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

German version

In the German version almost all blood, flame textures on burning enemies, hurt enemies after shoot outs, ragdoll effects on corpses, several fighting moves and the possibility to spear enemies with the demon arm were removed. Additionally the player now eats the enemies souls instead of their hearts; to accompany that the animations for this were changed. In the bonus material several comic pages with swastikas (the whole pages; not just the symbols) were removed. A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com (German).

Graffiti

All the tags and street-art you see in the game was done by a group of Swedish graffiti artists.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – Worst Thing Ever Done to a Videogame Girlfriend Award

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Chavez666.

Xbox One added by Eufemiano Bullanga.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack.

Game added July 10, 2007. Last modified March 15, 2024.