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The Darkness

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Critic Reviews 80% add missing review

Gamer 2.0 (9.1 out of 10)

The Darkness isn’t all that long and clocks in at about 10 hours, but it feels fresh the entire way through and doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s one of the most ambitious and impressive games we’ve played so far this year and hopefully when all the big juggernauts come out this Fall we won’t see this one get pushed to the side. The Darkness is first rate in every way and surely will be enjoyed by fans of any type of action game. Assuming you’re mature enough to handle the violent subject content, you should give this game a shot as it may end up being one of your favorite games of the new generation. It’s certainly one of ours.

Jul 2nd, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

V2.fi (91 out of 100)

The Darkness oli positiivinen yllätys. Olin lukenut pelistä vain jotain lyhyitä ennakkoja, ennen kuin sain PS3-painoksen käsiini, ja takakansitekstitkin lupailivat jälleen jotain erittäinkin tusinapläjäystä. Totuus on kuitenkin toinen - peli on oikeasti varsin kiinnostava, riittävän pitkä ja siitä paistaa viimeistely, mikä ei nykyaikana ole enää lainkaan itsestäänselvyys. Ainoastaan verkkopeli jäi itselläni kokematta, kun peli alkoi nitistä väärästä NAT-tyypistä. Sinällään menetys ei ole suuri, että mielestäni Darknessin suurin ansio on juurikin yksinpelissä. Se on sopiva yhdistelmä toimintaa ja pikkuruisia puzzleja, jotka rytmittävät räiskettä sopivasti. Vaikeustaso on varsin passeli, mihinkään ei tarvitse jäädä jumiin pitkäksi aikaa ja äkkikuolemat on minimoitu. Naapurikateus siis sikseen: Starbreeze osaa hommansa ja on hyvää vauhtia muodostumassa laadun takeeksi. Suosittelen myös niille, joita sarjakuvat, lonkerot ja FPS-pelit eivät normaalisti kiinnosta.

Oct 14th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Tweakers.net (9 out of 10)

Het is jammer dat de AI van de vijanden te wensen over laat, maar dit doet niets af aan deze geweldige game, waarin de speler meegesleept wordt door een goed verhaal en harde actie. Tel daar de prachtige graphics en de grimmige sfeer bij op en we konden niet anders dan het spel belonen met een hoog cijfer. Heeft de speler het spel eenmaal uitgespeeld en tussen toppers als Max Payne, Fahrenheit en Half-Life 2 in de kast gezet, dan zal het nog enige tijd duren voordat alle spoken uit het hoofd van de gamer zijn verdwenen. Als dat al gebeurt.

Aug 8th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

GamesFire (88 out of 100)

The Darkness ist ein Ego-Shooter, der eine gewaltige Atmosphäre besitzt, die einen bereits nach wenigen Minuten förmlich an den Bildschirm fesselt. Die Story ist, vor allem zu Beginn, dramatisch inszeniert worden, auch wenn sie zum Schluss ein wenig mehr Spannung vertragen hätte. Negativ fallen die etwas leichten Missionen und der bandbreitenfressende Online-Modus aus. Wer auf Ego-Shooter steht und von einem Spiel auch in Hinblick auf Sound sowie Grafik einiges erwartet, für den ist The Darkness ein Pflichtkauf. Bleibt zu hoffen, dass die Starbreeze Studios einen Nachfolger entwickeln - genug Optionen halten sie sich mit dem Ende meiner Meinung nach offen.

Aug 6th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

FOK!games (86 out of 100)

Al met al voelt The Darkness als een game die wel een afgerond verhaal vormt, maar een duidelijke setup naar iets groters is niet te ontkennen. Ik kan hier niet over in details treden zonder het verhaal te verpesten, maar door het gebrek aan vijanden met superkrachten die gelijk zijn aan The Darkness (denk hierbij voornamelijk aan The Angelus, meer over haar in onze eerder verschenen special). The Darkness biedt voor shooter-fanaten een verfrissing in het genre, en ook mensen die shooters absoluut niets vinden zouden deze game wel eens kunnen waarderen.

Aug 9th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

4Players.de (86 out of 100)

ls hätten sich Scorsese und Clive Barker getroffen, um im italienischen Untergrund New Yorks eine Arie aus satanischen Versen zu singen - das spielt sich fast wie Goodfellas auf Black Metal! Aber eben nur fast. Das ganz große Meisterwerk lässt sich zwar zunächst aufgrund der oskarreifen Nebendarsteller sowie suggerierten Freiheit erahnen, bleibt aber aus. Denn so wie es im richtigen Leben einen kreativen Graben zwischen dem genialen Scorsese und dem manchmal guten Barker gibt, klaffen auch in diesem Abenteuer einige dramaturgische und spielerische Lücken, über die keine Platinbrücke führen kann.

Jul 25th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Game Captain (85 out of 100)

Ein Ego-Shooter mit einer richtigen Story kommt nicht alle Tage. Nun gut – die Story von The Darkness ist zwar etwas abgefahren, dank überraschender Vorkommnisse und albtraumhafter Ereignisse aber durchaus spannend und spielenswert inszeniert. Ungewöhnlich ist die genreuntypische Einbindung von professionell gesprochenen Dialogen in die Handlung, wodurch das Gameplay ständig zwischen Shooter und Adventure pendelt. Auch die Kombination von Mafia-Action und Gruselhorror ist interessant. Die tollen Schockeffekte sorgen für eine unheimliche Horroratmosphäre.

Aug 5th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

GameSpot (8.5 out of 10)

The Darkness' appeal comes from its many different parts coming together in a really great way. The believability of the characters mixed with this hellacious demonic force fits together in a really interesting fashion; the gameplay is very satisfying, even if it isn't especially challenging; and the presentation is top-notch. If you're a sucker for M-rated action--and really, how can you pass on a game with a human-heart-eating mechanic?--you'll definitely want to play The Darkness.

Jun 27th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Gamesmania.de (85 out of 100)

The Darkness ist kein Spiel für Jeden. Und das ist in diesem Fall absolut nicht negativ gemeint. Das Spiel ist nicht perfekt: die kleinen, unbelebten Straßenabschnitte, die Weltkriegsmissionen und die nicht zu 100% gelungene Kampfsteuerung stören den Gesamteindruck aber erstaunlicherweise nur sehr wenig. Wenn man sich auf die Geschichte einlässt und kein Ballerfest a la Doom erwartet, wird man 10- 15 Stunden perfekt unterhalten. Die glaubwürdigen Charaktere, die absolut gelungene Atmosphäre und die großartige inszenierte Story allein, rechtfertigen den Kauf des Spiels. The Darkness zeigt, dass ein Ego-Shooter mehr sein kann, als eine hirnlose Ballerorgie. Man kann es den Entwicklern gar nicht hoch genug anrechnen, dass sie den Mut haben, ein so „anderes“ Spiel zu veröffentlichen. Danke Starbreeze!

Sep 10th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Game Freaks 365 (8.2 out of 10)

The Darkness, it’s a tough sell. A 10-hour storyline (15 hours at most) means that you’ll be spending more than $6 an hour with Jackie Estacado. Still, The Darkness is worth its weight. It is this summer’s Prey, and if some of you remember, Prey earned accolades for its innovative, topsy-turvy portal action and interesting mix of styles. The Darkness does almost the exact same thing, minus the portals but with an infinite amount more of the number of heart-eating, wicked-eyed tentacles. Check it out, at least give it a rental.

2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Futuregamez.net (81 out of 100)

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Darkness. My high hopes were met pretty well with some solid gameplay, a decent storyline and stunning visuals and audio. I would have liked to see a slightly better online multi-player setup and certainly a bit more length to the single player game but this is a title which PS3 owners can use to show off the power of their new system.

Jul 28th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

GameSpy ( )

All that said, we love The Darkness and can easily recommend it to mature gamers everywhere as the definitive horror game of 2007. It's the closest thing we've seen to an HD-gen Silent Hill, except that in The Darkness you get to play as that venerable franchise's ultimate evil monstrosity, Pyramid Head, clothed in the flesh of a mafia hit man. It is highly unlikely that anyone that picks this game up will be disappointed with it, unless they are operating on the mistaken impression that there is a decent multiplayer game too.

Jul 2nd, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (16 out of 20)

Pour qui a aimé des titres allant de Riddick à Condemned en passant par Max Payne, The Darkness est difficile à contourner. Il est vrai que le jeu ne manque pas de défauts, que son IA est à la ramasse, que son rythme tarde à se caler ou que ses gunfights sont souvent trop limités et j'en passe. Néanmoins, l'usage des pouvoirs du Darkness et un paquet de phases de gameplay tardives valent la peine de se plonger dans l'ombre pour n'en ressortir qu'après plusieurs heures. Mais on ne peut qu'être frustré de voir tant de maîtrise côtoyer de si grossières erreurs.

Jul 20th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

The Review Busters (7.5 out of 10)

I'm glad that I chose The Darkness as my completely free game from Gamestop. I'm also happy that I didn't have to pay anything for this game because I really don't see much replay value after you go through it once. You may want to run through it maybe 2 or 3 times to try and find all the little unlockables if you really like the game, but I don't see myself playing it over and over like I did with Resident Evil 4. However, you won't be disappointed if you get this one for a long rental or if you find a used copy somewhere. I definitely recommend it for either scenario.

2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

FiringSquad (71 out of 100)

The Darkness has a great visual look to it and the supernatural powers you get to use are fun for a bit but ultimately it gets to be a grind to get to the game's final moments thanks to the long load times and the repetitive gameplay aspects. Multiplayer is uninspired with the exception of playing as a Darkling. Overall this long awaited title falls a bit short of its goal of being an effective horror themed action game. If you want to play a game that combines these aspects well, play F.E.A.R. or the Max Payne titles again.

Jul 2nd, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

The Video Game Critic (B-)

The PS3 edition of The Darkness is almost identical to the Xbox 360 version, except you need to sit through load meters in this one. Also, the lack of controller vibration is glaring. You can only save one game at a time, and I actually lost my latest checkpoint just so I could show my buddy the kick-ass intro. Multi-player modes are included, but only via LAN or on-line. I've grown a bit weary of first-person shooters, but The Darkness was just original and weird enough to win me over.

Jul 17th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Game Revolution (B-)

There’s quite a bit to recommend The Darkness, the beautiful interactive environments and the dynamic characters not the least of them. But the handicapped shooting elements, the inconsequential mini-games, and the lack of connection between them will probably turn off diehard shooter fans. It’s not the biggest game, nor the most technical, but it is original—absurd and effective despite its faults.

Jul 6th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

WomenGamers.com (6.66 out of 10)

Releasing the Darkness is one line of defense. There is also the snake that can be sent out using his Demon Arm. The gameplay consists of a combination of FPS and stealth killing. There is a single player story mode that fans of the comic will enjoy, immersing you in the storyline. A wide range of weapons and abilities are availabe such as handguns and sub-machine guns, shotguns and assault rifles. Additionally he can summon darklings that each have their own special ability to exploit.

Aug 18th, 2008 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Gamestyle (6 out of 10)

While Starbreeze have brought their customary expertise graphically, so many other aspects of The Darkness are sadly lacking. What could have been an extremely enjoyable first person adventure turns out in reality to be a missed opportunity, while still offering enough to get by. Fans of The Darkness and first person shooters were probably hoping for something a little more substantial and engaging.

Sep 12th, 2007 · PlayStation 3 · read review

Player Reviews

A beautiful, introspective poem of a game
by AkibaTechno (252)

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.

Mar 15th, 2010 · PlayStation 3

A Solid Supernatural FPS
by William Baker (9)

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.

Jan 6th, 2009 · PlayStation 3

Plus 14 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Wizo, Picard, Sciere, Evil Ryu, Patrick Bregger, Jeanne, Big John WV, Alsy.