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The Darkness Review – Xbox 360

01 Aug 2007

“I remember the night of my 21st birthday. That was the first time I died…”The life of mobster Jackie Estacado is about to change forever. In this supernatural shooter, our bad boy Jackie seems to get one hell of a birthday present when he turns 21. Jackie’s life takes a wild and unexpected turn when he discovers that he is able to call upon supernatural powers to aid him in his quest to take over the mafia gang from his sadistic uncle, Paulie. There’s just one little catch. For this mysterious power to work, Jackie needs to be immersed in as much darkness as possible.In the game you take on the role of Jackie. From the very beginning, things are moving fast; bodies are being dropped left, right and centre and you’re chalking up one impressive body count. That’s before you get to use your powers. As you progress through the game, you find that by utilising your new powers, bullets almost seem somewhat trivial in comparison to the things you can do with The Darkness. Using evil to fight evil sure does bring a lovely twist into the storyline.The voice talent used in The Darkness is nothing short of fantastic. Of course, Mike Patton (lead singer of Faith No More) was probably a little surprised when he was asked to do the voice for The Darkness. A voice that sounds almost like blood curdling in the back of someone’s throat, Mike Patton really delivers. Nice to see all of that screaming at the top of one’s lungs did him some justice in the end.The physics in the single player game seemed a little bit ‘stiff’ in places especially around corners. Shooting down the bad guys is pretty cool and super intense with a special move you can do with your pistols called ‘Execution’. Getting up close and personal with your enemies is highly recommended.Using your Darkness powers is a synch, too. There are several different things you can do with The Darkness but bearing in mind that to be able to use your powers, you need to be completely immersed in well, darkness. You’ll spend a lot of your time avoiding any type of lighting in the game and you’ll probably need to shoot out a lot of the lamps to be able to summon ‘Darklings’. You also get snake-like tentacles that come out of your body and attack your victims by ripping out their hearts. Note to self: do not eat while playing this game unless you don’t mind the gore.The multiplayer game is a completely different experience altogether. With the ability to transform from human to darkling, you can escape your opponents if you get yourself in a tough spot (low on health, for instance) or you can choose to attack your opponents (not highly recommended). When in Darkling form, you are pretty weak and since the multiplayer maps are littered with high-powered weapons (mini-guns, machine guns, AK-47’s and the like), you’re best to avoid using the Darkling form unless you really need to get out of a situation in a hurry.The multiplayer maps are kind of buggy and a again, movement in the game especially around corners was a little frustrating. The physics definitely need some work and hopefully, they’ll be an upgrade of some sort coming out soon. Like any other multiplayer game, if you can get enough people connecting to the server, this game is a blast to play. Close-knit, in-your-face shoot outs can be awesome fun.I’d recommend this game to any fans of shooters and the supernatural. If you’re after the multiplayer experience, I wouldn’t buy the game for that alone. The single player game has a great, immersive storyline and is well worth the buy without the multiplayer aspect.

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