The lack of decent games out at the moment has forced me to go back through my collection and replay some of my favorites throughout the 360’s lifespan, so this is my first in the “OMG YOU HAVN’T PLAYED IT” game reviews, hopefully, there may be more.
The old target this week is “The Darkness” taking us all the way back to 2007.
“The Darkness” takes its characters and inspiration from the comic of the same name, we follow the anti-hero Jackie Esticardo who is betrayed by his mob boss uncle, and seeks to destroy the family’s hold on the city of New York.
The story begins on Jackie s 21st birthday where he inherits his powers of “The Darkness”, what could best be described as a possessive demon that feeds of Jackie’s soul, but gives him epic powers. We only get slightly more plot than this throughout the game, but that isn’t a bad thing, “The Darkness” feels like a demonic version of Scarface (the movie I haven’t played the game) you seem go somewhere on the subway, get off, kill everyone, rinse and repeat.
Playing the game now, the controls feel dated, and you aim and move fairly slowly, but nothing beats the feeling of when your boxed in a room about to die and using one of “The Darknesses” powers to romp everyone in the room, there’s something about kreeping up behind people with a giant demonic snake arm before biting their face off and devouring their heart to feed “The Darkness” to make it stronger. Or when a room full of corrupt police officers have you pinned down so you open up a black hole in the middle of the room to suck them all in. But the game doesn’t just give you these powers to use whenever you want, “The Darkness” needs…. well darkness to work, having you shoot out lamps and other sources of light for a good portion of the game.
The games dark sense of humor is another feature that stands out well and has withstood the test of time. Whether the darkness tells you it doesn’t like “lowly peasants because their harts are not dark enough” or the creatures “The Darkness” summons run around screaming their heads off, before grabbing on to peoples faces and blowing their selves up, the game keeps that cheesy dark yet gory-gangster-ish humour throughout the game. Not to mention some of the characters you encounter. For instance “Butcher” the family’s clean up man, Butcher runs a butcher store by day but at night disposes of bodies for the mob and has a few disturbing things to say.
All this and more contribute to the Darknesses feel of a complete story, and as comical as it can be it can also tug on those heartstrings occasionally. Whether your doing mundane tasks such as sitting on the couch with your girlfriend to gain an achievement, or cramming the entire NYPD in to a black hole, or even fighting Nazi zombies in hell, The Darkness doesn’t disappoint and keeps you thoroughly entertained right till the credits roll. Its incredible whit and charm is just another bonus this game brings to the table.