Deep, dark and dirty. A work of art

User Rating: 9 | The Darkness PS3
Most games based off comic book characters and stories always seem really lame, something only a die-hard fan of the particular series could appreciate.

The Darkness, however, is something else. Its atmospheric, it's gruesome and it's pretty much awesome. The graphics are top notch for the PS3, and the game runs a native 1080p, providing some amazing visuals and textures.

The story was I felt very well told and really immersed players in the whole experience. You take on the role of Jackie Estacado, a bad-arse (ex)hitman for your Uncle Paulie. The game offers a very clever mix of mafia/mobster gameplay, demonic substance and pure action/FPS gameplay.

The gameplay itself was clever and intuative, the game offering several different kinds of firearms, along with the oh-so-awesome Darkness powers. The conventional weaponry, ranging from dual pistols to automatic rifles and shotguns. While some stated they were useless, I felt in a way, they were quite necessary. A game like this, you don't wanna have to rely on superpowers to do everything, and not relying on those powers allows the character, and the player, to retain a part of their humanity. Conventional weapons were also a necessity when going for achievements like 'Ripper', where you must use your Demon Arm to get 30 kills. Players of this game will know, the Demon Arm does have the knack of sometimes snagging dead bodies and furniture as opposed to the initial threat, and without a weapon in your hand, you die quite easily. My only gripe with the gunplay, is the aiming mechanism. It does feel kind of smooth at first; Jackie will pull his hands up to his chest if pressed against a wall, and the whole swaying/bobbing thing as you walk was good, but the game was not very forgiving in terms of 'over steering' or over aiming, and for console FPS novices like myself, once a target was overshot it was hard to get back onto him without the auto aim, especially when you're being pumped with bullets.

The Darkness powers are what it's all about. I won't go into details as to what the Darkness is, so I don't spoil anything for anyone, but you're given 4 powers in total, each one unlocked through the devouring of human hearts. All 4 prove highly useful, Creeping Dark for scoping out an area and killing off enemies stealthily, Demon Arm for ultimate domination of enemies, the Darkness Guns are good for saving ammo, and Black Hole is just plain awesome, as you will see for yourselves. The thing I loved most about the Darkness powers, is that the player cannot just abuse them. They create a hugely unfair advantage over your opponents, and are the reason why some say the conventional weapons are useless. What the game has employed to counter this is, the Darkness only the dark. You must initiate its power from the shadows as the light harms the darkness and reduces your darkness power level. If that level is too low, you cannot summon the Darkness, and you are at your most vulnerable, as poor Jackie Estacado is quite realistic, in the sense he can't take many bullets before dying. Summoning the Darkness provides players with a demonic shield of sorts, which can take more damage, but not excessive damage. Sorry run-and-gun fans, no Rambo-styling in this game.

The soundtrack for this game is sensational, the songs playing out the perfect mood and ambience for each scene. And nothing gets you ready for a fight more than hearing a heavy metal tune playing on the TVs you walk by. The musical score for the entire game was ingenious and played out so naturally from scene to scene, it was almost at a cinematic standard. This game had one of the best atmospheres I've seen, and totally fit in with the story.

All up I have to say I was extremely impressed with The Darkness, its an older PS3 game, released in 2007 but still holds its ground,in my books, as one of the greats. I highly recommend anyone who owns a PS3 try this game, think of it as a mash between the Christian Slater movie Mobsters, and comic book based movie The Punisher.