It's not just the visuals however which help create the atmosphere in The Darkness. If you really get into the game and look out for detail,
you will find it. Take this for instance - in one moment early in the game, you visit your girlfriend Jenny in her new apartment, and sit down for an
intimate moment on the couch to watch a movie on TV. Sounds pretty normal, right? Well, while the game will allow you to get up from the couch and
continue on your missions any time you wish, if you actually
sit and watch for a while, you'll realize that on the TV happens to be the classic movie To Kill a Mocking Bird, and by this I don't
mean a 5 minute out take on loop, but the actual full movie.
Well, to be honest I didn't sit and watch it all, but after finishing the game I loaded up the level again and sat the game there for at least an hour and
it was still playing the movie without looping back to the start, so I can only presume it was the real deal. While this is only a black and white movie from
the 60's on a very small TV screen, it's just one example of the amount of detail this game has in its environment. Whether it's the blood pumping death
metal music that roars during a heated gun
fight or the edgy interview scenes with Jackie that are shown between map loads, The Darkness reeks of a game that took a lot of time to make with a
lot of attention directed at the subtleties. It would have been nice to perhaps see slightly larger and more lively environments people wise, but what the
game offers for its atmosphere is very rich in its design and execution. If I had to offer a comparison, I honestly haven't felt as in tune with the
environment of a FPS since Deus Ex on the
PC, and in a few ways The Darkness is actually quite a similar game.
Like a lot of FPS titles, when you do finish The Darkness, chances are you're probably not going to want to redo the single
player element again any time soon but the multiplayer mode via Xbox Live should help to keep the title fresh for a while. The game changes a little
online where you can control either humans or darklings, representing slower more powerful (humans) vs much faster but also much weaker (darklings)
gameplay. The modes are pretty much run of the mill FPS MP modes, with the exception
of a survivor mode pitting one player against everyone else, and the ability to enable a thing called "shapeshifting", which allows players to
change between human and darkling in real time. I don't think the multiplayer components of The Darkness will rock the Xbox Live world exactly,
but there is definitely some extra fun to be had online.
When it comes down to it, I have not been a huge fan of FPS games on consoles, but The Darkness really appealed to me. The game is just so damned
cool and so different than the norm in enough aspects that it offers stuff you really don't find enough of in the FPS genre regardless of
platform, such as some really unique gameplay mechanisms and a refreshing change in perspective from a storyline point of view. This game is not "just
another FPS", and while some of the risks it
takes don't work out as great as they could have, what you ultimately have here is a different and daring take on a genre which has become a tad stale in
recent times, and developers Starbreeze and publisher 2KGames should be commended for it. Simply put, The Darkness is an absolute must have if you
want some action packed FPS fun without sacrificing innovation and
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