Based on Top Cow's long running comic series of the same name, the story revolves around an anti-hero by the name of Jackie Estacado. Adopted by a mafia Don when a child, Jackie was raised to be the perfect hitman and enforcer for the mob. Things were going swimmingly until his 21st birthday when a strange and evil power within him called the Darkness is awoken. Older than time, this menavolent entity gives its host incredible powers and protection -- but nothing in this world is free and Jackie is about to find out what the cost of ultimate power is ...
It's atmosphere and storytelling that The Darkness really succeeds at. With a mature and intelligent script and some of the best voice acting I've ever heard in a video game, the story sucks you in and doesn't let go until well after you've finished the game. Every part of the game seems engineered to maintain and enhance the atmosphere, from the somber and reflective ramblings of Jackie during the load scenes to the phone numbers scattered around on billboards and fliers that you can actually call from any of the in-game public phones. This is video game story telling at it's very best.
Graphically, the game looks fantastic and runs smooth as butter. Some sites complained about the framerate problems but I never experienced anything other than a rock solid framerate. Texture quality is quite good, especially during the loading scene monologues where you can count the hairs in his stubble and practically feel the texture of his leather jacket. Some of the environments will look a little bland, but generally there is a good bit of detail in both the textures and the geometry of the levels. There are a couple issues with the graphics though, the NPCs have a lot to say but unfortunately their mouths don't really animate to match what they're saying. It's a small problem and not something you're going to notice after 10 minutes, but something you will notice the entire game is the anti-aliasing -- or lack there of. Overall the game looks pretty smooth, but once you activate the Darkness all the surfaces in a dark room will gain a glowing sheen. It looks really cool and helps you navigate your way around a pitch black room but the entire effect suffers from pretty bad aliasing. Not PS2 level aliasing, but it's not as smooth as some games on the PS3, nor is it as smooth as the X360 version.
The Darkness is an absolutely fantastic title and is a must buy for any shooter fan out there. The dark and twisting story is top notch, the game is dripping atmosphere and the exciting and visceral gameplay is a perfect balm to the Summer ennui. Highly recommended.
PS3 Fanboy Score: 9.0
Second Opinion: Andrew
The Darkness is a prime example of great storytelling in video games. Little touches make the game an even more worthwhile experience, from the detailed atmospheric conversation, to the monologues that play during load screens. The incredible variety of video content, extras, and achievements should all be applauded. Although the controls aren't rock-solid, and some of the game mechanics aren't very polished, The Darkness stands out as an excellent game that should satiate any PS3 gamer's need for a solid adventure.
Third Opinion: Peter
The PS3 has been in dire need of a few stellar titles to flesh out its library and happily, The Darkness arrives with welcome arms. The Darkness offers a rich, and intricately weaved storyline, filled to the brim with interesting characters and spectacularly creepy locales. The audio alone is worth the price of admission, proving that narrative-driven action games can come alive with impeccable, authentic voice-acting and a well-written script. Although the jaggies tend to become a bit more noticeable in darker-lit area and in-between bouts of intense gun play, they hardly deter from the exceptional production values of the game, or its overall enjoyment from beginning to end. For PS3 owners looking for an exceptional single-player experience, The Darkness delivers in spades.
Gallery: The Darkness