The Darkness (PS3)

Jackie Estacado is a hitman for a crime family. His uncle Paulie is a scumbag who betrays him and, oh yeah, within him there is this demon entity called “The Darkness” which slowly is bending his soul to its will. What a lousy 21st birthday; at least he got some cake and a kiss from his sweetie. So no, this is not an upbeat game. Dark, bloody, dramatic, mature and exquisitely crafted, 2K game’s 2007 venture is a high watermark for explosive storytelling.

The gameplay is done entirely in first person. At first you have only the ability to double wield weapons, or a single in the case of shotguns and assault rifles, but has you progress, and awaken the demon within, you gain access to the powers of the ancient evil within your soul; when this transpires you are able to use a variety of demon powers including (but not limited to): a demonic arm to skewer people, a creeper to launch sneak attacks, and the ability to summon a black hole. Yes- a black hole!

So the arms play is solid. Difficulty is manageable but might prove a challenge to people new to the genre. But once the basics are understood you will be blowing through sections with efficiency and feel like a smooth killing machine in the process. When demon powers are unlocked you also gain a darkness shield which hinges on protecting you from a certain amount of damage so as long as you remember to shoot out the lights and recharge (through eating slain enemies hearts) your essence. So in this regard it is similar to recent first person shooters but is not quite as forgiving as Halo or Call of Duty.

I loved the game. Obviously it is not a game for the faint of heart of the very young. Surmounting the mature themes, however, the player will encounter a beautiful game about a young adult struggling to control a bad situation; the story is moving, dynamic, and occasionally, downright emotional. The ending in particular is highly memorable. Any fan of stellar storytelling ought to give this game a try. Though the sequel may suck, the original goes down smooth.


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