Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. I was completely sucked in. I couldn’t stop playing. By the end I wanted more. I wanted to be Jackie Estacado. I wanted to find out what happens next.
  2. 91
    The Darkness combines the best bits of mafia and war films, producing one complete, intriguing experience...Few licensed games go beyond the realms of their source material, but The Darkness does it in a fun, gritty and engaging way. [Issue#154, p.62]
  3. The Darkness isn’t all that long and clocks in at about 10 hours, but it feels fresh the entire way through and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
  4. 90
    It also feels like a more polished game, and the base mechanics work extremely well by the time you reach the end of the single-player campaign. It doesn't quite have "Riddick's" pacing, due to the open city that asks you to find your own way through, but it presents a better feeling of accomplishment and familiarity by the end.
  5. The Darkness is brutal in its violence, language, and dark tone. [Aug 2007, p.70]
  6. The Darkness is a meaty, emotional, visceral experience that few games will ever be able to match. Starbreeze's next-gen debut hits on some many levels that we're almost scared to think of what they'll do next.
  7. I love it when I feel like a game has shown me something new. [Aug 2007, p.66]
  8. It's rare to play an FPS with gameplay this creative and exciting. [Vol 3, Issue 2, p.54]
  9. Interactive storytelling is rarely this good, and there are few game endings that make you sit back and think, “Man, what if I did this instead?” like this one does. For its amazing narrative and believability of characters, and the twisted joys that come from being a slave of a demon, The Darkness will keep you enthralled, even when the gameplay lags a little behind.
  10. For all its drawbacks and shortcomings, this title makes good on its initial promise - seen right at the start - to deliver a unique and beautifully paced action quest. If only they would've built on the superb foundation just a bit more.
  11. Part of The Darkness’s charm is its wealth of extravagant, often irrelevant detail.
  12. The Darkness offers up just about everything we have come to desire in a FPS and has wrapped the package up nicely with a few neat touches of its own.
  13. A remarkable action game that tells a compelling story from start to finish.
  14. The Darkness is a deep FPS game, giving you a nice world to explore and great Darkness powers to use. The controls are a little sluggish, however, and the AI leaves a little bit to be desired.
  15. 85
    A fantastic game with an engaging story that only manages to slip up towards the end.
  16. It’s like a great amusement park ride: fun while it lasts. But peel off that shiny paint and pause the adrenaline rush and you see there are some core problems hiding in the shadows, like underlying structure and play that just don’t completely congeal. Even so, it’s a hell of a ride, and it’s hard not to be forgiving and embrace this darkness.
  17. The Darkness is truly a brilliant ray of light during this otherwise abysmal summer gaming drought.
  18. Its story is one of the most interesting and engaging stories (albeit dark) that I've ever seen in a video game.
  19. Not without flaws, but dripping with atmosphere and filled with 'whoa' moments. [Aug 2007, p.74]
  20. The game looks gorgeous, featuring dark, seedy locales and superb special effects. The gallons of blood. The tentacle detail. The characters. It's without question one of the best looking video games...That notwithstanding, it's not the deepest of adventures.
  21. 80
    It's the closest thing we've seen to an HD-gen "Silent Hill," except that in The Darkness you get to play as that venerable franchise's ultimate evil monstrosity, Pyramid Head, clothed in the flesh of a mafia hit man.
  22. Keeping the "set" locations small allows for some impressive and immersive detail--throw in quality script and voice acting, and the whole experience is compelling enough (and very well paced) to transcend its brief playtime. [Aug 2007, p.74]
  23. It's a very intense game in more ways than one. There is gore galore and foul language liberally spoken. The story is solid and adds to the action of the game. But it maybe just too intense and spooky for some.
  24. If you're looking for a tactical shooter or a horror game that makes you soil your pants then you should probably look elsewhere. But if you are happy with a cool first person shooter with a great gritty plot and some fun horror and supernatural elements then you'll be very happy that you plunged into The Darkness.
  25. 77
    It's too bad that the AI and gameplay mechanics couldn't be smoothed out a bit more to match the impressive visual presentation.
  26. There is a good game in here, but it's too bad that the AI and gameplay mechanics weren't as impressive as the deep story line.
  27. The gorgeous visuals, incredible atmosphere, unique subject matter and immense production values are let down, and ultimately made redundant, by the abysmal pacing, sloppy design and criminal lack of length. [Aug 2007, p.60]
  28. Despite offering a significantly compelling single-player story, there's little to keep you coming back once it's been completed.
  29. Fans of the series are in the position of seeing a game that is an enhancement, rather than an exploitation, of its source material – and fans of the FPS have another good example of the genre to add to their busy schedules. [Aug 2007, p.86]
  30. The handicapped shooting elements, the inconsequential mini-games, and the lack of connection between them will probably turn off diehard shooter fans. It’s not the biggest game, nor the most technical, but it is original—absurd and effective despite its faults.
  31. The back-and-forth structure is tedious, and the narrative needed to be much more fleshed-out. Too bad great loading-screen treatments can't make up for overall shortcomings.
  32. Most of the time this feels like a clutter of poorly executed ideas held together with little more than good intentions. [Aug 2007, p.96]
  33. While Starbreeze have brought their customary expertise graphically, so many other aspects of The Darkness are sadly lacking.
  34. The Darkness is an overreaching, frequently clumsy genre hybrid with moments of brilliance.
  35. 40
    I was looking forward to it, but left very disappointed. It’s completely playable. Being about 7 hours long helps but I spent the entire game waiting for it to get good, to make sense, to make a case for all the incongruous elements of design, gameplay and story, and then it ended.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. DavidS.
    Aug 7, 2007
    8
    This game is really atmospheric and dark, it make for a nice first person shooter experience. The textures could use a bit of an upgrade and This game is really atmospheric and dark, it make for a nice first person shooter experience. The textures could use a bit of an upgrade and I don't think it plays in 1080p but the gameplay is fun. Also there is very little lag due to dedicated servers which the 360 doesn't have, contrary to a previous review. Full Review »
  2. JasonH.
    Jul 8, 2007
    6
    THIS GAME IS NOT REALLY A SHOOTER. Bottom line, if you like games that give you a NEW STORYTELLING EXPERIENCE like Oblivion and you LIKE THIS GAME IS NOT REALLY A SHOOTER. Bottom line, if you like games that give you a NEW STORYTELLING EXPERIENCE like Oblivion and you LIKE GAMES WITHOUT FUN GAMEPLAY, then buy The Darkness and Regret your decision, or Rent it and just be disappointed. Yes, The Darkness is in a first person perspective, but Jackie dies way too fast (ie it is trying to be realistic with its damage a la Rainbow Six Vegas). I thought that having the Darkness meant that I could run up to enemies and use my awesome demon/ execution powers on them, but the majority of this game has to be played in the shadows and at a distance because if you are wide open to the enemy, you will be slaughtered and forced to watch a million death/re-birth video sequences that disguise the long loading times. I have to say that I like Shooters that are fun and arcady like Resistance, but I can tolerate and have fun with games that are tactical and slow like Rainbow Six Vegas; However I cannot tolerate games that appear to be arcady and fun like The Darkness, but then are hampered by the crappy tactical slow gameplay. This game is just not what I expected in a shooter, all the other people seem to love this game, but it really just isn't fun. Plus right in the middle of the storyline, the game really drops off because the story missions, which are the best part of the game because the story is so engaging and good, aren't there. Instead you have to do tons and tons of boring side quests that require lots of back tracking. The open ended environment sucks, because nothing is happening, there are a few hobos here and there, but you just end up walking around at a horribly slow pace around a still and dead New York City that is nice to look at, but then you realize it would be much better if you could run. The game would be only be half as long if you could run and didn't waste your time going back and forth between subway stations and sections of the city at a snail's pace. Plus the Playstation Online won't even work if you have NAT Type 3 because you have to go in and do port forwarding on your router to get it to work. I beat the game in about 3 nights, and I really was just forcing myself to beat it and see if the game ever got any better or more fun, but it didn't really until the last level which is only 30 minutes out of 10 hours of gameplay. Very low replay value as well. You unlock 2 videos, which are good but there could be way more, and comic books to read, but the zoom function on the comic books doesn't work and you can't even read the text. And to all game companies and future games, CONCEPT ART IS NOT A REWARD OR BONUS FOR PLAYING THE GAME. It is just a waste of space and no one cares. At all. Seriously I played the game and experienced all of the environments myself. I don't need to see what the concept art for those environments and the characters looked like before the game was made. Full Review »
  3. USMCTazz
    Jul 23, 2007
    2
    I agree with Jason H. I played this and the whole time I'm thinking will it get good. Walking around empty streets.....shooting out I agree with Jason H. I played this and the whole time I'm thinking will it get good. Walking around empty streets.....shooting out lights. Plus each major person you kill is void of excitement. I'm selling mine to buy Lair. No replay value-Demons you summon are usually blind and the enemy seem to carry machine guns that they pull out only to shoot your demons.........Plus Jackie never seems surprised at his powers or even mentions them until late in the game!!! HE HAS TENTACLES!!!! I'm still trying to firgure out how it got such high ratings.......Read Jason H for the best review of this game and also rent it don't buy. Full Review »