Generally favorable reviews - based on 63 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 63
  2. Negative: 1 out of 63
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  1. A game that’s built on a foundation of great gameplay with an intense and unique story. The look and sound of the game are awesome as well.
  2. The Darkness is, quite simply, an excellent game and deserves its place as one of the finest shooters and finest examples of video game storytelling in recent memory.
  3. With it’s mix of stealth and supernatural tactics combined with the occasional gunplay, The Darkness is a great addition to the library of any mature gamer looking for a frightfully good time. You might play this game in the dark but you’ll be sleeping with the lights on.
  4. 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.
  5. The Darkness baptizes you in its unholy immersive waters, lingering in your memory well after you've shut down the console -- and well after you've shut off the lights. Its psychological horror, plus its polished performances, minus any mind-numbing pace of pre-packaged FPS meals-ready-to-eat, equals a nuanced and pendulous journey down one man's dark, downward spiral.
  6. Play Magazine
    I love it when I feel like a game has shown me something new. [Aug 2007, p.66]
  7. Hardcore Gamer
    It's rare to play an FPS with gameplay this creative and exciting. [Vol 3, Issue 2, p.54]
  8. 90
    But 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.
  9. X-ONE Magazine UK
    The Darkness delivers on every level. A great FPS with a captivating atmosphere, it boasts intriguing characters, an intense plot and has a heap of depth to boot. It's undeniably impressive. [Issue 21, p.76]
  10. While we loathe its draconian just-one-save system, it's a stunning achievement that'll keep you riveted from its startlingly realistic opening car chase to its final, epic massacre. It's enthralling, darkly comic, shockingly visceral and able to bring you close to its characters in a way that few games do.
  11. I think if you are looking for a game that stands out amongst the crowd, a game which really offers a compelling entertainment experience that feels fresh and to a degree unique; then The Darkness is certainly a game you should rush out and buy immediately.
  12. Ultimately the game proves how powerful a storytelling medium gaming has become. Like the best cinema, the feeling of being privy to this dark world lingers long past putting down the controller. Its memory festers inside you - of a deeply disturbing experience, and an unforgettable one at that.
  13. A violent and satisfying piece of visual poetry. The storytelling is one of the more impressive in recent memory and the abilities presented bring something fresh to console shooters. It’s just too bad the multiplayer is a disappointment. It’s the only thing holding me back from dubbing this stunner a classic.
  14. 90
    While the visuals in the game may at times look a bit dated, it's the entire experience that takes this title and brings the game above and beyond its smaller parts.
  15. 90
    With production values to marvel and extra content to indulge, the tale of Jackie Estacado is not one to miss.
  16. Though the story mode provides a compelling 12 hour experience, you won’t be rushing out to play through it a second time. Still, these minor gripes aside, The Darkness is one of the best games you’re likely to play this year. I’ve seen the light and it’s dark, very dark.
  17. If you’re looking for a single player FPS then you really can’t go wrong here, the story is excellent and really drives the action along perfectly, and the attention to detail is superb.
  18. 90
    It pushes the stilted FPS genre in a direction not often associated with mindless run and gun action. The seamless integration of brilliant performances, staggering character animation and near photo-realistic presentation only serve to enhance impressive white-knuckle action gameplay and a truly creepy yet compelling pseudo RPG storyline.
  19. 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.
  20. Part of The Darkness’s charm is its wealth of extravagant, often irrelevant detail.
  21. 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.
  22. 85
    A fantastic game with an engaging story that only manages to slip up towards the end. The unforgiving amounts of violence are enjoyable and the demonic powers more than make up for its lack of innovation in the gunplay department.
  23. Solid from the ground up and very worthy of your attention; it takes the key elements of the genre and polishes them until they gleam, whilst adding a few new and well-realised ideas to the mix, all the while ensuring your attention is held with its excellent storywork.
  24. The ability to travel back and forth between the mission zones is a nice idea, but a little wasted because they aren’t really big or numerous enough to warrant repeated exploration, and the darkness powers, while adding genuine playability and interest, take much of the challenge out of the game. But those missteps can be forgiven because the true game – the story-driven shooter that lies underneath – is fun, engaging and superbly atmospheric, and has been created with the kind of care and attention to detail that more developers ought to take note of.
  25. A remarkable action game that tells a compelling story from start to finish.
  26. The Darkness is all about the story and that's what you'll be buying this for. It does a great job of pulling you in to what's going on in the world. It's not often a game genuinely shocks you when something major happens but this will.
  27. 85
    The Darkness is an experience first and something you play second. If you can get your head around that you’ll find plenty here for your hard earned cash.
  28. A truly unique experience from start to finish, The Darkness is one of those games that will hook you in and steal your soul.
  29. The Darkness is excellent; if judged solely on presentation and graphics, it would be one of the greatest games of all time. Even with the gameplay flaws thrown in, it's still pretty great, since the single-player experience is wonderfully cinematic and tells an excellent story.
  30. Pelit (Finland)
    More of an experience than a game. Great storytelling and an almost paranoid attention to detail and characters work so well that you can overlook the obvious shortcomings of the action that contains no challenge whatsoever. [Sept 2007]
  31. The development team may have been a little too ambitious, as the game tries some new things, succeeding in some areas and falling just short in others. The presentation and visuals are absolutely top-notch, but the gameplay ultimately becomes a bit too repetitive and the multiplayer feels tacked-on.
  32. While The Darkness may not hit the mark on everything it tries for, it's not nearly enough to knock the experience off track. Even for an average 10-15 hour campaign, The Darkness hits a lot of nails, and only bends a few.
  33. It doesn't quite reach the heights of Chronicles of Riddick, but The Darkness is still one fine first-person shooter/adventure game.
  34. Much more than your basic first person shooter. The game of course does have its flaws, mostly with how confusing the story gets towards the end, but what really hurts the game is that it seems to always be building towards something, only to let you down. Fortunately everything the game does well makes up for it by giving you one of the best mixtures of action and plot with the end result of a truly immersive adventure that really is worth your time and effort.
  35. Its story is one of the most interesting and engaging stories (albeit dark) that I've ever seen in a video game.
  36. 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.
  37. 82
    However, if you are looking for an excellent story and some awesome gunplay, the Darkness is a must try. Just don't turn the lights off
  38. The Darkness is truly a brilliant ray of light during this otherwise abysmal summer gaming drought.
  39. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    No forced ending that reeks of a hastily finished game: just a full stop at the end of a seriously good story. [Sept 2007, p.82]
  40. Official Xbox Magazine
    Oodles of action that feels like "Riddick" in all the right ways. [Sept 2007, p.72]
  41. 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.
  42. A great example of how licenses can work in videogames when given time and devotion, something that you can give in return for this brilliant piece of video gaming.
  43. games(TM)
    Those who play games for their mechanics and nothing more will be disappointed, but if you, like us, are the type of gamer who longs for escapism, for originality, for style and for panache, then you simply must play this game. Every component part has been meticulously and diligently placed for the purposes of immersion. [Aug 2007, p.100]
  44. The thing that really marks The Darkness out, we'll repeat, is its "minute-to-minute gameplay". You can't argue with that. It's a game which offers thrills arguably as intense as anything the genre has to offer. It is, for the most part, an extraordinarily entertaining game with precious little fat around the edges,and often technically stunning.
  45. Even with its faults, it's impossible to dislike The Darkness. It's such a stunningly put together game that succeeds far more often than it fails, with storytelling and direction that puts many other games to shame.
  46. A couple of flaws cheapen the single player experience and the shallow eight person multiplayer modes don't extend the replay value more than a few hours, but The Darkness does an excellent job at making players feel good about doing horrible things. To that we say, bravo.
  47. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    It’s beautifully haunting with top-quality visuals providing a unique style that shows a welcome originality, rarely seen in a time where destructible environments, squad commands and multiplayer options often draw preference from many a games developer.
  48. 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.
  49. With an absolutely wonderful presentation and a refreshing take on the first-person-shooter genre, it easily ranks as one of the most engaging and accessible single player action games on the Xbox 360.
  50. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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]
  51. AceGamez
    Quality visuals, engaging storylines and intense action give this FPS the power to rip open the genre's ribcage and pump life into its formulaic heart.
  52. 78
    It's too bad that the AI and gameplay mechanics couldn't be smoothed out a bit more to match the impressive visual presentation. There's a lot to like about The Darkness, even if it doesn't fully come together in the end.
  53. While the single player experience is excellent, the Multiplayer modes seem pretty tacked on.
  54. 75
    As strangely uneven, poorly paced, and ultimately unsatisfying as The Darkness is, it remains worth checking out for its unusual ideas, twisted gameplay elements, and uniquely dark atmosphere.
  55. The Darkness has a great visual look to it and the supernatural powers you get to use are fun for a bit but ultimately it gets to be a grind to get to the game's final moments thanks to the long load times and the repetitive gameplay aspects.
  56. One of the most impressive looking titles so far on Xbox 360 The Darkness is nonetheless let down by poor AI from both the Darklings and the various mob and zombie soldiers that Jackie encounters.
  57. All in all, The Darkness is a decent fifteen hour single player experience, featuring a brilliant story and even better presentation. However the enjoyment is slightly tainted by the under utilisation of its best features, sluggish movement and horrible multiplayer.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 60
    The game's biggest problem is all the filler between the reasonably exciting combat sequences. This New York City consists of two subway stations and about eight neighborhoods separated by long loading screens. You'll get sent back and forth across them all. Get this key. Visit that character. Trigger this sequence. Kill that guy. Along the way, we counted exactly two (2!) optional missions.
  61. The Darkness is an overreaching, frequently clumsy genre hybrid with moments of brilliance.
  62. 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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 242 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 242
  1. DickS
    Jan 13, 2010
    The excellent story makes up for virtually all the clunkiness of the engine. Defiantly one of my top two favorite games. Starbreeze has a The excellent story makes up for virtually all the clunkiness of the engine. Defiantly one of my top two favorite games. Starbreeze has a nice engine that delivers realistic game play but it needs a MAJOR upgrade to compete with todays games and fix the unrefinement that bogs the game down. Full Review »
  2. Dec 13, 2013
    Although short in terms of the games I usually play (Oblivion, Morrowind, Skyrim and the like), the Darkness proves that not all games have toAlthough short in terms of the games I usually play (Oblivion, Morrowind, Skyrim and the like), the Darkness proves that not all games have to be monumentally long to be superb. You really get a feel for the characters both dark and light. The game was a pleasure from start to finish. Full Review »
  3. Jun 20, 2013
    One of my all time favorite games. This game all about the story line. It sucks you in and holds you there. Makes you fall in love and makesOne of my all time favorite games. This game all about the story line. It sucks you in and holds you there. Makes you fall in love and makes you HATE every enemy you come accrossed. I never yell at my TV so much as I killed groups of bad guys. Plus make sure you write down phone numbers you find. You will want to call them all. Full Review »