The Darkness - Xbox 360 review

3.5 out of 5
£30

For

Not just guns, graphics

Against

AI, most of the game is played in the dark

No, The Darkness isn't the game of the rock pop band staring Justin Hawkins in spandex, but a horror First Person Shooter based around a 21-year-old hitman for the mafia.

It's clearly tough being a gangster. According to 2K Games, there's the stress of doing your job, avoiding being whacked by Uncle Pauly, keeping your girlfriend happy, oh and contending with an inner demon called The Darkness that has taken over your body. So do all these stresses make for a good video game? We get playing to find out.

The Darkness is a First Person Shooter based in New York and sees you trying to avoid getting "dead". While at first the game comes across as you average shooter, you soon realise that supernatural demonic powers offer more than just pistols and shotguns.

Turn into the demon and you have the ability to withstand bullets, sneak down air vents, devour hearts and basically do what demons do best - scare people.

Now that we've described the basic premise, what of the gameplay? Well it's a bit slow at times with bouts of action followed by long periods where you are roaming around trying to work out what to do next. To help you, clues, like finding a phone number and a helpfully placed phone boxes are scattered around and the storyline does skip along quiet quickly.

As for AI, don't expect much. all the bad guys we encountered playing on medium level (there are three difficulty levels in total) weren't too clever and unlike some games where they flush you out - here they just wait for you to come charging. That combined with the demonic powers means The Darkness shouldn't offer you too much of a challenge. Graphics however are good with the gritty New York streets, subway stations and buildings offering plenty of shadows to hide in.

Verdict

For us, The Darkness is your average First Person Shooter with a twist - the horror demon element, and while this means its not a complete waste of time, it's not up there with the greats either.

The biggest problem is that for your demon character to be useful, you have to be in near darkness, get it, and the result means that you spend most of your time shooting lights out rather than shooting bad guys.

Worth a go, but probably one to rent first.