THE GIST: License? We don’t need no stinkin’ license! Visual Concepts and 2K Sports make their triumphant return to the gridiron with All-Pro Football 2K8 featuring over 240 of the best to ever hug the pigskin, innovative gameplay elements, and immersive realism. Some thought that the 2K brand of football games died when EA secured (read: took away your options as a consumer) the NFL and NFLPA licenses… well, it’s time to think again. 2K Foot ball is back, better than ever, and stands today as the best football game I have ever played… YOU CAN’T COACH THAT!
THE GRAPHICS: Remember when I mentioned Prey? Expect that kind of production level. Every city area is littered with extensive detail, lighting, and mood. The foreboding demise of the main character is visually evident from the moment the game starts and he utters “It was my twenty-first birthday the first time I died.”
The character models are very well done, especially the faces. Each character lip-syncs perfectly as their heads will follow you if you wander during your conversation. The only noticeable flaw is a definitive black line that seemingly masks the character’s face onto a universal frame, it kind of reminded me of how the faces looked in Face/Off after the operation, and being reminded of that movie is not a good thing.
No this isn’t a work-in-progess shot from another Shenmue and yes this is a shot from the actual gameplay, not a cutscene. The detail in The Darkness is amazing.
THE AMBIANCE: One word: Creepy. No matter where you are in the game, indoors or out, you never shake the feeling that something evil and dangerous is out there. Despite the massive amount of lights you need to take out the title still looks very dark. I mean Duh, this is the Darkness, right? Even so it would have been nice to see such great graphics during the day as well to mix things up but nonetheless the game nails it when setting the tone of it’s tragic story.
As the game progresses you naturally obtain more abilities, like the good ol’ Calamari Arm O’ Death seen here.
THE VERDICT: The single-player aspect of The Darkness is truly engrossing. As the tale pulls you in with every chapter the game offers just enough of something new to keep you playing (just wait until you get the Black Hole ability). With high production values, an ominous undertone, varied missions, a bevy of items to find and multiple endings The Darkness doesn’t not falter when it comes to entertainment. Add to that a wicked multiplayer and the game’s depth increases tenfold. I rented my copy for this review, but despite what you may see in other reviews I can safely say this has purchase written all over it.
(Photos courtesy of ign.com)