Re: The Darkness Review
I've played about halfway through The Darkness so far. I can easily see this game becoming VERY popular. It probably could have been near to Gears of War popularity if it had a marketing monster behind it.
The game has a very very good cinematic presentation. People who liked playing something like Gears of War because it felt like a movie will love this game.
The shooting aspects themselves are very very generic and not that exciting, but what sets it apart are the darkness powers you get. You can crawl along floors as a little monster and stealth kill people (similar to the Alien vs Predator game), use a large tentacle to move items around and impale people (think Half-Life 2's gravity gun only really pointy and sharp) and summon 4 different type of minions to do your bidding (similar to Overlord, even though that game isn't released yet :P )
Minions are definitely my favourite. Their dialogue is great. For instance, shouting "I like penguins!" as you summon them (they can also randomly dress up in outfits you can find throughout the game), shout "Peace out! Peace out!" as they kill someone, or say "My regards to your family." as they lift their leg over a dead body and piss on it.
Another thing which is well done in this game are the atmospheric "adventure-ish" scene in the game. Think about how Half-Life and Prey starts, which lets you fool around doing random stuff and is basically just to set the mood. The Darkness has a good deal of scenes like that (and unlike Prey and Half-Life, they don't stop at the very start of the game), which works quite well, it even has a lucasarts-esque dialogue system.
They also went quite over the top with TVs in the game. There's actually full-length movies and TV shows you can watch on TVs in the game. I saw one TV and I was curious how long the FMV was on the TV (I was expecting it to loop after 10 seconds or so)... and I ended up watching the entire movie of To Kill a Mockingbird. There are also 2 channels with cartoons (such as Popeye), 2 channels with music videos, a sci-fi channel with Flash Gordon episodes and a channel showing an asian action movie called Street Fighter (not the movie based on the game). The only bad thing is that the video quality is rather bad (quality-wise it's similar to youtube), but it's very impressive they bothered to add all that stuff in.
All in all, in the over-crowded FPS genre which is filled with clones this is definitely a notable highlight. I do think a game like Bioshock will end up being a lot more fun than this one, but when compared to other generic FPS games The Darkness is very good.