The Darkness 1 and 2 are some of my favourite games on the Xbox 360, granted there are a lot of games for the 360 but these stood out especially for me. Out of the two my favourite is the original from (I believe) Starbreeze studios, it had a much more realistic focus which I prefer a lot more than The Darkness 2’s comic book style graphics. Which still looks nice, but not my cup of tea. Since The Darkness was originally a comic book in of itself I guess they took the stance that the comic book style was truer to the source material, although personally I would have kept the more serious and realistic visuals and tone.
So, The Darkness is an extremely evil entity that inhabits our main character Jackie Estacado (A member of the mob) and gives him ungodly powers (with some brutality thrown in for good measure). It is manifested in the physical world via two tentacle-like arms with faces on them….. Ok it doesn’t sound that scary but ill put a picture up so you’ll see how intimidating they look, and once you hear it talk you’ve done well if you haven’t pissed yourself in terror (Brilliantly voice acted by Mike Patton).
But it’s not all doom and gloom for our anti-hero Jackie Estacado, he is involved in a relationship with Jenny Romano, and this is what I really wanted to talk about because this is also one of my absolute favourite romantic relationships in any video game that I have played.
Especially during the first game it’s played quite subtly, which is a lot more believable than say some guy showing up and she would instantly become wet and want his dick, that’s not real.
Instead there is an absolutely brilliant scene where (admittedly after some shooting) you end up at Jenny’s house, and it just so happens to be your birthday and she has a cake for you. It’s a sweet scene, but what really makes it is when they sit down in front of the TV and….. No they don’t fuck (dirty mind!), Jenny leans her head against your shoulder and then eventually lays her head on your thigh and falls asleep. The game gives you the choice when you get up or you could simple lay there and appreciate the intimate atmosphere the scene produces. Its simple little things like this that you can relate with, and you really start caring about what happens to them.
Now, it’s not all straight forward for them as Jenny gets killed by Jackie’s Mob uncle, right in front of him….. While the darkness holds him back, wanting him to see her die in front of his eyes so Jackie could be consumed by the darkness. Yes it is quite a dark story but trust me it is utterly compelling at the same time, because I challenge anyone not to feel sad after that happens and to go to the next section, desperate to enact a bit of justice/revenge.
This all comes flooding back for Jackie during The Darkness 2, because as soon as he re-awakens the darkness within himself, he starts to see “Visions” or “Ghostly Apparitions” of Jenny, seemingly talking to him, only to disappear from his sight once he gets closer. In some cases he relives previous moments of their romance, these moments are great, especially if you have played through the first game, you’ll know what’s happened to her and hopefully feel that connection that Jackie Had/Has with Jenny.
To sum it up, so I don’t keep gushing, it’s a romance that has some very sweet highs but some dark dark lows, it’s never simple, and you’re never guaranteed a happy ending, in fact it is utterly heart-breaking at times. But it is utterly compelling and really makes you think, which is why I’m a big fan of this particular gaming relationship.
Also the games are really fun too 🙂
Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed it