Xbox 360 scores again with The Darkness, a mob-demon hybride tale based on the Top Cow comic of the same name. The story follows Jackie Estacado, a Mafia hitman betrayed by his boss (and adoptive uncle) Paulie Franchetti after a business deal gone sour on his 21st birthday. Jackie also just so happens to be possessed by a demonic force known as The Darkness, which he ultimately uses to fight the Mafia Don in league with the corrupt police department hellbent on destroying him.

The Darkness is basically a first-person shooter action game, but with a neat supernatural twist, as you can also become The Darkness, who shows himself as sort of an organic Doc Ock with snake-like tentacles used for all kinds of neat tricks from impalement to devouring human hearts for energy.

Other Darkness powers include the "Darkness gun," which is used to keep zombies dead, the ability to use a snake-like tentacle to attack enemies from afar, and my favorite, a black hole, whereby you can create a void of darkness to eliminate baddies. Oh yes, and The Darkness powers are at their best when in shadow, where you see the two tentacles in the first-person view consuming the darkness energy of shadow.

With the Darkness powers, you can also summon "Darklings," or minions from the Darkness regions (some may call this Hell) used to aid you in gunfights. There are four Darklings, the first of which is the "Berserker," which can aid you by unlocking doors and moving objects obstructing your path. The second is the "Gunner," which aids you in gunfights using his own little chaingun. The third is known as the "Kamikaze," basically a suicide bomber which is very effective in destroying boulders obstructing your path, but also a quick way to destroy a room full of enemies. The fourth, and probably most useful, is the "Light Destroyer," who destroys the lights that limit the Darkness's powers from flourishing to their maximum potential.

In addition, you have your mainstream, man-made weapons, from modern shotguns, uzis, and AK-47s to your nostalgic Luger pistols and WWI rifles. (Yes, WWI -- though thankfully not WWII, for the millionth time -- serves as a relatively major plot point.) These man-made weapons, however, pale in terms of what The Darkness can do.

The Darkness shines with terrific voice-acting (though Jackie both looks and sounds older than 21) and a wonderfully cinematic and epic musical score. The sound effects are a product of both intensity and a sneaky and quirky sense of humor -- the Darklings, who have their own humorous dialog, are a perfect example of this. And the graphics are a marvel to behold. While some of the texture quality in some parts suffer when viewed up close, the lighting and shadows of these textures are lush and mesmerizing.

However, The Darkness suffers from a reasonably lackluster AI. Particularly frustrating is the friendly AI, mainly consisting of summoning and directing Darklings. Sometimes, when a Darkling is spawned, it just sits there. I was particularly annoyed with the Light Destroyer Darkling, which often never destroys the lights in its path, leaving me to waste my ammo to blow out lightbulbs myself.

The game contains a few frame-rate drops in spots and the game has crashed more than once, but luckily the checkpoint systems in the game are plentiful, limiting the frustration I would otherwise have to go through of starting over on an entire level I'd worked so hard to get through.

Other than that, though, The Darkness is a compelling cinematic-quality narrative with an abundance of personality. The game also seems to leave an opening for a sequel, and based on my experience of playing this game, a second part is more than welcome.