Two years ago I bought the LG C1 OLED TV as it was not only one of the best gaming TVs on the market but it was also one of the best OLED TVs, too.
I did this as I wanted a top-draw gaming TV to use with my Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles, and with its best-in-class OLED screen tech and raft of excellent gaming features, including support for VRR and 120Hz refresh rates, the LG C1 was the obvious choice.
And, since buying the LG C1, it's delivered a truly top-draw visual experience for me, displaying today's most graphically impressive Xbox Series X and PS5 games with aplomb.
However, the game I think I've been most wowed by running on the LG C1 so far has been the classic 2007 Xbox 360 game The Darkness, which thanks to the magic of Xbox Series X's awesome backward compatibility, runs on the console flawlessly.
So, why have I been so impressed? It's all down to the game's love of bright lights and plenty of, well, darkness.
Welcome to proper darkness my friend
For those who aren't familiar with The Darkness, the whole thing with the game is that you play a character who is possessed with 'The Darkness' a demon who can only operate in, well, dark environments.
A bit like a vampire, in darkness you are incredibly powerful, with a host of demonic abilities transforming you from a gun-toting gangster into a daemonic bringer of death and pain, eating the hearts of your fallen enemies.
However, to tap into The Darkness' power, you need to avoid light, which is why in the game its environments vary between areas of darkness and light. You can shoot out lights, for example, to create dark environments, as well as summon beasts to snuff out light sources. The aesthetic is all film noir, with over-exposed lights weaving in and out of dark shadow.
And, well, let me tell you – The Darkness looks incredible on my LG C1. It's like this game was designed directly to showcase OLED screen technology, as its individually lit Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, which don't require a backlight, can produce incredible levels of contrast, making light areas of the screen very light, and dark areas of the screen (even if they are right by the light areas) very dark. Combine this with the LG C1's HDR and upscaling capabilities and The Darkness looks simply incredible.
Compare this to the experience I remember from back when I played this game in 2007 and it is night and day different, and the difference maker is the OLED TV. Now, when I'm in dark environments they are properly dark, so when enemies shout "where are you?!" and stumble by as I stand ready to strike within meters of them, it is totally believable.
I mean, the dark areas of the game are now so dark that I have to enable The Darkness (which gives you a kind of night vision) to see where I am going and fight not half blind. Meanwhile, light sources in the game are now so bright that when The Darkness is out and you hear the sizzling damage noise indicating its power is being drained by the light, it feels much more impactful. You can see why The Darkness is being burned as the lights are so bright.
In 2007 my old Sharp Aquos plasma TV couldn't perform anywhere near level of my LG C1 and I remember this game looking a lot grayer overall, and nowhere near as crisp. I enjoyed The Darkness back then, but now it feels like I'm having the experience the game makers, Starbreeze Studios, always intended.
My conclusion – OLED TVs show their quality
Yes, this game is literally one that builds extreme areas of light and dark into its gameplay, but what The Darkness has done has cemented my belief that gamers should absolutely look at OLED technology when shopping for their next upgrade.
It's made all my games look better, from Horizon: Forbidden West and Forza Horizon 5, to golden oldies like Portal and The Darkness.
There are other impressive screen technologies on the market, too, including Samsung's own QLED TVs, as well as mini-LED panels, and I'm sure they'll deliver a great experience, but for my money I'd recommend OLED to gamers. Especially so as its price is now very firmly at an affordable, sub-grand level.