Developer: 2k Games
Producer: Top Cow Productions
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], Playstation 3 & PC
Release Date: Feb 7th, 2012
Genre: Intense First Person Shooter
Price: Xbox & Playstation: $59.99 PC: $49.99
Rated: M for Mature (17+)
The Darkness has returned in The Darkness II. Brought to you by 2K Games and Top Cow Productions and inspired by the extremely popular comic book series. The Darkness II is the highly anticipated sequel of The Darkness, which was released in 2007.
In The Darkness II you find yourself reprising your role as Jackie Estacado, a former mob man both cursed and blessed by the discovery of his internal birthright, The Darkness. After an unsuccessful attempt on Jackie’s life he is no longer able to deny the once suppressed Darkness that lives within both his mind and body causing his Demon arms to reemerge!
The traumatic experience of losing his beloved girlfriend, Jenny, resurfaces and becomes the focal point. Jackie finds himself unable to stop think about Jenny and must do what ever he can to find her and destroy all the men responsible for her death. Not to mention his need to discover exactly what motivates The Darkness.
The Darkness II is an extremely fast passed action packed first person shooter. You will find yourself literally on the edge of your seat hacking and slashing your way through waves of enemies all while dual welding pistols. Your job is pretty simple. Kill Kill Kill! As you plow your way through waves of enemies you are forced to eat the hearts of all the men you slaughter. As you kill and eat their hearts you will collect their “Essence”, another word for their soul or being, which you need to feed The Darkness in order to acquire both new powers and upgrades to the ones you already have.
The Darkness II is an extremely beautiful and easy game to play, Be prepared to sit for hours on as you are completely captivated by graphics, the story and simply just the gore and thrill of the kill. You will never find yourself bored. In fact it is the complete opposite you will be excitedly waiting when you have enough essence to purchase your next power or upgrade.
Essence is used to collect talents/powers, upgrade abilities you have and increase ammo. You can purchase these abilities at “Talent Shrines” throughout the game. These shrines are purple looking splotches that are the same purple as the hearts you collect off the bodies of your victims. Make sure you keep your eyes open for these shrines because they are often hidden around corners and rooms off to the side. Since you cannot purchase or upgrade your abilities at any time simply by opening your menu you are going to want to use the shrines often. There is also the option to reset your abilities so have no fear if you accidentally select the wrong one or decide after playing a little while you don’t like the ones you have chosen. You will also want to keep your eyes peeled for relics hidden around the game. These relics, hidden better than the talent shrines, also give you essence and with only 29 scattered throughout the game they are not easy to come by and can easily be over looked while you are immersed in your gory battles.
The Darkness II is an awesome twist to what us gamers are more accustom to seeing. Typically when playing a dark, scary and evil game it is usually through the perspective of a good guy destroying evil. In The Darkness you are playing the evil role. You must avoid the light and destroy it. You live off of and feed off of flesh. Very rarely do you see games where you take on such a gory and evil role.
The Darkness II is a very customizable game that really anyone can play and in enjoy. If you like games that are not very challenging and easy to play through you will love this game. You learn the moves as you play through and unlock abilities. There isn’t just one overall difficult boss, rather higher populated waves of enemies alternating with one more difficult character. All at varying strengths. You also get a handy health meter at the top of your screen so you can see how much health they have left. But don’t worry if easy games are not your thing. Maybe you like a challenge. There are 4 difficulty settings, which can be changed at any time while playing. There are also a few spots through out the game were you get to make your own decision. This gives you the feeling of choices and options increasing the playability. Although with this came some disappointment for me. At the end of the game there is one decision that can ultimately leave you achievement less. At first I was really upset. But like with most games when you complete it the game and go back to the menu and select “continue” it takes you right back to the last save point. Luckily this is where you can choose the other option and obtain those highly sought after achievements.
The graphics in this game are amazing. Since The Darkness II is inspired but the comic’s I feel that they perfectly represent what I would envision them to be. They have that real look with the comic feel and the characters look like real people but with a sketched out look. Now the voice overs and lip movements are no LA Noire and the scenery is no Skyrim. But if you love comics and how comics look then you will agree. On the flip side if you are not a comic fan you will disagree, but I promise you will still be able to appreciate both the story and the gore.
With so much awesome in this game I literally had to nit pick to find anything wrong with it. Honestly I still can’t find anything I myself don’t like. The music is awesome; Seriously! A couple of times I found myself head bobbing and singing along while I completely mutilated bodies. The graphics are perfect; considering the game type and inspiration, no complaints here. The gameplay and handling are amazing; I never once found myself unsure of a move or mashing buttons with no outcome. Everything just flowed beautifully. With the ability to choose different executions, powers, upgrades and options in the story mode I really would be surprised if most people didn’t play through it at least twice. The only two downsides I could find were 1) there are no NEW weapons to unlock, just ammo upgrades. The only weapon choices are what you find scattered throughout the levels. This wasn’t a huge issue for me because more often then not I found myself using my demon arms. And 2) the gore. For me this was not a downside at all I actually enjoyed it, but I am mentioning it because I do think it is to graphic for younger children and any of you easily queasy people.
If you love comics, gore, first person shooters, dark and evil games, awesome stories, scary scenes, execution abilities, the idea of having Demon arms, or maybe “sometimes you can’t tell the difference between a fruit and vegetable” then this game is for you. It is amazing in so Many ways.
Replay Ability: 4/5
Overall Rating: 5/5