The Darkness 2 Review
The Darkness 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Darkness which was inspired by the ‘Darkness Comics’ and released on the XBOX 360 in 2007. The game follows Jackie Estacado, whom has assumed the position of Mob Boss in a New York Crime Family. During the events of the Darkness, Jackie inherited his family’s dark secret, in the form of ‘The Darkness’, which grants Jackie unholy demonic abilities and a nice set of demonic-serpent arms whom love to eviscerate through hordes of idiotic enemies.
The Darkness 2 gives you the awesome ability to dual wield weapons and your Demonic Serpent Friends (through the use L and R Bumpers) simultaneously… aka Quad-Wield! Your weapons are primarily for blowing away fools from a distance, but the best fun is when you want to get upclose and personal. Your serpent arms which can be used individually to rip doors from hinges, launch improvised projectiles from your surroundings and slam baddies every which way.
I found the most visceral experience is when you are performing executions on enemies, and this can involve tearing limb from limb, a favorite of mine is aptly named ‘the Wishbone’, or in an execution reminiscent of Scott’s Alien’s movie, the serpent arms chestburst right in front of your eyes. When you effectively combine your weapons and demon arms, you can appropriately dispatch enemies in a whirlwind of carnage and bodyparts.
‘Cell Shading’ which has been made famous by games like ‘Borderlands’. Obviously cell shading is a great way to make you feel like you are playing out your favourite part of the Darkness comics, but I personally feel it reminds me of the Restaurant/Crazy 88 scene from Quentin Tarentino’s Kill Bill Volume 1. The cell shading in Darkness 2 isn’t specifically black and white, however the game is set predominantly in the dark, as your inner demon thrive in that environment. Instead I believe the cell shading desensitizes you to the extreme gore and viciousness you are performing, which only encourages you to mutter ‘whoa… awesome’ when you’ve ferociously cleared a street load of thugs.
An aspect of the game, which really annoyed me, was the mechanic of artificial light, and it’s impact of removing your powers until the lights are shot out. Essentially everyroom is filled with ceiling or wall lights, which must be taken out, whilst taking out baddies. This is also reinforced with an frustrating enemy type, who runs around with a giant flood light who can drop your demonic abilities, and open you up for some serious damage from his armed buddies… seriously who takes on a demonically enhanced blood-lusting dude with a camping torch? There are points in the game where the light is well used, especially when you are lured into a trap, I think this could have been used more to make the game’s AI challenging.
The demonic entity residing within Jackie Estacado, creepily urges you onwards to continue causing unprecedented and glorious carnage. The Darkness is voiced by Mike Patton (lead vocal, Faith No More), who perfectly embodies a calculating and evil demonic entity. The remaining voice cast is largely well produced, however they feel a little empty at times but it doesn’t help when the NPC designs can’t visually keep up
The Darkness 2 does not include any online multiplayer content like free for all, or team v team deathmatches. However it does include a co-operative component called ‘Vendetta’ which is essentially up to 4 player co-op for missions, playing as Jackie’s henchman. The missions are pretty unmemorable, I preferred sticking to being a one man demon-army in the single player missions.
If you liked:
- The visual style of Borderlands
- The violence/gore/dismemberment of Deadpace
- The speed/ferocity of first person shooters like COD
Bang for Buck:
Moderate. The game does not have any online multiplayer, however you are sure to have fun with the 4 player cooperative. The single player campaign is around 8-10 hours, but I wouldn’t replay it more than once.