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The Darkness 2 Review
publisher: 2K Games
developer: Digital Extremes
genre: Action Adventure
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Feb 07, 12
|» All About The Darkness 2 on ActionTrip|
Delivering another action game to the market is a safe bet for most developers and publishers. After all, the genre has been tested and tried so many times and the public still revels in it. However, the real challenge is not making a mere on-the-rails type of shooter with a clich'd story. Now, The Darkness was a bit different than your average action game. It received a relatively favorable response from both the critics and the public. Inspired by the Top Cow comic of the same name, The Darkness made a mark thanks to its original storyline, cool characters and a few unique gameplay ideas. The main mechanics of the game were driven by the hero's sinister powers that allowed him to do vicious things to his enemies. In addition to that, players could explore various parts of New York City, which sort of opened up the gameplay and introduced elements such as side-tasks and other cool features. It wasn't a game without faults, but it definitely stood out in a market that's otherwise crammed with uninteresting action games.
Okay, I have no idea who I'm supposed to shoot right now!
He just doesn't play fair.
This gloomy sequel tells the tale of Jackie Estacado, who has an incredible gift of wielding a great and sinister power, which he used to become the Don of the Franchetti crime family. Still, The Darkness is something too powerful to control and Jackie has struggled for years to constrain it. The game begins in a local restaurant owned by Jackie's family. Unknown assailants storm the place and start blowing things up and shooting everyone in sight. Barely surviving the attack, Jackie gives in and starts using his dark powers in order to get out of the burning restaurant. After being dormant for so long, the Darkness is now hungrier and the urge to feed off of victims is greater than before. Jackie is determined to use these powers to his advantage to track down whoever was responsible for torching his restaurant and killing most of his friends and members of "the family." The events at the restaurant have triggered an all-out mob war.
The Darkness 2 chucks the player right smack in the middle of violent and intense first-person action. The beginning has the player experimenting with a few basic attacks, using the darkness powers to his advantage, of course. Now, the quad-wielding thing pretty much defines this game. Thanks to this feature and the unique premise, The Darkness 2 doesn't come across as just another generic shooter. There's a range of cool combos you can pull off, in addition to the option to grab several weapons and then use them with Jackie's two dark serpents. Diverse abilities can be unlocked when you upgrade the character. You'll be consuming hearts from fallen enemies, thus garnering points which are later used to acquire new skills. The RPG-like upgrade system works fine, although I have to say there's nothing too innovative in that area. You unlock a range of skills, but they mostly lead to more elaborate and increasingly violent execution moves.
Make no mistake, this is a challenging game. Using Jackie's powers feels good and the execution moves are cool. In time, however, you are likely to get tired of that, because that's mostly what the game is about. You basically go from one shooting rampage to another (as you dismember and dissect foes at will), while occasionally going through boring semi-interactive cut-scenes and linear shoot-outs (oh and random boss fights were thrown in for good measure).
Solid gamepaly ideas in this one, cool art, cool execution moves, interesting premise;
Single-player's too short, the multiplayer is not compelling enough to make you stay for long, we do miss the open-ended approach from the original game.