The Darkness II Review
A few short hours later, I was racked with fear. Despite my memories (and excessive first-run playtime) of The Darkness, replaying it was absolutely terrible. The game’s presentation and story were compelling, but its gameplay was painfully frustrating and annoyingly designed.
Lucky for us, The Darkness II is such a vast improvement on the mechanics of the first game that it’s hard to see much resemblance between the two in terms of gameplay. Digital Extremes has taken the reigns of the franchise and turned around a tightly controlled, fairly taught first-person shooter experience that trades excessive freedom for giving the player phenomenal power and plenty of opportunities to use it.
The Darkness II: PC (reviewed), Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Developer: Digital Extremes
Publisher: 2K Games
Released: Feb. 7, 2012
The Darkness series is based on the comic books of the same name from Top Cow Productions, which also produced such stories as Witchblade. The story follows a mob hitman named Jackie Estacado who is cursed to be the host of The Darkness, a demonic force left over from Creation (as in, the physical manifestation that’s opposite of the light created by God in the opening words of The Bible). The Darkness feeds on death and destruction; in the first game, it manifested on Jackie’s twenty-first birthday, forced him to watch his girlfriend’s murder, and then drove him to exact revenge on the mob bosses who turned on him.
After the events of the first Darkness game, Jackie has been on the seat of power in the Franchetti Crime Family for two years, made boss by his murderous rampage and the fact that he has demons that help him do stuff. He also has kept The Darkness in check for the last two years — but the game opens with Jackie surviving a hit squad, and in order to make it through, he has to let the demon back out. Cue many levels of shooting guys and tearing them apart.