It even looks fantastic, with an emphasis on cel-shaded splatter horror. The Darkness II plays as if it were an homage to the EC Comics of the 40s and 50s. It has that same grimly colorful and colorfully grim vibe in its approach to crucifixion, torture, madness, hell, and a demon who pees on bodies and farts in their dead faces.
The Darkness II is not an absolute masterpiece but, with its style and fast paced action, it can conquer so many player's hearts. Cooperative gameplay, in the end, adds a lot of replay value to the product.
Similar to the first game, the combat arenas are spaced out nicely with a decent focus on dialogue and exposition scenes. These sections of the game really highlight Jackie’s voice actor Brian Bloom, the same guy who voices BJ Blazkowicz. I feel that he gives Jackie more of an emotional range compared to the previous game and it really helps add to Jackie’s already compelling character. At various points in the game, Jackie suffers from these visions where he see’s Jenny and it becomes clear that Jackie is still trying to cope with the violent death of his girlfriend. Instead of the World War 1 interludes in the first game, The Darkness 2 features these story pieces where Jackie is committed to an asylum with member of his family appearing as either patients or staff members. These parts of the story occur whenever Jackie is brutally injured and they really stood out to me because it actually sewed some doubt in the back of my mind as to what timeline was actually the real one. We’ve learned that the Darkness has the ability to make it’s host hallucinate. Couple that with all of the emotional trauma and injuries Jackie has suffered and it’s not unreasonable to assume that Jackie is in fact committed to a mental asylum and the crime family timeline is all in his head. While the story may not be some intricately woven, mind-melter of a story, it’s still a great one that’s easy to follow along and had me hooked the entire way through the game.
The combat loop in this game is much improved over the previous one. The main attraction is going to be your Darkness powers. This time around, the game features a skill tree that you can sink “Essence” points into and ties into the game’s points system. It features a more arcade style FPS, where scores are popping up on screen for kills, headshots and various execution moves that you can pull off using your Darkness powers. These upgrades really emphasis the potential power you can wield with the Darkness, something that I feel the first game largely missed out on. You can acquire skills that you allow you to pull of various executions that can regenerate your health, ammo and a few other abilities. The executions are basically Jackie pulling off glory kills and they’re all well animated and incredibly gory and violent.
The enemy variety has also seen a big improve movements and helps add more depth to the combat. Certain enemies will rush you with melee weapons, some shoot at you while behind cover, others will teleport around the arena and are a massive pain in the ass, some enemies carry shields that need to be broken down, stun locked or distracted using "Swarm" before being killed. You've got enemies with some sort of leash that can take your weapon away and you got some annoying bastard that shines a spot light on you, nullifying your Darkness powers. This all means that you have to be able to prioritize your targets depending on what gets thrown at you from one combat arena to another. I generally went after the spotlight enemies first so my Darkness powers could be used as often as possible. The leash enemies are better off being killed at longer range and I found myself using "Swarm" the most often on shielded enemies since they can also distract other nearby enemies, sometimes offering a brief reprieve from the combat.
Graphically, I was surprised to see the game use the cell-shaded art style akin to the Borderlands and Telltale games. This is a noticeable departure from the previous game, where the art style felt more grounded in reality. I think the overall atmosphere is better in the first game, the but the art direction in The Darkness 2 still works really well and I think it helps future proof the game graphically.
On a technical level, The Darkness 2 is fine. The loading times aren’t all that long and are disguised well enough using cinematic sequences. The framerate remains pretty steady, with no noticeable dips during combat. I had no crashes-to-dashboard or any soft locks. I did experience enemies clipping into a wall or through a floor once, but that was about it. On the whole, it’s good looking, polished game.
Voice acting is well done, the lines feel well paced and delivered naturally. I like Brian Bloom as the voice of Jackie and Mike Patton returning as the voice of the Darkness is the standout performer here. He really nails the tone of the Darkness being this malevolent, kill hungry entity that dominates it's host.
Overall, The Darkness 2 is a great game that was a pleasant surprise for me. The combat and movement is vastly improved and your Darkness abilities feel much more powerful and satisfying to use, offering plenty of cathartic, power fantasy moments. The story kept me hooked to the end and I really dig the different take on the game’s art direction. This is a game I wish I had played sooner, but I’m glad I eventually did get around to it.
It's perfect for what it is. Brutal, bloody, edgy, fun, short, linear.
You will have A LOT of fun in the 6 hours this game lasts. Highly recommend playing on harder difficulty, adds some challenge and pads out the game time by a few hours. Don difficulty took my almost 10 hours which is more than enough.
For me, this game supersedes the first game, and does so while being a better game on almost every single level. Graphics are stylish and still hold up to this day, gun play is super fun, darkness powers NEVER get old. I will NEVER get sick of wish boning people or just lopping them in half with a single satisfying swipe from your allies.
The gore is amazing in this game, balls to the wall in a way that we don't really see as much in video games nowadays. The shooting is perfectly good, with some nice feedback and punch, going hand in hand with the stylized violence and art style nicely. This all feeds in nicely to the surprisingly competent story which you will find yourself being satisfied with way more than you might expect. "Expect" is a really good word to use when describing The Darkness II, mainly because nobody had any expectations for it. The first game is extremely mediocre save for it's amazing premise and creative introduction to the "villains" of the series. If you can call them "villains". They're more like heroes of evil.
I could go on and on about how much i love this game, but i'll finish with this: if you are in the mood right now to just play a good old balls to the wall gore fest with solid mechanics and heaps of fun, this is probably something you're going to enjoy. If you're also SICK of the alternative options, the military shooter, or the zombie shooter, y'know, pretty much EVERY shooter these days. If you're sick and tired of those, but you still want to play a violent shooter, just without those banal cliche over done themes, then The Darkness II is DEFINITELY going to be something you enjoy, You might even love it. I know i do.
If that hasn't sold you, nothing will. To really finish up, i'm now going to list the only thing i "dislike" about the game. It's short. I would have loved for even 2 more hours of game here. It would've been the perfect 10/10 (It's still a 10 anyway, but it couldve been the 10.1/10 lol) and sure, a lot of people might find the length disappointing, but looking at it from another perspective, the game is short, sweet, doesnt ever drag to the point you're sick of it, leaves you wanting more. Those don't sound like negative things to me. So, the rest is up to you.
(JUST BUY IT)
A good action title, fun, intense and with a simple yet interesting story, with an inusual an attractive visual design. Its violence is as exaggerated as in the comics, but results original in a videogame. Its multiplayer cooperative mode is also surprising.
The Darkness II's less dour, more fantastical take on the shooter is a welcome change of pace to the string of samey combat scenarios publishers have assured us we can't get enough of over the past five years.
There are a lot of players who'll miss the structure, the atmosphere and unique quirks of the original. But Digital Extremes deserves credit for delivering an action-packed shooter that balances its mixture of gunplay and superpowers far better than its predecessor ever did – even if those powers will inevitably conspire to turn the game's protagonist into a monster and wreck his entire life.
I'm impressed by the effort on the part of Digital Extremes to deliver a satisfying sequel that builds on the ideas of the first game. Jackie's empowering abilities encourage players to experiment and try different tactics, and ultimately allow every player to discover combat techniques that they think work best. His world is realized through a remarkable graphic style and nuanced and meaningful character interactions.
The Darkness II is a good FPS, but that's thanks to its atmosphere and storytelling, clearly not to its gameplay itself. It's violent and brutal, but not really smart (the AI being really poor), and the campaign is rather short. Online, the experience lacks this storytelling appeal, even though it remains solid.
The Darkness 2 is an improvement on the first one in every single possible way. I liked the Darkness 2 very much. The reason I would give it a 7/10 is only becauseee well... It's barely a 5 hour game. There's tons of well filler content, where you are purposefully ripped out of control probably ONLY to increase game length, and I mean.... It's a good shooter, but what it does a ton of shooters and action games around it do better?
Like.... It feels like a lower budget sorta mod even you would get instead of getting the real game. it's a good flick for a bit, but what it does, I can get much more of in say... Prototype, or other superpower shooters. And it's 5 hours. If it was a 20 hour literal RPG, you could do much more about making Jackie your own character and improving stats and what not, you know real real RPG mechanics Fallout style, I could see Darkness 2 working perfectly. It feels exactly like it wants to be an RPG, even the first game sorta did that type of thing. But it falls short!
It's just good, after playing it I don't feel a sudden urge to go back to it. It can even be very frustrating at times.
I don't think anyone reviewing this game who gave it a high rating and says it is an improvement over the first game can have played and loved the first game. They have taken a unique and engaging game and turned it into a very ordinary shooter. The shooting mechanics admittedly needed some work on the first game but other than that it was a very special and surprising change from any other game I have played. The Darkness I is one of my all time favourite games and this game is just so ordinary. I am an achievement hunter and could easily get a perfect score on this game but dislike the experience so much that I will not even try. I just want to leave it behind and never think about it again. It is nothing like the first game. If they had called it something else then maybe it would be an o.k. shooter but for someone who loves and respects what the game developers gave us in the first game it is a crying shame. So disappointing.
SummaryInspired by the comic book series, The Darkness II is a first-person shooter that thrusts you into the role of Jackie Estacado, don of a New York crime family and wielder of an ancient chaotic force known as The Darkness. It has been 2 years since Jackie used his power to kill the guys responsible for his girlfriend’s murder. He has been...