Generally favorable reviews - based on 71 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 71
  2. Negative: 0 out of 71
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  1. Feb 28, 2012
    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.
  2. Feb 10, 2012
    The Darkness 2 is a raw game...There's probably no better way to describe it. It's foul-mouthed, exceedingly violent and intensely sexual at moments, and if you've got the stomach for it, it's downright awesome.
  3. Feb 20, 2012
    Gamers wanting to experience some of the bloodiest combat you're likely to see in any FPS this year, or those wanting to revel in perhaps the most visionary graphic novel-style presentation of the decade need only look as far as The Darkness II. It's a wild and non-stop ride of gore and carnage with gameplay that uniquely adapts to each person who plays it. It has surprising moments of heart and storytelling, but most of all; it's a bloody good time from start to finish, and a game you'll play at least twice just so you can experience it all.
  4. 92
    The Darkness II is everything I wanted a sequel to The Darkness to be. It's almost excessive in its violence, the combat is addicting, the hand-drawn Graphic Noir art style is gorgeous, and underneath it all is a game with a heart and a truly interesting story. Jackie's a supremely messed-up individual, but we still love him because of all the crap he's willing to go through in order to save Jenny. If you're looking for any of these things, The Darkness II won't disappoint.
  5. Feb 12, 2012
    The Darkness II's poignant moments are surprisingly touching. It's no mistake that, after hours of tearing flesh and bone, magic is found in a gentle kiss.
  6. Feb 7, 2012
    From the opening attack on the restaurant that evokes the car chase that opened the original, to the game's focus on storytelling as much as killing, it's clear that the developers knew not to mess with a working formula. Even if some of the narrative moments fall short of the original, the new content and new powers more than make up for it. The Darkness II didn't knock its predecessor from the top of my list of favorite narrative shooters, but it comes in as a very close second.
  7. Feb 15, 2012
    If you're looking for a gory, gruesome action game with a lot of heart, both literally and figuratively, then The Darkness II is a very worthy addition to your library.
  8. Feb 14, 2012
    The Darkness II easily has one of the best narratives you'll find in a game, from how it is told, to how it looks. Along with some excellent gameplay, you would be an utter fool not to add this to your collection.
  9. Feb 7, 2012
    Better A.I. and combat mechanics than the first Darkness, gorgeously painted environments, and the same ol' omnipotent snake-headed dark force makes for one heck of a game play combination.
  10. Feb 7, 2012
    Complementing the dynamic gameplay is a twisty story that will test your psyche as much as your trigger finger, terrific voice work-including another wicked good performance from Mike Patton as the Darkness-and a stunning graphic novel-inspired art style brimming with rich detail and expert use of light and shadows.
  11. It's one of the best shooter-stories we've seen in years - justifying its own ludicrous nature in interesting and unexpected ways. If the ending didn't feel like such a cop-out, The Darkness II could have been on par with BioShock. As it is, the gripping narrative and wonderfully empowering combat mean you'll be talking about it for months after completing it.
  12. 90
    The Darkness II's copious gore might upset sensitive stomachs, but it's vastly superior to its predecessor in every respect, spinning a frantic, fantastic neo-noir nightmare you won't want to end. Even those who ordinarily dismiss horror with a shake of the head should give it a shot.
  13. Feb 7, 2012
    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.
  14. Feb 14, 2012
    The original The Darkness was a great experience; The Darkness II improves on the formula in every way.
  15. Feb 10, 2012
    Despite some issues in the graphics department The Dakness II is a great action game, and delivers some cinematic flair on the Xbox 360 console.
  16. 85
    While The Darkness was a very atmospheric, story driven shooter with an incredibly gritty artistic direction, The Darkness II is an action packed, colourful story driven shooter that ramps up the action and provides players with an incredible amount of tools to have fun with. Many players will enjoy ripping enemies apart, wielding four different kinds of weapons and, of course, beating the bad guy. To put it quite simply, The Darkness II makes you feel like a real bad-ass.
  17. Feb 15, 2012
    The combat is intoxicating, and the level of gore is definitely satisfying.
  18. Feb 7, 2012
    The Darkness 2 it's an intense shooter, and while it may not be the most brilliant or the best designed, it's definitely a great experience that FPS fans will appreciate.
  19. Apr 24, 2012
    An average shooter wrapped in an entertaining story.
  20. Feb 15, 2012
    Digital Extremes has delivered the goods with The Darkness II, marrying story, action and great gameplay. It might be a little on the short side, but the story warrants multiple replays and co-op adds a little bit of much-needed longevity. So go on, embrace The Darkness. You know you want to.
  21. Games Master UK
    Mar 13, 2012
    Drastically improved combat means entry two is far from the disappointment many predicted. [Apr 2012, p.70]
  22. Feb 8, 2012
    The constant change between fiction and reality, the Darkness' dirty illusions and Jackie's inevitable descent into madness make this shooter very special. But you have to ignore the AI problems and the barely average action mechanics for which Digital Extremes is well known.
  23. Feb 9, 2012
    Even though we liked the original game in limited ways, The Darkness II is a fresh sequel that avoids the pratfalls of most comic book licensed games, instead opting for ridiculously bloody gameplay, a solid (for the most part) presentation, and a multiplayer add-on that doesn't feel like a cheap addition, for once.
  24. Feb 8, 2012
    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.
  25. 82
    The Darkness 2 offers subtle, but very welcome gameplay-changes and superb new comic-book graphics. A dense atmosphere, an entertaining four-player-coop-mode and solid voice-acting (both english and german) are other strong points of the game. On the contrary, the story is not as gripping as in the prequel and the boss-fights are rather trite. But Digital Extremes found a good balance between action-scenes and quieter moments. The german USK-version is heavily cut.
  26. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Mar 10, 2012
    Occasional hiccups and pacing issues can't damage the soaring highs The Darkness II hits when all its elements scream in blood-curdling harmony. [Issue#82, p.80]
  27. Mar 9, 2012
    The Darkness II is, above all, a fun experience. With an engaging story, fun gameplay mechanics and its original art-style it stands out from your everyday FPS. Despite it's far too short length, the experience itself is so unique and compelling you're likely to play through the single-player campaign over and over again, having a blast every time.
  28. Mar 6, 2012
    Fantastic art direction. Great fidelity to the comic-roots of this universe.
  29. Mar 5, 2012
    The single player campaign is among the best we've experienced, and we're impressed by the four armed fighting, the intense story and the dark athmosphere! However with such a short play time and an indifferent multiplayer modes we can't give this dark and twisted adventure the top score that the well made campaign deserves.
  30. Mar 5, 2012
    A decent, if somewhat hackneyed, co-op mode offsets the brevity of the main campaign somewhat. And it's to the game's credit that Digital Extremes hasn't crowbarred in a naff competitive multiplayer; something the first game did and suffered for. A well-judged decision that contributes to a game that is, both mechanically and narratively, one of the smartest shooters of recent years.
  31. Feb 21, 2012
    The Darkness II is not a perfect game. It's short, the co-op is not as impressive as the single-player, the bosses are tedious, and some of the combat scenarios are poorly designed, but the game is extremely well-paced and can be great fun to play when everything works right, and it usually does. Combine that with a phenomenal story and great graphics the Darkness II is a game that I happily recommend.
  32. Feb 20, 2012
    It's gorgeous, even if it's built in an aging engine (the same engine that powered 2008's Dark Sector, in fact). And it's a first-person shooter with a story that's worth a damn, something we don't see very often in general (and especially not with shooters, specifically).
  33. 80
    The first game had some interesting ideas, painted with delicate strokes, whereas the sequel throws the bucket of paint at the canvas and stands as a much more traditional game and comic book experience. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
  34. Feb 19, 2012
    A good game, but it feels like a step backwards from the first game in the series: it's lost some of the depth and innovation we were used to, delivering us a more classical and straightforward experience. It sports, however, a good story, even if quite short, and insipred visuals: it deservers to be played.
  35. Feb 17, 2012
    The Darkness II is a worthy successor, even if it isn't any better than the original. It takes a story that was already well developed and continues it in stellar form, doing justice enough.
  36. Feb 14, 2012
    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.
  37. Feb 10, 2012
    A solid shooter with innovative mechanics, although its level design is not so inspired and it could be a bit more dynamic in its narrative.
  38. Feb 10, 2012
    The Darkness II proved to be a solid, artistically pleasing twist on demonic possession and dark heroes, and it's one story with mobsters I plan to follow with interest.
  39. Feb 8, 2012
    The Darkness II is a fun game. Playing with the Darkness is as fun as it should be, and the plot is simply outstanding. The new cell-shading visuals are perfect for the character, and overall it's a great game. Unfortunately, it's a bit uninspired and rather short.
  40. 80
    The characterisation, acting and story are all spectacular - and the way it works to create connections between the player and the characters within should be taught in schools, if such schools existed. The gunplay is frantic but at the same time you feel powerful, and the art style doesn't strive towards realism because it doesn't need to.
  41. Feb 7, 2012
    As a package, The Darkness II is an enjoyable story with an appealing visual aesthetic worthy of the R18 rating. Just be prepared for some frustrating moments and, if you enjoyed the first Darkness, you will miss the exploration and side quests - but at least you can turn on all the taps in the mansion.
  42. Feb 7, 2012
    In so many ways, The Darkness II is an improvement over the original. The controls work better, the action is more straightforward, and you don't have to play Pikmin with a bunch of surly little demons. It's just more engaging and fun all around. But while its changes are noticeable, they're also subtle; this isn't a completely different game, it's more like a refinement of what worked before.
  43. Feb 7, 2012
    Nothing in The Darkness II's story line feels out of place or unnecessary. It doesn't digress needlessly into side missions or other time-wasters designed to just keep you playing for longer stretches. Instead, Digital Extremes believed in the strength of both its combat system and Jenkins' script to inspire players to play through it again once the credits roll.
  44. Feb 7, 2012
    In the end, it can feel like we're left with half a game, sort of like that bad guy we ripped the legs off of earlier. The Darkness II features a tight experience with exemplary voice-acting and wonderfully gory graphics. As a piece of storytelling it is one of the better games this generation.
  45. 80
    A great story-driven action game with a superb graphical style.
  46. Feb 7, 2012
    While it lacks some of the openness and emotional pull of its predecessor, The Darkness II is a highly polished, immensely fun shooter that delivers a stellar mix of over-the-top gore, furious action and clever, character-focused storytelling.
  47. 80
    The Darkness 2 then – a game that definitely doesn't get everything spot on or even tread new ground. But it shows that even the most linear of shooters hell bent on delivering maximum entertainment don't always have to go in only one direction. Under all this blood and gore there's loads of character driven interludes that show the developers' understanding of how to dress up a game as a well-paced experience.
  48. Feb 7, 2012
    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.
  49. Feb 7, 2012
    A well-presented and engaging horror-themed first-person shooter. The story elements tread a delicate balance between the usual mobster clichés, yet the quality of the writing ensures that the game never becomes overbearing. Its also admirable that the campaign is utterly linear yet also hugely engrossing.
  50. Feb 7, 2012
    The sequel to the amazing The Darkness abandons the open gameplay experience of its predecessor and its preeminent plot and brings a fast paced experience. This second game might not be perfect, but it's still a very good game.
  51. Feb 7, 2012
    Despite some problems with polish and a story that takes time to develop into something great, The Darkness II ends up as an early treat in the new year. The narrative elements help the pacing considerably, breaking up Jackie's engaging and brutal murderfests.
  52. Feb 7, 2012
    Despite the anticlimactic ending, shoddy boss fights, and lackluster multiplayer, The Darkness 2 is an extremely impressive game. It oozes style, packs an emotional punch, and manages to be effectively balance bombastic violence with understated character development, ensuring that when the Darkness is unleashed you care.
  53. Feb 7, 2012
    Another shot of the dangerous life of Jackie Estacado, The Darkness II is a truly good sequel despite it being a little bit too short.
  54. Apr 11, 2012
    I haven't played a game to completion twice in a single sitting since Portal 2, which should roughly hint at the quality of experience that awaits: It's short and sweet, with a decent cooperative multiplayer side-story for added value. And by "sweet," I mean you can hang a thug upside-down and rip their intestines out through their ass.
  55. Feb 16, 2012
    If you enjoyed Jackie's first outing, you'll enjoy it once again here, albeit a short return back into hell.
  56. Feb 15, 2012
    The action is too familiar, the controls can be a pain every now and then and the singleplayer is only five hours long. Still, the overall feeling when playing The Darkness II is that it's a fun experience, thanks to the great story and fun cooperative mode.
  57. Feb 7, 2012
    The Darkness II succeeds far more than it fails. The single-player experience features some genuine emotion in its narrative, something games which don't feature skull-extricating tentacles rarely manage to accomplish. And while the Vendettas cooperative multiplayer content feels lackluster by comparison, it's not bad either and serves to pad out this short but otherwise delightful game.
  58. Feb 7, 2012
    Despite its short-length, bland level design and forgettable bosses, The Darkness II is a thoroughly entertaining blast from start to finish. Who knew dismembering hordes of enemies would be such a guilty pleasure?
  59. Feb 7, 2012
    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.
  60. Feb 6, 2012
    More of a rebirth for the series than the sequel it's trying to be. The action is mindless and fevered, and Jackie has transformed from a vengeful protagonist into someone who probably listens to "Dream Weaver" as he cries himself to sleep. I found it to be an interesting journey. [Mar 2012, p.91]
  61. Feb 7, 2012
    The Darkness still packs plenty of gut appeal, with limbs being sheared and torsos torn asunder. Alas, players cannot sustain themselves on gore alone. Ultimately, the ultra violence will whet your appetite for bloodlust, but fail to slake your thirst for a truly great game.
  62. Feb 27, 2012
    Overall, Digital Extremes has created a sequel to a game they did not make and have successfully made it their own. The Darkness 2 is built on strong foundations, bringing you an experience that is not weakened by half arsed values (with exception to the multiplayer). If you enjoy being led down a corridor blasting everything that gets in your way all the while being given a little sprinkle of RPG style level unlock mechanics then you will not be disappointed by this trip into The Darkness.
  63. Feb 23, 2012
    The Darkness II is in a way both better and worse than its predecessor. The story is great but short and the gunfights are varied but sometimes becomes too messy.
  64. Feb 10, 2012
    If The Darkness III were to combine the best of the first and second games, we'd have ourselves a winner for the ages – as it stands, we have a game definitely worth a playthrough, but probably not worth tripping over yourself to slap down the cash for.
  65. Feb 9, 2012
    The Darkness II is fun while it lasts, but sadly doesn't last very long.
  66. Feb 7, 2012
    It's derivative, gratuitous and needlessly profane, but beneath the gruesome veneer lies a tale of – believe it or not – genuine tenderness.
  67. Feb 7, 2012
    There's no doubting that The Darkness II is a fun game, but it could have been so much more than that. Improved pacing could have solved the second act woes and defining a more meaningful way of communicating the narrative would have made the plot and character development more engaging.
  68. Feb 7, 2012
    It's a promising start, but the game's commendable mechanics are matched by numerous wonky moments, an awkward cast of characters and some wearying repetition. The Darkness II has plenty of heart, but it needs more soul.
  69. Feb 7, 2012
    Ultimately, it's this unique style that makes The Darkness 2 worth your time. After years of chest-beating military domination, the FPS genre is starting to show signs of life in more eccentric ways. Everything old is new again, so by concentrating on character, story and giddy comic-book excess, The Darkness 2 is a more compelling offering in 2012 than it would have been in 2008.
  70. Feb 7, 2012
    Levels are linear and predictable, focused on ushering you from one straightforward encounter to another so that you can go crazy with those deranged arms of yours. If you are a fan of the original game, bear this in mind: The Darkness II is a fun, very short FPS without the authentic atmosphere and subtle touches that made its predecessor so intriguing. Still, if you've got a lust for virtual blood, The Darkness II leaks enough of it to satiate you.
  71. Feb 10, 2012
    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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 269 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 269
  1. Feb 17, 2012
    The darkness 2 is a true sequel improving on almost every aspect of the first game, the combat is smooth and vicious, the graphics have a cellThe darkness 2 is a true sequel improving on almost every aspect of the first game, the combat is smooth and vicious, the graphics have a cell shaded look which fits brilliantly in this comic book adaptation and my personal favourite aspect; the riveting and emotional story. While the main campaign is initially short the newgame+ and co-op vendettas mode flesh the game out to be well worth its asking price and whilst some reviewers have complained about bugs in the game during my time with the game I didn't notice a single one. Full Review »
  2. Feb 7, 2012
    The Darkness 2 to me is different among other games it keeps you wanting more just like the creature inside Jackie the game play is fantasticThe Darkness 2 to me is different among other games it keeps you wanting more just like the creature inside Jackie the game play is fantastic and the story is riveting and quad wielding is something new and flows really well the graphics are great to me it reminds me of borderlands 2 i have already beat the game and im on my second play through and i could tell you this game is worth a buy Full Review »
  3. Feb 8, 2012
    This was a very fun game with an interesting plot to boot, however the campaign is ungodly short, so I would recommend a rent rather than aThis was a very fun game with an interesting plot to boot, however the campaign is ungodly short, so I would recommend a rent rather than a buy because you won't get much time out of it. Full Review »