The Darkness II Q&A - Demonic Power

Jackie Estacado, the protagonist in The Darkness II, has a lot of nasty tricks for dealing with enemies. Producer Seth Olshfski explains.

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The Darkness II, which is based on the gruesome comics produced by Top Cow Productions, drags Jackie Estacado into another nightmarish adventure alongside his malevolent cohort, The Darkness. This first-person shooter mixes its gunplay with a host of demonic powers. After catching up with publisher 2K Games' Sheldon Carter back at PAX, we tracked down producer Seth Olshfski to learn more about Jackie's tools of destruction.

GameSpot: Quad-wielding is certainly one of the most interesting parts of The Darkness II. Besides scooping up enemies and ripping off car doors, what other ways can we interact with our environment using the demon arms? What are the limits of what we can lift with demonic lift?

Seth Olshfski: Demonic lift is a talent that uses the power of The Darkness to keep enemies floating in the air when you slash upward. To use it, you need to purchase the talent and slash your enemies in an upward direction. Before you purchase demonic lift, enemies will fly up in the air and then fall back down; with demonic lift, enemies will fly up in the air where they will be suspended helplessly by the power of The Darkness for a short while before falling back to the ground.

It works great in conjunction with ground pound, which obliterates airborne enemies when you slash in a downward direction. Slash a guy up into the air and then down into the ground, and you see an explosion of entrails. I also like using demonic lift for some surgical dismemberment--lifting enemies up in the air and then ripping off a leg with the slashing demon arm or simply cutting them in half. I'm not sure why, but it's really satisfying to dismember an enemy that's helplessly floating in the air. There's just a feeling of being powerful and awesome, looking at that poor Brotherhood soldier floating helplessly in the air waiting to die.

GS: Will we be able to use ground pound to knock around cars or otherwise deform the environment?

SO: Enemies not only explode when you slash with the ground pound, but there's also a residual effect on the stuff nearby the explosion. So if you ground pound a Brotherhood rookie in the middle of a crowd, not only will you send his insides flying, but you'll also send any nearby objects or other enemies airborne.

GS: From a narrative standpoint, is The Darkling always the same character or are there multiple darklings that take turns helping Jackie? From what we've seen, The Darkling also has a real twisted sense of humor. Is that taken straight from the comics or has your team injected some of its own material into the character?

SO: That's definitely true; The Darkling has a great twisted sense of humor. He's Jackie's sidekick and has a huge role in the story. And, yes, Jackie has decided to manifest just one darkling this time around. We made that choice to focus the narrative on Jackie, but we obviously drew inspiration from a variety of sources, including the comics, to create his personality and being.

The Darkness II takes pick-pocketing to a whole new extreme.

GS: In what ways can The Darkling assist you in combat? Will it be able to extinguish lights for you, for instance?

SO: The Darkling will disable enemies though a variety of combat mechanics; for instance jumping on their back and on their head. He'll pull guys out from behind cover so you can get a better shot. He picks up guns and ammo from the ground and brings them to you. As an added bonus, you can pick him up with your demon arm and throw him. He explodes on impact. He doesn't like that very much though.

GS: We've heard that there will be otherworldly locations to visit in The Darkness II. Care to give us any hints as to where those locations might be?

SO: Hints!? You want hints? Here's all you're getting: They're not in NYC.

GS: What is the top fan-requested piece of content for The Darkness II, be it a character from the comics or a specific Darkness power?

SO: There are probably two things tied for number one. The first is Mike Patton; everybody loved his voice for The Darkness from the original game. He just sounds like The Darkness should in a game of this caliber. He's part human, part beast. When he gets in the recording studio, it's really amazing. We're really glad to have him back, and the fans really appreciate it.

Tied with Patton would be requests for appearances by other characters from the Top Cow universe.

GS: In the first game, the theme of the narrative was revenge, with Jackie seeking revenge for Jenny's death. From what we've seen of The Darkness II, it looks like the theme will be survival, with Jackie being hunted by The Brotherhood. Is this accurate and will the story focus primarily on this conflict?

SO: Survival. That's a pretty good way to frame it. I think it's definitely true for the beginning of the narrative. We have a three-act structure for the game, and act one could definitely be called survival. From Jackie's perspective, somebody drove a van into your dinner; they sniped that stripper right in front of you; random dudes in orange jumpsuits are gunning for you; and some crippled dude keeps teleporting around and demanding The Darkness. Jackie definitely starts the story fighting for his life.

Act two, however, takes the story in a more proactive direction. Something (that I can't talk about now) is revealed to Jackie and he gets really [mad]. That's when he takes the fight to the enemy.

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about the game?

Between the guns, the Darkness powers, and your foul-mouthed friend, you have a lot of options in combat.

SO: I can't wait for everybody to start quad-wielding. I play a lot of games, and every time I play another first-person game, I miss my demon arms. They're just really fun to use, and I think the moment-to-moment gameplay of The Darkness II will leave the fans ecstatic.

GS: Thank you for your time.

Discussion

47 comments
EpicNoobOwnage
EpicNoobOwnage

DEMONIC ARMS+ WEAPONS+VENGEANCE+ DEMONIC POWERS= A GREAT EPIC GAME!!!!

nizam1986
nizam1986

its awesome the technic of slashing ur enemy is something which i havnt seen before its dam gud will definetly buy this one.....

Storyg4mer
Storyg4mer

If this thing would have pc graphix it woulb probaly make the game of the decade

sochio
sochio

darknes was the first game tha i had for ps3 . it is a good game

Hubadubalubahu
Hubadubalubahu

The first was something that managed to make it under the radar for me. Reading this I dont think ill be letting the second slip by so easily. Hopefully it wont throw us newcomers to the series into the fray without a little recap.

YouVandal3
YouVandal3

The first one was immersive as****! loved the city and atmospher to the openess of the"world". hope 2 is just as good. will be buying fo sure

seany1399
seany1399

epic story, nice graphics, im getting sick of the bog standard shooters (cod mainly), nice to see someting different, an yea, same for me, first one was great :)

Dangerous231
Dangerous231

i loved the first one and know im going to love this one also

ccb320
ccb320

This is starting to look like a very promising sequel

tmjm31
tmjm31

I'm torn here. Number 1 was an awesome game but the story was just so depressing and dark. Really messed up my head for weeks after.

grim0187
grim0187

I need to beat the first game. I have it. Just havent beaten it yet.

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

I loved the first one. I was put off at first by the new artistic style but I can live with it. I look forward to this game.

halo-freak
halo-freak

indeed a first person shooter is really dull and boring without cruel super demonic tentical arms. i hope the game will be more complete this time around. by that i mean more depth and more alive...(or dead) envirements.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Good answers. Good thing it was kept spoiler free I guess.

Darkestrah
Darkestrah

i've played The Darkness on Xbox 360 when it first came out. was absolutely in love with the game. still one of my most favourite game i dont know why. just know that i love the Darkness. just watched the preview. cant wait for this game to be released. i watched that guy split into two in mid air for 2mins now :P this is going to be spectacular. im sick and tired of all the generic fps games popping up these days. The Darkness offered something FRESH and out of the ordinary if you know what i mean. and THANKS for releasing this on PC! I've sold my xbox 360 (due to my extensive work). but i have a super gaming rig at home. and nothing beats a Keyboard and Mouse! LOVED THE DARKNESS..... now just somehow patiently waiting for The Darkness II

Smokey2003
Smokey2003

I think they were answered properly enough for a game that's due next year.

Ectonator
Ectonator

I really liked the first game and I am looking forward to the sequel. But, I don't think the questions were properly answered in this interview. The answers are a bit obscure, more like a politician being interviewed.

justicxprime
justicxprime

the first game was soo good. i loved the story and the art style, i hope this game sells alot.

TKH258
TKH258

Nice....It's coming out on the PC soon...

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

I really enjoyed the first one, hopefully this is better

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

this should not be the darkness.....depress...

sinex1983
sinex1983

No Kirk Acevedo as Jackie Estacado? Major bummer. :-(

Anteth
Anteth

Is it me or did he totaly evade the question about if ground pound effects the enviroment lol

endersgone
endersgone

Was it just me, or did the graphics look less cartoony/stylized in this trailer? I hope so... either way looking forward to it.

Janpieterzun
Janpieterzun

looks very, very choppy but there is time for polish.

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

Can't wait. The first was a sleeper hit.

KAM10000
KAM10000

Bloody Bloody Hell Game. Nice but They Could do Some More Improvement in Graphics.

GarGx1
GarGx1

Didn't realise this was getting a PC release, looking forward to it now :)

Smokey2003
Smokey2003

I'm really glad this isn't coming out until Feb. because the last thing my wallet needs is another must buy right now.

johny300
johny300

I want to eat some hearts like the first game :P.

pe7rus
pe7rus

I'm a big fan of the Darkness comic. Especially the drawings from Marc Silvestri. I just watched the trailer and game looks ok, but the graphics lack depth I think. It seems like the Darkness tentacles and the gun are "overlay" kind of graphics as if painted in at the final stage. Furthermore I do not like the fact that the bullet impact seems off. The comic-like graphics are a nice touch, but XIII already spoiled that surprise back in 2003. I'll stick with the comics.

santinegrete
santinegrete

I'm so curious about the control layout.

1valiantknight
1valiantknight

Maybe I missed this in other articles but the one thing I'm wondering about is, is this game still going to have an open world structure like the first one? Because I loved that about the first game.

Maxwell
Maxwell moderator

@VivaRevolucion The best execution I've seen is when you scoop the enemy up by his feet and bisect him down the middle; they call that one The Wishbone.

CyberLips
CyberLips

if it's anything like the first one it's gonna be amazing!!!!!:)

Bren128
Bren128

Hope this game does well sales wise, first one was awesome

shadow580
shadow580

@turbobenx actually I believe the graphics in this game are truer to the comics than the ones in the original game. But what the heck, screw the fans!

JamesCodelius
JamesCodelius

@turbobenx I'm sorry, does your game have better graphics? Oh yeah, I'm sure it has much better graphics.

turbobenx
turbobenx

the graphics is a very sad excuse for a 2012 game...

VivaRevolucion
VivaRevolucion

AH GOD! He split that man in half in mid air. Awesome...I had to rewind that because I wasn't sure if happened or not,

Hm1911
Hm1911

Demonic arms are a great addition

OrNiGhTZ
OrNiGhTZ

what about the Dark- - , maybe they'll save it for the 3rd tittle