Awesome game!!!!And a little brutal...............OK a lot BRUTAL.The best part is tearing people open...LOL!
The Darkness II Review
The Darkness II is not the revelation its predecessor was, but ripping up occultists with your demon arms is a blast anyway.
- Demonic arms + solid gunplay = fun times
- Unusual, creepy story that's more than just cheap shocks
- Skill tree gives the action some diversity
- Excellent voice acting and sound effects.
- Incredibly short campaign
- Linear levels and second-rate AI make for predictable encounters
- Run-of-the-mill co-op missions lack challenge.
The Darkness II is a shooter.
OK, so that seems a pretty odd statement to make: Of course The Darkness II is a shooter! But in this sequel's case, it's an important point to consider. The Darkness (the original game) had the feel of an adventure. Sure, you shot guns, but the action, the story, and the peripheral details merged to make a single, creative whole that didn't really resemble other first-person shooters. The Darkness II is a lot of fun, but it doesn't have that spark of uniqueness. Levels are remarkably linear, and the game is remarkably short. Skilled marksmen should finish the campaign in less than five hours.
So The Darkness II isn't special, but it has one particular element that keeps it exciting: the two creepy demonic arms that sprout from your body, each with its own gnashing mouth, and each with an insatiable appetite for human hearts. The right arm is for smashing; you can whip it around with abandon, using the right stick to slash vertically or horizontally, bashing enemies, street lamps, and electrical wires. The left arm is for grabbing; you can grab car doors to use as shields and fling them at mobsters like murderous Frisbees. You can throw metal poles at your foes and impale them as if preparing a human-sized shish kebob. You can also reel in a staggered enemy, grab each leg, and tear him in half like a wishbone. A wishbone that screams.
If that sounds gross, well, it is, in a wonderful way. Take the anaconda move. With this particular left-arm maneuver, you roll your foe up like a pig in a blanket and thrust the demonic head through his chest. The demon then growls in satisfaction before unrolling and allowing the limp body to drop to the ground. As you move toward The Darkness II's conclusion, you see this move and other similarly disgusting ones rather often, and they remain shocking for a little while. The sound effects are fantastically squishy; you can practically hear the cartilage tear and the vital organs rupture. To replenish health, you hold a button and your arms feed on nearby human hearts, snatching them up with a thwack and noisily chomping on them.
The game's upgrade system might have you unlocking new animations, but even then, the gross-out factor can wear thin. This is in part because you can string together the same basic moves in succession, over and over, without feeling challenged. You're invulnerable during these kills, which is just as well because it would be pretty frustrating to get shot to death while waiting for your demon arms to finish some horrific dismemberment. In time, The Darkness II tries to amp up the challenge, throwing enemies at you with tough shields and introducing combatants that shine spotlights on you. All that light causes your demon arms to regress while filling your screen with so much blinding whiteness that you can barely see what's going on. But generally speaking, you can charge forward, shooting, flinging, and grabbing without worrying often about dying. As long as you shoot out any errant light sources, you won't feel much pressure on anything but the hardest difficulty.
The Darkness II does its best to provide variety. Depending on how you upgrade as you progress, you might unleash a swarm of insects at your enemies, which makes them vulnerable to a nauseating fatality. Or you might summon a mini black hole, which sucks nearby enemies into its swirling vortex. There's also your darkling, a miniature gremlin that calls you "monkey" and skitters around, leaping on bad guys and urinating on helpless corpses. Well, with the right upgrade, you can pick up your darkling and throw it on anyone that gives you trouble. Combining these moves with standard pistols and rifles can be absolutely riotous, with arms flying everywhere and enemies screaming in agony as you tear them in half.
Nevertheless, the demon arm mechanic is expected to bear most of the burden, and central aspects of the game's action are mundane. The shooting is better than that of the first game, but then again, the original was paced and built very differently. The Darkness II typically funnels you down paths like any random shooter. Levels occasionally open up a bit, but this sequel is as linear as games come, sending out unintelligent enemies in predictable patterns so that you might exploit the forgiving snap-to aiming to mow them down. (You can thankfully turn this off.) Heck, even the levels themselves are right out of the book of shooter and horror game cliches: a subway, a warehouse, a creepy carnival, and the like. If The Darkness was an ambient action adventure, then The Darkness II is an arcade shooter. If you have any doubt about that, consider this: When you kill enemies, a pop-up appears, announcing the name of the move, along with the amount of dark essence (that is, experience) you earned. It is done sort of like Bulletstorm's skill shot system.
You should turn off those notifications at the first opportunity if you want to get the most out of The Darkness II. (Be sure to also turn off the annoying tutorial reminders that frequently appear, reminding you how to play the game even when you've almost finished it.) That's because there's an effective story here worth paying attention to, but the pop-ups only serve to take you out of the experience and remind you that you're just playing a game. Once again, you play as Jackie Estacado, who is now the leader of the Franchetti crime family. The story gets off to an explosive start, with an intense on-rails restaurant shoot-out that ultimately leads to the eye-opening emergence of The Darkness; that is, the hellish presence that grants Jackie his incredible powers.
Awesome game!!!!And a little brutal...............OK a lot BRUTAL.The best part is tearing people open...LOL!
It's one of the best (if not the best) game I've played this year (Considering titles from Jan till it's releasing date). Although it's way too short and might not be for everyone, what are you getting is an art, top notch quality but it's short and brutal, try the demo before grabbing it. I highly recommend it, it's a refreshing game in FPS genre, which is a rare treat
@jimmytaker Gamespot is horrible about rating their games. The average user ratings are usually more closely related how I feel about a game.
While I do agree that it was a little too short for my taste, I still highly recommend at least renting it. It's a great and demented game :D
Gamespot could have given this game a 5 and I would have bought it.. I love the comics, I loved the first game and the demo for this game was a hell of a lot of fun. Don't let gamespots scores affect you... go out, learn a little about the darkness, the lore world and stuff, play the first game and the demo and see if its something you think you would like..
I feel like Gamespot is extra grumpy lately or maybe Skyrim has messed up their standards, but all of the really good games lately have been getting 7s from Gamespot. I know a 7 isn't bad, but honestly I think they are being a little extreme.
Still buying it... had a great time with the demo, and I was never really taken with the first one anyway. For me the fact it doesn't play like the original is a good thing.
That's really too bad. The first game was quite enjoyable. I particularly loved the open city parts where you had to use the street signs to find where you were supposed to go. Oh well, I'll wait until this hits the bargain bin.
5 hours gameplay....? How disappointing. How can they expect people to pay top dollar for such a short experience?
You do realize that there is a 4 player co-op campaign in addition to the single player. So its not just 5 a hour story with nothing left to do after you beat the game.
You do realize that there is a 4 player co-op campaign in a addition to the single player. So its not just 5 a hour story with nothing left to do after you beat the game.
Fartman... why not wait, there are 100s of other games that many have not played that are at in bargin bins...
I played the PSN demo and wasn't impressed. It was fun, and quite exciting, but we've already done the Demonic arms thing in the first Darkness, so that's not new, and the demo was very linear. I actually do like linear games generally but it seemed particularly so. I didn't time myself but the demo only lasted a few minutes and struck me as short at the time. I think the linearity makes things fairly simple. Also I didn't like the graphics - the cell shading just doesn't work and makes the game look dated. So another game to pick up when it's $20 in approx 5 months time.
Hey another short game for full price, guess why ill be buying this used, instead of new, vindictive developers
Damn if it's too short then I can't buy it for the full price, I will have to wait and don't get me wrong I just can't afford so many games this year I already sacrificed so much :cry:
@ xV-DeadGamer-Vx that's because there aren't a lot games that deserve higher than that coming out lately
Shame.. I actually really liked the non-linearity of the first for it's time. The only thing I really hated was how boring hell got. I can't really enjoy linear corridor shooters anymore, even when they give you the illusion that isn't such as Rage.
I am not knocking GameSpot's recent reviews in anyway but there sure as hell seems to be a lot of 7's & 7.5's lately.
@Fartman7998 Unless this game is a surprise smash hit, it will be available as an Amazon or Best Buy special for $30 or so within a few months. Taking 15 seconds a day to check on-line deals is a great way to get less-than-amazing games on the cheap.
guess I'll wait until it's cheap. I don't want pay 50 bucks for a too short and a decent action game.
I didn't like the 1st one all that much. It's a good game, but I didn't see the awsomeness that many people shouted arround. After I played the demo for Darkness 2 I was hoping for a better game. It felt like it would be less repetitive and with a more frantic action. But 5 hours campaign? I will never pay 50$ for a game that short. Maybe when it drops price.
Shame it is so short, i cannot buy a game which does not offer a lot of content, its just too expensive. I really liked the demo though, so maybe i will buy it when its reduced in price or buy a used copy.
I hate when people say they'll pick it up in the bargain bin. There is no bargain bin anymore people. This game will hit the $20 mark in a year or so...plus, are you really gonna WAIT? Like seriously..."OMG, it's been exactly ______ days, and I've marked every day on my calendar! Let's go to ______!" I'm done trolling. Disappointing though....then again, Gamespot is disappointed with nearly everything :P
Disappointing. Loved the first one, sounds likes like this one got lost in translation. Probably will pick it up when it hits the bargain bin.
Sounds like a pretty good rental. I've been looking forward to this game for a while, and it sounds like people are giving me a lot of reasons to play.
It sounds like this is more in line with what the first would have been, if it didnt have such an exceptional narrative. Its a hard act to follow!
"The Darkness II is a fun, very short FPS without the authentic atmosphere and subtle touches that made its predecessor so intriguing." That's what I was worried about. Watching, reading and hearing about it, Digital Extremes made a commendable effort and successfully addressed a part of The Darkness that wasn't great, but they only got halfway there on the parts that you cared about.