The Darkness II Updated Q&A - New Powers and Gun Channeling

In The Darkness II, you'll gain all-new superhuman powers. Producer Seth Olshfski explains and shares four exclusive new videos.


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The Darkness II will be a sequel to the comic-book-inspired action adventure game that put you in the shoes of hit man Jackie Estacado. This time around, Jackie has moved up in the world, and his ability to control the mysterious power known as The Darkness has also improved. In addition to being able to use The Darkness to sprout two new limbs (so that he can wield guns in both of his hands and in his Darkness-powered limbs quad-wield guns), he'll have new powers to subdue his foes and even abilities that make him a deadlier shot. We sat down with producer Seth Olshfski to get the details.

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GameSpot: We understand that in The Darkness II, Jackie will gain plenty of new powers and abilities. Tell us about the upgrade process. How does he unlock upgrades for his various powers?

Seth Olshfski: To understand how Jackie gets more powerful through The Darkness II, we should start with the idea of dark essence. Jackie discovered somewhere between the first game and the second that all dark, chaotic acts create some amount of the stuff. Dark essence is a kind of psychic splatter that can be harnessed for different effects. Sometimes it gets absorbed into objects (such as the knife of the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper), and other times, if you know enough about how it works, you can absorb that energy yourself. That's what Jackie's learned to do: He absorbs the dark essence generated when he kills enemies and turns that into extra awesome Darkness powers and talents.

In the game, this means that there are certain places in the world--we call them talent shrines--where Jackie can spend his dark essence. Just click on the talent shrine and you'll see all the powers available to Jackie in the talent tree.

GS: Tell us about some of Jackie's new and improved powers, such as swarm and black hole. What are some of the new ways he can use to dispatch his enemies?

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SO: Swarm is a pretty awesome power that we haven't talked about yet. It's an active power, so functionally, the player presses a button in combat to summon the power and then the demon arms vomit out a green fire infused with dark essence. That fire clings to and burns a couple of enemies and fully immobilizes them for a few seconds. On top of that, you can upgrade swarm so that it lasts longer, hits more enemies, or does damage to them. Swarm can turn a tough five-on-one fight into a cakewalk while Jackie shotguns down his helpless enemies.

GS: We also understand that in addition to his offensive powers, Jackie will have some tactical abilities, such as stun and distraction powers, that he can use to temporarily neutralize his foes. How do these powers work?

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SO: In addition to swarm, another good example of a tactical power would be demonic lift. This power is part of the demon arm tree and lets you immobilize airborne enemies. So, before you upgrade to demonic lift, you can slash enemies vertically and send them flying into the air and crashing into the ground. After you upgrade to demonic lift, you can vertically slash enemies up into the air, and they'll be suspended at about gun level, completely helpless for a second or two. This lets you do pretty much whatever you want to your enemies--grab them to do an execution, slash an arm or leg off, or just fire off a shotgun blast to the face. You can also combine this with other unlockable talents like ground pound, which creates a gib-infused explosion if you slash an airborne enemy into the ground.

GS: We also understand that Jackie, being a hit man by trade, can do some neat tricks with his firearms in the form of gun channeling. How does this system work?

SO: Gun channeling is an active power that replaces Jackie's bullets with the power of The Darkness. So when you activate the power, you are suddenly doing way more damage and no longer need to worry about ammo or reloading. I personally like gun channeling when I'm dual-wielding UMPs; the carnage potential is huge when you can fire off a couple hundred bullets without letting your finger off the trigger.

Gun channeling can also be upgraded to last longer and recharge quicker. You can also buy the heart of darkness talent, which lets you see through walls--and even shoot through them--when gun channeling is active. And if you upgrade this ability even further, you can purchase gun kata, which turns ammo into heart-seeking bullets that home in on heat targets.

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

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SO: Jackie's quad-wielding abilities afford the player so many options to upgrade not just his abilities to fire guns and wield the demon arms, but also darkness powers and the simultaneous use of these powers while in combat. The deeper, more complex upgrade system really adds another dimension to the combat system in The Darkness II, and we're really excited for people to try it out.

GS: Thank you.

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Avatar image for xboxgameman

This game looks quite dated. It sucks that this game is probably going to suck as well. But maybe not...who knows...anything is possible.

Avatar image for Erroneous_Snake

I remember playing and enjoying the first one but this just looks pitiful. It's sad when games are still in development and already look dated.

Avatar image for v1k1n9

-.-" gona pass this one

Avatar image for ThexSilentxOne

Why so tough on the game! The first wasn't exactly Rage in terms of framerate and presentation!

Avatar image for Darkcul

Looks horrible pass

Avatar image for redturkei

Power of Worms its going sux

Avatar image for juliano001

hahahahaha. Well mentioned @icarus_a_d. Impossible not doing the analogy, unless you are a 5 years old pure child.

Avatar image for Tinkertown

No more starbreeze?? Not sure about this one, even though i'm a major fan of the first. Looks clunky and poor!

Avatar image for icarus_a_d

OMG! its a p*ssy sucking vacuum!!!

Avatar image for Okplay

Looks like mid core fps with add >> those "claws"

Avatar image for LinkStormrage

@Gelugon_baat Hummm i didnt know that, so yeah .. looks like you are right

Avatar image for unbentonslaught

Is it just me or does this look like it's going to suck?

Avatar image for pierrey22

@TechnologoDoom well said, and well put, and well its all true, but me still want non the less, quad-welding come on that is awsem, but yer well said (not saying you didnt say it was awsem, you didnt comment on it, but yer...)

Avatar image for pierrey22

can i have this now

Avatar image for Exia2004

looks poor made

Avatar image for TechnologoDoom

my hope is that darkness II retains the sensibilities of the first, the inbetween moments and reflective spaces, rather than descending into pure action fluff. the uniqueness of the original was in it's execution as much as in it's mechanics. hopefully it will stay true to those sensibilities...

Avatar image for AkashaDemon

I'm not really a connoisseur of frame rates and all that.As long as the game plays without glitches I'm in heaven. What really interests me is another game with guns and magick that doesn't bore me. Its in the mail and I can't wait for it to get here! Way to go Seth!

Avatar image for starduke

Wait-a-minute, "quad-wielding"? Now I'm interested.

Avatar image for BrySKii

why couldn't they have just kept they same graphics as the first game? i think the graphics of the first made the story and the characters darker.and the darkness is something frightening and violent, not colorful and goofy. idk, we'll just have to see i guess.

Avatar image for Dreammosaic

Really looking forward to this game. Still own and have played through the first Darkness several times. Hopefully this game is incredible.

Avatar image for Witchblade13

This game looks amazing and fun! Feb. 7 just can't come soon enough D: Alright Top Cow, now I'm waiting for games off of your other franchises >.

Avatar image for EpicNoobOwnage

Yes bring on the guns and demonic possession.....Guns, Demons, and vengeance= a very gory fun game!

Avatar image for Waximizer

wtf with that british flag

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

I really enjoyed the original Darkness. I just hope they are going to put lots more TV/film footage in again. I found sitting with the girlfriend watching To Kill A Mocking Bird a novel experience. Popeye was good too!

Avatar image for kiranbvsn

personally i've never played darkness, but i will try this one

Avatar image for 100proofsoco

@ :38 thats awesome. Mountain Dew anyone?

Avatar image for slipknotmaggot1

how bout everyone stops b!tching til the game comes out.

Avatar image for adamomars

a few people seems to know a lot. they know what others think, and why they are what they think they are. what they dont know is that nobody thinks like them. the others dream of lesser things with greater demand. these ones go about, only knowing what their told.

Avatar image for mammoth92

I think it's a bit early to be commenting on frame rate issues. The clips you are seeing are not from the final version of the game. They still have several months of development time.

Avatar image for justicxprime

Anyone who complains about art style/graphics truly isn't a gamer, it's the story and game play that really matter, i dont see you guys not playing borderlands because its cell shaded. BTW the cell shaded look is a nice refreshing take on violence, I'm sick of games trying to be "realistic" if I want realism I go outside and interact with REAL things.

Avatar image for justicxprime

@thenephariouson And you do realize the main complaint of the first game was the gun play right!? so clearly they are trying hard to make the one thing that a lot of people didn't like, better. 0_o

Avatar image for justicxprime

@thenephariouson The graphics ARE appropriate just from the simple fact that the game is based off of a comic, The cell shaded look arcs back to games comic roots. Do some research before commenting on topics you know nothing about.

Avatar image for justicxprime

@splinter10 that's not frame rate issues, that's called they slowed the trailer down to make it seem more dramatic.

Avatar image for splinter10

This just reminds me of those crappy 90's PC games that only a few people ever bought. It also looks like it will have frame rate problems.

Avatar image for Forcecaster

@Shelledfade1 Blood is blood and guts are guts. :D No matter the visual style. If it will be way too lifelike, they will give an adult only rating. I am absolutely satisfied with this game and finally it's time to check it out on the PC!

Avatar image for thenephariouson

I would however like to see a sequel to Dark Sector.

Avatar image for thenephariouson

Although the graphics are ok, i dont feel they are appropriate here, i also get the feeling the developer has gone down the runnie-gunnie route and fear this will have a negative effect on the overall feel, as one of the main reasons the original Darkness was so good, was the that it had an immersive and quite unique story line, in addition to being a dark and moody experience. I feel as though these elements will be missing from D2 as it appears the main focus is simply on gunplay in order to make it a more accessible shooter. Just my two penneths worth : )

Avatar image for vincentmon

I really like the concept of the darkness and really loved the first game, but in my opinion, this suppose to be a dark, violent and mature (funny, but mature) game, and the cell shaded graphic doesn't give that feeling. it gives the feeling of a cartoon, instead, in my opinion they should have went for realistic scary look with strong sense of dark places versus light places and a an atmospheric lighting, like the interrogation scene from the first one, was scary scene, remember that scene guys? In my opinion we should be a little scared playing the darkness, and comic book graphics doesn't do it, for me anyways...

Avatar image for MichaeltheCM

meh. looks like they're trying too hard especially with the darkling :|

Avatar image for kekejefferis

The 1st one was fantastic. I like the new more comic book inspired look for this, Hopefully they have tightened up the controls this time around though IIRC Jackie controlled a lot like he was drunk in the 1st. Looking forward to this one.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@LinkStormrage Actually, they did the PS3 conversion of BioShock - one year later after BioShock was released for the PC and Xbox 360. Irrational Games has already done most of the work for that game.

Avatar image for LinkStormrage

@Gelugon_baat They did Bioshock ... That's enough for me.

Avatar image for Razvan5000

Not Bad :D

Avatar image for ProjektInsanity

As I think every reasonable gamer recognizes. Graphics don't MAKE a game, but of course they matter. Gameplay, graphics, sound...they're all part of the experience. All three have developed quite a bit since the late 90's/early 2000's, and these graphics are definitely sub-par. It's not that comic-style graphics can't be done well (Borderlands), but these aren't particularly noteworthy.

Avatar image for crazyTakcucT

Who cares about graphics?! If this game is as good as the first one this is already awesome, not taking into acount that the sequel is obviously will be better!

Avatar image for kazumashadow

I rented the first one and found it pretty satisfactory, now let's see this one. The idea of "quad wielding" seems at least awesome.

Avatar image for gawthy

Going to be the worst game ever

Avatar image for Dragon-Power

The action is great but the graphic is worse ,

Avatar image for SolidSizzle

Looks... Naff.

Avatar image for DeviLBringeRRR

I think i will buy it for my birthday too bad the first one is not available for PC

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