The Darkness II

..The Darkness II..

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The Darkness II Box Art
System/s: PC, PS3, X360
Developer: Digital Extremes
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Players: 1-4
GD Score: 78
Press Scores
Release Date:
N. America: Feb. 7, 2012
Europe: Feb. 10, 2012
Australia: Feb. 10, 2012
Japan: Feb. 23, 2012
ESRB: Mature (Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content)

"A Delightful, Bloody Romp"


Author: Rando Evans  

There's very little room in today's world for a new FPS. If a developer doesn't give us something original, deliver a good story, give us a good multiplayer, or makes us yawn even once in the first hour, it's over. That's why The Darkness II is a welcome relief in a world of generic FPS games.

The Darkness II puts us back into the role of Jackie Estacado, a man who has gained control of a power called the darkness. He has risen to Don of a particular mob family due to these powers. However, he carries the baggage of his murdered girlfriend with him. It's only a matter of time before the darkness he's spent so many years holding back unleashes itself and thus begins a story of violent revenge. While the story of The Darkness II tends to run on long in some areas (and this is a great disappointment as compared to the original The Darkness, which had a great origin story to it), the plot is not the worst thing ever written. It simply seems like some adjusting needed to be done to the story beats to make the narrative flows and pops a bit more than it does.

The Darkness II (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) Review Screenshots

Even so, we are given an FPS with a very interesting element: you are essentially playing a monster. With the ability to use your hands for weaponry and the ability to use your monstrous limbs as weapons, you'll move through The Darkness II at light speed, shooting, blasting, tearing, ripping, killing, and mauling everything in your path. The Darkness II blends together a comic book mob story with the visuals of ultra-violent grindhouse movies of the 70s and violent Asian cinema. For horror fans, The Darkness II is far a better treat than we could ever imagine, and it's far superior to the horror-homage fest Shadows of the Damned.

Gameplay is well seated, with tight controls and easy-to-access attacks. There is the ability to gain experience and level up, which is not treated simply as a throw-in to give the game more content. Different attacks and kills will give you different amounts of experience, and the abilities to be gained on the skill tree are worth working for, making that kill that gives you top points. The sheer amount of ways to kill your enemies and the ability to interact with the environment to throw stuff or add to the bloody destruction makes everything so much sweeter.  

There are a few more additions worth mentioning. Walking into light will take away your darkness powers, so paying attention to you environment adds to the strategy even more. There will be plenty of enemies coming at you with floodlights in an attempt to get the upper hand, and some thought will come into play when planning how to tackle these types of weapons.

The Darkness II overall experience is fairly intense and over-the-top, but in the fashion of Saints Row 3, it somehow works. The cel-shaded execution of the graphics are simply stunning, and while some slowdowns, glitches, and the typical case of cloned enemy models get weary, the comic booked styled graphics help bring The Darkness II into its own. Tearing a baddie in half with your mutant tentacles is pretty brutal, but never will you feel like the violence doesn't belong here.

The Darkness II (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) Review Screenshots

The absolute best element of The Darkness II is that the multiplayer isn't a tacked-on addition. Levels here are designed to work with a team in mind, and are fine-tuned for the co-op experience. Even better, the storyline executed in this co-op mode is a sub-story to the main game's plot, making playing multiplayer worth it even for those who typically avoid it. The only flaw in the multiplayer arena is a few major slowdowns that tend to happen and will hopefully be fixed via patches soon.

The Darkness II is fun, fast, and despite a few rough-around-the-edges moments with graphics and story, it's a fun ride. However that ride is quite short, with the main game coming in at around 5-6 hours. It may be short, but for those seeking a fresh new FPS, or those who love violent horror films or comics books, The Darkness II is the perfect choice.

GameDynamo's Score for The Darkness II (PS3)
If it weren't for the slowdowns and glitches, The Darkness II would be one of the greatest looking games this year.
A few annoying voice-overs, okay music, some satisfying combat sounds... Overall, nothing that will blow you away.
With the ability to use your hands for guns and your tentacles for killing, adding in a dozen different ways to attack and defend using the environment, The Darkness II focuses heavily on making gameplay fun and fresh, giving us an original experience all around.
Play Value
Short but sweet, with a decent multiplayer. We can only hope the DLC is released soon... or maybe an extended cut will be released some day.
Final Score  78  
Fast, violent, original, and fun, The Darkness II suffers from graphical glitches, a mediocre story, and a short main campaign, but the freshness in gameplay and visuals make it a nice release to start the year off in gaming.

Posted on 02/14/2012 | Game Played on: PS3
Rando Evans

Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.

The views of GameDynamo's writers are not necessarily the views of the website as a whole. However, we support freedom of speech and enjoy diverse opinions about video games. Hopefully you do too!

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