By Sam Coles:
A series that has dropped off the radar is the fantastic Darkness series based on the comics of the same name; The Darkness is about an evil entity that manifests in people across history that have questionable morals. The concept was very unique as it combined a comic book story with an emotional and intense Mafioso story line as it took aspects from Goodfellas and the Sopranos with its story telling.
You play as Jackie Estacado who is now the head of a mafia family after events of the first game where his Uncle Paulie betrayed him and tried to assassinate him, but what he didn’t realise is that he had the power of The Darkness within him. A few years have passed and Jackie has managed to keep The Darkness at bay as he no longer wants to be controlled by it. It’s not until one evening when he is in a restaurant having dinner where he is attacked by a cult and he is mortally wounded and has to unleash The Darkness to heal himself. However when he unleashes The Darkness he starts to see illusions of his dead girlfriend Jenny who was murdered in the first game by Uncle Paulie.
What transpires is an interesting psychological thriller with great action and segments where you’re questioning what is real it’s fantastic. It also helps that it has fantastic voice work from Brian Bloom which if you’ve played Infinite Warfare you’ll know him as Nick Reyes.
The gameplay is a first person shooter with your standard elements of taking cover etc. but this game has a unique gameplay element where you quad wield. How this work is that you have control of two guns and two of The Darkness tentacles so you can fire your weapons at a distance and use the tentacles as a melee option when enemies get up close and personal. However you can use the tentacles to pull extremely brutal executions such as ripping someone’s guts out of their throat to even ripping their spinal cord out of their anus, yes that is a thing. You can also use them to pick up car doors to utilise as portable cover and metal poles to practise your javelin skills where you can pin enemies to walls this game is not for the faint of heart as it is extremely violent.
The shooting is extremely satisfying with where you see enemy’s heads pop when you nail a head shot to them almost exploding into a red mist when you use the shotgun. The duel wielding aspect of the game is utilised well as it doesn’t shoot for realism and it makes you feel as if you’re in a John Woo film when you burst into a room and unload with duel Uzis.
Visually the game has held up well considering the game came out five years ago, that is because it uses a cell shaded look to look more in line with the comic book rather than the somewhat realistic tone of the original. A lot of people didn’t like this look because they said it was too colourful for the dark subject matter it’s almost the same issue people had with Diablo III where apparently it was too colourful. I for one like the presentation it really makes the violence stand out more with the over the top manner where blood flies every where.
The Darkness II is a fantastic game and it’s a shame that there is not a sequel to it maybe we’ll get a re-release on Xbox One and PS4? If you really want to play it it’s super cheap to pick up on Xbox 360 and PS3 I can’t recommend this game enough as it has great action and an engaging narrative.