The Darkness II
The beginning and end of a generation
When the first The Darkness game came out for various platforms, the current console generation was still in its early years. The game managed to impress with its unique gameplay, but it may not have been the game that would remain on everyone’s mind many years later. In the meantime, 2K Games has decided to release a new part and to continue the success of the first part, whether or not to surpass it. The Darkness II is now a fact.
The Darkness II is a game that once again revolves around the main character Jackie Estacado, head of a New York mafia family and also the bearer of the power ‘The Darkness’. The demonic arms which you could of course already see in part 1 and which also provided the unique gameplay at the time are present again in this part and can provide a lot of extra dark powers, but do not expose them to the light, because then they are away. The left arm can rip doors out of walls and pick up opponents and pull the heart out of the bodies. The right arm is clearly the arm to hit with, so it can also be demolished. Swallowing the hearts of opponents is necessary to regenerate your health and also ensures that you save ‘Dark Essence’, with which you can then save skills in a skill tree which is divided into a kind of four family trees. abilities to gain. For the first time, quad wielding is present, making it possible to use both your own arms and the demonic arms at the same time with the 4 shoulder buttons. Both hands can be filled with weapons, including pistols, desert eagles, rifles and shotguns. Furthermore, you can mainly use the demonic arms in close combat situations to beat and crush opponents. At first glance, little seems to have changed, but the great thing about the already unique aspect from part 1, is that in part 2 this gameplay element also turns out to be great and has only been expanded further. And it must be said: It works really great and every kill you make with your demonic arms somehow always feels perfect. In addition, small gadgets have been added, so that you sometimes have to avoid the light in stealth-like ways. Even using car doors to protect yourself from bullets has no doubt an added value.
But what you should not just forget is the plot. The second part in the franchise takes place 2 years after the first part. Jackie has worked his way up to leader of the Don of the Franchetti family. However, the death of his girlfriend, Jenny Romano, continues to play tricks on him. However, with Johnny’s help, he decides to take steps to find Jenny and literally save her from ****. But is it all going according to plan? Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that the storyline of this new part is again great. I don’t want to speak directly of a sublime concept, something that part 1 may have turned out to be more of, but it certainly remains appealing. Although the story is short-lived, only 6 to 7 hours long, it is not too short given the great adventure you will experience. Although we had hoped for 10 hours of single player gameplay, I would rather have few good hours of fun than mediocre entertainment and that for 10 hours. The Darkness II is constantly captivating, constantly varied, although the gameplay hardly evolves, yet always exciting.
Borderlands meets FEAR
It’s hard to compare The Darkness II to anything in terms of gameplay, partly due to the unique Darkness effect of the demonic arms. However, The Darkness II looks a bit like a refined version of FEAR, which mainly has a better run. Where in FEAR you have seen it after a while, The Darkness remains constantly fascinating. When you are done with the interesting single player, you can start the multiplayer with up to 4 people, both offline and online. Vendetta’s brings multiplayer experiences that run in sync with the story, with each of the 4 different characters bringing their own story. Together you can defeat the Brotherhood and find out the story of each individual character, of which there are 4. It’s nice that, just like in the single player, there are also bosses in the multiplayer, so that you are not simply playing a horde mode where killing is all that matters. In addition, each character has their own ‘Darkness powers’, which are different from the single player experience.
What also makes The Darkness II a great game is the graphical style of the game. It can be compared to the drab graphics of FEAR combined with the cell-shaded look of Borderlands. That not only sets the style apart, but also makes it all a bit more imaginative, as if you’ve landed in some kind of dream. That artwork-esque look comes into its own especially when you end up in the Asylum, where Jackie is being held supposedly to protect and treat him. The faces of characters are also depicted in a unique way. The game may not be top quality in terms of quality given the walls that look a bit faded and various objects parked everywhere, but it can certainly get through, especially because of the special graphic style that has been chosen. The soundtracks and especially certain guns make the game feel even more atmospheric than many competing games in this genre. Everything rumbles away nicely and the short monologues of the demonic arms also sound fine.
It is striking that The Darkness II no longer revolves entirely around the single player. Although the game brings a great adventure, it is relatively short. However, this is certainly compensated by adding a multiplayer to the total package, which plays away almost as well as the single player. Although The Darkness II doesn’t really follow dangerous or innovative paths, it certainly manages to keep you captivated, just like part 1, and that’s great. Actually, when you look back at the adventure, you have the feeling that you have played a fairly standard and linear game that brings little new under the sun, yet it will turn out that it has been an adventure that you will not just forget. The Darkness II is not a game that will return in the top 10 lists at the end of this year, but it is definitely worth checking out if you liked part 1, or if you want to play a brutal shooter that is also fine in all aspects. knows how to score.
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Author: Jeroen Janssen | Genre: FPS | Release: 13-02-2012 | Publisher: 2K Games | Developer: Digital ExtremesGraphics: 8.5 † Sound: 8.0 † Gameplay: 8.8 † Controls: 9.0 † Playback: 8.0 8.5+ Darkness powers remain unique aspect+ Graphics light cel-shaded style+ Quad wielding and gameplay improvements- Campaign could have lasted longer- May take the safe route a bit too much-