[It shall be noted that this review is for the single player only]
There was a time when I bought my first Xbox 360 (notice the word ‘first’) and was looking for some games to actually play on it, I picked up two to start with, Sonic 06 (we’ll get to that at a later date) and a game called ‘The Darkness’. What I expected to play was a regular old FPS with the standard muguffin to try to spice up the bullets, what I actually got was a damn fine game with a well told story with memorable characters, solid game mechanics and a set of tentacles with a voice I wish to mate with.
Just take me now
Few years down the line and a developer switch later we now have The Darkness 2 for us the take a healthy gander and compare to its predecessor, is it a better game then the first or is it just another thing to throw into the trade in pile let us see.
The first and most notably different thing that’s different now is that instead of the gritty look that first game used the game now opts for a new cell shaded look that makes all the blood and evil tom foolery stand out much more then the first game. The game play has also been revamped and now has you using your lovely pair of tentacles for melee attacking and throwing objects and enemies, objects thrown can be things such as poles for impaling, flat objects for separating peoples lower parts from their bottom half’s and of course other random guff just laying about. An upgrade system has also been incorporated using points that are accumulated by creatively killing various dudes in various methods or finding relics hidden in areas which can be used to upgrade your guns, powers etc. you also get little goblin like thing called a `darkling` which you can use to distract, stun or kill foes, he’s also a likeable little thing due to him having a funny British accent and being all and all, quite a bro as the story progress.
Story wise we start off where the first game left off with the MC Jackie Estacado and an Italian Mafia Don type, trying to come to grip with his dark powers trying to take him over and battling with an organisation known as the brotherhood while also trying to comes to grips with the loss of a loved one. Between mission you have a hub area in the form of Jackie’s mansion which you can interact with some of the extra characters, almost all of which have some amusing to say to some fashion such as Fat Tony who hangs around the kitchen telling you how food makes everything better and your skinny ass should eat more.
Eat more sandwiches ya skinny shit
The story has a couple of good twist along the way too as well as some of that good old thing known as character development, which is good seeing as this is a very story driven game.
Well that’s enough about the good points lets talk shitty shall we?
While most of the upgrades are fairly useful with things like stronger defence, more powerful melee attacks and powers. However there was one skill tree out of the four available that focused on gun upgrades that I never bothered leveling up as the upgrades all seemed rather pointless in the grand scheme of things. Why have faster reload times for a shotgun when you can just keep whacking them with them tentacles of yours while your reloading anyway. Another thing that urked me was how pointless it felt throwing explosives at people, maybe I just suck at aiming but when ever I chucked a barrel at them or something the barrel always missed them or banged into any small part of the scenery and just blow up with its punt explosion radius not even touching him.
And now for something story wise that was just sigh worthy, without spoiling the ending I’ll simply say this, it ends on one of those sequel hook type of ending, no closure is given and your left with no promise of the sequel, and seeing as it took years for Darkness 2 to come out who knows when the next one will come out and continue the story. The games is also not very long clocking in about 5-6 hours or so if you gun through it with not much of reason to replay apart from getting achievements and going through the game on new game + with all your goodies to rip shit up.
Really though most of the complaints are either small or just things that just have to happen to get a sequel, the single player is a solid shooter just like its predecessor with enough new to make the sequel worth playing as well as being a good continuation of the overall story and also good enough to stand on its own even if you haven’t played the first, I’d recommend anyone who wants these kinds of things this game any time, now if you don’t mind the voices in my head are yelling MORE SANDWICHES!!!!