Demo Impressions?

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#1 Posted by Demoskinos (14730 posts) -

So just got finished with the demo. First off the graphics are stunning. Draws a nice middle ground between looking realistic and having a distinct comic book flavor with bright vivid colors and distinct black border lines. I'm also REALLY impressed by the arm mechanics this time around. Being able to rip a car door off to make an approach to a enemy position while using it as a shield only to throw it and slice a dude in half grab hist buddy and rip him in half all in the matter of seconds constantly is giving you reasons to pay attention to your surroundings.

Its almost like a bulletstorm lite in that comparision. Kills get you XP you turn XP in to unlock skills on what seems like a very large skill tree with multiple paths. And no multiplayer in sight. It looks like they are delivering what should have been the first time. I'm really pumped about this but I'll hold off for final reviews to see whats going down.

Also the one and the only Mike Patton back as the Darkness makes it worth playing just to hear his VO lines. Anyone else ready to embrace the darkness?

#2 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

The first game was pretty cool, except for the shooting. I'll check this one out regardless of reviews.

#3 Edited by SomeDeliCook (2272 posts) -

Jackies voice.... eh. Its better than Nolan North's because then it would've been distracting, but man the original voice actor for the first Darkness was awesome.

There is SO MUCH MORE ACTION than the first game and its better too. I'm hoping the story sequences aren't rushed like they were in the demo though. Scenes lasted about one minute before hell broke loose and the fighting began. Give me a bit of a break.

The 'cel shaded' look isn't that noticeable to me. Unless i stop to look at objects, I barely notice the black outlines or cartoony shades on everything. I don't hate it, nor do I love it.

The gore is awesome. Ripping guys in half by their legs is pretty satisfying, but seeing the same animations got repetitive just in the demo.

Duel Wielding pistols was cool because you could shoot them off so fast and they had so many bullets in the chamber.

Also, it was a pretty damn lengthy demo. Definitely gave a good chunk of the game to play and judge.

Only thing I have questions about now is the co-op stuff.

#4 Posted by Demoskinos (14730 posts) -

@SomeDeliCook: oh wow.. there is coop? I had no idea. Hmm...

#5 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

Never play the first Darkness game, and I thought the demo was really good. I really like the way the game looks, and the combat is interesting and varied. I especially like the way you can use objects in the environment to shield yourself and throw it to your enemies.

#6 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2272 posts) -
#7 Posted by cstrang (2381 posts) -

I've been really excited for this game for a while. Not only was the first one great, but the comics hooked me, too. So this demo is out on XBL? I need to check it out!

#8 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

Man, this game is brutal as hell. I threw a parking meter into a guys head and pinned him to a wall. And the table scene at the restaurant? Nasty stuff.

I thought it was pretty fun overall, the shooting is kind of lame but the Darkness powers make up for it. I'm going to see if I can find the first game really cheap somewhere, I played the demo back when it came out but never got around to getting the full game.

#9 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2272 posts) -

@PeasantAbuse said:

Man, this game is brutal as hell. I threw a parking meter into a guys head and pinned him to a wall. And the table scene at the restaurant? Nasty stuff.

I thought it was pretty fun overall, the shooting is kind of lame but the Darkness powers make up for it. I'm going to see if I can find the first game really cheap somewhere, I played the demo back when it came out but never got around to getting the full game.

The gunplay is pretty meh in the first game; however, the story is really amazing. Sadly the story was spoiled if you played this demo, so it won't have as much impact.

But the game is pretty dirt cheap at Gamestop. Last i checked it was less than 10 bucks.

#10 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

It's on Games On Demand too, I think for $19.

#11 Posted by DrPockets000 (2859 posts) -

Is the demo only on 360?

#12 Posted by Rerejo28 (135 posts) -

Anybody else not seeing it on psn? Grrrrr

#13 Edited by DrPockets000 (2859 posts) -
#14 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2272 posts) -

The demo is for Xbox Live Gold Members only for this week

#15 Posted by Rerejo28 (135 posts) -

@DrPockets000: Right? Lets burn stuff 'til our rage-fueled blood-lust boils over. Seriously tho', what the hell?!

#16 Posted by Redbullet685 (6031 posts) -

Awesome! 'Bout to download this.

#17 Posted by XeroxPunk (23 posts) -

The Darkness tentacle stuff is fantastic as is the Darkling, but I could have done without him farting and pissing on things. I unlocked the power that allowed me to grab him with the left arm and chuck him at an enemy's face. That power, combined with the earlier upgrade which levitates guys you hit with an vertical swing, gave me a lot of options for crowd control. I wasn't expecting anything near the depth of combat I found in the demo, so I'm really looking forward to trying the full game out!

#18 Posted by Demoskinos (14730 posts) -

@XeroxPunk: I agree. The tone for the entire game is really brutal and dark and then you have a little imp like thing with a cockney accent pissing on dead bodies for comic relief. What? =\

#19 Posted by jtman54179 (182 posts) -

@Demoskinos: Yeah. I won't claim to know much about the first game, I didn't play it for long, but the humor of the gremlins was never like that. Kind of out of place.

The art style seems a step back. Someone mentioned that it was to mimic the comicbook visuals, and I can see that but the more realistic visual style of the first game worked well with the serious tone of the game.

The voice acting: I think Jenny's the same, I'll have to check. Loved her, or at least her delivery style, so that's nice. The voice actor for Jackie seemed alright but sometimes is sounded as though he defaulted to "generic gruff tough guy". Hopefully, these cases are rare.

The game play was nice. Very smooth combat transitioning from darkness to gunplay. Looking forward to seeing how deep the tree skills get. Also echoing what everyone else said: Brutal, very visceral combat style. Its good though.

#20 Posted by MiasmaFett (129 posts) -

I loved the first one so much is the demo worth downloading ?

#21 Posted by JasonR86 (9651 posts) -

@MiasmaFett said:

I loved the first one so much is the demo worth downloading ?

It doesn't cost anything so yes.

Here are my impressions of the demo;

-Some of the animations are a little wonky. Until you fight that is. Then shit gets crazy and so do the animations.

-I like the graphics. I really like the amount of color. The semi-cell shading on the characters is a little weird looking though.

-The exposition felt a little weird. "You remember your girlfriend Jackie? Remember? Huh? Yeah."

-Really nice sound effects.

-The darkness powers are really fucking cool.

-Those are some Italian-ass Italian accents.

-The shooting and aiming feels fast and light like COD.

It seemed pretty good.

#22 Posted by razkazz (169 posts) -

The demo definitely got me way more hyped up for the game. Despite the new look everything feels familiar, just more fluent & refined. And best of all the gunplay doesn't suck anymore!

#23 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

Just played it on the 360. I didn't get to play the first game other than a bit of the demo, but I liked the demo for this. Provided the PC demo is good next week, I'll pick this up sometime down the road.

#24 Posted by Humanity (9017 posts) -

I never played the first one but the demo for this one put me off a lot. Maybe it's because I don't have an attachment to any of the characters - I watched a playthrough sorta of the first game so I know what happened and what they reference about his girlfriend etc. The shooting felt a little weird too me. Maybe I should have turned off aim assist. When I wasn't aiming down sights it felt kinda weird and when I did ADS it seemed way too sticky. Theres no one real thing that made it seem bad for me, just incredibly 'meh' most of the time.

I couldn't shake the feeling that after I finished the demo I already had my fill of what the game was offering. I think the biggest offender for me are the execution animations which, I agree look really cool, but the way you can't move around and get locked into them really breaks the flow of combat. I kept feeling so dumb grabbing a guy outside of cover and then just standing there for the 5 seconds when he does the anaconda finisher.

#25 Edited by MonkMe (7 posts) -

Game looks great first and foremost. It nailed the comic book look and feel. Also, the shooting and combat are a big step up from the last Darkness. There is still a pretty noticable auto aim with the gun fights, but its still fun to shoot at guys. I got a sick pleasure from seeing the oh-so-colorful blood and gore from the darkness manglings too.

I guess what matters most to me though is the story in the Darkness 2. I won't really know untill I delve more into the game. If its anywhere near as captivating as the original Darkness though, it is going to be a hell of a game.

#26 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -

The first game incorporated a classic StarBreeze design, that I'm hoping this game will at least attempt to have or offer something to take the place of. 
The Darkness was a spiritual successor to the phenomenal Chronicles Of Riddick, the shooting was not the primary focus of the game. Action sequences were perfectly paced with padded story semi non-linear hub sequences, and while the opening to the demo shows promise, it has a lot to live up for in terms of competing with the scripted sequences from the previous endeavor.   
 
It has promise, but the Darkling humor was pretty lame. The shooting though was also far more satisfying, and the art style also shows more promise that I previously thought. But right now I'm simply concerned over how the other half of that original game will be utilized in the sequel, because this demo doesn't seem to even bother with it. :/

#27 Posted by Redbullet685 (6031 posts) -

After playing through it, I've got to say that I'm impressed. The graphics are stunning. The graphics have such a great style, I love it. The gunplay is also much better than the first. I'll definitely play this at one point.

#28 Edited by project343 (2816 posts) -

I didn't enjoy the demo at all. I'm a pretty big fan of the original game, and everything about this demo tonally shits on my memory of The Darkness. The original The Darkness was, well, dark. Like, really dark. Like, seeing a horse with it's mouth ripped off starving to death under an apple tree dark... This is just comically violent. Which, I suppose has it's place. But it soils everything that the first game established narratively.

#29 Posted by Masha2932 (1241 posts) -

Anyone know when the demo is coming to PSN?

#30 Posted by BoOzak (902 posts) -

@vidiot said:

The first game incorporated a classic StarBreeze design, that I'm hoping this game will at least attempt to have or offer something to take the place of.
The Darkness was a spiritual successor to the phenomenal Chronicles Of Riddick, the shooting was not the primary focus of the game. Action sequences were perfectly paced with padded story semi non-linear hub sequences, and while the opening to the demo shows promise, it has a lot to live up for in terms of competing with the scripted sequences from the previous endeavor. It has promise, but the Darkling humor was pretty lame. The shooting though was also far more satisfying, and the art style also shows more promise that I previously thought. But right now I'm simply concerned over how the other half of that original game will be utilized in the sequel, because this demo doesn't seem to even bother with it. :/

I doubt Digital Extremes will try and replicate the somewhat non-linear nature of the first game, and the tone is something that I think only works if the pacing is dialed down a notch, and i'm getting the impression this game will be much more action orientated than the last one. But on the bright side the action is much better this time round, with responsive aiming, much more flexability with darkness powers and no more scavenger hunting for hearts, the combats actually enjoyable now.

...And i'm pretty sure darklings pissed on people before, I dont think they were quite as vocal but they definately wise-cracked occasionally too.

#31 Posted by SgtGrumbles (1024 posts) -

I have fond memories of the first game and I really enjoyed this demo, it does a great job of letting you feel you have a barely contained power being let loose all over the place. The little imps humour was a little jarring but I definitely remember him from the first game.

Good demo, looking forward to the game now.

#32 Posted by big_jon (5723 posts) -

So good.

#33 Posted by razkazz (169 posts) -

@BoOzak said:

@vidiot said:

The first game incorporated a classic StarBreeze design, that I'm hoping this game will at least attempt to have or offer something to take the place of.
The Darkness was a spiritual successor to the phenomenal Chronicles Of Riddick, the shooting was not the primary focus of the game. Action sequences were perfectly paced with padded story semi non-linear hub sequences, and while the opening to the demo shows promise, it has a lot to live up for in terms of competing with the scripted sequences from the previous endeavor. It has promise, but the Darkling humor was pretty lame. The shooting though was also far more satisfying, and the art style also shows more promise that I previously thought. But right now I'm simply concerned over how the other half of that original game will be utilized in the sequel, because this demo doesn't seem to even bother with it. :/

I doubt Digital Extremes will try and replicate the somewhat non-linear nature of the first game, and the tone is something that I think only works if the pacing is dialed down a notch, and i'm getting the impression this game will be much more action orientated than the last one. But on the bright side the action is much better this time round, with responsive aiming, much more flexability with darkness powers and no more scavenger hunting for hearts, the combats actually enjoyable now.

...And i'm pretty sure darklings pissed on people before, I dont think they were quite as vocal but they definately wise-cracked occasionally too.

I was working on a similar response but you summed up my thoughts perfectly BoOzak. I think the changes all make sense for the property and for the sequel in general, and I think it's a bit premature to say The Darkness II desecrates the memory of the first game after seeing so little. The first game was awesome in a way that only a Starbreeze game could've been and it was a great gaming experience. However, playing through it again without the story as the driving force there were some aspects of the gameplay that left me wanting more.

I thought playing through just for the action segments a second time would be a blast. I remembered it being a little too easy the first time around so I I tried it on hard expecting it to make the shootouts more fun, but it just amplified how cumbersome the shooting mechanics really were and reinforced why I relied so heavily on the Darkness abilities the first time.

On top of that, the free-roaming subway hub which made the first playthrough such an incredible experience, unfortunately was not very fun to revisit and just felt like it got in the way the second time around. I feel like even seeing it in a sequel with new characters and side-missions it may feel too familiar to garner the same excitement. And I'm not sure if it still makes sense storywise for Jackie to be wandering the subway using payphones now that he's become a mafia don. I am always a proponent of free-roaming hubs linking linear levels though (also loved it in Arkham Asylum & Wolfenstein '09), so if they find a way to make something like that work and not feel tired or kill the pacing then awesome.

Again, those things really didn't effect my enjoyment the first time I played the game and I'm not suggesting Starbreeze should've changed anything, but they were things that made it difficult to enjoy a second time. And if not addressed, that same feeling could extend to people's first playthrough of the sequel; and it appears the new creative team anticipated that. We had an incredible Darkness game with a rich, gritty down to earth story, and now I'm excited to finally get the experience I was hoping to get out of that second playthrough where I can really savor the shootouts and not always feel like I have to rely on my Darkness powers.

As for the new art style, I was very skeptical but after walking through the burning train wreckage and seeing every detail stand out from the background at the end of the demo, I was pretty much sold. Realism definitely worked for The Darkness but it seems this new comic book art style impacts the story as well and will allow it go in some more adventurous and out there directions; and probably incorporate book comic elements that wouldn't have fit in previously . Ofcourse, it's all a matter of preference and we'll see if the sequel's story is able to keep up with the great work that Starbreeze did, but I think it's pretty early to write off the sequel just yet and I'm very excited by the possibilities.

And yeah, The Darklings cracked jokes and peed on corpses in the original so I'm kind of surprised by the amount of people not liking it in the demo, but I guess it is more in your face now.

#34 Posted by EightBitShik (1334 posts) -

I wasn't digging the first one all that much and I kind of forced myself to finish it. So when I heard a second was coming out I wasn't all that excited. However, after watching a friend play the demo just now I have to say I really want to play this game. I thought it looked so good and really fun to play. I can't wait now.

#35 Posted by ValiantGrizzly (498 posts) -

The demo got me so pumped for release. I absolutely loved the original, so I'm glad they could at least capture some of that same atmosphere. But man, the combat is just so much better. I hardly used the Darkness powers in the first game, but this demo had me feeling like the motherfucking bastard son of Cthulhu, sowing chaos wherever I went, in no time.

#36 Posted by Enigma777 (6070 posts) -

I'm happy the aiming and general gunplay is much improved from the original. Overall, I enjoyed the demo and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the full game.

#37 Posted by AssInAss (2600 posts) -

I can't wait until next week!

#38 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -
@razkazz: To be fair, usually when one plays through a game that's heavily story based multiple times, it's quite common to have issues of getting tired out by certain sequences. Especially the original game that had moments the were meant to be slow.
 
Right now the issue I can't seem to shake is that the other-half of the previous game, gave The Darkness a much stronger identity than just a shooter. Both mechanically and from an overall design perspective, there's not a whole lot of experiences like The Darkness or Riddick for that matter.  
While I applaud the revamped gun-play (which is most certainly a step above the previous game) the concept to either ignore, or address those nonlinear sequences with something equal to or better seems like a poor lapse in judgement and planning. Not only does it directly contradict the design of the previous game, it runs the risk of alienating the cult following, and more importantly, also runs the risk of missing out on attracting newcomers that might pass up on this game wanting something new. The FPS market is crowded, the shooting mechanics might have been cumbersome, but what has sustained interest over-time with the original game, has been it's core design. Has been it's implementation of story, sneaking, and gun-play.  
In what might be a very ironic situation in an attempt to perhaps, appeal to a larger audience, they might doing the exact opposite deciding to strip these components out. 
 
The Darklings peed in the first game. I don't know what threw me off about that, it just seemed more strange and immature for some reason. 
#39 Posted by Eaxis (910 posts) -

I am a huge fan of the first Darkness. I am worried that it's to linear and that it doesn't have some areas to explore a little. Starbreeze did such an amazing job, the tv stuff was awesome. The first thing that stuck out was the voice acting. Jackie was voiced by Kirk Acevedo and he did a great job. My favorite thing was to throw stuff at goons.

#40 Posted by zDarkHerald (67 posts) -

Really solid demo. I love the stylised art style changes and the shooting mechanics seem really responsive. The darkness powers are a lot better with some really interesting abilities that just make you feel like a powerhouse. The story stuff also seemed really good based on the little that is in the demo, so I am very interested to play the full game.

#41 Posted by Erebus (52 posts) -

The Darklings traditionally have always been the comic relief for the past 15 years in the comics. That's their thing, and at one stage every month they'd be parodying some pop culture reference. Its toned down nowadays because of the general change in tone/theme of the comic's story but it still pops up every now and then.

#42 Posted by razkazz (169 posts) -

@vidiot: Very well said, you bring up some great points that also crossed my mind as I tried to express my thoughts on the demo. I still have a lot of uncertainties, but the one thing that seems sure is that some improvements I was hoping for are being made, so I'm optimistic that I'll have a fun time with the game. I'm still however, very aware that the chances of the narrative experience living up to the original are extremely slim and I'm kind of bracing myself for that. Regardless of how it holds up to the first, for now, the demo did its job by making me know that this is a game I have to own.

#43 Posted by tulextreme (11 posts) -

awesome game! havent finish the first game but ill sure pick this one up day one and tear it apart just like my enemies!

#44 Posted by tulextreme (11 posts) -

I can`t wait for this big bad ass game to come out! The Darkness is such a strong comic book and altough the first game was very awesome this one will trully bring the franchise to its maximun potential!

#45 Posted by Pezen (1591 posts) -

I tried the demo briefly, never liked the gun play in the first one so I skipped it. It feels a lot better now but not sure it's a game I'm particularly interested in either way.

#46 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

Decapitating a guy with a car door is never not satisfying.

#47 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

I don't think it is as good as the first one. The Darkness had a cool art style, in this demo, i can't tell what is dark and what is light so i'd just loose my darkness powers without knowing. And now left bumper isn't the stab move you could use to bust out lights. And In this game the guns are weird, you can carry a bigger main gun. and two one handed guns. I preferred having a huge load out and not being so limited.Also you can't aim in while duel wielding like you could in the first game.

I liked how the first game was very committed to first person. If i looked down i saw my feet, in this game i look down and see nothing. Dumb thing to gripe about, but whatever. Also when people told you to go somewhere in the first game they gave you directions, their wasn't a pointer on the top of the screen telling you where to go.

Though I did really like the stuff like grab a door shield or that you can press RB and moves the right stick to aim slashes. Wish it had more precision.

#48 Posted by Raven10 (1762 posts) -

@SomeDeliCook said:

Jackies voice.... eh. Its better than Nolan North's because then it would've been distracting, but man the original voice actor for the first Darkness was awesome.

You do realize that Nolan North played Jackie in the first Darkness game right? Or am I misreading your comment somehow?

To OP: I thought the demo was great. Definitely enjoyed it. Combat felt nice and meaty and there seemed to be a ton of skills to unlock. Definitely going to at least rent it.

#49 Posted by Raven10 (1762 posts) -

@project343 said:

I didn't enjoy the demo at all. I'm a pretty big fan of the original game, and everything about this demo tonally shits on my memory of The Darkness. The original The Darkness was, well, dark. Like, really dark. Like, seeing a horse with it's mouth ripped off starving to death under an apple tree dark... This is just comically violent. Which, I suppose has it's place. But it soils everything that the first game established narratively.

The games are based on a Top Cow comic and in that sense this game is more true to the narrative than the first game. I loved the tone of the first game as well, but I respect them wanting to return to the style of the comic book that inspired the game.

#50 Posted by tulextreme (11 posts) -

@MiasmaFett said:

I loved the first one so much is the demo worth downloading ?

Yes brother! Get it NOW! It`s damn amazing!

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