The Darkness II Demo

#1 Posted by EpicBenjamin (624 posts) -

So yeah, you can download The Darkness II Demo now. I hope it's good, I really liked the first one. Anyway, here's the link:

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/Product/The-Darkness-II/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8025454088d?nosplash=1
#2 Posted by Heltom92 (707 posts) -

I've played it and it's really cool, the graphical style works really well, the combat is satisfying and the story seems very intriguing.

There is also a large upgrade system that should keep things fresh.

Gonna buy this game for sure.

#3 Posted by SlasherMan (1725 posts) -

I still haven't played through the first game. Still sitting on my shelf. I should probably play it already.

#4 Posted by Heltom92 (707 posts) -

@SlasherMan: It really is a great game, never really got the popularity it deserved in my opinion.

I tink I might play through it again before the second oone comes out.

#5 Posted by JeanLuc (3577 posts) -

I played the game last year at Pax East. I assume the demo is going to be a similar, if not the same, chunk of gameplay. I'm curious to see how much has changed. I do remember liking it a lot then, but that could have been influenced by the whole Pax experience.

#6 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Oh great, Xbox Live is down for me and my friend.

pos

#7 Posted by CptChiken (1987 posts) -

I enjoyed the first darkness a lot. maybe i'll check this out too. 

#8 Posted by Brodehouse (9769 posts) -

I only played The Darkness last year based on Patrick. I... I understand the era it was released in. I understand Call of Duty 4 wasn't a thing everyone knew about, so games were paced and played a little different. But man, that game was fucking chore. Maybe it was because I played it on 360. The aiming in that game felt like crap on a console, I can see it being improved on M&KB.; Even then, that fucker took his time going anywhere.


Kind of excited for Darkness 2. Trying to keep expectations and pre-release information low so it can be a pleasant surprise.

#9 Posted by kishinfoulux (2276 posts) -

Mediocre demo was mediocre. Not surprised since this isn't being handled by Starbreeze. Don't like the new graphical look, the controls feel clunky, and there was absolutely no need for a damn skill tree. Developers don't need to hamfist RPG elements into every damn game. I love RPG's but c'mon. Knew I would be passing on it from the get go and this just further shows I made the right call.

#10 Posted by GentlemanlyGentleman (319 posts) -

For those that have played it. Is it regular ass Nolan North as Jackie, or is it different now? I remember when a trailer was released they said that the voice track was temporary and North was just helping them out.

#11 Posted by CornBREDX (5046 posts) -

I really liked the original but this sequel being by a different developer and the little I have seen of the art style has me worried. I'm going to ignore the hype train on this one and play it when it comes out. Hopefully to get my own take on it (I've been reading and seeing games I want to play to much these last few years and it takes a lot away from certain games it seems). 
 
I don't know. This one kind of worries me, but I'll check it out whenever it releases and I happen to see it on the shelf at the store.

#12 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@SlasherMan: Oh man, do yourself a favour and play the first game, it's brilliant and one of the best to come out in this generation.

#13 Posted by JeanLuc (3577 posts) -

@GentlemanlyGentleman said:

For those that have played it. Is it regular ass Nolan North as Jackie, or is it different now? I remember when a trailer was released they said that the voice track was temporary and North was just helping them out.

Its completely different. Doesn't sound at all like Nolan North.

#14 Posted by JeanLuc (3577 posts) -

@kishinfoulux said:

Mediocre demo was mediocre. Not surprised since this isn't being handled by Starbreeze. Don't like the new graphical look, the controls feel clunky, and there was absolutely no need for a damn skill tree. Developers don't need to hamfist RPG elements into every damn game. I love RPG's but c'mon. Knew I would be passing on it from the get go and this just further shows I made the right call.

How did the controls feel clunky to you? I thought they were a huge improvement over the first game. As for the Skill tree, I don't really mind it too much. The first game did have evolving powers that you got by eating hearts. Its now just less transparent with the xp system and gives you more choices to choose from.

My one major worry is the pacing. The first game had this great pacing and slow speed to everything. The combat in this game is way faster moving, which made it more fun, but I hope it doesn't ruin the tone that make the first game so unique.

#15 Posted by JacDG (2117 posts) -

Downloading it now, looks somewhat interesting. Remember playing through some of the first game with a Friend, but other than (controllable) snakelike things coming from your body, I can't remember anything about it.

#16 Posted by Grimmy616 (398 posts) -

Not available in Germany because we hate nice things.

#17 Posted by spyder335 (289 posts) -

@kishinfoulux said:

Mediocre demo was mediocre. Not surprised since this isn't being handled by Starbreeze. Don't like the new graphical look, the controls feel clunky, and there was absolutely no need for a damn skill tree. Developers don't need to hamfist RPG elements into every damn game. I love RPG's but c'mon. Knew I would be passing on it from the get go and this just further shows I made the right call.

i too am not a fan of skill trees being added to very game but i had a read through most of them and they seem to differ up the gameplay in the later gam when you get to the good stuff, so if it can keep the combat fresh and interesting im all for it.

my main concern is the executions, hopefully there are a dcent amount of them i dont want to see the same animations over and over again

also am i the only one who missed the old pistol reload system, just toss em when they are empty and pull out 2 new ones. always really liked that.

#18 Posted by EpicBenjamin (624 posts) -

@JeanLuc said:

@GentlemanlyGentleman said:

For those that have played it. Is it regular ass Nolan North as Jackie, or is it different now? I remember when a trailer was released they said that the voice track was temporary and North was just helping them out.

Its completely different. Doesn't sound at all like Nolan North.

It's Brian Bloom.

#19 Posted by JeanLuc (3577 posts) -

@EpicBenjamin said:

@JeanLuc said:

@GentlemanlyGentleman said:

For those that have played it. Is it regular ass Nolan North as Jackie, or is it different now? I remember when a trailer was released they said that the voice track was temporary and North was just helping them out.

Its completely different. Doesn't sound at all like Nolan North.

It's Brian Bloom.

Oh, he's the guy that did Varric Tethras in Dragon Age 2. I like him, he's a good voice actor.

#20 Posted by dabe (299 posts) -

Just played it, a few thoughts (from someone who would highly rate the first game)...

* Voice actor for Jackie doesn't sound or feel right and is certainly not as suitted to the role as Kirk Acevedo.

* Buying, purchasing or upgrading anything seems unecessary given the previous game didn't require it (needless upgrade systems can be decent but too gamey in this instance).

* Highlighting things in the world with a purple light is also too gamey for my tastes. Having a glowing red ball inside each enemy telling you they can be thrown is also the same. I want to feel immersed, not abstracted into mechanics.

* Gunplay still feels good and I'm happy they've effectively remained similar mechanically speaking.

* Cel-shading doesn't suit the game (predicate to it being a sequel and the art style already being set). The seriousness of the plot/narrative/world/environment doesn't proliferate as well when black lines border everything (and purple thing mentioned above is spewing into the UI everywhere).

* Opening story beats seem uninspired and generally poor. I'm, not sure if they're copying off the comics, but having some weird deformed man try and suck the darkness out of Jackie was a bit shoddy for me. Also, "he feels sticky" is a line that should never be in anything other than pornography.

* It's a demo so I understand, but the van crashing through a building and bombast shown in the early game felt like a cliched pastiche between the previous game & some other bad FPS'.

* Jenny should not be a part of this game in some weird schizophrenic manifestation (whether the darkness or Jackie is the one doing it).

* Did they play the first Darkness and are the developers aware of what happened at the end of the game? Also, why is he a mob boss now & why does it go against his character (in the first game at least).

All in all, I won't be buying this. The gunplay holds up, the cel-shaded bombast & lead voice acting does not. C'est la vie, I wasn't expecting much of anything from this game (even if Starbreeze (before half of them left) were making it).

#21 Edited by big_jon (5723 posts) -

Sweet!

#22 Posted by GentlemanlyGentleman (319 posts) -

@EpicBenjamin said:

@JeanLuc said:

@GentlemanlyGentleman said:

For those that have played it. Is it regular ass Nolan North as Jackie, or is it different now? I remember when a trailer was released they said that the voice track was temporary and North was just helping them out.

Its completely different. Doesn't sound at all like Nolan North.

It's Brian Bloom.

That's good. Nothing against Mr North, it's just that I don't think I could listen to another character with him being practically himself. Not that this would be his fault in the first place of course.

#23 Edited by SomeDeliCook (2272 posts) -

Wait, its no longer Nolan North as Jackie?

This game just went higher on my anticipation, even if its not the original actor.

Also, The Darkness 2 demo just came out, and then the Syndicate demo is also coming out this month. Both are also being released next month, and Syndicate and the original Darkness were made by Starbreeze.

@dabe said:

* Did they play the first Darkness and are the developers aware of what happened at the end of the game? Also, why is he a mob boss now & why does it go against his character (in the first game at least).

At the end he kills his uncle, and basically becomes the Don of the family. Its hinted at near the end when all the old timers tell Jackie what a good Don he will be/that he should be the Don. It makes sense.

#24 Posted by kishinfoulux (2276 posts) -

@JeanLuc said:

@kishinfoulux said:

Mediocre demo was mediocre. Not surprised since this isn't being handled by Starbreeze. Don't like the new graphical look, the controls feel clunky, and there was absolutely no need for a damn skill tree. Developers don't need to hamfist RPG elements into every damn game. I love RPG's but c'mon. Knew I would be passing on it from the get go and this just further shows I made the right call.

How did the controls feel clunky to you? I thought they were a huge improvement over the first game. As for the Skill tree, I don't really mind it too much. The first game did have evolving powers that you got by eating hearts. Its now just less transparent with the xp system and gives you more choices to choose from.

My one major worry is the pacing. The first game had this great pacing and slow speed to everything. The combat in this game is way faster moving, which made it more fun, but I hope it doesn't ruin the tone that make the first game so unique.

They didn't feel right to me. I felt like I was struggling to make Jackie do what I wanted at times. I dunno. I don't recall having this issue in the first game.

And I was fine with the evolving powers. It just seems like it wasn't needed. And I agree on the pacing. There were some slower, mellow parts to the first game. I liked wandering around the city. This game seems like Call of Jackie: Modern Darkness. >_>

@spyder335 said:

@kishinfoulux said:

Mediocre demo was mediocre. Not surprised since this isn't being handled by Starbreeze. Don't like the new graphical look, the controls feel clunky, and there was absolutely no need for a damn skill tree. Developers don't need to hamfist RPG elements into every damn game. I love RPG's but c'mon. Knew I would be passing on it from the get go and this just further shows I made the right call.

i too am not a fan of skill trees being added to very game but i had a read through most of them and they seem to differ up the gameplay in the later gam when you get to the good stuff, so if it can keep the combat fresh and interesting im all for it.

my main concern is the executions, hopefully there are a dcent amount of them i dont want to see the same animations over and over again

also am i the only one who missed the old pistol reload system, just toss em when they are empty and pull out 2 new ones. always really liked that.

I already saw repeating death animations after only a few times. I'm not sure if they add more later on though.

#25 Posted by big_jon (5723 posts) -

Played it, I was impressed.

#26 Edited by CommanderZx2 (134 posts) -

Tried the PC demo and this game has some serious resolution and aspect ratio issues. It looks like the game only ever renders at 720p, if you set your resolution at anything higher or in a different aspect ratio you encounter issues. For example if you render in 16:10 or 4:3 it litterally takes a 6:9 image and squashes it to fit the shape of your chosen resolution which looks really ugly.

Also if you start going well beyond 720p you start encountering many problems, for example at 2560x1600 the menu graphics no longer line up with the actual buttons. Eventually I get stuck at the talent shrine which is entirely broken and cannot see any of the talents nor exit it as the game wants me to choose something that cannot be seen.

For PC users this game is a total pass unless they re-write how the game handles resolutions and aspect ratios.

#27 Posted by AlisterCat (5520 posts) -

@CommanderZx2: Running it at 16:9, 1920x1080 seemed as it should be. I played the demo in 720p on Xbox and 1080 on PC so I know the difference, though I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't bother doing 16:10 resolutions properly.

#28 Posted by BionicRadd (617 posts) -

@dabe said:

Just played it, a few thoughts (from someone who would highly rate the first game)...

* Voice actor for Jackie doesn't sound or feel right and is certainly not as suitted to the role as Kirk Acevedo.

* Buying, purchasing or upgrading anything seems unecessary given the previous game didn't require it (needless upgrade systems can be decent but too gamey in this instance).

* Highlighting things in the world with a purple light is also too gamey for my tastes. Having a glowing red ball inside each enemy telling you they can be thrown is also the same. I want to feel immersed, not abstracted into mechanics.

* Gunplay still feels good and I'm happy they've effectively remained similar mechanically speaking.

* Cel-shading doesn't suit the game (predicate to it being a sequel and the art style already being set). The seriousness of the plot/narrative/world/environment doesn't proliferate as well when black lines border everything (and purple thing mentioned above is spewing into the UI everywhere).

* Opening story beats seem uninspired and generally poor. I'm, not sure if they're copying off the comics, but having some weird deformed man try and suck the darkness out of Jackie was a bit shoddy for me. Also, "he feels sticky" is a line that should never be in anything other than pornography.

* It's a demo so I understand, but the van crashing through a building and bombast shown in the early game felt like a cliched pastiche between the previous game & some other bad FPS'.

* Jenny should not be a part of this game in some weird schizophrenic manifestation (whether the darkness or Jackie is the one doing it).

* Did they play the first Darkness and are the developers aware of what happened at the end of the game? Also, why is he a mob boss now & why does it go against his character (in the first game at least).

All in all, I won't be buying this. The gunplay holds up, the cel-shaded bombast & lead voice acting does not. C'est la vie, I wasn't expecting much of anything from this game (even if Starbreeze (before half of them left) were making it).

How does Jackie being the Don not feel right? A gangster is what he is and what he wants to be. Maybe it makes more sense because I read the first two years or so of the comic (Garth Ennis' 13 issue run was outstanding and then it kinda shit the bed after that). People trying to steal the Darkness also makes sense. I'd have to go back and read it, but I know there was a cult that was after Jackie in the comics. I just don't recall if it was to kill him because of the Darkness or to try and steal the power from him. Lastly, my biggest complaint about the first game as a fan of the concept from the comics is how limited the Darkness powers were. The Darkness is kind of like an evil Green Lantern ring in a lot of ways. Just about anything could come popping out of that crap. The best way to achieve that is a skill tree that let's the player pick and choose what powers he likes, as opposed to giving you access to a ton of powers and making you wade through them to choose which ones you like. Last but not least, Jenny absolutely belongs in this game. She was a very important person in Jackie's life and what happened to her had a huge impact on Jackie and his relationship with the Darkness, itself.

As for immersion, the first game and it's ghost town version of NYC did way more to kill the immersion than glowy bodies does. The demo stated that it was put together as a demo and may not accurately reflect how the story is going to unfold in the full game, so I'd recommend giving it a rental if you're having doubts. From where I sit, though, it really sounds like you're picking apart because it is different. I loved the first game, but it had issues and the demo addressed a lot of those for me. In fact, the art style was one of the issues. Putting the Darkness in anything resembling the "real world" just makes it feel absurd.

#29 Posted by NTM (7319 posts) -

I liked it to an extent, but regardless, although I was surprised at how fun it was, I'll probably always be disappointed. It's not Starbreeze, and though I like Jackie's voice this time around (it sounds like Far Cry Instincts Jack Carver/Stephen Dorff), I can't necessarily get over the change, the shooting while fun enough, feels pretty standard, the graphics aren't bad, I'd go as far to say they're just great, but not reaching into anything special (in between 7.5 and 8.5). I liked the sound overall though, the music was appropriately intense, the sound effects weren't just booming from gun fire and the like, but the subtle atmosphere sounds were great too. So, I'm still not all that excited about the game, but I'm not saying it looks terrible.

#30 Posted by dabe (299 posts) -

@BionicRadd: As a man who found the comics (I remember reading around 10) to be grossly unimpressive, I can't really argue your first couple of points. Although, considering the way the first game ended coupled with him being a mob hitman in the first game (not comic) as well as having a well defined leadership or mob-boss quality to his personality I'd rather he wasn't a don in the second game.

But alas, I have issues with arbitrary purple coloured doors, prompts for opening them, glowing balls inside people incase you forget to stab them with the Darkness and the overall aesthetic (which is prohibitive to my personal enjoyment of what the first game accomplished). I appreciate Kirk Acevedo and thought he did a splendid job of VO, which isn't replicated in what I've heard from the new Jackie.

The ghost NYC thing, I disagree with. I won't be renting it, there are far more interesting games out there for me to play in 2012. Putting it in the real world or some facsimile of simulacra would be preferable for me -- heightening the gravitas of the actual story/plot & setting. Also, as mentioned in the OP I made, I was fully aware of it being a demo & have made a mental allowance for that (although it doesn't sound that way!).

The Jenny thing just seemed tacked on in the demo but I'm sure it will be more prominent/well-defined in the game itself. If I could take anything back it may be that line (but the whole don/Jenny/darkness/burns victim enemy thing doesn't jive with me).

Considering I love most things that try to be different (in a creative and non-derivative manner), I'd disagree with that point you made.

Anyways at the end of the day, I won't be playing it, you will and we can both enjoy the way of that. I hope you have an engaging experience!

Note* - my friends wouldn't even praise the gunplay, just shitting on everything, so I'm playing with a tough crowd in real-life! Also, it's always easier to be critical and while I probably could try and voice some form of improvements I would make to the game, there's no real need imo.

#31 Edited by Sawboss (95 posts) -

I guess I should try demo myself, but I noticed in a developer playthrough, he said the 4 "arms" correspond to the 4 shoulder buttons (or shoulder buttons and triggers), does this mean you are required to use your middle fingers on the R2 and L2 in order to properly control all 4 limbs. I have long lanky hands and fingers so it feels very unnatural to do this. Are you able to map some of the attacks to face buttons or even better can you be effective in combat just using you index fingers? Thanks.

#32 Posted by csl316 (8345 posts) -

@Sawboss said:

I guess I should try demo myself, but I noticed in a developer playthrough, he said the 4 "arms" correspond to the 4 shoulder buttons (or shoulder buttons and triggers), does this mean you are required to use your middle fingers on the R2 and L2 in order to properly control all 4 limbs. I have long lanky hands and fingers so it feels very unnatural to do this. Are you able to map some of the attacks to face buttons or even better can you be effective in combat just using you index fingers? Thanks.

Well, based on the demo, LB and RB control each of the arms. The triggers work like any other game (L2 to zoom, R2 to shoot).

Honestly, it felt extremely intuitive to me. Less clunky than the first, and within 5 minutes I felt comfortable. You can think of it as a fairly standard shooter layout, with the remaining shoulder buttons being used for some special moves and attacks.

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