The Sequel to 2007's hidden gem returns Jackie Estacado back in control of the Darkness. Based on a Top Cow comic series, The Darkness is about a mob hit man who takes control of The Darkness. The Darkness are these black tentacle beings that will do what Jackie wills. The Darkness II is set a few years after the events of the original Darkness and Jackie is now a mob boss.
THE VOICE INSIDE
The first thing I noticed was the visuals. Instead of a gritty real look that the first one had, this has a comic book like cell shading. It's striking and it keeps it being distinctive. The story, as from the demo presented it, is about this man who wants the Darkness all to himself. He nails Jackie into a cross and asked Jackie to give him the Darkness. There is a new voice actor providing the voice of Jackie. He's not bad, but having the original voice actor would make me feel more sympathy for Jackie. I guess it will have to do. The voices for everyone else does a sold job. The one actor that has come back is Mike Patton. It's a very welcome to see Mike Patton as The Darkness once again.
Once some dialogue is exchanged by Jackie and the new Bad guy the loading screen comes up. It's white instead of Jackie talking about his life. I hope this is just for the demo because The Darkness had great loading times that will give you a little bit of information about Jackie. Once the loading ends we are at a restaurant and you are following someone that Jackie knows. Predictably, the man is named Vinnie. After walking and sitting down you are meant with two woman talking about the last time they've seen you. Before they talked to Jackie one of the girl's head exploded into a red pulp as a van crashes through the window where are are sitting. The hit kills the other girl and sends you flying with a severely messed up leg. Vinnie sees you and starts to drag you to safety. This is where the first part of the gameplay starts.
AND THERE WAS A FIREFIGHT
Shooting feels as shooting should feel like. There is zoom, loading, and duel welding. It's pretty standard. Even though it's all standard it feels just right. You shoot, they fall, the end. While the shooting is a big point in this game, it's not the reason we play it. That will come up in a few minutes. After this section of the game we are back to the room were we began. The guy continues to talk about the responsibility the Darkness is giving Jackie and all that it did in return. I'm very glad that Jenny is not ignored. It seems that her death, like in the first one, plays a bit role in this new one. Once that cutscene is finished it returns to the restaurant. This is where the demo starts to get good. After a bit more shooting you are in a dark alleyway. This is what the darkness wanted. The it forces itself out in Jackie, which has not used it in years, and it excitedly executes a man. Wishbone is my personal favorite. This is also where the point system comes into play. The point system gives points to nearly everything you do. Then it's used for upgrades. The upgrades can range from The Darkness, Health, and Ammo. There are a surprising number of upgrades at your disposal.
THE HEART IS WHERE IT LIES
The Darkness is just as fun as ever. You can grab, throw, impale, rip, and everything that comes along with it. Although it's not in the demo the two darkness fighting over the heart is not in this one. Eating a heart will give you a bit of life back and yes I do see what they did there. The Darkness is the main star once again and the new developers knows it. You go through the city's streets taking out bad guys you unleash hell to the poor saps. You pick them up and rip them apart. It's all very satisfying. I'm sure that there will be more in the final game. Shooting out lights is still a big strategy in the game. During the massive chaotic shoot outs you start seeing visions of Jenny. Then there was one more cutscene and then just as I was starting to get really into it The Darkness II demo ended.
The Darkness II seems to be worthy sequel to the original game. It's new anesthetics and new upgrade mode keeps it from being exactly like the first Darkness. I'm definitely going to be checking this out when it comes out. I hope the rest of the game can keep this level of fun. The Darkness is coming out on February 7, 2012 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. The demo was played on the Playstation 3.