While many people, including myself, were greatly looking froward to the now-released game and sequel to the game entitled, The Darkness, The Darkness II has been somewhat of a flop thus far for the majority of players. Sure the first game had a few flaws as well, but not nearly as much as to the extent of the second.
Even with somewhat better graphics and many new additions that 2K has added in with the second game and the expanded universe of the game, through comics and through the first- I would still rather choose to replay the first game than its distant cousin, The Darkness II.
Now, this is not to detract from the games strong points, albeit how few they are- and I mean no disrespect towards the people whole worked diligently and hard at 2K on producing the sequel, it is just the mere fact that it falls through that grieves me dearly. In more ways than one, The Darkness II provides a grisly experience, and not just within combat- i mean the game itself as well.
Lackluster boss fights, a coop experience that lacks any sort of ‘nads needed for such an endeavor, and a story that you couldn’t possibly care less about all attribute to furthering the series’ demise as it barrels towards Hell and inferno in its one way traintrip from Jackie’s demon-infested soul. It is easily recognizable that 2K worked very hard on the game, which makes it all the more a shame that the majority of it should fall through such as it does.
The best elements- as ever, remain to be seen as the nice gunplay and gun battles, and the ease with which you can wield the darkness, which turns any mere man into a small one-man army of tentacle wielding and scrub impaling fun. The ease with which you can dispatch most mere mortals and foes alike is akin to that of a Jedi, were it to be Star Wars. 😉
However this may be, after the first few hours of a repetitive narrative, bland enemy and environmental designs, and boring cinematics- the game becomes an illiterate and botched distant cousin to its former title. It seems like despite the beginning and endings that were supposed to be explosive, but really weren’t- The Darkness II simply continues to become a step down in an otherwise decent experience of the series itself. I’d have been content with just one game, as this second excursion simply ruins the experience for me.
The most annoying moments of the game are definitely any single boss encounters you experience, which are often held in environments not at all suited to the boss fights themselves- as you despair at the lack of cover and amount of damage you eat up, as well as the scattered ‘rail shooter’ moments in which you are forced to dispatch all foes on screen before you ‘move’ yourself away or crawl along the ground in a wannabe ‘last stand’ moment.
While these may further detract from an already detrimental experience, the environmental kills are still as over-the-top as ever, whether it be impaling a hapless *** with a pool cue, or jettisoning black-hole-like vortexes into a crowd and watching the ensuing mayhem. The inevitable resounding meaty crunch is always a nasty yet satisfactory sound to the ears, unlike the rest of the game in and of itself.
While The Darkness II is in no way a complete failure or broken, it does not live up to its predecessor’s name, and in that case may be seen as a failure to improve. It also does not live up to the mystique and graphical exploits of the comic series, or any other works generally produced in its stead. While this is a shame, it is true.
Well, with that not-so-bright note on my mind, allow me to continue on to the final portion of this review, in order to bring you the most generous help in deciding whether or not to purchase this game. Here’s the Game Informer version of the scale:
Concept: Creating a living, breathing sequel to The Darkness, as well as an interesting moral quest for revenge and adventuring through the exploits of a saddened killer and mafia boss.
Graphics: While the graphics are a step in a new direction from the previous game, and the cutscenes are generally rendered pretty well, the graphics are neither anything special nor new- and thus lack any real visual flair, instead sinking back into the anonymous reach of gaming space.
Sound: The sounds aren’t anything to marvel at, and the compositions are nothing special, however- it is always satisfying to hear the deranged ways your enemies meet their ends, as well as the occasional gripping and chilling tunes haunting the world of The Darkness II.
Playability: The game suffers from some major flaws, but nothing truly potentially game-breaking aside from the occasional console glitch that is pretty much unpreventable.
Entertainment: While entertaining for a few hours to begin with, the gameplay quickly becomes stale and overused, especially after dispatching hordes of the same enemies and mulling through too many uninteresting levels repetitively for five hours on end.
Replay Value: Low
While my final score for the game would by a 6.75, which is by no means great, I am sure there are a few people out there who might enjoy this game, and hopefully this review will help you, regardless of what choices you may make on a purchase or non-purchase of it. Hopefully this has been helpful.
Overall Score: 6.75