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The Darkness II Review

/ Mar 26th, 2012 No Comments

The Darkness II on Xbox 360 is a thriller FPS game that is loud, creepy and filled with memorable characters. In this review we’ll uncover what The Darkness II has to offer and breakdown both the good and the bad. Overall, it’s a pretty entertaining game that might be on the short side but well worth checking out.

Sometimes gaming can combine a couple of facets and somehow make things work, remember Toe Jam and Earl? Two weird creatures that were into hip hop or even something like Knights of the Old Republic, a Star Wars game that was an RPG that I’m sure few people back in the day thought was conceivable. Well in this case when you think of mob games, you think of just shoot em ups with drive-bys, old school music and catchy one liners. With The Darkness II, you get that and a little satin mixed in making a worthy sequel to the successful 2007 title.

Video Review

The Darkness II - XBox 360

The Darkness II - XBox 360

You play as Jackie Escalado, who is trying to deal with the ever presence of the Darkness that helped and cursed him at the same time in the first title. This time, a group called the Dark Brotherhood, lead by a guy who you can’t wait to tear him apart with your tentacle buddies as you progress. Throughout the game you uncover the plot to rid yourself of your powers as you also deal with the ever presence of the Darkness trying to consume and take over your body. Jackie even has to deal with the loss of his girlfriend Jenny from the first game through flashbacks and scenarios that question the validity of her death in the first game, as well as his on sanity.

Gameplay

The guys at 2k games did a nice job of giving Jackie every possible resource at his disposal to deal with anything that’s thrown at him. Not only can he dual wield and use the darkness abilities like using his tentacle buddies to split mobs into two and eat their hearts (literally), just like in the first game, you can also upgrade Jackie’s talents and end up with a wealth of combinations and power ups making Jackie one of more talented characters I’ve come across. I found the action to be good and the A.I of mobs was sufficient as mobs will take advantage of their surroundings. Some, armed with lights will stay out of range and ruin your day since Jackie can’t stand in the light. My only gripe with the game-play is that at times it can get too chaotic, you don’t get a chance to revel in all the damage you’re causing. Some of the animations when the Darkness is ripping up a mob is great but I might miss it because I have to worry about the 3-4 other mobs tearing me a new one. Yes there is a bullet-time effect when your ripping a guy in two but you can miss a lot of what your doing and I think the game cheats itself in that regard.

Sound

The Darkness II - Review

The Darkness II - Review

This game is loud as the Darkness is constantly in your ear which can sometimes get annoying but can also motivate you to kick ass and ask questions later. I also dug the soundtrack, one thing that will always take an average game and make it better is a good soundtrack and I’m glad they put some effort into what they put into the game.

Presentation

The flashbacks and cut scenes take pages from other games but with the overall package you do get the feel that this could have been a game that starred De Niro and Pesci, then the Darkness tells you to feed it. As soon as you feel you are in an episode of Goodfellas you get humbled real quick.

Overall

The Multiplayer will add some replay value but only for a tiny bit. The Darkness II for Xbox 360 is a fast paced game with a short campaign, good soundtrack and memorable characters wrapped up into a decent little package. I enjoyed the time I had with this game so if you are a huge fan of the franchise, or you want to keep re-enacting moments where Jackie releases the Darkness to satisfy your other urges I can understand why many would choose to own it. Otherwise, this is definitely a quality rental.

Footage used in the video review was captured using the Roxio Game Capture device.

Overall Ratings – The Darkness II (Xbox 360)

Graphics:

8/10

Gameplay:

8/10

Sound:

8/10

Presentation:

8/10

OVERALL SCORE:

80%

Additional Videos:

Multiplayer

Campaign

Carl Armstrong

Carl Armstrong

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Carl Armstrong has been with GI for over four years, serving as a review writer, on-site reporter and Associate Editor. He's worked as an award winning radio show producer for The Mighty 1090 sports station, Xtrasports 1360 and was the executive technical director for the San Diego Chargers radio network from 2008-2012.

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