Published by: 2K Games
Developed by: Digital Extremes
Genre: First-Person Shooter
US: February 7, 2012
M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content
Also Available On: PC, PC, PlayStation 3
Welcome back to the life of Jackie Estacado, the twisted world of The Darkness 2 is alive and kicking and picks up right after the events of the original game from 5 years ago. You start off as the new head of the family mob, and within the first few minutes of the game you release the powers of the Darkness onto the people that have wronged you. The sense of empowerment is so gratifying in the game, as it was in the first game. Grabbing an enemy with one of your Darkness arms and then ripping them arpart with the other. All while you are dual wielding with your own guns. You tear your way through the streets grabbing pipes, doors and tons of other stuff to impale your enemies and slice them into bits.
Controlling all these powers is a breeze, with one exception, when you swing your demon arm. You control it with the right thumb stick and move the camera with the left. This can get pretty hectic when chaos insues. Anyways, lets get back to the story. We meet up with Jackie, who has been able to keep the darkness under wraps and dorment for years. When an attack on him forces him to embrace the darkness once more. As, Jackie cant die when the darkness lives within him. As Jackie delves into the reasoning behind the attack on him and his family. The story does take some time to warm you up. But it does get into things from the past and plays well with the story of Jackie and his love Jenny. I'll stop now before I give too much away.
Finding new ways to kill people is very fun and rewarding, whoever you do face the same 5 or so enemies. Your little darkling sidekick is always there for a good time, farting on people, pissing on people and attacking them for you too. Everytime you kill someone, the way you kill them nets you points called "essence" which you collect to upgrade your abilities and making you more powerful. Now killing someone with your guns will get you 10 points, a headshot will get you 20. However mixing your kills will get you more points, grabbing a guy with your demon arm and executing him will get you 30. But you can throw your darkling at him, stun him and impale him and get more point for how inventive you are.
The story doesn't last very long, it is pieced together rather nicely and also has the nice load screens where Jackie talks about his past and gets you more involved with this character and his passion for Jenny. But the Story campaign only last around 6 or so hours. So, not that long. However you can go back with the New Game+ and play the game again with all of your abilities. To get certain achievements/trophies. This is the only way to get them.
There is an online mode called "Vendetta" It's not liked the phoned in shitfest that was the originals multiplayer mode. In this mode you play as one of four assassins of Jackies. You do missions for him, the missions generally tie into parts of the story, like kidnapping a guy that Jackie asks for during the campaign, giving them a narrative component that makes them more significant. Even the missions that don't link to the campaign's story are worthwhile, as they give you and your buddies more fights to test your skills on. Most importantly, though, they're fun. They may not be the types of things that grow into an addiction, but the multiplayer modes provide hours of extra gameplay, and give you a good reason to play with friends.
Despite some problems with polish and a story that takes time to develop into something great, The Darkness II ends up as an early treat in the new year. The narrative elements help the pacing considerably, breaking up Jackie’s engaging and brutal murderfests. It may not end up being the best shooter of 2012, but it could very well be the one that makes you feel the most powerful.
GamePlay - 8.0
Sound - 9.0
Graphics - 8.0
Long Term - 8.0
Overall - 8.5