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E3 2011: The Darkness II Impressions

Feature; Jun. 13, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Robert F. Ludwick
Subtypes: Opinion, Preview
The followup to the dark tentacle game hits stores Oct. 4
Los Angeles, CA, USA

While at the 2K Games booth at E3 this year, I got a chance to see some of The Darkness II played in a demonstration. The game picks up a little way from where the first game left off. Jackie, the protagonist from The Darkness, is now the head of the mob after taking most of it out in his first adventure, which was retribution for the mob having killed his girlfriend. A new foe has emerged called The Brotherhood, and unfortunately for Jackie, they know what the darkness is and how to fight it.

The Darkness II

The demo starts with Jackie in what looks like a circus. He encounters members of The Brotherhood and must fight them. Several new finishing moves are available to Jackie this time around, including the first one shown to the audience, the wishbone. This finishing move is particularly gruesome, with Jackie's tentacles each grabbing one leg of the helpless enemy and wrenching him apart, much like what one does with a wishbone at Thanksgiving.

Throughout the battles, Jackie employs a variety of methods to kill his opponents. The game features "quad-wielding" where Jackie can carry two guns and also have use of both tentacles at the same time. The tentacles can eat the hearts of enemies to give Jackie more essence. This essence can then be spent on upgrades for Jackie, such as the ability to apply darkness to the bullets that are fired from his guns.

Since The Brotherhood knows how to use the darkness against Jackie, they occasionally employ floodlights and gunmen at the same time in an attempt to defeat Jackie. In these scenarios, all Jackie will have the use of is his guns, so it's vitally important to shoot out the lights so he can resume using his dark tentacles.

Some enemies leave a black heart, which can then be consumed to allow Jackie to create a black hole. As you can imagine, using this power creates a black hole that absorbs all enemies and even some objects in the area.

The game looks good, and the game play seems pretty solid within the confines of The Darkness' original controls. However, something just seemed amiss. It didn't seem like the game improved much on the original, save for some leveling up capabilities, increased graphics output and some particularly brutal executions, such as one that mimics an alien exploding out of a person's chest.

The Darkness II hits stores Oct. 4 and will be available for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.

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