The Darkness II is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed 2007 release, The Darkness, and features an original story by acclaimed comic writer Paul Jenkins.
It’s been two years since Jackie Estacado, now Don of the Franchetti crime family, used The Darkness to kill the men responsible for his girlfriend’s murder. He’s been unable to shake the memory of Jenny’s death since bottling up his supernatural power and now The Darkness wants out.
A sudden, unprovoked attack on Jackie’s life heralds the start of a full-scale mob war which has clearly been orchestrated by some outside force. The botched attempt opens the door for The Darkness to re-emerge, and sets Jackie on a journey to hell and worse as he unravels the mystery behind the attack and the motivations of The Darkness itself.
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The graphics in The Darkness II Limited Edition are very nice. Game play works like a charm - you'll get hooked in a few minutes and the skill system will do the rest. After the second play-through, I was hunting down achievements. It's still a very pleasing experience. And on top of all that, the online options are also exciting and great.
Since the original Darkness was released there has been a veritable glut of first person shooters to cater for most shooty tastes, and whilst the impact of the first game can't be repeated here as it inevitably treads old ground, it's a more polished gem and better for it. While the many game engine cut-scenes do break the pace by taking away any input, the story is good enough to keep you going in the same schlocky comic book way as the original. Shooting mechanics are as good if not tighter, and the skill tree of Darkness abilities that you can unlock with experience is a welcome RPG element. Experienced shooters won't have too much of a problem on the harder difficulty settings, but there are the obligatory collectables dotted about the levels to give you a bit of replay value. A decent if not essential addition to the 360 library.
The Darkness II is one of those games that I can play over and over, and one of the best I've ever played. First things to mention, the cell shaded visuals are a nice touch to add that extra communication between the brilliant comic series the games are based on. The Darkness powers themselves are so much more developed than in the first game; the ability to use the snakes as whips is a nice touch. The pacing of the second game certainly seems much more action packed. It feels like you're constantly moving and constantly fighting! And one definite plus is the revamp of the way the Darklings work. You have a permanent Darkling pal to help thin the hordes of the much more varied and interesting foes. You can even unlock an ability to throw him at unsuspecting enemies via the new talent system (earn points by killing enemies and extra points through head shots, finishers, etc). There are so many more technical goodies in the game to mention, but I'd be here all day if I did. The story itself feels closer to the comics, bringing in elements that are more interesting than that of the first game. The collectibles add some nice side story too, and help to hint at some elements that could turn this game series into a trilogy. The addition of a multiplayer campaign that includes various levels and many different playable characters, and is so much more interesting and enjoyable that the first games simple games of capture the flag as Darklings and shoot each other too. All in all, a definite step up from the first game. Worth every penny, a much more defined and polished Darkness experience.