The Darkness II – remain in the dark, but don’t get left there

In the original The Darkness, you play as a coming-of-age mobster, who gets special abilities called… well, called “The Darkness”.  You girlfriend is murdered, and you use this ability to kick some names.  The catch?  You need to remain in the dark for “The Darkness” to work.

If you look at the character from the perspective of a non-gamer, he’s kind of hokey.  He appears as if he’s got two tentacles that look like the tongues from the creature in “Tremors”.  This juxtaposed with long black hair and a suit/tuxedo makes for a fairly odd hero (or anti-hero).  But if you look at it from the perspective of a gamer, it just looks like an awesome toy that you can’t wait to get behind.

I checked out The Darkness II at E3 last month. One of the features that sets this sequel apart from the rest is the “quad-wielding”.  What does that mean exactly?  Using all four R/L trigger buttons, you can control two guns and both of the Darknesses, shoot your opponents with guns or have one Darkness pick up a rebar pole and impale an enemy.

“The gore effects are so over the top that you can only laugh at it.”

The game comes with buckets of gore and finishing moves that are sure to please. One, aptly named “Spinal Tap”, happens when both Darkness arms grab an enemy, one holds him just right while the other rips out his spinal column in full.  Blood spurts and even hits the camera, thus breaking the fourth wall and adding humor.  The gore effects are so over the top that you can only laugh at it.  Think of the Grindhouse exploitation films.

Even in dark, you can see the lighter side of things.  The Darkness and the player have a wonderful love/hate relationship that adds humor and family values…if your family is the Manson Family.  Constantly the Darkness will attack and mock you.  They’ll temporarily snap at your weapons, which could be a horrible distraction.  But in the end, they are there to help more than hinder.

This story revolves around a group called The Brotherhood, an elite fighting team that started off hunting down The Darkness to destroy it, but caught on to its true power and now want to obtain it for themselves. It’s pretty much the same as The Lord of the Rings.

The original Darkness is now considered a cult hit that came and went.  Recently I’ve read of people rating it as one of the best forgotten games of this generation.  Maybe the release of The Darkness II will do for sales of the original what Portal 2 did for The Orange Box (I still can’t buy a copy under $60). 

If you haven’t played it, pick it up and get yourself ready for this bloody, action packed marvel, because I’m betting this is one sequel you won’t want to be left in the dark about.

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