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The Darkness 2 has been released on 360 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"The Darkness II is a bleak and vicious first-person shooter, tinged with dark comedy. With a roster of great characters and an intriguing plot, it's only a pity that quality of the storytelling isn't consistent..."
- Novel Gamer (Mon, 30 Apr 2012)
"The Darkness II 360 is a more polished game than its predecessor, but also less interesting and very short-lived..."
- Story Gamer (Mon, 16 Apr 2012)
The Darkness 2 continues the story of Jackie Estacado, a possessed member of the New York mob. It again works the same odd combination of mafia family wars and Satanism to create some bizarre, and strangely engaging, characters and scenarios.
The original Darkness was an unusual game. It told the tale of betrayed Mafia hitman Jackie Estacado as he confronted the man who set him up and killed his innocent girlfriend -- who also happened to be his uncle. Possessed on his 21st birthday by a demon that moves between the men of his family Jackie gained the power necessary for his revenge, while at the same time damning himself to a life of control by the evil Darkness (ed: just your cheery everyday tale then).
The Darkness 2 continues this story two years later, and builds on the same looming dark power. Demonic overtones abound with the hydra-like tendrils of the Darkness snaking onto the screen with reptilian eyes glowing. These dark appendages now offer you more powers though and combine with dual wielded conventional weapons to provide four possible attacks readily available at any one time.
The sequel also sees the darkling hoard compressed into a single character with considerably more personality. These small imps could originally be called on four at a time to help out as they followed Jackie around. Now as a single character with more gravitas and agency - the Darkling - makes dark quips from the shadows as he haunts Jackie's steps.
The combination of occult overtones and Mafia double-crossing makes The Darkness 2 a refreshing change from other, more military focused, FPSs.
The Darkness 2 is released in October on 360, PS3 and PC. (ed: what, no Wii version?)
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: