Indsendt: 17. maj
(Single player only review)
Based on a comic book I never read, The Darkness II puts you as Jackie, a mafioso crime boss who is a host for a supernatural evil entity called "The Darkness". The Darkness grants you superpowers, the most obvious being two long snake-like demon arms, which among other things act as a powerful melee weapon.
The downside is that The Darkness is deceiving and manipulative and will slowly consume it's host the more it is let loose.
The theme and atmosphere is best described as a mix of a gangster movie with a solid dose of horror and splatter. Things get very brutal and gory, but the slightly cell-shaded graphics gives it a comic book look, which takes the edge of it all. Some of the characters you come across have a ton of personality, perfectly conveyed by top-notch voice acting and brilliant over-the-top motion-captured gestures/body language.
The sound and graphics are very good, but the sub par level of geometry detail shows it's console heritage and never pushes the 3d-engine hard enough to drop a single frame on my Geforce 780 with everything maxed.
The story itself (spoiler alert) has two main plot lines: Someone is after you, because they want The Darkness, and you are haunted by recurring nightmares/hallucinations about your dead love which leads you to believe that perhaps she is still somehow to be saved.
Normally I get easily bored with long winded mediocre story telling in video games, but I found the story, albeit perhaps trivial in nature, to be thoroughly entertaining, in part due to the excellent delivery.
The core gameplay is fairly standard, linear, but very solid FPS in a generally confined level design. It does however feature 4 skill trees which will definitely help skew the gameplay in the direction you prefer:
-Gun upgrades (clip sizes and permanent damage bonuses)
-Demon arm execution bonuses
-Demon arm melee upgrades (they can also grab and throw objects and enemies)
-Upgrades to Swarm (a plague-like insect swarm that will stun and hurt your enemies) and Gun Channeling (a short period where you get various gun related boosts)
You have 4 gun slots, and you can dual-wield.
You purchase new skills by spending "Essence", which is earned mainly by killing enemies, preferably by having you demon arms executing them in a horrific ways, and finding artifacts. Having your demon arms eat the hearts of the corpses will also give you some essence in addition to a health boost.
Health regenerates up to the nearest 25% level when you haven't been hurt in a while.
The A.I. was decent, and I didn't encounter any bugs worth mentioning.
Other mentionable features:
- Light. The Darkness doesn't like the light, and exposure to it means the demon arms will retract and you lose all your super powers until you are in the dark again. Light will also visually blind you by distorting the display thus handicapping your aim. Later on in the campaign you'll encounter foes with powerful flashlights and light grenades. As I generally dislike enemy attacks that handicaps/restricts you I found this aspect of the gameplay a little too annoying at times.
So make sure to find and eliminate all destructable light sources in an area before you engage your enemies.
- A sidekick midget demon with a cockney accent. You'll get to control him a couple of times during the campaign, which are stealthy missions. In his standard form he does little but occasionally distract some of your foes leaving them essentially stunned and open for your attack. But there's a talent in the skill tree that'll enable him to actually kill foes.
Other than that he does little but urinate and fart on the corpses you produce, and wisely telling you to avoid the light while constantly referring to you as "monkey" (yup, it gets annoying). Fortunately he doesn't like the light either, so you can always throw him into the spotlight for some relief.
Bottom line - 6 hours of linear, stylish, satisfying FPS action with a brilliantly delivered horrific story and theme.