Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Darkness 2 Just When Jackie Boy Thought He Was Out


The Darkness 2

The Darkness 2 may not be your run of the mill first person military shooter by any means, but there is one thing that it delivers more than perhaps any other shooter out there: An overwhelming sense of empowerment. Jackie Estacado ravages his way through the sequel of The Darkness. And if you were a fan of the original like me, you’ll want to pick this game up . With an increased emphasis on brutal, gruesome combat with more “Oh Snap” moments than the player can count, the Darkness 2 is a game with a story that, while compelling, is a bit slow to pick up, but players may not even care all that much as they’ll be too busy ripping the spines out of their enemies.

The Darkness 2 Trailer Youtube by VisoGAMES

The Darkness 2 Combat

Combat in The Darkness 2 is better than the original in many ways. That being said, the story is a bit slow to take off from the runway and become something truly epic. But I will say that is, perhaps, a bit more apparent to those who have played the original, which in my opinion had a stronger story from the very start. Our boy Jackie has managed to keep The Darkness in check since the tragic events of the original. All seems as it should be, with one major exception that quickly becomes apparent. Jackie is the head of his mob family. He’s got a sweet pad. More money that he knows how to spend. A thriving “business”. Ladies to have some fun with. But of course, things don’t stay that way after an attack on Jackie and his associates that forces Jackie to finally unleash The Darkness he’s been trying so hard to keep at bay and in check.


The Darkness 2 Story

Jackie still struggles with the loss of Jenny, the love of his life and feel responsible for her death. This serves as the biggest incentive and motivation for carrying on through the story is Jackie begins to see apparitions and visions of his supposedly dead sweetheart, and seeks to be with her again. All the while he’s contending with The Darkness which slowly consumes him despite his best efforts to resists, and the Brotherhood, which seek to strip Jackie of his Darkness powers and use them for their own ambitions. And while much of the game is Jackie trying to fend off and destroy the Brotherhood, it all ultimately comes back to his inner turmoil over Jenny and the inner conflict is clearly apparent and real. And while Jackie is still a mobster, people who are nothing more than thugs, thieves and parasites who leech off of the rest of society, one can’t help but sympathize with his situation as he has his own ambitions, fears, people he cares about, and even loves. And unfortunately, there are those of us who can even empathize with Jackie as we have experienced our own loss with the death of a family member, friend or special loved one ie spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.

The Darkness 2 Abilities Youtube by MX

The Darkness 2 Carnage 

While the story and narrative of The Darkness 2 does pick up about halfway  through the game, it is mostly interspersed between long sequences of constant and gruesome combat. As readers of the comic and or players of the original, many already know what Jackie-boy has in his arsenal: Two demonic tentacle arms with eyes and mouths with razor sharp death and the power to do just about anything associated with darkness and suffering. Jackie can use guns with his human hands, even duel-wielding them even when he’s slashing enemies in half with one tentacle and ripping the spine out of another enemy with his other tentacle. These tentacles can pick up objects and items to throw and impale enemies. One tentacle can lift an enemy into the air while the other tentacle impales it with its own head in an Alien-esque fashion. They can pick up things like car doors so Jackie has some cover, even when moving, and have a bunch of other uses as well such as destroying obstacles in Jackie’s way by either slamming it, slashing it, or ripping it apart.

The Darkness 2 New Abilities

The Darkness 2 provides players with the incentive to be  more creative in how they maim and disembowel their enemies. Experience is earned for doing different actions, and some actions will snag the player more experience points. For example, shooting an enemy to death will typically net the player 10 experience points per kill. But, they can work in their demonic arms in conjunction with the bullet spray, they may get 20-30 experience points per kill. And you’ll want as much experience points as you can get as Jackie can learn new abilities and perks. These range from holding more bullets in each clip to creating black holes and flinging them at your enemies. Okay, the choice between the two examples is a no brainer, but you get the idea. Choose whichever abilities and perks you wish, because you’ll need them. Right around halfway through the game the level of difficulty increases substantially, and you’ll need every advantage you can get, especially on harder difficulties. With all the abilities to learn, you’ll feel like a kid at the candy shop or toy store. What more fun than deciding whether or not you would rather rip a man’s spine out, tear off his skull, rip him in half, slice off his appendages, impale him through the neck and pin him into the wall, spit acid in his face, hurl a tank and blow him up, or my personal favorite, chuck a black hole at him and watch him get crushed and sucked into the dark singularity?


The Darkness 2 Flaws

This all sounds too good to be true right? Well, The Darkness 2 has it’s flaws, and there are quite a few of them, unfortunately. The main story mode is about 6 hours long. And perhaps shorter if you’re not searching for relics. The relics themselves grant Jackie some much needed experience but beyond that, they don’t really serve a purpose. Which is a huge missed opportunity as some are really cool and have an interesting story behind it. Half the relics you collect are just begging to be used as a weapon or buff up Jackie-boy with some passive perks to aid him in combat. Some of the animations are broken and stiff. The voice syncing is off, often times you’ll see a character’s mouth move even when he or she is done talking, especially Jenny for some reason. Which is a shame because you often find yourself very close to her when you’re getting intimate and it become especially noticeable when she’s done talking but her moth is still going. There were times when the tentacles may not do exactly what you want or were even expecting, and sometimes you’ll shoot a gun, a very weak enemy in the game mind you, and nothing will really happen. If I just killed one enemy with a few shots to the chest I should have to unload half a clip into the same exact enemy’s head before he drops. And I know I didn’t mention the multiplayer so far, but that’s because it’s hardly worth mentioning. I didn’t even say there was a multiplayer in my Duke Nukem Forever Review, because to even talk about it would be a crime. In any event, the multiplayer in The Darkness 2 is satisfying in general, but very short, about 2-3 hours give or take. And there is frame rate issues and texture pop in and even some lag. Which was very annoying. Beyond that, the constant action was fun overall, but just not a multiplayer you’d expect or hope to play. Like the relics, the multiplayer is a huge missed opportunity to add some tremendous value to this game. And finally, the ending. I won’t get into it much, just be sure to watch till the very end after the credits roll. It’s just begging for some big time DLC or maybe even The Darkness 3.


The Darkness 2 Final Verdict

Despite all the flaws, some minor, some too big to ignore, The Darkness 2 is, in the long run, a fun, brutal, and incredibly gruesome game. The narrative takes a while to pick up the tempo, but ultimately delivers, and the new emphasis on combat, with all the new abilities and perks, makes this a game that stands alone from other first person shooters. And while it may not be Call of Duty or Battlefield by any means, it’s still a refreshing twist on conventional FPS and I don’t even think The Darkness 2 should even be compared to such games. I’ve truly never played an FPS like it. The Darkness 2 earns a very strong 666 from me. If it were a perfect game. Since it’s not, it’ll have to settle for a 7 out of 10.

No comments:

Post a Comment