Last week, the sequel to the 2007 video game The Darkness was released and for some reason it went pretty under the radar. We were hooked up with a copy to review (and several to give away) and I was really excited to give this game a spin. The week before, I played the original Darkness game to brush up on the storyline and game style and when I finished that adventure I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel and see where Jackie Estacado and his dark side were going to take me next. Check out our review then find out how to enter our giveaway at the bottom.
For those of you who have never played the original Darkness game, here is a quick recap. You play as a mysterious character with ties to the mafia named Jackie Estacado. You know very little about him, but quickly find out he is not just an average mobster and has a very dark side to him. He possesses this unique power called The Darkness that he controls (and sometimes gets controlled by). You learn more and more about this power and its history throughout the first game, but your main goal is to take out your evil Uncle Paulie. You really don’t need to play the first one to enjoy the sequel, but believe me, if you have the opportunity to do so you should. Not only is it a great and unique game, knowing the storyline will definitely add to your enjoyment with The Darkness II.
That being said, The Darkness II blew me away. I loved the original, but The Darkness II took anything that was cool and fun from the first game and made it that much better. Anything that was frustrating or annoying about the first game, was corrected and built upon. First off, visually it is one of the coolest games I have ever played. The developers used a style of graphics that is not seen very often and presents the game as if it is a graphic novel. They really went back to the comic book roots of the history of this story and sort of paid homage to that, all while creating a crisp, unique environment in which to wreck some havoc.
The story takes place two years after we last saw Jackie raiding his Uncle Paulie’s island estate and we learn that Jackie is now the leader of the Franchetti crime family. His old girlfriend Jenny is still running through his head and her memories are really starting to get to Jackie, affecting his moods and actions. Your journey as Jackie is a dangerous one, and one that sees Jackie getting into some serious sh*t. An ancient group called “The Brotherhood” is out to get Jackie and they are some tough dudes. The group was created thousands of years ago and their sole purpose was to protect the world and its people from The Darkness. Naturally, to stop The Darkness, they need to get to Jackie first.
I won’t give up any more about the story because I wouldn’t want to drop any potential spoilers on you, but just know that the story itself is amazing, a reason why The Darkness series really stands out in my eyes (P.S. Watch the credits all the way through after you finish the story mode). One main area where this game is much better than its predecessor is in the customization of The Darkness and its gruesome abilities. Throughout the game you gain essence that you can use to purchase upgrades and attributes for The Darkness. There are many more options than were seen in the first game which really keeps the game fresh for you. There are new executions, skills and tons of new bloody and graphic ways to kill guys. My favorite execution move was “the daisy pop”, where you just pop the guys head off, as you would a head of a flower. Yep, if you are a fan of gore and blood, then this game is for you.
With your advanced skills, just know that the enemies step it up in this game as well. There are all sorts of tough enemies that The Brotherhood throws your way, guys that have riot shields, weapon stealing whips and more. Be prepared for some heated battles, especially towards the end…and always remember to avoid the light. To go with the great advances in graphics and story,The Darkness II offers a game mode called “Vendetta” as well. This allows you to play with multiple characters from Jackie’s crime family during the same timeline as the actual story mode. You go on all sorts of side missions and behind the scene quests with these characters, each of which has a unique Darkness characteristic. Give this mode a whirl after you beat the actual story because it will give you a much better understanding of all the characters and stories at play.
There are so many first-person shooter games out there now that sometimes you might get tired of the concept. The Darkness II brings a totally fresh spin to the genre and offers a unique and interesting story and game-play to the table. Even if you have never played the first in the series, this game is worth the money. The story mode is a bit quick in comparison to some other games, but there is re-playability with the Vendetta modes and online play. All in all, The Darkness II is one of my favorite action/shooter games in a long time and I seriously suggest you giving it a try.
THE DARKNESS 2 TRAILER
THE DARKNESS 2 SCREENSHOTS
THE DARKNESS 2 GIVEAWAY – ENTRY DETAILS
We have four (4) copies of The Darkness II to give away (2 copies for PlayStation 3 and 2 copies for XBox 360). If you want a chance to win this awesome game, all you have to do is follow us on Tumblr (http://coedmagazine.tumblr.com/) and reblog this post (http://coedmagazine.tumblr.com/post/17787474766/the-darkness-2-video-game-giveaway). That’s it. We’ll pick the winners next Friday, February 24th. Deadline to enter will be Thursday, February 23rd at 11:59pm ET. Read all the legal mumbo jumbo here.