The Darkness 2 follows on the story from the first game with some time elapsed. Jackie, the main character, is now the head of a crime family and he hasn’t had to use his dark powers for a while. Unfortunately an evil cult is hell bent on stealing the darkness from him and using his powers to their own end. Throw in the fact that the Darkness within Jackie is hiding things from him and its actually trying to make him insane and the plot is... moderately interesting.
The game itself is totally linear; you have no choices on where to go or what to do if you want to stay alive. The Darkness 2, like its predecessor, is quite a straightforward first person shooter with one main exception: Jackie is possessed by the Darkness and when he is in the dark he has an array of
powers to call upon. You can also use akimbo pistols and submachine guns as well as a shotgun or assault rifle. There isn’t anything particularly brain teasing in the game, it tends to follow the same formula of “Walk into a room, destroy all the lights, kill everyone and walk into the next room”.
This is the game series' key gimmick and stops it from falling into mediocrity. You have the darkness by your side as long as you don’t step into bright lights, which almost blind you. Most lights can be destroyed but there will be chemical lights and sunlight that cannot. You have a number of powers
such as giving yourself dark energy ammo for a short time that can shoot through walls, or spouting out a green cloud that distracts your enemies and you can also create a vortex that sucks in all the enemies in the area. The darkness is mainly manifested in two mouths, which can pick up items and
throw them, or simply slash enemies.
Another part of The Darkness is the executions. Carrying on from the first game, you can consume the hearts of your enemies to regain your health but in this game it has been extended so you can now do a different execution to give you more ammo, to speed up the regeneration of your other powers or to create a shield out of their bones, protecting you from enemy fire and which can also be thrown to cut enemies in half.
Although they are important to the game, keeping you well supplied with ammo and health, they are very cool to watch. The only downside is that although each type of execution has a different animation, when you are doing them all frequently, the same four animations over and over loose their cool-ness after a while.
Every enemy you kill gives you experience of a differing amount depending on the method of their death. Simply shooting an enemy won’t give you any, but impaling him against a wall while your darkling (a little creature that follows you around) is punching him on the head will give you a fair amount of exp. This is used to level up your abilities, making them doing more damage or lasting longer or maybe adding extra features to the ability.
You can also increase the ammo clips for your weapons and give them explosive ammo or you can increase the bonuses you get from executions. This is all an interesting feature, but most games let you level up these days so it doesn’t feel so much as something that stands out, rather something we expect these days.
There is a multiplayer mode where you play as some other individuals who have Darkness imbued weapons, and they each have their own unique execution and one of Jackie’s darkness powers. You can do these missions on your own, some of which are taken from the campaign and some of which are new. Playing them on my own, I thought that it would be a really good multiplayer experience, but when I actually tried it, it was let down by shoddy animation of the other players and the community is both small and apparently entirely content to let their team mates die, quite a let down really.
The Darkness is another fun game. The campaign isn’t that long but the fighting is good and it’s fairly interesting to play for the first time. The multiplayer seems to only be fun on your own; it might be worthwhile with some of your own friends but there isn’t a split screen which makes it’s a bit of a trial to play. This is a fairly short game to play; I fully completed it within a week.