The Darkness II Official Guide Accessories
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The Darkness II Official Guide Product Details
Released on 10-Feb-2012
The Darkness II is the sequel to the critically acclaimed 2007 release, The Darkness. It is an intense first person shooter that puts you in the role of Jackie Estacado, don of a New York crime family and wielder of an ancient force of chaos known as The Darkness.
- In-Depth Walkthrough provides complete coverage of every encounter from start to finish.
- Complete Arsenal shows players how to fully exploit Jackie's attacks, shots, Darkness powers, and more. TACTICS FROM THE PROS reveal their strengths and weaknesses, and how to use them to maximum effect.
- Gripping Artwork and Riveting Background Content makes this guide a must-have collectible for The Darkness fans.
- Character Level-Up Analysis reveals how to earn new abilities, attacks, and enhancements via the talent tree system.
- Achievement/Trophy Rosters describe how to earn each reward.
Evil breaks looseThe Darkness 2 is a first person shooter that has the unenviable task of following on from one of the most original games in the genre to be released this console generation, but new series caretaker Digital Extremes doesn't appear to be buckling under the pressure. The gruesome FPS sequel once again sees players take control Jackie Estacado, an Italian American mobster possessed by an evil demon which grants him incredible supernatural powers but threatens to consume him.
It has been two years since Jackie used The Darkness to kill the men responsible for his girlfriend Jenny's murder in the original game. He subsequently managed to bottle up his powers and has now ascended to the role of Don of the Franchetti crime family, but a sudden, unprovoked attempt on his life kicks off a full-scale mob war and acts as the catalyst for the demons inside him to re-emerge.
Quad-wielding chaosWith Jackie's otherworldly parasite once again rearing its menacing head, players are introduced to a combat system and range of powers that wouldn't feel amiss in a superhero adventure, and ones that would most likely be wielded by the villain of the piece. He's capable of shooting dual guns while simultaneously controlling two tentacle-like appendages called Demon Arms, the left of which is for grabbing and the razor sharp right for slashing.
These enable Jackie to pick up heavy objects like cars and toss them around with ease, and to skewer enemies or split them down the middle by yanking their legs apart. He can even encase himself in protective armour and create a sentient life form called the Darkling, a mischievous demon who follow his orders. But to do so Jackie must stalk his prey in the dark, as his vicious powers only manifest themselves in the shadows, meaning players need to destroy light sources in the environment to gain a strategic advantage.
The art of murderThe Darkness 2 looks set to be a brutally violent shooter, but not one without class and substance. Featuring a distinctive visual style that combines graphic novel shading and colour with the dramatic lighting of film noir, it's striking to behold and a fitting tribute to the comic series the game is based on. And while we don't know how the story will play out, if acclaimed comic book writer Paul Jenkins - whose credits include The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and Hellblazer - can live up to the gripping, emotional tale of the original game, then players are in for a treat.
The likes of Modern Warfare, BioShock, Crysis and Uncharted ensured that 2007's The Darkness was somewhat overlooked by the gaming masses, but with the sequel's upcoming February 2012 release window ensuring more visibility, and developer Digital Extremes not just relying upon the original's cool combat features and rich, dark atmosphere, but adding to it with its own new ideas and visual identity, The Darkness 2 has a good chance of making a big impact.
EA has confirmed that its upcoming first-person reboot of classic 16-bit strategy game, Syndicate, will be launched without an online pass system. Both new and second-hand buyers will have access to the full game, without needing to enter or purchase a code.
The decision was taken because the game's strong emphasis on co-op squad play meant that locking off online functions would harm the gameplay experience. "We want as little resistance or barriers to entry as possible. The co-op is equal billing in this," EA man Jeff Gamon told Eurogamer. "We wanted everyone who owns a copy of the game to have access to the entire product."
The game, developed by Riddick and The Darkness developer Starbreeze casts players as cybernetically enhanced agents, stealing corporate secrets in a dystopian future. But given that EA was the first publisher to roll out an online pass system, and has used it for most games since, how did Syndicate slip out?
"Under normal circumstances it would have had an online pass," Gamon admits, "But because it didn't have competitive multiplayer and because we wanted as many people as possible to be playing co-op, we got away with it."
Hello Darkness, my old friend...
It's been five years since we last encountered The Darkness, but in The Darkness II, out now on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, only two years have passed since the events of the first game. Gangster Jackie Estacado is still playing host to a malevolent demonic entity, but he's managed to keep it under control, despite still mourning the murder of his girlfriend in one of the first game's most dramatic moments. Something as powerful as The Darkness can't be contained forever, though, and when a mysterious organisation known only as The Brotherhood declares war on Jackie, he's forced to release the beast in order to survive.
If you didn't play the original game (and if not, why not?) then the first thing you need to understand is that this is a first-person shooter with a difference. Yes, you're able to wield pistols, SMGs, shotguns and assault rifles, picking off enemy enforcers and hapless thugs with the crisp, smooth efficiency you'd expect from a thoroughbred action game.
Movement is slick, aiming is instinctive, and enemies prove agreeably vulnerable to a bullet in the mush. Not for The Darkness the artificial challenge of foes with impenetrable heads and torsos that soak up damage. This is a game that wants you to feel bad-ass, and mowing down bad guys by the dozen is just one of the ways in which it achieves this goal.
Embrace the Dark Side
Guns are only half your arsenal, however, and are quickly reduced to backup fire-power once you master Jackie's other combat option: The Darkness. Manifesting as a pair of snarling toothy tentacles, you can lash out into the environment and wreak extraordinary havoc with these puppies.
With simple context-sensitive controls, you can smash through obstacles and slice enemies up. You can grab objects and throw them, pinning foes to the wall with a pool cue or lopping their head off with a car door. They're the lucky ones. Spare a thought for any villain who gets close enough to be grabbed himself. An unlockable array of execution moves put these poor souls at your mercy, allowing you to butcher them in grisly style, topping up health and ammo into the bargain.
The Darkness bestows other gifts as well, as every kill awards Dark Essence. The nastier the slaughter, the more points you'll gain towards upgrading Jackie's four skill trees. Upgrades include a swarm of Darkness that harms and distracts enemies, the ability to channel The Darkness through your guns for unlimited ammo and increased damage, and the chance to grab black holes from defeated bad guys. Once thrown, these slurp up anyone in their radius, churning them into a sort of gruesome sticky red butter. There's also the Darkling, a scampering obnoxious little sidekick who can be controlled at fixed points in the story, stirring in a little stealth action as he goes.
Although bullets can bring Jackie down, your biggest threat is light. Stray into anything too bright and The Darkness retreats, leaving you blinded and without your best powers. Shooting out overhead lights, destroying generators and taking down enemies with shoulder-mounted spotlights is a priority if you want to maintain the upper hand.
This brings an element of strategy to the game, but not so much that it detracts from what is a ruthless action experience. With so many rival shooters taking a more measured pace, and forcing you to hunker down behind cover and pick off enemies methodically, it's incredibly refreshing to play a game where storming around, blasting away and causing massive carnage is the preferred approach. With its full-blooded comic book mayhem and breathless pace, The Darkness II is as thrilling a shooter as we've seen in years. The price you pay for this pulse-pounding tempo is a game that offers few chances to explore, and it's one that openly funnels you down corridors towards the next big fight.
Also differentiating The Darkness II from the current shooter crop is the deep and involved storyline, which often requires you to talk to characters and actually listen to what they say. There are sections where you're purely moving the story forwards without blasting or mangling, and it's a testament to the solid script that these moments feel worthwhile and entertaining, rather than intrusive.
For those looking for long-term thrills, the game doesn't have any competitive multiplayer modes, so there's no chance to pit Darkness against Darkness in a tentacled wrestling match of doom. What it does have however is a secondary story campaign, playable in co-op with four players, in which you control a quartet of colourful Darkness-powered mercenaries, following Jackie's orders. This campaign overlaps with the main story, and is a lot of fun.
It won't take you long to finish off the main story mode of The Darkness II, but the option to start over with your powers intact should entice you back for a while as you take advantage of your upgraded abilities to really pulverise those early stages. Muscular, violent but propelled by well-rounded characters and clever plotting, as story-driven action-horror gaming goes there's no reason to be afraid of this darkness.
Our rating: 8.0
- Thrillingly gruesome action
- Excellent controls
- A story that actually matters
- Short campaign
- No competitive multiplayer
- Not much replay value
- Thrillingly gruesome action
Unleash Your Inner Demon
The original Darkness was a violent, comic book-inspired Mafia tale with a love story at its core, which saw players step into the shoes of Jackie Estacado, a mobster betrayed by his boss and then saw his childhood sweetheart murdered in front of him. Filled with rage and possessed by a demonic force called The Darkness, his desire to avenge her murder saw Jackie give himself over to the evil inside him in return for a range of deadly supernatural abilities.
In the years since, Jackie has risen from hitman to crime boss while managing to keep a lid on the unholy powers that once aided but also threatened to consume him. Nothing good ever lasts forever though. The Darkness II, out now on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, kicks off with a brutal encounter with a shadowy organisation known as The Brotherhood, which sets in motion a full-scale mob war and reawakens The Darkness, leaving Jackie in way over his head once again.
The Darkness II's single player campaign offers around eight to ten hours of gruesomely satisfying action as players simultaneously wield a range of traditional guns and otherworldly powers in a bid to fend off enemies intent on acquiring The Darkness for their own evil purposes. Assault rifles and SMGs are best for ranged combat, while The Darkness is great for getting up close and personal. It's unleashed with two tentacle-like 'Demon Arms' capable of grabbing or slashing objects and foes, but can only be used when in shadow, meaning players need to destroy power-sapping light sources such as streetlights and generators in the world around them, and torches, flashbangs and vehicle headlights used by enemies against them.
With the left arm players can yank off a car door and use it as a bullet shield before throwing it at enemies, for example, or pick up stray pipes to use as javelins, or hurl explosive propane tanks. With the right arm, enemies and obstacles can be violently executed by being cut in half, decapitated, or worse. All of this works in tandem with a neat upgrade system which sees players gain 'Darkness Essence' for each kill, a currency that can be spent on extra powers such as the ability to shoot through walls, stun enemies with locust swarms, or even summon miniature black holes.
The Darkness II may be a violent shooter but, like its predecessor, it features a compelling character-driven tale. A love story that reaches beyond the grave, Jackie's solely motivated by a desire to see his dead girlfriend rest in peace so that he can too. Their relationship is a central theme in what's part mob drama, part supernatural revenge romance, and the game features multiple endings, one of which is genuinely fascinating. This is no simple blastathon, then, but a game with some depth.
The Darkness II also features a narrative co-operative game mode that runs parallel to the single player story and supports up to four players. Called Vendettas and designed as a team-focused, mission based experience, it focuses on a group of mercenaries who do dirty work for Jackie, and explores the role they play in his bid to defeat the Brotherhood. Each of the characters has a unique combat style based on Darkness-powered weapons, and while the story largely consists of slaying armies of thugs, it takes players to new environments and culminates in a boss battle that's more impressive than any other in the single player campaign.
Like the original Darkness, the sequel is a stylish, brutal shooter wrapped in a great story. It's not perfect, but it offers highly polished and satisfying action, over-the-top gore, cool graphic novel-style visuals and clever storytelling that comfortably elevate it beyond the average first person shooter.
- Darkness powers are great fun.
- Touching plot and believable characters.
- Eye-popping graphic novel art style.
- Boss design could be stronger.
- Guns are satisfying, but the selection is limited.
- Too gory for the faint hearted.
- Darkness powers are great fun.
The Darkness 2 - Preview (25/01/2012)
The Darkness 2 is a first person shooter that has the unenviable task of following on from one of the most original games in the genre to be released this console generation, but new series caretaker …
EA has confirmed that its upcoming first-person reboot of classic 16-bit strategy game, Syndicate, will be launched without an online pass system. Both new and second-hand buyers will have access to t…
It's been five years since we last encountered The Darkness... Gangster Jackie Estacado is still playing host to a malevolent demonic entity, but he's managed to keep it under control, despite still m…
The Darkness II - Review (15/02/2012)
The Darkness II may be a violent shooter but, like its predecessor, it features a compelling character-driven tale, offering offers highly polished and satisfying action, over-the-top gore, cool graph…
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