Jackie Estacado is back in this absolute blood bath with The Darkness II, throwing us back into the world of the possessed mob boss. This game is full of blood, gore and one liners. But is that enough to make this one of the must have shooters of 2012?
In this cartoon style shooter you are mob boss Jackie Estacado, who in the first game lost the love of his life, Jenny, and was possessed by the darkness to seek out revenge on everyone responsible. This game picks up a little after where the first one left off: it seems as Jackie finally learned to control the darkness. Like every good Italian stereotype, that doesn’t last long as he gets pulled back into the world of demons and eating hearts.
The controls are a little tricky to get used too at first. As the game is a shooter, sometimes it’s easy to forget that you have two demon arms able to just grab a guy and rip his head off. There is a point system for your crazy executions; the crazier the executions the more points you get to power up your darkness powers. The executions are what set this game apart and make it enjoyable. From picking up your enemy and throwing him against the wall to ripping them in two, The Darkness II has the most enjoyable executions and has some of the sickest things I’ve seen in a video game.
The story overall does drag though. It takes a long time to get interesting and even longer to get to the climax of the The Darkness II. The level design is great with the cartoon style graphics as it gives it that comic book style that this game is based off of. The levels are straight forward and not as open world as the last game. Although there are a couple of disturbing parts when you are walking through a brothel that leaves you flabbergasted when you peek into a couple of open doors. I realized just how far games have come since I was a kid from this section of the game.
The levels do lull you to sleep as wave after wave of similar enemies come at you in an never-ending supply. Luckily there is also an endless supply of environmental objects you can use to throw at your enemies from car doors to parking meters. The basic enemies themselves are really no challenge but the boss battles are a little difficult. There is a strategy to every boss battle, but once you figure it out you’re good to go.
If you are looking for a bloody good time, and I mean that literally, you should check this game out. The story does drag, but more than makes up for it at the end. This game has everything: blood, lots of blood, sex, violence, and even a sappy love story they did a decent job on with the scenes between Jackie and Jenny. The story mode is very short but there is a mission mode that will keep you playing a little longer. Even with the mission mode, this game might just end up being a rental only. Is this going to be the best shooter of 2012? Probably not, but it was a good surprise in early 2012 and it is worth giving it a go.Note: The Darkness II was reviewed on Xbox 360. A physical copy of the game was purchased by SelectButton.