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whatshot The Darkness 2 PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
The Darkness 2
Reviewed by
Tory Favro
on
The Darkness 2 PS3 Review. The Darkness II is a total bloodbath that delights in its own malevolence. Highly enjoyable and of course highly recommended.
Rating:
4.25


 

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.0
Value 8.0
Distributor: 2K Games
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
Feb 2012
Reviewer:
Tory Favro

8.5


The Darkness 2

I loved the comic book of the Darkness and was thrilled when the first game came out, and got a real kick out of playing my way through it. Iím a fan and I guess I have a fan boyís enthusiasm for the title, but I do have an extremely critical eye when it comes to spending mine and your money. I just thought I should add that as Iíve been reviewing for a very long time now and some people think you get a little jaded about the ďfreebiesĒ. Not at all, over the years as your responsibilities increase, I find I tolerate mediocrity less and less.

The story isn't one that you need to have bought the first game in order to get the gist of what is going on here. Basically you are Jackie Estacado, and an ancient spirit inhabits/shares your body and all we know is that itís called The Darkness. What we do know is that it has a whole host of badass abilities, not the least of which is allowing you to survive some pretty major punishment.

You are the leader of a crime family, and whilst they donít come out and say it, there are plenty of allusions to the Mafia, along with the clichťd accents and mannerisms. Jackie is a 21 year old wise guy with the voice of a 40 odd year old. Odd. But I am sure that considering two demonic entities spring forth from his arms with immense killing power, his lackeys would have no issues with taking orders from the young leader.

I guess I should tell you this, the game is a first person shooter, albeit with a bit of a difference. Darkness 2 glorifies in bloody combat, just as it should in staying true to the comic and the game that came before it. Itís a weird control system too, which you will master fast enough, but essentially you will need to get used to using L2 and R2 just as much as L1 and R1 as the 2ís control the Darkness arms. The left arm is used to manipulate items and pick up dead bodies, yes that is right, dead bodies and use them as weapons. You can also use the right arm as your primary weapon and blood and gore flow aplenty.

As the Darkness can only function in.... well, the darkness, it is a learning experience to keep Jackie out of the light and in the safety of the dark. Lights are often in your way so you need to find ways to destroy them or work around them. Enemies are often equipped with light guns that will keep you pinned in the shadows, waiting for the chance to strike.  In the dark is where Jackie's powers (which can be purchased by spending energy from kills) work best.

Playing through the game is an engaging experience, made all the more so by the story which really goes above and beyond what you would normally expect from a shooter. I must confess that it kept me on my toes throughout the entire game as Jackie is kept on his toes wondering if he is going insane, or if the world of the Darkness is his reality. There are so many twists and turns to keep you going throughout that tipped this game over an eight out of ten score for me. One scene in particular was the utter moment that I went from thinking it was a neat story to a great one, and itís one that I so badly want to tell you, but it will trash the tale for you and this is a game that is worth playing through to the very end.

When I say play through to the end, I do mean that. Yes Iím going to spoil something for you but I also hope you thank me. After the credits there is a small playable scene and movie highly relevant to the rest of the game. I donít know if this scenario plays out if you skip the credits, so donít!

Here is something for you to keep this objective... The enemies are on the repetitive side. By that I mean that they throw the same bad guys at you all the time throughout the entire game, even when toward the end things have changed and you are fighting in a different location, all theyíve done is reskin the characters. I know Iím being ambiguous by saying different location but once again it boils down to a key storyline detail that will wreck the fun this title provides if I tell you. Hopefully itíll be enough for THQ to know just how much of a kick I got out of this one without buggering up the surprises they have instore for you.

The graphics style is very unique and something that I canít recall having seen before. At first you just want to say itís another cell shaded title, but itís way more than that and then some. The outlines of people and objects are most certainly outlined in the way cell shading is traditionally done but then the rest of it is finished in what appears to be a painted style. It looks incredible and is a very cool way of bringing the game to life.

The audio in the game is excellent and really adds to the immersive nature of the story. The soundtrack is ambient, ramping up during times of action and then subsiding again. Environmental effects are amazing, the soundscape creating a living, breathing environment. Weapons fire is realistic and fills up your speakers with awesome booms and rattles. The sound is so good in fact it becomes a character in itís own right. That character is called The Darkness!

The voice of the Darkness is downright creepy, at times scaring the heck out of me. It ratchets up and down your eardrums to great effect. The guys who made the game also incorporated the Dual Shock controllers vibration feature to work with the Darkness audio so quite literally at least twice I nearly dropped the controller when the Darkness spoke/shrieked at me. It was utterly freakiní awesome.

All things said and done I loved this game. It looked good, sounded great and the storyline was something I consider quite special with its twists and turns. Yes the enemies repeated themselves a hell of a lot but the story carried at such a pace that you didnít really care. I would find it hard to believe that almost any fan of shooters wouldn't like this story. I will warn you that it does embrace its own high level of gore with special moves called executions that eviscerate foes. The Darkness II is a total bloodbath that delights in its own malevolence. Highly enjoyable and of course highly recommended.

Tory Favro





 

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