E3 ’11: The Darkness II Preview
Are you afraid of the dark?
There’s just something eerie in itself if the press room you’re sitting in only has black lighting in it. I’m sitting at the 2K booth, for a look at The Darkness II, the follow-up from the original game released in 2007. The developers quickly bring us up to speed on the story (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t played the original), as The Darkness II picks up a year after the ending of the original game.
You play as Jackie Estacado, a young man who is possessed by a force known as The Darkness. This force allows him to pull off some rather delicious looking attacks, as well as swiftly impale and dismember his enemies. This time around the story focuses on The Brotherhood, an ancient group that wants to take the Darkness from Jackie and use it for their own means. The demo level showed Jackie pursuing some of their crazed members, and also introduces some new powers and attacks.
In addition to having access to a variety of guns, you also have a pair of Demon Arms, which can be put to many uses. The left arm is useful for grabbing items, ammo, guns, or enemies, while the right arm can be used to attack or quickly dismember someone. As in the original game, you can only use this supernatural power when you are away from the light, and this is something that The Brotherhood uses to their advantage – they frequently throw light grenades at you to blind you temporarily, so it is important to survey your surroundings before approaching.
New to The Darkness II is the ability to improve certain abilities such as your guns or demonic powers. The upgrade tree is divided into four sections, and the more hearts you consume, the more of the tree you can unlock. One power that was unlocked gives you temporary increased damage with your guns by tapping into the Darkness, while another similar upgrade increases the effect’s duration. We also got a chance to look at an attack that conjured up a Black Hole, sucking in enemies and debris before blowing it all up into the ether. The graphics of course look fantastic, and help build up the moody and bleak atmosphere of the game. Of course, your screaming victims and salivating demonic arms help too.
The Darkness II looks to be a faithful follow-up to the original, and I can’t wait to go on an indulgent diet of hearts and dismemberment.
N.B Screenshots were not released at the time of writing
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