Demoing Darkness

This week, the demo for The Darkness II, by Digital Extremes and 2K Games, was released on Steam, Xbox LIVE, and later, the PlayStation Network.

Player-character Jackie Estacado is the don of a crime family, as well as the owner of a demonic power called The Darkness.  After the death of his girlfriend, Jackie has tried to control The Darkness.. but it wants out!

Jackie is also being hunted by others who want The Darkness for themselves, and the demo starts with a scene of Jackie being crucified and beaten in order to try and force him to give up his powers of his own free will..

Earlier events have Jackie going to a restaurant and meeting some girls before one of them is shot and a car rams its way through the wall, crushing Jackie’s leg and foot.  This results in Jackie himself having to be dragged away by a henchman while he shoots the enemies who have come to capture him..

This bit was on rails, but I found the shooting fun, with plenty of enemies appearing from all around.

Once outside, though.. that’s when The Darkness put in an appearance! 🙂

One of the new features of this game is quad-wielding: Jackie can use firearms while still manifesting powerful demon arms, unlike in the previous game where you used either The Darkness or guns.

The demon arms are powerful enough to pick up enemies, who you can then execute or throw away to their deaths; other items can also be picked up and thrown too.  I got extra points for impaling an enemy with a thrown bit of scaffolding.. very Bulletstorm 🙂

There are also bonus points for different executions.. and lifting an enemy into the air with one arm and then splitting them in two with the other does feel rather powerful!

Once out into the street, car doors can be torn off and used as a shield while you shoot it out, or you can throw the door itself at them if you prefer.  All these abilities are available via different buttons on the keyboard or mouse, and while this saved me from having to switch between active abilities, I found the use of middle-click strange and slightly uncomfortable.

In the first Darkness game, there were a range of Darkling types with their own unique abilities: Beserker, Gunner, Kamikaze and Lightkiller.  In this game there is just one Darkling with some importance to the story and gameplay.  He is able to help out in fights, interact with the environment around him, and scout out areas for Jackie.. more of an ally than expendable minion this time.

Certainly, he is rather unique.. as well as having an affected British accent, he’s wearing a Union Jack for a jumper and has a dead cat on his head..

Upgrades for Jackie’s various abilities can be acquired at various Dark Shrines.  Essense can be spent on various abilities or improvements via the talent tree, and I was pleased to see that you can spread the points around or specialise as you wish!  I’ll be taking the extra-strong demon arms, thanks 😉

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