Eyes On The Darkness II

By Spencer . March 10, 2011 . 5:01pm


Without question, The Darkness II was by far the goriest game I saw during Game Developer’s Conference. The eyes-on demo began with disfigured enemies nailing Mafia hitman Jackie Estacado’s hands to a board. They want the Darkness, an unholy power Jackie controls, and punch him in the face repeatedly in an attempt to obtain it. All of this takes place in a first person perspective just like the game Starbreeze Studios made. Except The Darkness II is being made by Dark Sector developer Digital Extremes.


The game switches to a flashback where Jackie walks into a lavish Italian restaurant where waiters and patrons greet him. Jackie walks to a private table with two flirtatious ladies. Before he can order a drink one of the ladies is shot in the face and Jackie is wounded.


A bodyguard came to Jackie’s rescue and dragged him through the stage leaving a bloody trail behind. The lead designer shot a few enemies during this scripted sequence, demonstrating that the scene is indeed playable. A few bodies and second pistol later, The Darkness II switches to the present where a man with a bulging eyeball gives Jackie another beating. They really want the power of the Darkness and a stream of it flows into a golden box. However, the power can only be obtained if Jackie gives it up on his own volition, which explains why they unnamed group is tourturing him.




Back to the past, Jackie unleashes the power of the Darkness, which heals his wounds. Demonic tentacles pop out on screen, one of them smiles at the player, and the other tears a gangster apart. The rest of the demo was a demonstration of Jackie’s deadly tentacles. One of them is used to pick up objects such as parking meters to toss like a javelin to impale thugs. It’s possible to grab enemies too and throw them or eviscerate them with a move the designer called the "anaconda" where a tentacle wraps around an enemy like a snake before piercing the body Aliens style. The right darkness tentacle is the slashing arm, which Jackie uses to cut mobsters into pieces.


The arms add a bit of strategy into The Darkness II. You can snatch guns with the grabbing arm to surprise enemies. The grabbing arm can also pull off car doors, which act as a shield and a weapon. Once you’re done defending yourself you can toss the car door like a Frisbee, an attack that chops an enemy in half. OK, that’s enough carnage.




Jackie can also call a Darkling, little imp like creatures that steal weapons and… desecrate the dead by urinating on corpses. Digital Extremes decided to give the Darkling a larger role in the game with a personalities and one-liners. As Jackie and his buddy walked through a Manhattan subway they passed by ceiling lights, which overstimulated Jackie’s senses. The game’s screen changed colors when Jackie passed by and the designer explained its a wise idea to shoot lights to keep Jackie in the Darkness.


Switching back to present where the Darkness whispered to Jackie to escape. Empowered by the unholy entity, Jackie ripped a spike out of his hand and drilled it into one of the captors. Jackie was free, but an older man, the same one who explained Jackie should let go of the Darkness because he can’t control the power, escaped swearing to bring harm to Jackie’s family.


The demo ended here, but we have more coverage of The Darkness II coming including an interview with Digital Extremes. The Darkness II is slated for a fall release for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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  • Kris

    I really liked the first Darkness, but hearing how gory this one is gives me pause.
    The Darkness was an incredibly violent game, but to me, the violence never really felt gratuitous, probably because of the compelling story driving it.

    I hope the Darkness II turns out good, but the level of carnage seems a bit overwhelming from what I’ve heard. Still, I’ll remain cautiously optimistic since I love the original.

  • Dimentionalist

    “DeAtH sHaLl NoT bEcOmE yOu. ..”


    I loved the first game. Friend forced me to borrow it, telling me it was complete crap. But I ended up thoroughly enjoying The Darkness. Looking forward to this one!

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    Hmm… One gun Jackie does not please me.

    I adored the first one, it was amazing. Played it countless times too. But it was also very Starbreeze. It had a unique atmosphere; probably THE best voice acting ever seen (heard, oops) in a game (everyone knows about Mike “Master of voices and best singer in existence” Patton and Kirk Acevedo, but even completely irrelevant NPCs were incredibly convincing); great graphics which were far from perfect, but had this really unique feel about them; satisfying gameplay (I lost quite some time tossing gangsters around with the Demon Arm… So much fun); interesting characters (Jackie, Darkness and Jenny, mainly); impactful moments… I could go on.

    So, I think it’s great that DE are trying to give The Darkness II their own personal touch. It would be kinda lame to copy Starbreeze… But at the same time, no Hub world? Another corridor shooter? I love corridor shooters, and I think there’s enough space for all kinds of shooters, but The Darkness really didn’t need to become one. Seeing the screenshots, I’m just going to assume that the atmosphere from the first one is gone altogether. I don’t mind about the graphical style and the gore… Yet.

    Still, I’m hoping it will be a good game. Just not a great experience like the first one. And hey, Patton is back!

    Off-topic: Why did Starbreeze drop their internal engine ;_; Their games won’t be the same with UE3…

    Edit: Oh yeah. I could do without the Darklings having a more active roll… It’s very un-badass. I rarely used them in the first one. And I could also do without the one-liners.

    Eew, I sound like a purist or something.

    • gatotsu911

      Nah, I feel the same way. Story and atmosphere were EVERYTHING to the original game, and if this one doesn’t retain the same level of excellence in those areas it’s going to be one hell of a tough sell for me.

  • Mike Patton is still the voice of the Darklings, right? The entirety of how much I care about this game revolves around that.

    • Kris

      He’s The Darkness itself. The darklings were done by a few different people like Dee Bradley Baker.

    • gatotsu911

      He was never the voice of the Darklings. He is, the voice of the DarkNESS, however, and will be reprising that role in The Darkness II.

  • Ren

    I feel like I should do a witty tentacle one liner… Nah, that’s more like Zero’s teritorry. But the thing that really got my attention on this one was the second image. Those were really low-res finger textures, that really made that screencap creepy… creepier.

  • LOL Just to blow this random bit out, with The Darkness making its epic return, you’d think Top Cow would’ve asked for a Witchblade game. xD

    This will definitely be a day 1 purchase, but only if Starbreeze brings this song back.


  • I read the first volume of the comic and enjoyed it. It wasn’t great but it was well the story and powers was well executed.

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