‘Ello Monkey: Ponderings on The Darkness 2

After probably about 8 hours, I finished The Darkness 2 last night. i still haven’t finished Assassin’s Creed, but I felt like I needed a break from jumping on peoples heads, to ripping peoples spines out with a demon.  This post will contain spoilers for those who have not played The Darkness 2. 

I never finished the first The Darkness game. I don’t know why, I just never did. It was really good fun, and I enjoyed the concept but just never got round to finishing it. I wasn’t going to get The Darkness 2 initially, but I saw the price in CEX and couldn’t resist a good horror game.

Pros

The thing I enjoyed about The Darkness 2 the most was how much better the use of The Darkness in general was. I felt as though there were only a few things you could do with it before, but being able to dismember in new and interesting ways was fun, and being such a fan of gore I was sat on the edge of my seat applauding the graphics every time someones spine got ripped out. I know that makes me sound a little bit psychotic, but if you know me, you know my love for anything horror and gore related.

SPOILER ALERT. The next thing I really enjoyed about The Darkness 2 was the sections that were set in the mental hospital. I really love anything to do with the mental condition, and anything set in a mental hospital is instant win for me (Shutter Island, I’m looking at you). It was really a twist on the plot initially, because I was sitting there wondering ‘Is it really all a dream? Has Jackie been locked up because he’s gone insane?’ and then it all started to make sense. I would have liked for Jackie to have been able to use The Darkness in the mental hospital towards the end, but alas, it was not to be.

The Darkness 2 has plenty of gore to keep me satisfied

Cons

One of the things I was most disappointed with was not being able to walk around freely like you could in the first game. I enjoyed walking in and out of the subways, as annoying as it was sometimes when I didn’t know where I had to go. It felt very restricting at times for you only be able to walk around Jackie’s mansion and have limited conversations with his friends and family.

The next thing I found disappointing was the lack of Darklings to accompany you. I understand why, and the Darkling that did accompany you was hilarious with brilliant lines such as, “Or, we could just go to Vegas and fuck off. We’re free monkey!” Being British, I really do appreciate some tongue in cheek British humour from time to time. It just would have been nice to have different Darklings for different moments in the game like what was available in the first game.

The cell shading was something that I had to get used to, and I’m still slightly on the fence about it to be honest. I think it made it a bit more graphic and violent at times, but it just doesn’t seem right sometimes. Cell shading has always been a bit of a bane of the gaming industry. Some say it’s suited to kids games, some say it’s suited to any kind of game. It’s a tough one, but it kind of works here.

The enemy design is lazy, but it's still fun to kill them

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to truly say that I have enjoyed a game and not been able to put it down, but The Darkness 2 (and AC;Revelations) has done that for me. I shall very much look forward to The Darkness 3, as the ending was left very open for it. I preferred the story in The Darkness 2 as it went even deeper and more supernatural then before, so if that can keep running in the sequel then I will be extremely happy.

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