The Darkness II is a different prospect to the original. While the first game was developed by Starbreeze Studios and delivered a harrowing, depiction of a decayed New York, sequel developer Digital Extremes have taken the story back to its comic book roots.
Colourful, hand-drawn textures give the game a unique tone.
Set two years after the first game, Mafia don Jackie Estecado finds his criminal empire in tatters as a mysterious order attempts to push him to the limit and give up the power of the Darkness of his own free will. Reluctantly, he calls upon the evil power inside him once more to help him repel this new, ruthless enemy.
The shooting mechanics are incredibly slick, coupled with full control of two Darkness tendrils. The left arm can pick up and throw objects as projectiles, while the right slashes enemies at close range. The new “quad-wielding” mechanic means you can use both Darkness tendrils and two of Jackie’s firearms at once, making you an unstoppable, brutal force.
Enemies have become more aggressive, however, using light sources to quash Jackie’s powers at every opportunity, giving each encounter a real sense of urgency, demanding a smart and aggressive approach. While there is a greater focus on action than in the first game, Darkness II is still a superb, highly polished sequel, and is a fine entry to what will hopefully be a long-standing series.
• The Darkness II
£39.99, PC/PS3/Xbox 360