Feeds
75%
The Darkness II

The Darkness II

Shadow people

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Review On paper, there's very little to like about The Darkness II. Take your character Jackie Estacado, for starters. Even before taking into account the unspeakable evil to which he is host, few gaming protagonists are as monstrously unsympathetic as the contract killer turned mob boss.

The Darkness II

Hit the fairground

Then consider the game's central conceit, 'quad-wielding', which augments regular gunplay with the manifestation of The Darkness: two hideous, serpent-like appendages that burst from Jackie's shoulders with an insatiable bloodlust.

And how about the clichés? The supporting cast of pasta-eating Goombahs called Vinnie or Jimmy or Chief. Or the spectre of his brutally murdered girlfriend Jenny, the “only good thing in his life”, fuelling Jackie's inexorable descent into hell?

The Darkness II

Knocking one out got a bit messy

So is there anything to prevent The Darkness II's own descent towards the hell of the pre-owned shelf? Well, surprisingly, plenty. Its mechanics might feel contrived to punch a niche into a saturated market and its narrative employ some tired conventions, but within the confines of an interactive B-movie, The Darkness II is a thrilling barnstormer of a shooter.

In remaining true to its source, it's also a game of intelligent contrast. Ripping out an enemy's spinal cord through his sphincter or eating his still-beating heart to regain health are obvious grotesqueries, even when tempered graphically by stylised cel-shading and cross-hatching. But the supernatural comic book horrors prove less shocking, splattered across the backdrop of a brutal criminal underworld.

The Darkness II

Day of the tentacle

For all its Mafia clichés and ribald humour, it's a disturbingly mature depiction of violence and vice. Here, vendettas are repaid by butchering innocent family members in front of your eyes and clients pay to beat-up prostitutes in squalid, factory-sized whorehouses.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.