Monday, February 06, 2012

The Darkness II: Screenshots from the Demo

Since I’ve started this mini-trend of posting screenshots from the games that I’ve played, I figured that I’d bring some of the more interesting scenes from a new demo I found on Valve’s Steam service: The Darkness II.

Published by 2K Games and developed by Digital Extremes, the game does a fair job of forming a shooter/horror atmosphere. The voice acting is alright, although sometimes the skulls of the characters feel a bit…off. Although, I was shooting at their skulls more often than admiring them.

I didn’t have the joy of playing the first The Darkness, but from what I understand various critics didn’t like the game very much. So here’s hoping this next incarnation (read: sequel) will do better than the first.

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This unfortunate fellow is the first thing I saw in the demo. He’s apparently an occultist who wants to take the Darkness from from Jackie—the MC of the game (whom I’m playing as.) Missing teeth, wrecked face, this fellow has suffered horribly and this may fuel his desire to take this magic power from me.

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The Darkness manifests as a pair of very angry snake-headed tentacles that seem to hang out around my shoulders. They’re actually quite helpful—as you see above—and can grab guns from the ground, doors from cars to act as body shields, and even fling things (like doors and rebar) to ruin the day of whomever I threw them at.

Not to mention, I can also dual wield weapons (mostly handguns and Uzi’s in the demo with the odd shotgun.)

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If I get too close to a light source the Darkness freaks out and recedes (and it reasonably stuns me and makes it difficult to fight back.)

As a result, when entering an area, I try to sight any lamps or pools of light and put them out. Fortunately, guns manage to be an excellent candle-quitter for stopping these problems (just target and fire.) It’s my understanding that in the previous The Darkness the tentacles themselves could kill lights and in this one they will not—must use ammo.

And then… Then there’s this little guy:

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Okay, so the first screenshot it the imp getting his butt-electrocuted. I thought that was funny.

I believe this is called a darkling and he enters the battlefield time to time as a guide. He also leaps onto enemies and subdues them so that I can eat them.

And I do mean eat them.

Whilst it’s true that I can shoot them down with the guns—but it’s much more fun to whack them with the tentacles and then grab them. Once grabbed, I can execute them gruesomely with the tentacles to some effect. Often with some benefit such as health regen or additional ammo.

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Gruesome indeed.

Finally, when a person is downed (without a special execute) it leaves their “heart” intact and I can “devour their hearts,” which gains skill points that can be spent on a variety of upgrades to the character.

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Yeah, not happening.

In conclusion. The art style is a little bit cel-shaded making it feel just a wee bit comic-bookish; but it’s more photorealistic than it is cel-shading (a good comparison might be the game XIII). There’s the mobster with evil magic powers motif going on.

Intermittently I got an emotional introduction to his dead girlfrield (who sometimes appears in pools of light—symbolism here?) and that’s it for the demo.

Will it be a good game?


The demo comes across okay, although a little bit crass. This is a gruesome horror/action shooter after all so I guess we should cut it some slack there.

Meanwhile, that’s it for today. Adieu.

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