What happens when you mix a little bit of Mortal Kombat, BioShock, and Red Dead Redemption?
The rush of holiday releases hasn't done any favors for The Darkness II and its impending release on February 7, so we thought it would be a good idea to get everyone caught up on all the pertinent details and interesting tidbits about the game before it hits store shelves. The Darkness II captures much of what made the previous game successful and introduces some new features--both cosmetic and mechanic--that are a direct attempt to fix issues with the first game.
It's in Development at Digital Extremes, Not Starbreeze
The original Darkness was developed by the same team that produced the lovely Chronicles of Riddick. The sequel is in development at Digital Extremes, which you might know from the entertaining Dark Sector, as well as its collaborative efforts on BioShock 2, various Unreal Tournament games, and even the original Unreal.
This might seem like an obvious departure from the first game--which shared the darker, almost sterile tone of Starbreeze's previous work--but the effect doesn't really make an impact until you see it for yourself. It's an obvious nod to The Darkness's comic book roots and certainly creates an interesting dichotomy between the onscreen violence and the vibrant world that it inhabits.
It Has Red Dead Redemption-like Auto-Aim
The shooting in the original Darkness wasn't exactly the highlight, but it worked well enough in tandem with Jackie's darkness powers. The Darkness II makes the shooting a little more user-friendly by making the "snap to" far more generous when you aim in the general vicinity of a foe. This gives the shooting a Red Dead Redemption feel where firefights feel more like a series of quick draws as opposed to prolonged sharp-shooting affairs.
It Has BioShock-like Skill Upgrades
The Darkness II has a skill tree system where you can spend points to unlock new skills that are then separated into different sections that focus on Jackie's abilities with firearms and the darkness itself. For example, in the firearm section, you can find a skill that lets you infuse darkness power into bullets, making them stronger. In the darkness executions section, you see skills that will give various bonuses (like health) for executing enemies. A personal favorite is the skill that turns every object you can throw into a bomb.
It Has Fatalities
Eat your heart out, Mortal Kombat! No, really. The darkness will eat a heart out, rip through a belly, or tear off the head of an incapacitated foe. Of course, these fatalities don't serve just as violent window decorations; Jackie gets a boost in health for going that extra mile.
It Has a Brothel Level That Will Likely Cause Some Controversy
About halfway through the game, Jackie makes his way to a brothel because of information he receives on the group that wants him dead. Needless to say, there are some questionable choices of taste in terms of what's showcased in this particular level. That's not to say that these things are completely out of the thematic realm of what The Darkness is, but it's quite surprising nonetheless.
It Has a Cooperative Multiplayer Mode
The Darkness II doesn't have competitive multiplayer, but it will let you play cooperatively with friends taking on the role of different characters that have unique darkness powers. You can watch more about it below!