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The Darkness II   Windows  PS3  XBox360

There are four difficulty or optional play levels in this sensational first-person shooter from 2K Games; these are the story, the fight, the challenge and the marked for death. One of these allows you to play out vendettas for Jackie with you as one of his henchmen.

If you haven’t played the original game of the Darkness then you are wise to spend the first few minutes watching the reprise, narrated by a scared looking piece of humanity against a constantly changing backdrop of 2D illustrations.

Here you find out that Jackie Estacado had run ins with The Mob and they, in their inimitable response blew out the brains of Jackie’s girlfriend, Jenny Romano, right in front of Jackie.

This caused Jackie to fly into such a rage he was easily open to accept the offer from the Darkness for revenge, which was dealt deadly and in gut-ripping fashion.

At the start of the Darkness II Jackie is just about to enjoy the company of two young ladies at a dinner table when the window behind one of the girls cracks open as a bullet, fired from outside, splits the girls head. Seconds later a car is driven through the wall/window and the other girl is crushed, Jackie almost loses a leg but is dragged clear at the last moment. As he is pulled through the restaurant Jackie (you) have to keep the onslaught of mobsters at bay.

There are too many of them though and death is at the end of a gun when the Darkness calls to Jackie once more. Once this help is accepted  Jackie finds he gets regular help from a Darkling - a monkey-like creature - who is as cute as he is fearsome. He also leads Jackie to area where he can “purchase” new skills.

Jackie can multi task big time as once the Darkness is in control (always unless you step into the light) he can use two hands to dual wield weapons whilst pulling, punching, grabbing and slashing with two additional tentacles, one of which can also be used to rip open doors or grab heavy items and hurl them at Jackie’s adversaries.

The language is quite tame compared to the majority of “18” but the violence is bloody - you get to eat hearts and worse - grabbing gangsters by the ankles and ripping them in two for example. Full of action from start to end this game gives off great vibes (literally if you play on the XBox360) and the adrenaline rush is immense.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2021