GameGuideDog gives a first hand account of the gameplay demonstration given for Darkness 2 based on the graphic novels. The setup from the previous Darkness starts off as Jackie gets more and more powerful, in the first title on his 21st birthday as a mob man, he manifested the power of the Darkness. At the same time he had a fallout with the mob, which ultimately got his girlfriend Jenny the one thing he loved. So he wrestled with this demonic force inside him and used it to take on the mob. Ultimately rising to the top to be the Don of the family. That summarizes Darkness 1.
In Darkness II it’s two years later and what what has been revealed so far is that a crippled man is trying to take the Darkness from Jackie. They have also revealed that the man is Victor Velontay, the leader of the brotherhood. So Jackie has traced him to hellgate fields, an abandoned carnival in Historia and that is where he is going to take his revenge.
As the demonstration starts we here a womans voice and Jackie exclaims “Jenny?” and then another voice similar the psycho Nicholson voice, says “Poor Jackie!” and the snakes surrounding Jackie from his Darkness power hiss and whine at him in turn with his reply: “Go $&ck yourself!”
GameGuideDog: “Are the snakes from the darkness surrounding Jackie controllable or is that self driven most of the time?”
2K Games: “Yeah absolutely, totally controllable. Bumpers and triggers on a console controller. “
GameGuideDog: “Do you ever see Jackie in a 3rd person view?”
2K Games: “That’s a decision we haven’t made yet.”
Pretty critical to the game is the light. Every time you step into the light you lose your Darkness powers. You always want to stay out of the light and stay in the Darkness. The levels look very surreal and stylized in a nightmarishly cool way. You come up to a darkling who kind of shadows you throughout the game.
As the first battle ensues, both gunfire and Darkness abilities like “Spinal Tap” are used to extinguish the enemies, again looking incredibly creepy with an excellent score and sound effects. Watching the demo was much like being on a ride albeit the game itself is not on rails of course. The attacks and appearance does have a very ‘Carn-Evil’ element in place for those familiar with the game.
So the battle tactics is what they call quad wielding. It’s when you use a grabbing demon arm, a slashing demon arm, and two guns all at the same time during combat. Now as mentioned before the art style for worldspace is very unique and what they call “Graphic Noire” and what they did is created by drawing inspiration from the comic book. They used the big splashes of color and high dynamic lighting to do the comic book justice and bring it into the game. They want you to feel like when you are playing the game you are playing the graphic novel.
In terms of the brotherhood, they are an ancient organization actually started by a saint. They wanted to rid the taint of the darkness from the world. Unfortunately the darkness corrupts, so whenever they got a hold of the darkness it corrupted them. Eventually they wanted to use the darkness for their own ends. This is why they are going after the host which is now Jackie.
Not every brotherhood member will rush you, they are smart, and know there are tactics you need to use against the darkness wielder, including things like flashbacks. You come upon Victor Velontay the leader of the brotherhood. Every time you get a kill you need hearts to collect essence. Essence is used in their progression system. You’ll see a talent shrine, you can customize and specialize your powers that you can unlock and create your own Jackie in your own way. There are four talent trees. There’s a weapons tree, a mystical tree, a demonic tree, and a gun channel tree. Gun channeling is a new power for Darkness 2 which lets you power the darkness through your guns giving you unlimited ammo for a short burst of time, the next power up extends the time you can use this powerup.
The darkness powers only work in the dark and the brotherhood support shines light cannons on you, so obviously you’ll need to shoot these lights out. The darkness and Jackie have a very antagonistic relationship which often times is very humorous.
After skipping ahead we were shown the next levelup in gun channeling which is “heart of darkness” and a new enemy type and a new power. The way heart of darkness works, it lets you see through walls in a kind of heat sensor style, and when gun channeling is activated.
As per the demonstration, the options and opportunities are all extremely creative and entertaining, and challenging as well. Following the story in this fashion really did have us wishing to play through this entire game within the first thirty seconds of observing the demonstration.
Darkness 2 releases October 4th on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.