If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The first game was an ambitious first person shooter with an interesting story, decent gameplay and above average graphics for the time. It also had a few problems such as not defining what genre of game it was and some pretty annoying design choices. The Darkness 2 has many of the same problems as the first title, but brings us a completely new look and some very satisfying gameplay. Unlike the realistic graphical look of the first game, The Darkness 2 has a kind of cel-shaded graphic novel visual punch. Black lines outline the characters and objects and there is an overall design has a simplistic but colorful look to it. this approach really works and draws you into the world of The Darkness convincingly. Up close, textures don't look that great, but when you're moving fast and slaughtering foes it all comes together nicely. Because the story is so convoluted, I won't go into too much detail in that department but in short, a cult wants to harness The Darkness for their own sinister motives and it's up to Jackie to ensure they don't get their hands on it. The game plays pretty well and has a good rhythm when you get used to all the different ways you can dispose of your enemies. however, I did have slight problem with the wide range of combat tactics. There's almost too many options to choose from in combat and it can feel overwhelming. Also, you don't really need to use the different combat methods for different situations. All enemies can be killed using any of the methods. It would have been nice to see different enemies respond differently to different weapons, melee attacks and Darkness powers. With that being said, the combat is still satisfying and tearing apart your enemies with your Darkness powers is a blood fest that will fill your appetite for good video game violence. The controls respond extremely well too and it's easy to move around and attack. I did feel like the story was way too convoluted for its own good and wish it was as simplified as the graphical look of the game to better fit the overall experience. Also, there are segments in the game where you are free to roam about Jackie's mob mansion and converse with people in the family, learn about relics, and start your missions. This addition to the game, like the first title feels completely unnecessary and in my opinion, breaks up the pace of combat too much. I would have much rather seen layout similar to something like the game, Singularity where you simply move from area to area. It's pointless to have pseudo free roam segments because there's really not much to do but walk around and engage in conversations that really aren't all that interesting. This was present in the first title as well. Aside from my complaints, I had a really good time playing through The Darkness 2. It has a solid single player experience that's around 7 hours and cooperative online play for anyone interested. Despite some non game-breaking problems, this is a slick, solid, and gruesomely beautiful action title that deserves your time if campaign-based first person shooters are your thing.