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'The Darkness II' demo impresses with gory fun

The Darkness 2 screenshot.

The Darkness 2 screenshot. Credit: 2k Games

The Darkness is back. In part deux of the franchise, Jackie Estacado is still fighting against “The Darkness," a supernatural force that possessed him.  It's given him great power, but it also brought with it chaos and destruction.

Based on the supernatural horror comic book created by Top Cow Productions, The Darkness II is a first-person shooter combined with elements of action adventure and survival horror. There are plenty of guts to be splattered around as players slash, grab and throw objects and enemies with their Demon Arms while still being able to fire weapons simultaneously.

Not ever having gotten my hands on its predecessor, I was drawn to The Darkness II for the same reason most video games grab my attention – carnage.

Duel-wielding and demon-possessed, the game does a great job of keeping players entertained with the multiple ways to slay enemies as they progress through stages. I felt like a mech-warrior, but instead of heavily armed cannons on my shoulders I had two serpentlike demons, each individually controllable.

Picking up objects and throwing them at enemies has been done before, but the fellas at 2K have raised the bar, allowing players to impale their victims with things like steel rods and severing limbs with car doors flung from a distance. There is violence and gore aplenty, but there is comedic value in knowing if you line up that hurled rod with more than one enemy, you’re in for a horrifically funny moment.

The "graphic-noire" art style and engaging storytelling by British comic book writer Paul Jerkins had my full attention from the opening scene. I am now eager to see what I missed in the first installment of the original The Darkness. But if you're like me and didn't play the first game, no worries: The Darkness II holds its own as a first-person anti-hero shooter worth checking out.

The game is due to hit shelves in February for the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.


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