Review by Bleachigo93
"Is "The Darkness II" really that good of a game?"
A/N: This is only a review on the main campaign in "The Darkness II."
In short, yes. This game is the closest to perfect that I have come across. Everything is done exceptionally well throughout the entire game. Voice acting; perfect. Characters; perfect. Storyline; perfect. Controls and Camera; perfect.
If the game is this good, why is it not a perfect 10/10 and only a 9/10? Well, that's because of the length of the game (both the length of the main campaign and the entire 'Vendetta's game mode). The game only takes about 8 hours to [100%] finish and that is on "Don" (the hardest) difficulty setting. Another reason is due to the stupidity of the enemy A.I. The enemies in "The Darkness II" all do the same thing: Cover, move from cover. Shoot. Rinse and repeat. Even then, there are still some enemies who don't even do that, and will just stand out in the open waiting for you to get closer to them before they start moving. This takes away some of the enjoyment for the game because it makes everything very linear and makes you need to do all of the work, instead of having events happen around you. The fact that this game is so linear detracts from the ability to do anything else in the game as there is always only 1 path you can follow. Though, the game itself is based on an amazing comic series which sticks true to the original design.
The building structures, destructibility, presentation and execution were done phenomenally. One of the missions take place in a seedy brothel and after completing that mission, I felt like I needed to have a shower. The in-game cut-scenes are awesome as well, and show off the voice actors abilities. Fluid movement, frame-rates and structure of the entire game make it one for the ages.
The characters, specifically Jackie Estacado and Johnny Powell, are 2 of the greatest game characters ever. Jackie is the protagonist of the game, while, Johnny is just an NPC who makes the game that much more entertaining. His rants on death, explanations of the relics you find and general weirdness are what made him so unique. Jackie speaks of death, killing and power so confidently, that it makes you believe that he is a real person. Jackie states at one stage "When you first kill a man... You learn you either sleep, or you don't... I've slept like a baby ever since." The power and confidence stated with these lines, show you just how amazing the voice acting is. The voice actors were all perfectly selected for this game. The voice actors are what make Jackie and Johnny so life-like. When you hear Jackie talk about different scenarios throughout his life while waiting for a level to load, you can feel the emotion he's expressing. The same can be said with Johnny, who, when he explains the history and theories on the relics, you can see how amazing this voice-actor was. He is jumpy, nervous, jittery and excited all at the same time. He's terrified of Jackie, but, still manages to prove his worth. Johnny Powell had the greatest voice actor in any game I've ever played.
The art style used for this game suited the gameplay perfectly. Though, it was a bit quirky at first, it slowly grows on the player and makes the game even more enjoyable than if it had the same graphic design as other First-Person shooters. The amount of blood spattered, death and destruction throughout this game are shown through the use of "cartoon-styled" graphics exceptionally well. Anything else would have lessened the effect that the action and storyline had on me.
Another amazing aspect of this game, were the controls. Everything was placed so well, that creating combos and using assassination techniques on your enemies could be done with relative ease and flow. The control scheme was easy to learn, but, hard to master as quickly switching from using the demon's arms to shooting the enemy before he hit the ground made it all the more challenging. The point system was utilised in perfect harmony with the controls throughout the entire game. Send out a Swarm with O (Circle) then activate Gun Triggering to make an easy headshot and you were given 60+ points to spend on upgrades for both your guns and you abilities. You won't find yourself grinding for points, but, it does become challenging to kill the more powerful enemies and absorb the points through them, along with eating their hearts to restore health and earn even more points.
"The Darkness II" is an immaculate game, nearly perfectly made, but, just fell short of the 10/10. If you have a spare 8 hours, then you should definitely try it out. Be it as a rental, or buying the game outright, everyone should have the opportunity to play this wonderful game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/07/13
Game Release: The Darkness II (Limited Edition) (AU, 02/10/12)
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