Archive for December, 2012

The Darkness II-0001

The Darkness II has/is one of the best (ego-shooter) campaigns I played in a long time. Pretty much everything in this title is clearly above average. The graphics aren’t just generally good, they are also interesting, engaging art. I like it. I never read the comics, which were apparently used as inspiration (some are lying around in the game), so I have no idea how it compares.

Many games that feature gameplay elements above the genre typical stuff, often end up having some or even many the player will never use. That’s not the case here. The Darkness powers, the PC commands, are really useful, fun and necessary. It’s great, when such options turn out to be more than mere gimmicks. Good design.

The story isn’t necessarily oscar-worthy (are any? :P), but works well for game and scenario. It all fits. That’s, at least, the next best thing. The few recurring characters are distinctive, the girlfriend (for example) is portrayed well enough, to make it believable, why the protagonist was into her – something that is quite rare.

The ending almost demands a sequel, but it’s not the kind of cliffhanger that keeps tormenting the mind until some resolution is presented. In this case it’s all about seeing more of a really cool game, which was, tbh – quite short. I started and finished it in one session. But as I usually surmise, rather short and good than long and crappy.

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BD is a total blast! When I first started the game I was not impressed. :P Everything seemed just grey and boring, the handling annoyed me because I didn’t have a microphone and had to turn off voice control for squad mates for the game to work properly without one… and don’t get me started on Big Bo. He was getting on my nerves right away. :D I didn’t think that the start of the game with this tutorial was exactly winning hearts and minds. But maybe that was just my problem. After this IMHO less-than-perfect start, I was completely unprepared for what happened next, the game made a full U-turn. BOOM! The scenery changed, lots of new characters showed up, I could kick Big Bo out of the team (:P) and fighting the enemies became a lot of fun real fast. The game picked up a fast, light-hearted (yes, despite the basic setting being pretty much the opposite) pace and managed to keep this flair going until the very end.

The player is showered in huge enemies and boss fights which always require a little trick to succeed. It has probably as much boss fights as 10 other games combined. :D

I liked playing the game so much, I even made the effort to find the necessary patience within me to not shoot team mates that (because of their stupid AI :P) continued to run into my line of fire. :D Doing so results in the loss of influence with them and I can’t have that. There are some minor differences throughout the story if you are cool with the gang, up to who might survive or die in the end.

My only real regret is, that an RPG in this very interesting setting could have been even better, but that’s no serious reason to play down what gamers did get here nonetheless. Few games feel as fresh, creative and uplifting as this one, after all.

I can’t say I really looked into it, but from what I figure, this game wasn’t a huge hit sales wise – as usual I don’t get it, because it can’t have anything to do with the actual content of the game. So the chances for a possible continuation in the future might be a little bleak (I hope I’m wrong!). All the more reason to enjoy this game though!