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 411mania » Games » Previews

PAX EAST 2011: Darkness II (XBox 360) Preview
Posted by John De Large on 03.22.2011

While checking out 2K, I also got a good look at The Darkness II. For the unitiated, The Darkness (I and II) revolve around a mafia hitman named Jackie Estacado who can control "The Darkness," an evil entity that haunts the Estacado family while basically granting them (or at least Jackie) superpowers. I went hands on with a demo version that contained about the first half hour of the game's main story.

To start, I played as Jackie being dragged through the flaming ruins of an Italian dining establishment, gunning down rival mobsters while using the left and right triggers to do so. After getting the Richard Pryor'd by a gas leak/molotov combo, Jackie's dark powers awaken in the form of two terrifying jet black snake/dragon/sentient tendrils that basically devastate anything that isn't enveloped in light. Those are controlled by the left and right bumpers which cause the tendrils to lash out and grab things. Simple enough, no?

The tendrils took some getting used to. Just tapping the left bumper is all players need to do to snatch someone or something up. When I say "something," I'm referring to common garden variety debris, actually. Using the tendrils, parking meters become launch-able spears, hubcaps become volatile projectiles and car doors become moving shields. To let players know that something can be picked up and used as a weapon, the object in question will flash gold for a second. People will also flash gold and their hearts will appear visible in their chest, to let players know they can move in for the kill using a variety of finishing maneuvers: either by force-able torso entry, dividing them up the prime meridian or by throwing them into the distance, Lucas Lee style.

And that's just the punishment that the left arm and dish out! The right arm is capable of much more carnage, slashing foes and carving them up like a roast turkey. All of these kills rack up points too: +10 for a headshot, +20 for using debris -- I'm not sure what these points will come in handy for, but hopefully they go towards unlocking new ways to use tendrils or some kind of upgrade.

Need more helping hands? A lovable Darkling (versus the many Darklings present in the original Darkness) that strangely resembles a monkey is more than glad to kill and demean enemies for you, as well as scoop up and deliver any loose guns and ammo should you run dry. The Darkling can also distract attackers, so Jackie can get his hands/tendrils on them and go to work.

For more information, check out these screenshots below and keep your eyes here for a specific release date!


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