The Darkness II is the sequel to 2007's The Darkness. It is developed by Digital Extremes, published by 2K Games and written by Paul Jenkins. It was released February 7, 2012 in North America and February 10, 2012 in Europe for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and is a planned launch title for Nintendo's Wii U console in 2012.
The Darkness II takes place two years after the events of the first game. Jackie Estacado, the current wielder of The Darkness has used his powers to become the Don of the Franchetti crime family. He has been unable to shake the thoughts of his dead girlfriend Jenny Romano and has since, with the help of estranged occultist Johnny Powell and his study into dark essence, contained his supernatural powers, and now The Darkness "wants out in the worst way". Just as Jackie lives the nice mafia life, he is hunted by the mysterious Victor Valente and The Brotherhood who want The Darkness for themselves. Jackie is challenged to stop Valente and The Brotherhood who have also captured his Aunt Sarah. In the way is the uncontrollable power of The Darkness and the haunting vision of Jenny who begins to stalk and beckon to Jackie.
The game starts with Jackie talking to the player about his life and about The Darkness while sitting alone in a chair in a dark, seemingly endless room. Jackie pulls out a pendant with a small picture of his dead girlfriend Jenny and the scene shifts to Jackie getting out of a car and entering a luxurious restaurant. Jackie sits with two blonde twins until one is shot in the eye and a van crashes through the window, killing the other twin and heralding the start of a full-scale mob war, which has clearly been orchestrated by some outside force. Jackie's leg is wounded and Vinnie, one of Jackie's mob associates, gives Jackie a gun to fend off the attackers while Vinnie grabs Jackie and drags him through the restaurant and into the kitchen. Jackie smells gas leaking from the propane tanks as Vinnie tries to pry open the door, just in time for one of the attackers to throw a flaming bottle into the kitchen and igniting the gas into a violent explosion which knocks Jackie back and sends Vinnie through the wall, though they both survive. On the verge of death, Jackie sees Victor, who comments that Jackie is "stronger than his father", Victor then tells one of his henchmen to keep pushing Jackie and then disappears. As Jackie crawls toward the hole in the wall created by the explosion, The Darkness encourages Jackie to "embrace The Darkness", Jackie then releases The Darkness, who then proceeds to slaughter the remaining goons.
While making his way through the streets and into the subway, Jackie begins seeing strange haunting visions of Jenny which beckon him to come to her. In the subway, Jackie avoids being hit by a train and makes his way onto the demolished tracks. He then sees another apparition of Jenny who tells him to dance with her. She then disappears as an oncoming train hits Jackie. The Darkness proclaims that Jackie will not die as Jackie wakes up in a strange dream-like world which seems to be some kind of heavenly hospital. There he sees Johnny Powell and his mob friend Tony, both of whom act strange. Jackie then wakes from the dream and realizes that The Darkness had taken possession of his body and slaughtered the remaining henchmen. He meets up with Fat Tony and makes his way back to his mansion.
At Jackie's mansion, he talks with his Aunt Sara about Jenny and Sara comments on how Jackie is becoming obsessive like his father, which Jackie denies. Through many quests, hunting down everyone involved in the Brotherhood, This quest eventually brings Jackie to an abandoned carnival and into a confrontation with Victor Valente, a mysterious figure who knows what The Darkness is and wants his power for himself. Victor is the head of an ancient secret society known as The Brotherhood, formed thousands of years ago by a saint for the sole purpose of protecting the world from The Darkness. However the saint became corrupted and now The Brotherhood wants The Darkness for themselves, once Jackie finally catches up with Victor through his quest, which includes being pinned in an Iron Maiden and had the Darkness siphoned out of him, he fights a Darkness Empowered Mr. Peevish, which after you beat him, allows you to collect enough Dark Essence to make a shell of your previous powers, but is not sentient and dead, because there is no Darkness to power it, once you continue onwards, you confront Victor in your old house and a battle rages between Victor and Jackie. After beating Victor, Jackie takes the Siphon of the Angelus from Victor and beats him to death with it, and afterwards tries to stab himself with it, because the Siphon is the only way for the Darkness to truly die. Victor warned him that it will kill him and send him to Hell, but Jackie wants to die so he can be with Jenny, and so he takes the Siphon and impales himself. Jackie Estacado then wakes up in the mental asylum that the Darkness uses to trap Jackie while his body is being repaired, after realizing that he is in the Asylum and not in Hell, Jackie panics, and runs down the hall.
Jackie, then asks to see Jenny in the Asylum, but on the way there, the Darkling appears and gives him access to the Rooftop, but as the two rush to the top of the building, the Darkling opens the roof door, Light then pours in and shoots the Darkling down the steps, as the Darkling's body begins to fry in the light. Because it died within the Darkness and not in the Human world, the Darkling cannot return. It gives Jackie it's goodbyes and wishes him good luck. Jackie then runs to the edge of the roof and is trying to jump off when Doctor Victor and Jenny come saying to stop. Jackie must choose to stay with the fake Jenny in the Asylum or jump and send himself to Hell to free the Real Jenny.
Jackie persues his goal of getting to Jenny trapped by the Darkness, he goes down to Hell and tries to save the real Jenny. As he continue through this hellish maze, killing strange monstrosities and collecting flesh versions of normal guns, he eventually save her, which leads to an emotional moment of the couple hugging and kissing, with her thanking Jackie, but then suddenly apologizing. Jackie is confused as she suddenly flies out of his arms and Jenny transform into the Angelus, a creature that is the polar opposite of the Darkness. She tells him that because of all the suffering he has made with the Darkness, he must stay in the abyss within the Darkness forever. She then flies away and traps Jackie and the Darkness in the inner abyss. The game ends with Jackie screaming upwards in anger and the Darkness closes up, leaving Jackie presumably trapped within the void of Hell.
In the first game, the Darkness powers were limited and players had little control over when they were activated. In The Darkness II, Digital Extremes are taking the powers more seriously than the weapons in this game. Digital Extremes have changed the function of the demon arms, allowing the right tentacle to be used to kill enemies by flicking the analogue stick to aim and attack with the right bumper/R2 button. The left tentacle will be used for picking up things to either use as weapons or remove them from your path. It's controls will be assigned to the left bumper. The Darkness II also introduces new moves, such as the anaconda, which allows players to impale their enemies with the Darkness. Gameplay will be improved, with the introduction of Quad wielding, where players can use duel wielding weapons and demon arms simultaneously for powerful combos and satisfying effects.
"Vendettas" is a mode where the player plays as one of four hitmen who each have specific Darkness powers and go on missions for Jackie. The Vendettas campaign happens at the same time as the game's main campaign and focuses on securing artifacts from Brotherhood agents. The campaign has both single player and online co-operative play options. There is also a "Hit List" option where players can replay specific missions from the Vendettas campaign as well as new ones specific to the Hit List mode. Each character has two unique upgrade trees corresponding to their unique weapon and Darkness power, and a third tree improves the characters skill with guns.
The players are tasked to assault settlements belonging to the Brotherhood to gain information, eliminate a target, or obtain an artifact. The campaign requires you to find and bring Johnny Powell to the Mansion and look for the Spear of Destiny at a heavily armed business facility owned by a millionaire named David Graves. Once David has been found, David plunges the Spear of Destiny, (which was used to contain a fragment of the Darkness following Jackie's capture), into his chest, transforming himself into a flying dragon-like Hell Beast. Once David is defeated, the four characters return to the mission table and are congratulated upon their success. The campaign ends with the mob leaving the four to carry on with their own motives, but being told not to leave the city as the mob will likely require their help again in the near future.
A demo of the game was released on January 17th for Xbox 360, and January 24th for PC and PS3. It contains the beginning of the game, and the scene when Jackie is captured by the Victor Valente in the brothel.
- Main article: The Darkness II/reviews
Reviews for The Darkness II are generally positive. PSM3 and Xbox World magazines awarded the game 8.1 out of 10 and said that the game is "Not perfect, but deeply satisfying to blast through." Both Official Xbox Magazine US and Official Xbox Magazine UK awarded the game a 9 out of 10, with the US edition praising the dark story, "excellent" combination of Darkness powers and gunplay, brutal finishing moves, and fun cooperative multiplayer, while criticizing the campaign's relatively short length and problems reviving allies in multiplayer and the UK edition citing "It's one of the best shooter-stories we've seen in years - justifying its own ludicrous nature in interesting and unexpected ways. If the ending didn't feel like such a cop-out, The Darkness II could have been on par with BioShock. As it is, the gripping narrative and wonderfully empowering combat mean you'll be talking about it for months after completing it."
Playstation Official Magazine also gave the game 9 out of 10, stating "no graphic novel has been bought to life in such a deliciously gory manner, with offing goons turned an art form." Gameshark gave the game 9.1 out of 10, praising the heavy focus on storyline and the action packed gameplay. IGN gave the game an 8 out of 10, praising the visuals and gameplay, but suggested the game lacks polish and the story, while enjoyable, isn't as strong as the original. GameSpot gave it a 7 out of 10, which is currently the lowest rating given to the game, but GameSpot still praised the gameplay, story, skill tree, and sound. The negative aspects of the game, in their view, include the short campaign, predictable enemy A.I, unsatisfactory multiplayer and linear level design.Gametrailers gave it a 7.4 out of 10.
- As in the first game Jackie future-narrates on the present events observed by the player.
- Differently from the first game, there are no side missions.
- There is only one movie you can view and it is in the Institution level.
- Mike Patton (The Darkness) was the only voice actor from first game to reprise his role. Jackie Estacado, Jenny Romano, Aunt Sarah, Jimmy the Grape and Butcher Joyce also return but were voiced by different actors.