The Darkness II is the story of Jackie Estacado, Top Cow's resident bad boy, but now we know Jackie will be bringing some friends along. With four all-new characters developed in conjunction with the comic book publisher, up to four players at a time will be able to take on a unique story, further fleshing out the world of The Darkness.
The new game mode, Vendettas, works parallel to the main story of the game, expanding upon "key moments" of Jackie's story, says 2K Games. At a recent press event in New York City, we sat down with Vendettas, playing with these new Darkness-weapon-wielding characters.
The first thing fans will notice about the Vendettas story compared to the standard one is the lighter tone. It's more about keeping things fun and even goofy in the story, while the characters deliver Jackie's justice to the Brotherhood and their associates. Each character has a unique weapon, and remarkably, they each actually play quite differently. First up was Inugami, who wields a katana imbued with the darkness. Sword in one hand and gun in the other, Inugami runs faster and farther than any other character, making it easy to fire at enemies while running toward them to finish them off with the blade. If you're playing alone (Vendettas is playable solo too, for those lonely folks), or if you and your friends are overwhelmed, you can release a swarm of darkness mites that attack and stun enemies, allowing you to, you know, cut them in half or something else fun like that. Just like one of Jackie's Darkness arms, the sword can also be controlled by holding the right bumper on the Xbox 360 controller and using the right control stick to free swing it.
Next, I tried J.P. DuMond, the voodoo master. With his Midnight Stick, DuMond can stun, levitate, and attack his foes. The levitation is a great support ability; having DuMond levitate an enemy to set up another character like Shoshanna or Jimmy Wilson for a kill is endlessly useful - and fun. DuMond's bigger Darkness power, a powerful black hole, takes a long time to charge up, but is great for clearing a room or even just to run interference for your friends to make the final execution. DuMond is the best example of a true co-op character; this isn't someone you can run and gun with solo, but he is definitely useful when playing alongside friends.
Shoshanna and Jimmy play uniquely as well. Shoshanna wields a special darkness gun that allows her to fire small ammo-less shots or a large charged blast that will take out even the toughest enemies. Jimmy's darkness axe acts like another famous comic book character's enchanted hammer. He can throw the axe and pull it back to him with a second press of the button, allowing for multiple enemies to be taken out with a single throw, or even setting it up trap-style. These two work great alongside DuMond especially, and show off how much fun you can have helping friends land the best kills (or stealing the best ones for yourself).
Vendettas is a great addition to a game that already looks and plays like a lot of fun. Adding co-op (developed by a second team) just means fans who want to wield this powerful artifact are going to have a lot more to do with it. The feature doesn't feel tacked-on at all, it's a full second game with unique play and challenges. And come on, you can generate a black hole so your friend can throw an axe into somebody's body, propelling them into the vortex. How can you not have fun with that?
The Darkness II hits North American shelves February 7, 2012 and international stores February 10, 2012.