Friday, December 22, 2023

Darkness II (PC) Review

I have not played The Darkness I because it was never released on the PC. Not having played the first game should not stop someone from playing this game. Just watch a YouTube video about the story of the first game, and you will be all caught up on the story. I should also mention that I knew nothing about the comics before playing this game.

A direct sequel to the first game, in The Darkness II, you resume the role of Jackie who is possessed by Darkness, which gives the player control of the demon and its underling.

From a technical perspective, I played this game in 2023 on i7-6700k, Nvidia 1080Ti at 2560x1440. Since this is a console port, it doesn't work well when the game is running at a very high framerate. Enabling VSync, should take care of these issues. This means that the game is going to run at a steady 60FPS, and while this is not ideal, I didn't mind it too much considering how old the game is.

The story doesn't pull any punches. From dialogue to gameplay, this is a game meant for mature audiences.

Combat is the real highlight here. In the right situations, when everything works, it is a lot of fun. Darkness abilities are a lot of fun to use, and using objects in the level to attack enemies is very well done. The one big complaint I had was the visual overload at times. The gameplay involves sticking to shadows, which gives you access to dark powers. Oftentimes in combat enemies will use light beams and these are blinding. They should have toned down the effects. I am willing to bet its not as bad when viewing this on a TV, but on a monitor it becomes really annoying and induces headaches.

In addition to this, the weapon system is clunky as well. You use Q and E to interact with objects. Pressing E allows you to eat hearts, which replenish your health. E is also used to swap weapons on the ground. When there are a lot of enemies and objects on the ground, you have to be careful about pressing E, or else you end up switching weapons without meaning to. It is aggravating in the heat of the battle and can get you killed. This could have been easily solved by automatically getting health from enemies, and without needing to go through the animation.

I got this game in a Humble Bundle for $1 (along with some other games). I got my money's worth. It takes about 6 hours to finish it, and its fun. I would not recommend paying the absurd non sale price of $29.99. If you can find it for around ~$3, and if you enjoy action games, go for it.

Verdict - Buy on deep discount.

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