We're looking forward to The Darkness 2, despite having a number of reservations with the team at the helm; Digital Extremes. Between Pariah and Dark Sector, I've yet to be impressed, let alone convinced, of their ability to handle a top-tier title. That said, what I've read up on has me not only intrigued, but slightly excited. Stylized realism; brutal executions; quad-wielding. But with no footage to go off, I've had to be cautious. That's all changed, now, as Game Trailers have premiered the first in-game footage from The Darkness 2 in a new developer diary!
In the video, Digital Extremes' Sheldon Carter reveals what opposition Jackie will face in the second game, now don of the Estacado crime family and reveling in the demonic powers at his disposal. Revealing the restaurant sequence already shown to the press, where Jackie dines with two beautiful women before being attacked by a hit-squad, it showcases Digital Extremes' patented 'graphic-noir' style. I wasn't too impressed with the handful of screenshots released; it looked flat and overly cartoony. In motion, however, The Darkness 2 is a thing of beauty, with Digital Extremes capably blending the real-world aesthetic of the original with the cel-shaded look of the comic. It's an astonishing achievement.
But I've gone off-topic; Carter explains that, the second time around, Jackie's enemies won't be so ignorant of his paranormal powers. In fact, an ancient sect is after the Darkness Jackie inherited from his forefathers, and so they know all his weaknesses; namely, light. You'll encounter special-forces wielding light-cannons and tossing flashbangs to sap away the shadows and subsequently your power.
But Jackie's a different beast now, accepting his demonic potential and unleashing it on the hapless goons who happen onto his path. Showcasing the new 'Quad-Wielding' mechanic, where Jackie slices and dices with his two shoulder-mounted demon arms while firing away with dual pistols, the combat in The Darkness 2 appears stylish and gruesome; perfectly in keeping with the original. Curiously, slain enemies appear to leave behind a luminous purple substance; possibly a form of XP? We see Jackie flip an enemy into the air with one demon arm, fire away a few shots then slice him in half with the other. A nice slow-mo effect is utilized for the particularly gory finishers.
I have to admit, I was skeptical of The Darkness 2 before. I love Starbreeze and their original effort so I was sad to see them depart; and I've been burned by Digital Extremes before. But between the wonderful graphic-noir style, the stylish combat and potentially awesome story, The Darkness 2 just shot up my wanted list for 2011. [Game Trailers]