A-hoy-hoy there and welcome to a new, regular review and general chit-chat article about a recently released demo. In these ‘Demo Dissections’ I will be giving you my views and opinions about the demo and what we might expect from the full game when it is released.
So kids, these demonstrations dissections will be across as many platforms as possible and will be very ‘spoilerific’ of the demo’s content. But don’t worry, when we get to that point, I will give you forewarning. As we all know, game demos have been with us for quite some time and they have delighted and sadden us along the way. I will always remember getting my first floppy demo disks from my Atari ST magazines, which seemed to be attached to the front of the magazine by sellotape or just simply stolen, and loving the playable introduction into a game that might very well be the next game that took over my life. I can remember getting Super Cars 2, or at least my now drunken hazy memory say it was, and playing it like it was a full title. Over and over again. Bloody smashing.
Now days, with publishing houses sinking small fortunes into their titles, they can be more important than ever. Some have been shocking, actually ruining the game before its release (Dark Void being the first that jumps to mind). So, with a hopefully a few laughs along the way. Let see what today’s latest demos are all about.
We start with 2K Game’s The Darkness 2. And what a start it is. I really hope that you all are familiar with the original game. It was released back in good old 2007 to mostly eight and nine scores out of ten. And I agree with them. I thought it was a great part action, part stealth, part supernatural and part horror story all wrapped up in a FPS. It was steeped in history of its own making, this being the graphic novels and comics that prelude the games release. The Darkness was/is simply put, a dark tale of revenge.
One of the things I remember most about playing the lead character; Jackie Estacado, was your ability to stop and take in your surroundings (obviously not in a gun fight). This ranged from sitting with your ill-fated girlfriend to watch television to throwing some change at break dancers and watching them ‘Bop’.
The demo starts with Jackie telling us that he is bound by fate and that, as his power grew, it over powered him. He also talks about the one thing I think that keeps the Darkness from completely taking over and making this mafia boss completely evil; his girlfriend Jenny. We next see him waking up. As Jackie wakes he realises that he is not alone and more important he’s nailed to a massive plank of wood. Don’t get wrong, I’ve been woken up by some terrible things in my time; shouting neighbours through my letter box, a cat’s arse on my face. But being nailed up as if you were the son of God? That takes the first prize.
Now the first this you’ll see is that the art style has changed. It’s an awesome mix of cell shading and a great looking black outline feature that really makes the graphics look like a cartoon. I’ve heard people compare it to Boarderlands, personally I think it’s better than Boarderlands as this ‘graphic filter’ really leans back to the comic book beginnings of The Darkness. The detail that is given is just right, in my opinion. It’s a fresh way of showing action, blood and horror – and I like it.
It’s at this point that we are introduced to what must be the villain. With a face like that, how could he not be?
His name is Victor Valente. Coupled with leg braces like Jimmy from South Park, bad hair and a face like Mason Verger from Hannibal, he’s obviously in a bad mood. With his looks and personally I’m pretty sure that he’s left on his own in his local night club’s dance floor. Victor dislikes Jackie as he believes that Jackie doesn’t deserve the Darkness and that the Darkness should be ‘With those who know how to control it’. Victor asks Jackie to give the Darkness to him… as if.
From this moment on the Demo flashes between this cellar, in which Jackie is nailed up, to now what can only be earlier that night where Jackie is about to enjoy a lovely meal with two buxom blonde twins. That is until Victor crashes the party and sends his men after Jackie. Thus follows guns fights, steal pole impaling and twisting the heads of bad men. Awesome!
You can dual wield guns or simply have one and be able to zoom down its sight (something you couldn’t do in the first game). But best of all, your demons are back. And baby, they are back and they mean business. You control them through your bumper buttons. Right is your slashing arm, this will tear people in half and whip their heads off also. Your left demon arm, controlled by your left bumper, is your grabbing arm. Through this you can pull car doors off and use them as shields, grab metal poles and spear your rivals, but most impressively you can use this to perform gruesome and bleeding awesome killing moves. It also eat hearts, what more could you ask for from your demonic arm? Not much is the answer.
Oh and this time round you only have one Darkling. But this time he’s a lot more intelligent and can be used in battle to distract your enemies. He speaks in a cockney accent and likes to wee on things. I think plenty of fun will be had with him when the game is released.
Spoiler Dissection Section– There is nothing much to spoil in the demo if I am honest. It’s a fantastic introduction back into the Darkness universe. It, like what all demos should do, makes you want to pre-order the game once you’ve played it (I did!). I can say with hand on my heart, this is one of the best demos I’ve played in quite some time. It introduces the story well, it let you take a peek into what kind of powers you will be able to unlock and it makes you want to play it again.
The Sew Up – It’s a great demo to what looks like a great title. If you’ve not downloaded it yet, shame on you. And once you’ve played the demo, pre-order the game. It promises to be the first A star title of the year, and many prove to be some people’s favourite.
Baron’s Demo Dissection Score: 9/10