Our review copy is the Xbox 360 version, but yes, the game is also available on the PlayStation 3 game console and PC. The packaging consists of a holographic sleeve and a steel book case within. Inside, you'll find the game disc, an exclusive pre-order bonus content card with a redeemable code, another code to redeem The Darkness II comic, game manual, and a huge poster (folded up). The back of the steel book is accented with red hues which gives a minimalistic and dark theme.
Quad-wielding combat is easily my favourite part of this game and the most outstanding feature of The Darkness II. Tapping into the powers of The Darkness allows you to control two dark tendrils of energy, which execute your main melee attacks. You can whip the tendrils to slash, stun and knock over enemies as well as interact with objects in the vicinity to hurl at enemies. They can also be employed defensively, holding car doors and boxes in front of Jackie to shield you from enemy fire. On top of using the dark tendrils, Jackie can wield firearms in both of his hands such as pistols, sub-machine guns and assault rifles. Nothing is more satisfying than unleashing the rage of dual-wielded Uzis and fearsome tendrils from Hell on unsuspecting enemies. I would have preferred a more refined method of controlling my tendrils than using my mouse wheel button. Often, I would find myself disorientated after attempting a diagonal tendril slash because controlling the tendril in that direction would also drag my first person’s view in that direction. Players on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 might not experience this problem with the use of analog sticks.
Guns, tendrils and darklings – what more can you ask for?
You are thrown straight into the new combat mechanics right at the beginning of the game. Combat engagement in The Darkness II is pure unadulterated fun. Killing enemies, both human and not, is literally an art. Killing a henchman is not just a simple act of planting a bullet in his head. The game developers have created a large variety of ways to end a victim’s life. Tearing apart him from limb to limb, gorging his heart out or flinging him to his death – you will do all of this and more in the name of sadistic fun, using your tendrils to perform executions on victims within grappling range.