Mob horror sequel is a winner

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Game: The Darkness II

Genre: Horror action shooter

Format: PS3, Xbox 360 and PC

WHEN Sony launched its Playstation 3 system one of the first games which was compatible was The Darkness – a bizarre blend of The Sopranos and The Exorcist.

But that was way back in 2007 and in game terms five years is a long time and well overdue a sequel so cue The Darkness II.

The action kicks off about five years later with lead character and mob boss Jackie Estacado going out for a cosy meal at his favourite restaurant when all hell breaks loose.

Up until now he has managed to keep his demonic possession under control but he finds he must unleash it to survive. It marks a welcome return for his snake-like extra arms and increased darker powers.

It was good to hear Mike Patton, better known as the singer with Faith No More, as the voice of The Darkness again.

There are good connected storylines – in modern day America, an asylum and the Darkworld – with familiar characters such as Jimmy The Grape and Aunt Sarah. There are also interesting new locations such as the carnival and even a brothel.

During gameplay the snap-to-aim makes play easier and more fluid and there is the choice of two alternate endings – one of which begs a sequel. You can use your darkness tentacles as weapons to grab enemies while leaving your hands free to keep blasting away during firefights.

This is not for the fainthearted and you should expect a bloodbath with gory decapitations as well as torso ripping eviscaration.

However, because the game has returned to its comic book origins the graphics are a lot more cartoon-like and the atmosphere is not as dark or threatening as the first game.

There are short levels with too few missions – you can complete it in about six hours on the normal setting.

But the scene stealer is your likeable, helpful, wisecracking little Cockney darkling sidekick who will do your bidding and help you see off your foes in a tight spot. Though quite why he was sporting a Ginger Spice Union Jack dress I do not know.

On the whole the game was quite entertaining but over too soon – here’s hoping that the sequel might be a little longer.

8/10.