The PC Embraces The Dark(ness) (II)

Well, I can clearly some some Lightness there. Liars.

The Darkness, aka “that game from the Riddick guys where you could spend half an hour watching TV with your in-game girlfriend.” An action game with a heart of – ahahahah – darkness and a bunch of great ideas and atmosphere, even if it perhaps didn’t attain Modern Classic status. Happening at perhaps the apex of the big publishers’ “nah, fuggedaboutit” dismissal of our sacred boxes, the PC lost out. It doesn’t this time – 2K just announced the Darkness II, and we’re getting it!

Someone who isn’t getting it, however, is original developer Starbreeze.

Development duties have been passed to Digital Extremes, sometime Unreal Tournament co-creators, the chaps behind Bioshock 2’s multiplayer and their bittersweetly-named failed attempt at creating their own franchise, Pariah. Why aren’t Starbreeze doing it? Well, there are an awful lot of rumours that they’re busy working on a Syndicate reboot for EA…

The story’s continuing where the original left off, offering new developments in the not exactly uncomplicated life of demonically-possessed Mafia dude Jackie Estacado. The titular darkness is a nasty, phantom-tentacle thing that lurks in him and kills people in horrible ways, and can also throw a ton of stuff all over the place. 2K describe the controls as “quad-wielding combat.”
Here’s the plot setup. Contains spoilers for the first game and stuff:

It’s been two years since Jackie Estacado, now the Don of the Franchetti crime family, used The Darkness to kill the men responsible for his girlfriend’s murder. He’s been unable to shake the memory of Jenny’s death since bottling up his supernatural power, and now The Darkness wants out. A sudden, unprovoked attack on Jackie’s life heralds the start of a full-scale mob war, which has clearly been orchestrated by some outside force. The botched attempt opens the door for The Darkness to reemerge, and sets Jackie on a journey to hell and worse, as he unravels the mystery behind the attack and the motivations of The Darkness itself.

Due sometime this Autumn, and uses a “hand-painted graphic noir art style” which sounds jolly pretty, but unfortunately they’re not showing us any of that beyond the sole screenshot above yet. Click on it to make it bigger, by the way.

Also, the game will apparently feature “hardcore tenderness.” Um. Is that really what they mean?


  1. Quintin Smith says:

    I /think/ I know what they mean by “hardcore tenderness”. Would that not be the moments in the original game which forced your relationship with your girlfriend through exceptionally horrible events?

    (Am I reaching? Are they just mad?)

    • dartt says:

      I’m imagining something like a cross between a dating sim and Bulletstorm.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      “hardcore tenderness”: Doing butterfly kisses until your lips are dry and chapped!

    • Giant, fussy whingebag says:

      Butterfly kisses don’t involve lips, Lars, but eyelashes…

    • Oozo says:

      How much more hardcore is it to rough up someone’s lips with the power of your might eyelashes? Lots more hardcore, I would say.

    • noom says:

      Doing butterfly kisses until your eyes were dry and chapped would be quite hardcore.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Huh. I thought a butterfly kiss was when you just barely touched their skin with a kiss. Learned something new today then…

    • tomeoftom says:

      I keep my knifes behind my eyelashes. If I’m looking daggers at you, you better watch it, mister.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I think “hardcore tenderness” is a perfect description of the relationship between Brock Samson and Molotov Cocktease from the Venture Brothers now that I think about it.

    • Grot_Punter says:


      You, good sir, have just made my day.

    • EC- says:

      You get a lot of replies when you work here.

    • JackShandy says:

      You could sit down and watch literally the entirety of “To Kill a Mockingbird” with your girlfriend in the first game. That’s pretty hardcore.

  2. oceanclub says:

    “the chaps behind Bioshock 2′s multiplayer”

    Oh, _them_. You mean the guys who took what could have been one of the most promising multiplayer experiences of the past few years and produced a buggy, jerky laggy game that resembled the SP game on its lowest graphical settings?

    I’ll be a _long_ time forgiving these guys. I can still taste the ashes.


    • jdeuel says:

      I’m surprised they mentioned Pariah as the franchise they wanted to start and not the even worse Dark Sector.

    • Shagittarius says:

      Dark Sector was a great game.

  3. Navagon says:

    Yeah, Starbreeze are working on Syndicate. SYNDICATE FUCKDAMNIT YEAH!

    So we’ll have to just see how this one turns out without them.

    • RaveTurned says:

      Let’s just hope Starbreeze think that one’s worth releasing on PC.

    • Navagon says:

      That’s not really their call. It would be more EA’s call on that one. And whatever else you want to say about EA, they’re not about to make that game a console exclusive (not that the series was ever PC-exclusive either mind).

  4. limbclock says:

    I really enjoyed the 1st installment of this game, although navigating the city streets was a bit of a hassle. I did enjoy talking to the other characters and doing the side missions, and i hope that they’ll do the sequel in the same vein as the original.

    Also, if Mike Patton isn’t going to be the voice of The Darkenss, omg, this franchise is ruined forever.

  5. pakoito says:

    I quite liked the game, but it was all about overpowerness of the main character and some of his powers. And the final scene is rubbish.

    I, also, left the game on while watching the whole movie. Once it finishes it loops.

  6. NPC says:

    I like how they call an attack on a Don of a crime family “unprovoked”. It’s, like, he’s not doing anything to, like, offend anyone, right? :D

    Otherwise, sounds uninteresting. Starbreeze would be enough to attract me to the game, but if they’re out of the picture – then this is all hype about a big unknown.

  7. Dracko says:

    I’m a pretty big proponent of darkSector, warts and all, but DE’s post-Unreal first-person career hasn’t been particularly stellar or confident. Maybe there’s room for a comeback of sorts?

  8. Mark says:

    Really kinda disliked the main character of the original, but it was somewhat interesting, and that scene with the girlfriend was well scripted.

  9. Tori says:

    This article reminded me of “Heart of Darkness”. Such a cool game.

    • adonf says:

      This article reminded me of The Darkness. Such an annoying band.

  10. HBogard says:

    Were these not the same fellows who were behind the brilliant Dark Sector?

    • Shagittarius says:

      I hope your not being sarcastic, I thought Dark Sector was quite good. I think those that didn’t never really learned how it was to be played.

  11. Schmung says:

    hand-painted graphic noir art style. Eh? No sign of that in the screenshot – it looks like a generically competent of a night time city environment in any FPS of the last five or so years.

  12. Teddy Leach says:

    This gladdens me.

  13. WMain00 says:

    Does The Darkness really warrant a sequel? The first one was…okay…I was never overly impressed by it.

    • Bhazor says:

      Why I oughta rip yer heart out right now.
      link to

      Really, I think it was a shooter which had some original ideas terribly executed. Which is rare enough to warrant some reward in my view.

  14. The Pink Ninja says:

    Starbreeze? Isn’t that a spray you use to remove household odours?

    And the most important contribution The Darkness made to gaming was starting off Zero Punctuation

    • Dracko says:

      If that’s the case, then it makes me wish it never happened at all.

  15. JohnnyMaverik says:

    I’m up for some hardcore tenderness, never played the first game though… should probably try and get round to that, although being consoleless (is that actually a word?) is a bit of a barrier.

  16. ZIGS says:

    I really doubt Digital Extremes are up to snuff to deliver a good single player experience. The only thing they have to show for it is Dark Sector, which is hardly brilliant, the rest is either crap (Pariah) or MP-focused (UT and BioShock 2 MP)

    • Urael says:

      Hey! I liked Pariah. Not great, but still reasonably entertaining at what it got right.

  17. wcaypahwat says:

    perhaps they’ll have fisticuffs with the bird from Witchblade in this one

  18. omicron1 says:

    Experiencing half the story of a story-driven series FTW?

    Will they include an interactive comic book to make up for their previous slight? ‘Cause that’s the bare minimum that needs to happen before I’ll give this the time of day.

  19. Geralt says:

    Awww, Starbreeze ain’t making it? That sucks :/
    I really like their games.

  20. manveruppd says:

    Is anyone else puzzled by this decision? I mean, if none of us played the original how well do they expect a sequel to do?

    • manveruppd says:

      OK probably not none of us, but definitely a lot of us. And many of those of us who played it on console might decide to buy the sequel on console too, so it’s really a tiny potential audience.

  21. Dixie Flatline says:

    Not sure what to think of this one without Starbreeze — the thing that grabbed me about the first one is Starbreeze’s habit of making imperfect games that are flawed in intriguing ways. Without them, I dunno how much attention this will be worth.

    On the other hand, thanks to the comments here about Dark Sector, I may finally break the shrinkwrap on the cheap PS3 copy that’s been sitting on my shelf for a year or more.

  22. hymnharmonia says:

    This made me so excited at first, and then so disappointed.
    I loved the original to bits, shame Starbreeze isn’t making the sequel.

  23. d00d3n says:

    The Darkness gets so much better when you gain the melee tentacle that can take out light sources silently. The combat is too chaotic and random without it.
    I really loved the Turkish baths level in particular. Such a perfect blend of atmosphere (the feeling of being physically present in the world is unmatched, maybe with competition from mirror’s edge), varied level design and tactical possibilities.

  24. gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

    Ya know, I just bought a copy of Dark Sector for the PC for 3 bucks. Maybe after my 5th playthrough of Mass Effect is done here in a few days I’ll play it.

    Yes, I’m late to the Mass Effect bandwagon. Sosumi. I was playing almost nothing but the old game Outcast for the last year, over and over and oooooooover.

  25. malkav11 says:

    I loved The Darkness, and I would be overjoyed to hear about a sequel….if Starbreeze were doing it. Because while their first game (Enclave) was a bit broken, if still very pretty and fairly engaging, they’ve been very good to me in their last couple, and with licensed properties I would not traditionally have expected to turn into good games. There are probably other studios that could pull off similar magic, but nothing Digital Extremes has made gives me any confidence that they are among that number.

  26. Dan Forever says:

    I think the Darkness had a fantastic story, and the gameplay was pretty good throughout. I look forward to the second one, though I hope it hasn’t lost anything in the move to a new developer

  27. Gvaz says:

    I hope they release the first one for PC because that game fucking ruled