- Mandela service sign language interpreter: ‘He made up his own signs’
- Pope Francis named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’
- Ben Affleck: Fundraising for Democrats started to ‘feel gross’
- Vladimir Putin orders military to boost presence in Arctic
- Brooklyn, N.Y.: ‘Lesbian capital’ of the Northeast
- Elian Gonzalez: It’s America’s fault that my mother died
- India top court rules homosexuality is illegal
- Aaron Hernandez, ex-Patriot, on prison life: ‘I’m way less stressed in jail’
- Man pulled from water believed to be disgraced D.C. cop
- Kabul airport hit by suicide bomber who targeted NATO gate
Zadzooks: The Darkness II: Limited Edition review
The horrors include unleashing a swarm of flies that peel flesh from victims and a hellish dark hole that sucks enemies into it.
Frankly, I have not even mentioned the worst of it as our cheeky little Darkling (with a British accent) loves to gouge out eyes and rip out throats and also has a habit of performing more foul acts on the recently deceased.
Read all about it: Finally, a comic-book publisher and video game developer come up with a slick way to enjoy the original source material.
Owners of the game’s limited edition get a code that works with the Comixology website to access the first two volumes of the Darkness series. That’s a chance to read the first 10 issues from the monthly series, the Darkness Special Preview one-shot and Witch Blade nos. 18 and 19 (a Darkness crossover).
Better yet, owners of Apple’s iPad also can download the Comixology app and access the previously unlocked Darkness books after setting up an account.
This is by far the best and most portable way to appreciate comic books these days and allows us older folks (with tired peepers) to quickly zoom into art panels and really appreciate the dialogue of Garth Ennis, David Wohl and Christina Z. and awesome art from Marc Silvestri and Michael Turner.
Pixel-popping scale: 9.0 out of 10. The Darkness II is a benchmark for adapting sequential art into the video game format. Through a gorgeous cel-shaded design that required hand-painted art mixed with an animated film noir style, a player dives into a world that looks as if it was ripped from a Steve (Preacher) Dillon graphic novel. It is a stunning effort that affords the finest detail, down to seeing the watercolor streaks painted across characters’ faces.
Star power: Mike Patton, lead singer of the rock band Faith No More reprises his role as the Darkness with a twisted growl sure to scare any kiddies and small pets within earshot.
Extras and Unlockables: A collection of 29 relics that further delve into the history of the Darkness can be found throughout the levels. These gems (such as the shrunken head of Pope John Paul XII and a pitcher containing Siddhartha’s Tears) are stored and accessed via a menu, which when clicked upon offers a hilarious narrative and text-based description mixing fact and fiction.
Also, the Limited Edition includes codes to unlock an alternate Darkling outfit, the Gourmet Hearts power (you can only imagine) and a Relic Hunter, sort of a radar to find those elusive antiques.
Multiplayer: An online cooperative mode called Vendettas (equally enjoyed by solo players) ties to the main story and allows up to four players to control a quartet of new characters that can work together to fight the Brotherhood and help Darkness expert Johnny Powell.
It features some far-out mercenaries, such as the foul-mouthed Scot Jimmy Wilson (who uses a mystical ax like Thor’s hammer and commands a group of Darklings to attack) and crazed Japanese swordmaster Inugami (with the swarm in his arsenal).
Each can upgrade their weapons and powers through their very own talent tree and must destroy enemy hearts to regain health and collect essence.
The action certainly extends the main feature and feels a bit like the structure of the game Left 4 Dead.
Final thoughts: A too-brief primordial bloodbath set in a “Sopranos” episode awaits those willing to embrace the Darkness II. It’s not a game for the faint of heart or anyone younger than 17. Amid the depraved chaos, however, it’s hard not to admire some stunning design.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
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