I got a chance to get my hands on The Darkness II a little while back and enjoyed the game for what it was so far. Now the new The Darkness II Brothel preview has arrived and I got to try out the game’s talent system for the first time. For those who don’t know, The Darkness II is unique for its comic/cel-shaded look, over-the-top violence, and the ability to quad-wield. The game definitely has a lot going for it. The talent system is just another additional feature that makes The Darkness II such a rewarding experience.
The Darkness II‘s talent system, or progression system, is one that follows a tree system model. There are 4 different branches of talents and they are broken down by the following categories: demon arms, swarm/gun channeling, combat belt, and executions. Each one has its own benefits, and, depending on your tastes and preferences, you’re going to want to pick and choose wisely.
To break each one down a bit more, demon arms helps you focus more on those extra limbs that are part of the main character, Jackie. Swarm and gun channeling use a regenerative meter that allows you to do things such as stun enemies or have short bursts of unlimited ammo. The combat belt branch helps with bigger or extra ammo clips, or help with things such as a much more efficient active pump for shotguns. Lastly, the execution branch not only brings forth much more gruesome and violent ways to finish off enemies, it also lets players choose what kind of benefit an execution will bring. These benefits include getting more ammo for an execution or gaining more health.
The system works well and really allows you to personalize how you’re going to be playing The Darkness II. I went the reloading and more ammo route with the selections I made. As you move along in the game, you will get the chance to unlock more talents. There is also an opportunity to respec Jackie, but they only happen at certain points in the game.
I also saw new areas in The Darkness II that were previously unseen. In The Darkness II, Jackie has to avoid light, and shooting out lights is a major priority if you want to get ahead. In this Brothel preview, light is still here, but now you have a bigger challenge than just shooting out light bulbs. Some light sources cannot be shot out directly and need to get taken out via generators. These generators are found few feet away, in different rooms and sometimes in entirely different areas.
There was an instance when Jackie could not move on until a light source was taken out, and the only way to do this was through the vents. How does Jackie fit into a vent? He doesn’t. At this point you take control of much smaller, creepy sidekick, Darkling. It is another added burden to consider when rampaging through this game. Yes, it sounds a bit cumbersome, but I’m sure with time it will all come together and you will be playing a game that has more depth than a run and gun experience.
All this work to save your girlfriend, Jackie? I guess she’s worth it. Looking forward to playing more of The Darkness II when it releases on February 7, 2012.