The Darkness II

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Digital FoundryThe Darkness 2 Gameplay Performance Analysis Video

Console versions put through their paces in testing gameplay excerpts.

Digital FoundryThe Darkness 2 Xbox PS3 vs. PC Face-Off Video

The Sony console does image quality based battle against the PC.

Digital FoundryThe Darkness 2 Xbox 360 vs. PC Face-Off Video

Console up against computer in this head-to-head presentation.

Key events

For a very limited time (just over a day and a half at the time of writing), PC owners are able to snag a free copy of what I, personally, would deem one of the most overlooked games of the last few years - The Darkness 2.

The Darkness 2 Review

The Darkness 2 Review

Forewarned is four-armed.

An extra pair of limbs is so useful in an FPS, and so much fun, that it's a wonder we haven't seen more games transform you into a multi-tentacled engine of destruction. Instead, we've had to wait five years for this sequel to The Darkness - an unusually long delay in an industry as fond of annual sequels as it is of taking good ideas and running them into the ground.

And having four limbs really does make a difference, opening up combat possibilities that other shooters can't hope to compete with. As demon-infested mobster Jackie Estacado, you not only have two human appendages with which to wield a standard variety of pistols, shotguns and assault rifles, but two piranha-faced tentacles - manifestations of the ancient Darkness that has set up home in Jackie's body.

The one on the left, let's call him Grabby. The context-sensitive left shoulder button sends him snapping out to sink his teeth into any of the objects marked with a glowing core. Hitting the button again throws the object in question. So you can quickly lob scaffold poles and pool cues as deadly spears. Car doors can be ripped off and used as a shield, then thrown as a lethal frisbee. Grabby can also lash out and feast on the hearts of fallen foes, topping up your health in the process.

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Play The Darkness 2 now on Eurogamer's Gaikai page

We've also added Orcs Must Die and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record.

The Darkness 2 is due out this Friday on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, but you don't have to wait that long to check out Digital Extremes' first-person shooter sequel, because we've just put the demo live on our Gaikai page.

The Darkness 2 Preview

The Darkness 2 Preview

Death and axes.

The Darkness II sees the moody franchise handed a new developer and a new secret weapon. The developer is Digital Extremes, an outfit that takes over from the gloriously under-appreciated Starbreeze Studios, and the secret weapon is colour.

Colour, eh? Cliché that it is to comment on the fact, it's all too often MIA in contemporary shooters. Once it's back, you realise how much you've missed it. Digital Extremes has interpreted The Darkness' funny book origins as an excuse to paint its levels with pools of rich blues, greens, and reds. Look closely and you'll see a touch of cel-shading on top. Look closer still and you'll see traces of Borderlands' lovely cross-hatching, too. It's hard to see the game in motion and not want to try it out. That's colour for you.

In the single-player, the other big ideas include quad-wielding (it was inevitable really) and Nolan North (ditto). All of that's for another day, though, sadly. Today we're only talking about multiplayer.

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