Really cool and different shooters with a very nice style. I'm going to start off with my thoughts on the first game since i did just complete it.
I really like the story, it's not super deep or anything but it offers a whole different world, there aren't many shooter games like it. You're Jackie Estacado, part of a mafia and your blood-line has been under control of a demon called The Darkness or just Darkness. I never did read the comic book, i wanted to but like video games i simply can't afford to buy all the comics i want and keep up with them too.
I still haven't learned exactly why you have the Darkness inside of you, because of this game i finally know it's part of Jackie's family but i never did find out why or how. There are quite a lot of side missions available tho that possibly add to that.
Since the game is old the graphics didn't really help. The game has its own style but playing it now was kind of hard. The graphics aren't ugly but they're noticeably old. There are some really cool scenes. It does hold the game back a bit when it comes to the interaction with your Darkness powers in which you shred up your enemies with a big tentacle arm. So the idea is there, lots of crazy violent stunts but the graphics don't really give you a good visualization of it.
The reason i decided to rent the game was because i really wanted to see how it started. I love the crap out of 2 and i was curious how it started. I had played the demo awhile back and i wasn't impressed. At the time tho i was insanely sick and tired of playing shooter games. Now that i was in the mood for it i did notice it had a lot of the same feel and style that 2 has so i thought that was cool.
Alright let's get down to the cool combat mechanics! You get to do a ton of duel wielding which is fun and cool looking. In order to use the Darkness you have to "equip" it which is really just natural and no big deal. When you equip it you get two pretty big snake looking arms added to ya on the side of the screen. You get special abilities related to the Darkness. While you have it equipped you can still use your guns which is pretty cool and still necessary.
One of the abilities is to actually take control of one of your demon arms, apparently it detaches lol and move through some areas that you can't reach as Jackie. This doesn't happen too often. You can also use it to perform stealth kills but i never did that. You're supposed to be able to impale enemies on your tentacle demon arms also but for some reason i couldn't pull it off. Quite a bit later in the game you get some super crazy demon guns and a portal that you can throw that sucks in enemies and blows them up.
All of these abilities drain darkness power which was hard to tell how much i had but it was no big deal, it regenerated quickly as long as i was in darkness. That's a cool element of the game, in order to use your Darkness powers you literally have to be in dark parts of the game. The way they use that element up is allowing you to shoot out any nearby lights that are illuminating the area.
One of my favorite things were the gun fatalities! If you were close enough to your enemy Jackie pulls off different stunts with his guns in which he grabs them and shoves his gun down their throat or puts it to their head and pulls off violent fatalities. It's crazy! Kind of like a knife move or melee kill in your typical shooter but far better.
You also get these little demon goblin-like helpers that join your crew, four different types that you can only use one at a time. The first one likes to melee your enemies or open doors for you that you can't get to, this didn't happen often either, much like using your shadow form to slither into smaller areas. Another suicide bombs himself at your enemies. One whips out a machine gun and blasts at anybody in sight and the final one goes around turning off lights or powering key machines that don't have power. The suicide and machine guns were the ones i used most. You gradually "earn" them as you play through the game. They die pretty quick but that doesn't make them completely useless.
There are some pretty epic scenes ideally, like i said it's an old game so the graphics don't get to impress with them. At some point you end up in the past, i guess it's one of the world war's or something like that. You fight off some really old fighter planes with a tank's gun. You don't get to do it for very long but it is cool.
There's something that isn't explained in part 2 and i'm not going to spoil it but it made me really, really freakin hate The Darkness. I was surprised that it's relationship didn't reflect much on what happened in 1 in 2's story. They push the blame elsewhere and i'm like wait, what?!?!?! screw that! lol I want to see The Darkness die!
There was a really cool but far too simple fight with the demon towards the end of the game. I was surprised at how oversimplified it was, but it was mostly just to play a key part in the story itself rather than have you actually fight it. I'm not trying to spoil anything, more just get you intrigued into maybe checking it out. There are some really cool things that happen and the ending was beautiful.
I was annoyed at some of the game, it has you running back and forth repeatedly throughout the entire thing. It wasn't horrible but it also wasn't very cool you know? The city you go through is kind of neat, you travel through subways and it's not so big that you get lost, it's just the whole back and forth thing drives me nuts.
Ok so now i'll talk a little bit about part 2. It has been quite awhile since i've played it but it's very similar to 1 except for the graphics are insanely better and a lot of the elements are of course improved upon. I have almost forty hours played on it just from several repeated play-through's and a bit of co-op games. I believe i spent at least nine hours playing 1 to completion and i skipped almost every side mission which there are lots of. Part 2 is much shorter, the campaign itself is about five hours long but the replay value is definitely there and the co-op is pretty cool and even offers an end boss that isn't in the campaign and is totally freakin awesome. A very cool thing about the co-op missions is that you can also play them solo and experience how they play out if you can't get any friends or find anyone online. It's also drop in/drop out! very nice. =)
Part 2 has almost all of the same elements as 1 with a few changes. In 2 you don't get the assistance of four different goblin demon dudes, you get one and he's pretty funny and cool. Also, instead of ordering your little goblin around you can pick him up and throw him at your enemies in which he tears their face apart. A big difference i noticed was the demon portal you can summon to suck your enemies into it and tear them to shreds. In part 1 while you do get it very late in the game you can basically use it whenever you feel like it. In 2 you get it through your talent tree which is a new addition and offers a great amount of replay value if you enjoy the style of the game which i do! The way the portal works is with the talent it becomes a random "drop" from enemies, only when it randomly drops can you use it. It's really freakin cool and super devastating so i can understand why they nerfed it up. =p The melee kills were also enhanced greatly.
I really liked the way the story played out. The graphics, story and game-play all made it really easy for me to want to keep replaying. It has a new game plus so you keep all your talents and you actually cant fill out your talent tree completely without playing through multiple times anyways.
I haven't played in quite awhile so i cant remember how all the different talent's work out but i can say they are very cool! Stuff like adding bullet damage which is basic, but others that add new abilities or new effects to your abilities, basically just making you a total badass.
The games are brutal, 2 especially since it's newer with far more enhanced graphics. I really love the art style, it's beautiful and very detailed. The story gets really crazy and both games endings are pretty awesome, 2's is of course way better, every single thing about 2 is better. lol Your control over the tentacles is much better making melee attacks super fun, and the gun shot to the face fatalities are still there and much more brutal and awesome.
The games are worth checking out if you like shooters, if you like fantastic settings rather than realistic, or both, like me. I prefer my games to be unrealistic, i'm always impressed by realistic graphics but i love my fantasy stuff. =) These are really great games, somewhat unique in their style, still basically shooters but 2 is definitely a huge step up.
Like i said i only played 1 because i was curious how it all started and i am completely in love with 2 so since i finally rent games again through Gamefly i figured i might as well get it. Being a big fan of 2 i'm glad i played 1 now. I really hope they make a part 3, the ending of 2 was freakin great but they did leave it wide open for more.
"Luck isn't just luck, it's preparation meets opportunity." -Jackie