The Darkness II



Extremely violent and gory action game pushes the M rating.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game doesn't have any positive messages whatsoever. The game is extremely violent, bloody, and gory; there's sexual activity to be seen and heard while in a brothel (though no nudity); and dialogue sequences have very strong profanity and refer to illegal narcotics, too.

Positive role models

Aside from the fact the main hero, Jackie Estacado, sometimes kills demonic creatures -- which some might consider a "positive" action -- he is a mafia boss who kills many hundreds of people and beasts throughout the game, be it with guns, swords, or axes or with his supernatural powers called the Darkness (including tentacle-like Demon Arms to impale enemies and perform other execution moves). Innocent bystanders can also be killed if too close to the battles.

Ease of play

The game isn't too difficult to play -- even if the gamer hasn't played the first The Darkness. It employs familiar first-person mechanics and a couple of other controls explained near the start of the game.


THE DARKNESS II is an extremely violent first-person shooter that fuses traditional weaponry -- such as rifles, pistols, and swords -- with the unique supernatural ability to kill enemies with Demon Arms that can tear someone apart. Blood and gore is seen often, sometimes with dramatic finishing moves, plus enemies scream in pain. As the protagonist Jackie, players can also collect human hearts with his Demon Arms, remove spines, and decapitate people and creatures.


While there is no nudity, sexual acts can be seen and heard. Specifically, in one scene Jackie enters a brothel and sees a woman performing fellatio on a man (with the head bobbing up and down) and sexual intercourse with a man behind a kneeling woman. Gamers will hear moaning sounds.


The game has very strong profanity, including words like "f--k," c--t," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and "hell." It can be heard between non-interactive cinematic cut-scenes as well as during dialogue sequences and combat.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are a couple of dialogue references to alcohol and drug use. One line says something to the effect of "...was too busy snorting coke off a hooker's a-s..."

Privacy & safety

Serious privacy and safety concerns. This game is playable online with strangers and has open chat that isn't moderated. Therefore, you don't know what you're going to hear and inappropriate solicitations could occur.


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Darkness II is an extremely violent game, heavily focused on killing humans and creatures using traditional weapons and supernatural abilities, including using your Demon Arms to graphically execute those who stand in your way. Blood and gore can be seen throughout the game, including body dismemberment, impaling, beheading, and ripping someone's spine out. The game also shows sexual acts performed (though with no nudity), contains drug references, and players can hear very strong profanity.

What's it about?

THE DARKNESS II is a comic book-inspired sequel where gamers once again play as Jackie Estacado, the mafia boss of the Franchetti crime family. Faced with resistance from both the human and supernatural worlds, Jackie not only relies on multiple weapons -- such as shotguns, rifles, swords, and axes -- but a hellish force grants him extraordinary powers in form of Demon Arms. Each with its own mouth and sprouting from his body like tentacles, Jackie's right arm is for bashing enemies and objects like (lampposts) and the left is for grabbing people and objects (like car doors you can use as a shield or toss back at baddies). Or you can use the two together, such as pulling someone towards you with the right arm and while dangling in the air, use the left arm to grab the other leg and rip them apart. Yes, this is one gruesome game. The single-player campaign takes you through various levels as you work your way through the story, plus there's also a multiplayer element for those who want to battle online against others.

Is it any good?


For the most part, The Darkness II is a good action game if you're into these kinds of gory shooters. While the game has its issues -- the solo campaign can be completed in only a few hours and the levels can be quite linear so you feel like you're kept on a tight leash -- it still can be quite fun to wield ridiculous powers and see what you're able to do with it all. Plus, you're able to upgrade your abilities over time and do things like summon a swarm of bees or create a black hole to suck enemies into. THE DARKNESS II is a fun and frantic B-grade game that's not quite worth the $60 (or $50 for the PC version) -- unless you loved the original and appreciate the Demon Arms game mechanic. Again, be aware of its mature content; if you can, try before you buy at a video game store or friend's house to see if this violent, gory, sexual, and profanity-laden sequel is for you.

Families can talk about...

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Available online
Developer:2K Games
Release date:February 7, 2012
Genre:First Person Shooter
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byVeryGoodPsychologist February 14, 2012

Educational for some children.

First lets start off with these ratings. As far as the sex rating, it says it plain and simple there is NO sex. If you cannot see it in the game and its not then do not rate it for sex since there is none whatsoever. I believe while there is violence, that it is not a bad thing. Introducing violence could not be easier for the parent by simply letting there child play this game. I believe that this is a good thing, and i actually tell my patients that it is a new, tested, better way for teaching your kids. Times are changing dramatically with crime rates going up and kidnappings are on a high right now and violence is now apart of everyday life. Children must be taught violence before going out into the real world only to be a victim of violence simply because they did not know what it looked like. As times have changed so has violence, even if you do not like the idea of your children playing it, you should play it and be able to let your children watch. Just be sure to let them understand that violence is wrong and teach them what is right and wrong while playing the game.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byMr Common Sense April 11, 2012

My 2 Yr Old Loves This Game

My 2 yr old brother loves The Darkness II. He loves using the demon arms to slash enemies in two and laughs at the splashes of blood across the screen; he really enjoys gutting his foes (cue entrails fall out, which he finds hilarious) and he thinks the dual-pistols are amazing! He loves the sections in the brothel and the opening when SPOILERS! two bikini-clad girls are bloodily executed by a sniper. I say, buy this for your kid and he'll love every bloody, gory, shooty second of it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 10 years old February 28, 2012

OMG!!! Epic game but not for kids.

Im ten years old and im getting this game for my birthday and have played the demo. Great game but super violent and gory mixed with sex (no nude) and language (well you would swear if youre getting your face ripped off by demon arms) BEST GAME EVER!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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