A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether games like this are meant to push the envelope in what's acceptable in a "Mature"-rated video game. Does this game deliver just a silly visceral thrill or should we be concerned about its content and who the game appeals to?
This video game contains sexual imagery. Families can talk about why a game like this contains this material.
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $59.99
- 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
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.