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July 03, 2013

The Darkness 2 Areas of Concern


.....The name pretty much sums it up.


WARNING: This review contains mature subject matter and may be unsuitable for children under the age of 18.


Parental Guidance Advised.




Intro:




Players take on the role of Jackie Estacado, a Mafia boss haunted by a demonic entity known as The Darkness, which took control of him in the first Darkness game.

Jackie has to deal with rival crime syndicates on his journey to rid himself of The Darkness and reunite with his dead girlfriend, Jenny.

Areas of Concern:

Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

General Violence:

A lot of gory, deliberately over the top violence, some of which is shown in slow-motion.

--You can use your demonic appendages to devastate enemies:

You can grab enemies, tear them apart, with detailed dismemberments, blood spraying all over the environment, and your demonic heads eat their hearts.

You can also slash enemies, cutting off their limbs with blood spurting out.

-You can execute enemies; your appendages grab them, and tear the screaming enemies apart, right down the middle, blood spraying, and you see the bloody carcass. You can also decapitate them, blood spurting. Some of the decapitations are more detailed, and show the enemies' heads getting pulled off as they look shocked.

One of your appendages can impale an enemy through the stomach, and come out again, blood spraying and the enemy screams. 

(If you're into movies, it sort of resembles the iconic moment from Alien.)

--You can take control of a midget demon, (those two are not mutually exclusive, just so you know....) and you can execute enemies: He can rip the throat of an ignorant guard, blood spraying out all over the place, or you can jump onto him and poke him through the eyes with your nails, and the man screams with blood spraying out.

--You can throw objects at enemies, like poles, which impale enemies with blood spraying and gurgling being heard, and lids, which slice enemies in half.

--You can shoot enemies: Blood sprays out, staining the environment, and you hear screams, gurgles and cries of pain.

Storyline Violence: 

--The Darkness slices a man's chest open, grabs the tear in the flesh and breaks it open to reveal the ribcage and throbbing lungs and heart. Your character then removes the man's heart. Blood and cries of pain are depicted throughout.

--When you first unleash the Darkness, it tears apart several enemies nearby, slicing two guys in half, with blood splattering, but it happens relatively fast and without much detail.

-At another point, an appendage is shoved down a man's throat, and blood sprays out of his mouth. 

--A woman is shot through the head, blood splattering all over a table in front of her. A car then crashes through the wall behind her.

We then see your character's leg, with the tattered bloody skin being shown. At one point, a puddle of blood forms underneath it.

--Your character is crucified on a wooden beam; we see a man hitting a nail into his hand, with blood spraying out and your character groans in pain.

Later on, he tears his hand free of a nail and stabs a man through the head with it, blood spraying.

--An old lady is stabbed several times off-screen, blood spraying all over the surrounding environment.

--You are trapped inside an "iron maiden", a casket with spikes covering the inside. We hear your character groan in pain for a while, blood staining the screen, but this is surprisingly not graphic.

You are then suspended over a burning fire and we hear your character screaming, but he is rescued and he falls out of the iron maiden, blood staining the ground.

--There are several sequences where explosions go off, strewing wreckage and knocking people back.


Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy


--During the course of the game, you have to go to a brothel; we see suggestively clad women, showing off a lot of skin and cleavage, some of the women are in their underwear and they proposition you.

Later on in the level, you see a woman with her head in man's lap moving up and down, and a full view of a man having sex with a woman from behind, although the angle of the scene makes it slightly less graphic. In the background, you hear loud sexual noises.

--A man talks about a woman giving oral sex, using the F-word, but the man couldn't do so because her "head was blown off". The man then talks about tearing off an old lady's "useless old t**s."

--A man is mentioned to have snorted coke off a "hooker's a**," another man says they were getting their "D***s" spit-polished, and we hear a joke about "tweakin' some n**ples."

-The word F**k is used in sexual context.

Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Frequent Strong Language: Uses of C**t, F**k, S**t, C**ks**ker, D**k, Pr**k, Wh**e, T**s, D**che, B**ls, A*s, B**t**d, P**s, H**l, B**l**cks, J**k-off, and T**ser.

--God and Jesus' names are used in vain.


Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

NOTE: The following section spoils the story and endings of the game. Not like I recommend this game in any shape or form, but I'm just adding the warning to be professional.

--As the name implies, you are under the control of a dark entity known as "The Darkness". The Darkness gives you special abilities, and it's made clear that The Darkness is a demonic being, also evidenced by it's appearance.

Your character tries to fight it off, but it pulls him even deeper into the, ahem, Darkness than ever.

One thing to note about the Darkness is that it can't function in light. (as in, literal light; spotlights, flashlights, bulbs, etc.) 

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:5

--One aspect of the Darkness in the game is the fact that it can bring the protagonist back to life if he dies in the storyline, which happens.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 
Hebrews 9:27

--In the end, your character can go into hell to free his girlfriend, only for her to transform into a demon/angel being and escape from hell, leaving your character there for all eternity.

NOTE: You can also get another ending, where it's all implied that the events of the game and all the spiritual content were in your protagonist's deranged mind.

--The protagonist talks about a priest telling him the story about hell, and if he weren't careful, he would end up there as well. He states that it's not that easy....

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6


--List of symbols:

-Black and white floor. (Masonic.)

-Five point star. (Pentagram: Satanism.)

-Ankh. (Reincarnation.)

-A miniature statue with a hand showing two fingers up, and two fingers down. (As above, so below.)


Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--A reference to snorting coke, and a few prostitutes inside of a brothel look very sullen, and talk about needing a "hit". 

--You walk into a bar, (Nope, not a joke) and your demonic henchman sits on a counter and takes a swig of beer. 


Gross Stuff/Gore:

--You have a demonic assistant, called a darkling, which resembles a goblin. At one point he stands on a fallen pillar and urinates all over the environment.


Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

Not very good: You can kill innocents, tear apart your enemies in grotesque ways, and you are the head of a Mafia family.

Slightly countered by the fact that Jackie is willing to anything to rescue his girlfriend, which does come off as a bit, eh, sweet. 


Thoughts & Impressions:

Those aren't the friendliest-looking anacondas in the world....

The Darkness 2, I admit, features a decent plot, but really, is it anything special?

No. There are only two compelling parts to the story:

1. The relationship storyline between Jackie and Jenny, which is quite sweet and the sequel takes the time to explore it, in between all the gore and gunplay.

2. Jackie may be insane, and The Darkness could be all in his head. Whilst this is a variation on "It's all but a dream" theme, it is actually very compelling and it makes a lot of sense if you ask me.

Is all of this enough to justify the content........why am I asking that question?





Okay, so in spite of the fact that the game can be INTERPRETED to have all taken place in the protagonist's head, it's pretty obvious that I can't allow the game.

For it's sexual content and satanic imagery. Yep, I'm pretty sure the facts speak for themselves.

Is playing this game a sin? Well, it may very well cause you to stumble into sin, looking at the displays of "wickedness" on, ahem, display here.

Once again, I'm sure that some can play this and not be bothered. That doesn't mean God's not bothered, by the way. What he thinks is above all else.

If you asked Jesus, and you feel that everything's okay, well alright then. Your choice. But for Christians in general? Avoid this game....

Verdict:

BANNED (X)
For Strong (Brief) Sexual Content and Satanic Imagery.


Outro:




So there you go. No surprise there, but I hope the review was at least useful.

Next week, we'll probably have a review by someone else. It may look like it was easy for me to review this game, but it wasn't. I need a bit of time off, and in fact, I need to ponder where the blog is going in the future.

No, I'm not shutting it down, don't worry, but I do want to assess all the avenues it can take.

In any case, see you Friday!

Writer Bio:


Kyle van Rensburg is the Editor-in-Chief of Kyle's Christian Video Game Reviews. (KGR) He likes cookies.

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