Warning – Contains Major Story Plot Spoilers!
The Darkness 2 can only be fully¬†experienced¬†in the intended way by those that have played the original Darkness game. A perfect analogy for the story of The Darkness 2 is¬†if you were to exhale outside on a cold winters evening. Your breath twists and flows, turns and spirals and eventually¬†evaporates back into nothingness. This is the Darkness 2 story. One of the most amazing and awe inspiring story lines in gaming that eventually turns into nothing more than a¬†reverting¬†motion back to the original form and an open invitation for The Darkness 3 that defecates on the players feelings up until that point.
Jackie’s story can end in two different ways and the first way involves the player choosing to stay at an alternative and false version of reality that takes place at an asylum, not jump from the roof of the asulym and kill Jackie and most importantly allow Jackie to stay with Jenny in this place that the Darkness is telling you is reality. Choose to end the game here then Jackie will dance with Jenny and as they look into one anothers eyes, the credits roll.
The more¬†likely¬†story ending for the majority of gamers is to choose that the¬†asylum¬†is not Jackies actual reality. Jackie jumps from the roof of the asulym and falls through the Darkness’ false asulym ‘reality’ and straight into the depths of hell itself. Jackie finds Jenny being held by the Darkness and after battling undead demons, frees Jenny and they share a long kiss and embrace. This was the perfect ending for Jackie’s story because it answered all the plot questions. The asulym is not reality but a trick played by the Darkness to act as a prison holding cell for Jackie. Jackie now has Jenny back and shares a moment with her long enough that allows him to say goodbye properly. A chance which he was not orignally granted when Jenny was murdered in front of his own eyes in the original Darkness game. Goodbye, Jenny.
The Darkness 2 does not simply end at this perfect conclusion as it should. After the credits have rolled the player is presented with the option to let go of Jenny. Curisoty will take the better of many a gamer who is presented with an extra button to push at a time when you think the game has ran out of twists and turns and has exhaled fully. Jackie lets go of Jenny, she says goodbye again and then is thrown backwards into a bright light. Jenny’s eyes begin to glow, she sprouts wings and is now the shell of a creature of pure light called The Angelus. A creature that was created originally to destroy the Darkness. Jenny has gone form being a prisoner of the Darkness to then being a prisoner of the Angelus and then the game ends for good, leaving the player with a bad taste in their mouth. Was there any point in rescuing Jenny from one evil, only for her to be delivered into the arms of another? Could this just not have been the opening to the Darkness 3 and left the Darkness 2 ending to its already fitting end.
Games, like movies¬†usually¬†come come in threes. Saints Row 3, Halo 3, Gears Of War 3, Skate 3, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3, Killzone 3 and the list could go on and on and on… The Darkness 3 was an¬†inevitability¬†that I feel did not need to be hinted towards in such a brute force way as it was at the ending of The Darkness 2.
The storyline that leads up to the final close of the game is a gripping tale of Jackie battling against the demons of the Darkness, his own mind and a war at home between his mafia family empire and the enemies of the brotherhood who want to steal the Darkness from Jackie. Jackie’s aunt acts as a crutch for him in both Darkness games and she was¬†believable¬†as the widow of an ex-mafia boss. Jackie did not have to do an obligatory mission where he looks after her, protects her or escorts her anywhere. She was a warm character who could hold her own if the shit hit the fan but when her end did come and she was murdered… It was a touching moment, Jackie wanted revenge, as did I. The demons attacking at the¬†aunts¬†funeral was the final straw and right there in the rain Jackie’s Darkness was fully let off the leash once again. Enemies were ripped limb from limb and all in an effort to get closer to the one guy behind it all, the leader of the Brotherhood. When my moment came to kill him, I exacted my revenge and stabbed him straight through the heart. A Satisfying end to an aunt-killer!
Jackie’s demon friend (who was described by our very own Play Vault Podcaster Andrew, as looking like a Geri Halliwelll Goblin) pops up at oppurtune times to save Jackie. He affectionately¬†calls Jackie ‘monkey’ and this demon darkling ¬†is playable in certain sections of the game where Jackie is taken hostage. This loyal demon¬†will¬†rescue¬†Jackie from bad guys, through ripping their throats apart. He will open doors and destroys light sources Jackie cannot reach. He will find explosive containers to tip the favour of a battle Jackie’s way and he will find and deliver you ammo when you are running dry. This little demon becomes your light in the dark when you are trapped in the false¬†asylum¬†reality, made out to be a patient of a mental¬†asylum¬†and¬†condemned¬†to face eternity there. The demon stays loyal to the end and dies attempting to help Jackie escape the¬†asylum. This demons death was more shocking and saddening than the majority of game companions deaths I have witnessed throughout many, many other games.
All in all the story of the Darkness 2 can be best explained with the breath analogy: The story twists and turns, rises and falls and¬†inevitably¬†fades into the¬†nothingness¬†once again. The Darkness 2 should be remembered for it’s good story plot points and the way in which they are presented to the player with choices and future games should take note of this and emulate or improve these aspects. The bad plot twists and cheap ending that only exists to allude to the future¬†existence¬†of the Darkness 3 should be something that future games take even more notice of, to ensure that the player does not feel robbed by the ending of the game.
If you have embraced the Darkness 2 yourself then leave a comment below with your thoughts…