Monday, January 30, 2012

Come, embrace the dahkness!: The Darkness II

I thought I'd take a look at some recent game trailers, using a somewhat generous definition of “recent” to mean anything for a game that hasn't actually been released yet. (So that Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer from 2006 is still technically eligible.) So, without further ado, let's have a look at one of the story trailers for:

The Darkness II

Sequel to the 2007 first-person shooter, coming out in February. I'm surprised it took this long for this game to appear, considering that the first one was fairly successful and had an ending that stopped just short of having INSERT SEQUEL TAB A INTO AMBIGUOUS ENDING SLOT B INDICATED BELOW appear during the credits

This trailer is introduced and narrated by a rather agitated, unhealthy-looking guy whose delivery and general demeanor sort of strike me as what Quentin Tarantino would probably be like if he were hopped up on meth. He fills us in about the nature of the Darkness, the backstory of protagonist Jackie Estacado and his girlfriend Jenny's murder at the hands of the New York Mob, and other helpful info.



:20 It's explained that the game's eponymous evil metaphysical force is the primordial darkness that prevailed at the dawn of time. It didn't take kindly to the whole “stuff exists now” trend that the creation of the universe kicked off, and was even less happy about the arrival of life.

:40 Throughout history, the Darkness has wreaked havoc on the world by using human hosts. Each host foolishly imagined he could master the Darkness for his own ends, only to inevitably becomes its slave. Insert joke about marriage here.

1:32 I immediately began giggling like a schoolgirl as our narrator tells me said that the power of the Darkness makes Jackie “a god” “when the lights were out.” I guess I was naïve to have assumed that Jenny was into him for his sparkling personality.

1:50 Was the first game this violent? I realize that sounds like a ridiculous question to as ask about an M-rated game that prominently featured the protagonist's ability to rip people's hearts out of their chests and the like, but the move we see here where one of the Darkness' tentacles/mouths lifts a guy up, plunges into his stomach, and then erupts from his chest – having presumably torn its way through his torso en route- seemed more extreme than I recall.

1:55 The Darkness flings a broken-off car door at a guy with such force that it actually cuts him in half. That sort of thing is why most automobile manufacturers stopped building car bodies out of monomolecular-edged tungsten carbide plates in the late 70s.

General thoughts:

One complaint, not so much about this video specifically as for the story trailers I've seen for The Darkness II in general: Needed some Mike Patton. They're bringing him back as the voice of the Darkness, so I'm sort of surprised we never hear him. Maybe there's going to be some big reveal in the game where it turns out that the Darkness' sinister, demonic Norwegian-black-metal-singer-vomiting-up-his-own-lungs voice voice was really just a cunning disguise, or perhaps the result of a bout of laryngitis, and they didn't want to spoil the surprise when it's revealed that the Darkness actually sounds like Jeff Foxworthy or speaks with a heavy Boston accent or has started to refer to Jackie as “broheim,” or whatever. We'll see.

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