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The Darkness 2: Does a new direction cast doubt?

Hands-On with Digital Extreme's demonic sequel...

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They don't fear The Darkness, they actually worship it and will stop at nothing to harness its power on behalf of their leader Victor Valente (who had Jackie nailed to a cross in an attempt to make him give up his abilities in our first look).

We weren't able to go toe to toe with The Brotherhood but, with their knowledge of how The Darkness works and their anti-Darkness equipment, we're told they're more agile, cunning and able compared to the Mafia.

Three classes of Brotherhood have been announced so far; The Rookie sports a machine gun and a helmet making head shots much harder for Jackie to pull off without destroying the protection first and a Melee class is more up close and personal with special armour protecting his arms and torso from The Darkness lashes.

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Both classes use flash-bangs to wash Jackie in light, temporarily eradicating his powers, but by far the most intriguing class is the Support - soldiers which keep their distance from the battle and shine powerful torches on our hero to hamper his chances against the rest of The Brotherhood.

Not only does this appear to present a completely new dynamic to combat, since a much more sturdy and strategic offence can be mounted from the opposition from what we could tell in our spectator's seats, but those brilliant white lights add an amazing touch to the presentation as well. Shadows stretch and slide all over the environment adding some visual chaos and uncertainty that we said earlier we felt the sequel was lacking compared to its predecessor.

We're yet to see just how Jackie's second adventure will stack up to the first in terms of story, but with comicbook writer Paul Jenkins at the helm, it's probably in good hands. What we can say is that an accessible, satisfying, multi-faceted and Daily Mail-pokingly bloody combat system is what's selling The Darkness 2 for us at the moment. For others it'll be the rich but comic-styled graphics that finish the job.

While we can see the latter aspect being a sticking point for some, we can say without doubt that if you're a blood-thirsty FPS head who likes bit of story to boot or a fan of The Darkness originally, you'll want to pay attention to the sequel.

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