Today, there's good news and bad news for fans of Starbreeze's underappreciated 2007 comic book-based shooter, The Darkness. First, the good news: A sequel, The Darkness 2, has just been announced for fall 2011, reuniting players with Darkness-packing mobster Jackie Estacado; and the bad news: Original developer Starbreeze is out, rumored to be busy with a Syndicate reboot for EA, and relatively unproven Digital Extremes (Dark Sector, anyone?) is in.

The sequel promises more of what made the original such a delight: giant Demon Arms and "stylistic violence." The Darkness 2 marketing team got their hands on the game and came up with "Quad-Wielding," which seems as sellable as any other first-person gimmick. "The Darkness II breaks out of the sea of conventional first-person shooters," the press release reads, "with its fervid Quad-Wielding gameplay, which will allow players to slash, grab, and throw objects and enemies with their Demon Arms while simultaneously firing two weapons."

That's all well and good, but how cool is the game? For that, we'll turn to the admittedly biased Marc Silvestri, founder and CEO of Top Cow Productions and co-creator of The Darkness comics. "So often disappointed when a favorite character gives birth to a lame movie or video game, us fans have come to expect the worst," Silvestri said. "And sometimes we get it. But not with The Darkness II. Yeah, call me biased [Ed's note: We did!], but this second installment of Jackie Estacado's epic saga is – in my humble opinion – one of the most brutally cool games I've ever played. 2K Games hammered this one out of the park."

As convincing as that sounds, we'll reserve our judgment until we get our hands (and yes, our Demon Arms) on the title.
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2K Games Calls for Return of Chaos and Destruction with The Darkness™ II

Quad-Wielding combat, ruthless story and hand-painted graphic noir art style breathe new life into first-person shooter genre this fall


New York, NY – February 8, 2011 – 2K Games announced today that The Darkness™ II, the sequel to the million unit-selling 2007 title, The Darkness™, will be coming to the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC in fall 2011. Developed by Digital Extremes and based on the supernatural horror comic book series created by Top Cow Productions, Inc., The Darkness II takes players down a brutal and personal path as Jackie Estacado, wielder of The Darkness – an ancient and ruthless force of chaos and destruction.

The Darkness II breaks out of the sea of conventional first-person shooters with its fervid Quad-Wielding gameplay, which will allow players to slash, grab, and throw objects and enemies with their Demon Arms while simultaneously firing two weapons. The game is layered with the use of dark versus light, steeped in deep and twisted storytelling, and engulfed in stylistic violence that is visualized through a hand-painted graphic noir technique that stays true to its comic book origins.

"The Darkness II is a well of dark and imaginative violence, and it's a stylized and beautiful nightmare," said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. "The Darkness II continues the 2K Games tradition of delivering quality, innovative games that are filled to the brim with atmosphere and deep storytelling. The game takes a unique stance on fighting in the dark versus light. Combined with the arsenal of weapons at Jackie's disposal and the gruesome attacks of the supernatural Demon Arms and Darkness powers, we're proud to announce another title that delivers on our core values of creating games for gamers."

The Darkness II will feature award-winning comic book writer, Paul Jenkins, who will provide a tightly integrated narrative that weaves dark humor with hardcore tenderness.

Take a step back from the familiar and comfortable, and prepare to embrace The Darkness.

It's been two years since Jackie Estacado, now the Don of the Franchetti crime family, used The Darkness to kill the men responsible for his girlfriend's murder. He's been unable to shake the memory of Jenny's death since bottling up his supernatural power, and now The Darkness wants out. A sudden, unprovoked attack on Jackie's life heralds the start of a full-scale mob war, which has clearly been orchestrated by some outside force. The botched attempt opens the door for The Darkness to reemerge, and sets Jackie on a journey to hell and worse, as he unravels the mystery behind the attack and the motivations of The Darkness itself.

"Sometimes that whooshing sound you hear is that of comic fans holding their collective breath," said Marc Silvestri, founder and CEO of Top Cow Productions and co-creator of The Darkness comics. "So often disappointed when a favorite character gives birth to a lame movie or video game, us fans have come to expect the worst. And sometimes we get it. But not with The Darkness II. Yeah, call me biased, but this second installment of Jackie Estacado's epic saga is – in my humble opinion – one of the most brutally cool games I've ever played. 2K Games hammered this one out of the park."

The Darkness II is not yet rated by the ESRB. For more information on The Darkness II, please visit www.embracethedarkness.com.

2K Games is a division of 2K, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).

This article was originally published on Joystiq.