The recent release of Bioshock: Infinite has me somewhat disappointed. I’ve already talked on the podcast about how I did not enjoy the original Bioshock. And after analyzing it for the site, I feel as a FPS, there was a lot of wasted potential.
But looking at other FPS games released: Call of Duty Black Ops 2, Battlefield etc, I find that modern FPS games aren’t as interesting to me. For this game series I’m going to look back at some of my favorite games from the FPS genre that does their best to ignore the modern view of the genre. Let’s start with a game that made my best of list for 2012.
In my view, there are three key areas that make up any good singleplayer FPS: the gameplay, the gunplay and the story. The gameplay involves what the player is fighting and any other abilities besides shooting. The gunplay is how the weapons of the game handle, and the story is self explanatory.
The Darkness 2 gets gameplay and story correct with gunplay average in my opinion. The heart of the game’s design came from the darkness powers that ranged from enhancing damage, to creating black holes.
The guns you picked up were of your standard shooter variety but it was the way the designers worked in both the darkness powers and weakness that made the game worked. Being able to pick up objects with your tentacles to create mobile cover was great.
Good enemy design is a seldom overlooked area of FPS games, especially modern ones where the bulk of the enemies charge at you or hide behind cover. The Darkness 2 got this right by not only creating enemies that knew how to fight you, but could also use your powers as well.
As mentioned in previous posts, the main character draws his powers from the dark and becomes weakened when exposed to light. As you fight enemies, you’ll have to deal with spotlights set up to blind you along with enemies holding portable lights. When the player is illuminated not only do they become blinded, but their powers don’t work.
Later on you’ll fight enemies equipped with similar darkness powers such as creating shields or using tentacles to knock your weapons away. When combined with the light using enemies, the game constantly forces you to keep changing your tactics.
The story which was The Darkness 2‘s strength also was one of the big criticisms against the game. Compared to most shooters and games in general, The Darkness 2 was very short: about 5 hours give or take.
The developers were counting on players going for the great co-op missions to continue enjoying the game (and perhaps buying DLC.) However the lack of developed multiplayer modes and the unconventional combat when combined with the short campaign did not earn The Darkness 2 many fans.
Sadly at this point, the chance of us seeing another game and perhaps conclusion to the story is slim to none. But for people who missed out on the game due to reviews or negative impressions, The Darkness 2 is definitely a game to try out if you are in the mood for a different kind of FPS.
Tomorrow: Just What the Doctor Ordered