The Darkness (voiced again in all its guttural demonic glory by Faith No More's Mike Patton) eventually re-emerges, delivering the ultimatum that Jackie already knows about. If he doesn't use the Darkness, he will certainly die. Long story short, Jackie lets the Darkness out -- meaning two giant snake heads appear alongside of him and proceed to violently dispatch every enemy in sight. Jackie's leg is repaired and you finally assume full control. And then you get a taste of the mechanical changes Digital Extremes has made.
Using the Darkness in The Darkness II is somewhat similar to doing so in the original, but there are a few key differences. Each of the demon heads hovering alongside you has a purpose. The head on the right can be whipped around in any direction, as influenced by the Right Analog Stick, to tear up the environment (and dismember/bisect enemies). The left head bites and grabs at stray objects and enemies. If, say, you grab a pole from a nearby dumpster, you can then hurl the pole through an enemy and pin him to a wall. If you grab the door off of a car, you can use it as a shield before slicing enemies in two with it. And if you grab an enemy... well, try it for yourself. I'd rather not spoil it.
Once you are reunited with the Darkling, Jackie's arsenal of the occult expands greatly. By being creative with your kills, you earn Dark Essence. This Essence can be spent at special shrines on power upgrades. It lends the game a role-playing edge that is altogether quite welcome.
It may be the beginning of a new year, but that doesn't mean we have to put up with a software drought for too long. The Darkness II will be creeping onto store shelves on February 7th.