Digital Extreme's Sheldon Carter explains they want us always on our toes and that The Darkness II's cinematics give us control, and aren't passive.
"...we're always giving you some kind of control during the cinematics, and you kind of never know when you might have to do something," said The Darkness II's project director Sheldon Carter from developer Digital Extremes.
"What we're trying to do, the one thing about the demo is that we kind of throw you in there. That sequence in the game is actually not done flashback style, it's actually one continuous sequence. And there are many other continuous sequences in the game where you have full control and you're actually called upon to do those things."
"So, by the time you get to something that's crucial where "Oh my god, I could die if I don't do this right", you're kind of ready for that. You kind of know to be on your toes in the cinematics just in case," he continued. The opening is an example of what lies ahead.
"I like the fact that it helps keep the experience kind of fresh, too. You never know what's going to happen. Same thing at the beginning: you're walking in, you're dining with the two girls, then all of a sudden one of them gets shot in the head. That's kind of like…that's the approach we've taken kind of throughout," said Carter.
The studio has stuck with writer Paul Jenkins who whipped up the story for the original game, which was developed by Starbreeze Studios. "I kind of wanted to keep that continuity in terms of storyline and even storytelling methods across the two. So, we never actually break first person. You're always going to be in the action," he explained.
They aren't going to just spring crazy quick time events on us during the cinematic moments, he says, but they don't want us just coasting through major moments. "...most of the time when you're in a cinematic, you can always move the stick. So you have that pseudo control at all times, so it doesn't come out of left field at all."
"You kind of realize you've got to keep your hands on the controller."
It's been the goal at Digital Extremes to let the player experience how powerful Jackie Estacado can be, and not take away special moments with non-interactive storytelling. The Darkness ended in a cinematic when Jackie was at his most powerful.
"You didn't actually get to control it. And so when we started off, that was a high-level goal for Darkness II. It was like, you know that part at the end where you were ridiculously powerful? We want that to be the base starting point for this game, and then to ramp up from there." Check out the between Sheldon Carter and Gamasutra.
The Darkness II releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC February 7th in the US, 12th in EU.