I must say first and foremost, The Darkness II's PAX Prime demo is one of the best convention demos I've ever played. There is a certain skill to putting together a demo that demonstrates multiple gameplay elements and teases the overall story of the game. The folks at 2K Games have certainly done that in for Seattle's show.
The hands-on demo for The Darkness II begins with antihero protagonist Jackie Estacado getting nailed up crucificion-style while a demonic looking guy with a creepy magic box starts telling Jackie to hand over The Darkness of his own free will. After a couple punches to the face, we head into a flashback. Jackie is walking into his restaurant, gets seated at his table (he is the head of the crime family, after all), flirts with a couple strippers, then a van crashes into his table. Your lackey drags you through the restaurant while you hold off the invaders with a pistol, all culminating with Jackie unleashing The Darkness to save his own life.
Back to the torture chamber for a bit. A couple more punches and a bit more enticing storyline, then it's back to a different flashback. This time you're in an alleyway, armed only with The Darkness. It goes through several of The Darkness powers that are familiar to players and a few new ones. Slashing, grabbing, eating hearts and the like are all demonstrated before you pick up a gun and start playing with the quad-wielding abilities featured in The Darkness II. You can use both your Darkness arms as well as dual wield weapons. Each is controlled with one of the shoulder buttons.
Once more into the modern day to be beaten on. You find out these people once had The Darkness and want it back. The Darkness cannot be stolen, so they're trying to make you WANT to give it up. Back to the final flashback, this time in a subway station. Now you've got your powers about you, tearing through enemies, devouring hearts, ripping them in half, executing them, taking out light sources to stay strong. The Darkness II is truly a dark, violent, and creepy game when it wants to be. It's almost like playing through a F.E.A.R. game, except you're Alma instead of one of her kids. Jackie is a force of hateful violence unleashed upon the world. Quad wielding is a visceral, satisfying mode of gameplay if ever their was one.
Finally, the demo retreats back to the torture chamber, where Jackie escapes his bonds, knocks out a light, and unleashes The Darkness. Your excrucioner flees as The Darkness begins to heal you, promising he'll do unspeakable things to your family while you're recuperating. He slams the door and the screen goes to white.
Admittedly, I didn't play much of the first Darkness game, but after this brilliant showing (which apparently is cut from several different portions of the game and isn't a sequence which will appear in the retail version), I'll be first in line to pick up The Darkness II when it hits PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 next February.