The time of reckoning draws near... No, I'm not talking about Great Cthulhu getting up, stretching his tentacles, brushing his pseudopods and preparing to purge the earth of all mankind; I'm talking about the release of Zoetrope Interactive's "Darkness Within 2: The Dark Lineage". Game Debate sent their intrepid investigator (by which I mean me) to catch up with the dark cultists behind this blasphemy (by which I mean Zoetrope Interactive) in search of Secrets Man Was Not Meant To Know (by which I mean to conduct an interview).
GD: There seem to be many references to the ‘Lovecraftian' nature of the game. How closely is the story of The Darkness Within 2 linked to the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft and his collaborators?
ZI: We used HP Lovecraft's story-telling style and places; and tried to create a world based on his works which would create the same feelings of his readers. And I can say we got very positive feedback about creating the atmosphere of his books, in the first installment.
GD: Adventure games tend to split gamers' opinions based on their relative difficulty. The sometimes-incomprehensibly-difficult puzzles in Dracula 3, for instance, would appeal to the more thoughtful player while perhaps frustrating those who require a little more for the time they invest. How does The Darkness Within 2 fit into this model? How long can the average gamer expect the game to take to play through?
ZI: Since we know there are different kinds of gamers out there, we tried to keep the puzzles simple and understandable to any gamer. So don't expect complex mechanical puzzles or mind-bender logic puzzles. DW2 has story-related puzzles which can be easily solved by paying attention to the game environment. Moreover, for hardcore adventure game fans we have "Detective" and "Senior Detective" difficulty settings which will enable the requirement to meticulously analyzing documents found in the game and gathering clues.
GD: The first Darkness Within game, as well as the works of Lovecraft himself, focus on the dwindling sanity of their protagonists. Have you tweaked the sanity mechanics this time around?
ZI: Sanity factor still plays an important role in the game story. As the story progresses our protagonist's sanity level changes. We can easily see this by his reactions to the events both verbally and visually.
GD: The novel clue combination system from the original game brought both praise for its originality and criticism for what some saw as unwieldy complexity in equal measure. Will we see the clue system making a reappearance, and has it been given a makeover?
ZI: Yes it will do a reappearance but with a difference: it's now optional and doesn't prevent player to progress in the game. So its role is solely explaining the story in detail for whom wishes to delve in. However, in "Senior Detective" difficulty level, in some situations clues are necessary to progress.
GD: The works of Lovecraft are ripe material for videogames and movies yet they never seem to get the love they deserve from either. What movies, videogames and other inspirations led you to write The Darkness Within 2?
ZI: Believe me, our only inspiration source was Lovecraft's works.
GD: Is there any juicy exclusive you can tell us about Darkness Within 2 that our readers would love to hear?
ZI: There are a lots of "Secrets" and "Easter Eggs" in DW2, as well as two different endings.
GD: Is there going to be a Darkness Within 3 and if so where is it likely to be set?
ZI: Probably not. We want to come up with new ideas.
GD: Are you playing (please choose one of the following choices)
1. Battlefield Bad Company 2
2. Modern Warfare 2
3. FPS games are for brainless monkeys, adventure gaming all the way
ZI: 3. But I can't say "for brainless monkeys". Maybe "for misdirected gamers with a potential for conversion"
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