The lights are on
After the point when i heard about Darksiders, i heard a lot of hate about the game as well. People said it was a God of War/Zelda ripoff, and some people even put Darksiders down for their opinion for worst game. I was a little shocked cause the game looked interesting enough, and with Darksiders II looking awesome, i figured this game can't be that bad. Now that I've played through it, i actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
Darksiders does an excellent job of showing post-apocalyptic earth. as you get further in the game, you notice large buildings are less common, as natures take it's toll, and the demons and angels wage their war across it. Still, even in later levels when you almost feel on another planet all together, there are subtle reminders that this used to be earth. a piece of a road here, a stairway underwater, ect. What i personally like about this games look is the almost cartoony art style. for a game that's essentially dark and gloomy, it's actually quite colorful, and this somehow works for me.
However, the game isn't fully polished. There were several times where enemies would glitch. i had a couple of times where an enemy was stuck in a wall, or sometimes the enemies would just stand there not attacking me until i've already gone in and depleted most of their health while most enemies attack on site. thankfully, these glitches didn't prevent me from progressing in the game, but glitches like this do take you away from the experience.
another thing that isn't so much of a glitch is that i found quite often that there is a delay in War's jumping. like i'd run up to a ledge, jump and war would just run off, but if i pressed jump a little early, he would do it on time. though i wasn't penalized much for falling, it still got annoying.
The voice acting is alright. it fits into the cartoon like theme, but there's nothing special there. the soundtrack is good as well, though it takes a back seat to your attention.
The story here is a bit hard to follow, and though it may seem pretty simple at first, a ton of stuff is revealed towards the end that makes it several times more complicated. However, the story is actually pretty good if you can get a hold of everything that's going on. but until you reach that point the story is pretty straight forward, do this cause these people told you so and so eventually you can defeat "the destroyer".
Essentially what you have is a war between the angels and demons. but then when humans came into the picture the all powerful council had postponed the war until humans became advanced enough to fight in the war between angels, demons, and humans. so 7 seals were created, and when all 7 seals were destroyed, the four horsemen of the apocalypse would come out and the war would begin.
however, war was for some reason summoned early, bringing with him a pre-mature apocalypse. and we later discover that the 7th seal was never broken. so war, being framed for it all, spends 100 years in confinement and is sent back to earth to fix everything. and thus, our game begins.
it takes until the very end of the game to explain all that happened, and even then it's a bit confusing, but if you get it, the story is actually pretty good.
at it's core, Darksiders is a God of War style hack-and-slash, but it brings some interesting concepts to the table. although, nothing in this game isn't something we've already seen in other games before, Darksiders does a good job of going about it in it's own way.
the combat works really well and although each weapon of War's on has one button for attacks, you can actually do a number of things with it to make some combos. and once you figure out these combos, the combat can become a lot of fun. and unlike God of War, there are no button sequence moments where they make you hit certain buttons at certain times in order to finish off an enemy. it's actually a nice change.
you can buy new moves, items, and upgrades at a market for the currency of souls. and these all get put to use. as you progress through the game you'll also gain access to new weapons and abilities. a lot of the new weapons abilities you get will also give you access to previously unexplorable areas, so you can go back and get things that you might have previously passed up. it's cool, but there isn't a whole lot of incentive.
boss fight are cool, and are old school in the way that there's one way to kill them and all you need to do is figure out how. unfortunately, this doesn't take much skill as to almost every boss you come across has you use your most recently acquired item and that's usually the key.
There are some other portions of the game that are a ton of fun, but short lived. For instance there's a level where you ride an angelic griffin, and time where you pick up an enemies gun and it feels like your in a 3rd person, arcade style shooter. these moments are some of the best. other fun moments are when you finally get your horse Ruin, towards the end of the game, and War is increasingly more powerful.
The game is also filled with tons of puzzles that initially seem huge, but turn out to be easy to figure out once you get the gist of what's going on. i actually like it. i like when a games makes me think in order to move forward, but i hate being stuck on puzzles, so this was a good thing for me. there are a lot of medium difficulty puzzles here (a ton more towards the end).
Collectables are everywhere as well, and completionist will enjoy trying to find all of them, but there's a lack of incentive as you can't transfer any of theses powers onto a new file and beat the game all juiced up. some of the collectables you wont have access to untill the end anyways as you'll need a certain item to gain access to a certain area, but you won't get the item until late in the game. this kills replay value unfortunately, as i would've loved a second playthrough using all my new abilities.
Darksiders is a long game. there's a lot to experience and the game doesn't rush any of it. the story gets good at the end, and by then you really feel invincible because of how powerful you are. the game doesn't ever feel repetitive due to it's spurs of awesome moments between the regular gameplay. although i do wish there was more replay value, i still enjoyed this game a lot and am looking forward to Darksiders II which looks even better. don't let what you hear take you away from trying this one out.
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