The lights are on
While many gamers argue that titles such as the Darksiders copy and rip-off other popular titles, I believe that THQ has crafted one of gaming’s most beautiful and intricately crafted tributes in this console generation. While staying original, Darksiders pays homage to popular titles such as Prince of Persia, Zelda, God of War and even Portal. Darksiders 2 combines the greatest aspects of all these games, but somewhere along the way it forgot to tell a story.
Darksiders 2 starts players off as Death, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, trying to find absolution for his brother War. Death is an all-powerful buttkicker, and through the game’s 20-hour main quest, players will be laying waste to demons, corrupted angels, and large, Shadow of the Colossus-esque giants. Players can put points into the agile harbinger skill tree or the Necromancer skill tree. I chose to put most of my skill points towards the Necromancer tree, which allowed Death to summon flesh-eating ghouls to fight for him. These ghouls allow Death to focus on single targets while leaving the zombies to mop up the rest. In the Darksiders, battles are frantic, and players may have a hard time tracking death amidst the flurries of attacks and magical combos. As expected, this can be both a good and bad problem to have. Navigating the environment is a breeze thanks to Death’s improved acrobatic abilities. Death is built for speed, and players can chain a flurry of combos by using his deadly arsenal of weapons. Death’s tools of trade are his twin scythes, but the game’s dungeons offer a dizzying collection of loot and players can build Death into whatever playstyle they like. Possibly the coolest feature in the Darksiders are the Possessed weapons. These weapons allow you to “feed” them other weapons to level them up and increase their stats.
Death would make for an interesting protagonist if not for Darksider’s lackluster story. Within the first couple of hours into the game, Death’s journey divulges into elaborate fetch quests with little means of plot progression. More often than not, Death’s main purpose is to travel to [Insert Dungeon Name Here] to get a key so he can unlock a new dungeon with an even bigger key. While not necessarily eventful, Darksider’s dungeons are well designed and a pleasure to look at. Darksiders 2 is a graphical masterpiece, and the game’s overworld is well designed and unique. These dungeons were blast to play, with the exception of a gameplay piece centered around an angelic firearm. This level played out like a repetitive third-person shooter level, with bland enemy and loose controls.
While Darksiders 2 doesn’t have the most polished narrative, it is a great action experience and a homage to some of the biggest titles in gaming. If you’re looking for an action based lootfest, you could do worse than picking up Darksiders 2.