Darksiders 2

It’s odd for someone of my age to actively seek out death but for the past few days I’ve not only sought him out, I’ve joined him in arms in a bid to save the world. That’s right, I’m siding with Death. His badass attitude and stockpile of countless weapons makes for one hell of a time.

It’s been almost three years since Darksiders first graced our consoles. Not only was it the first Game by Vigil Studios, it was also Joe Madureira’s (A Marvel comic book artist) first game. Darksiders was generally well received and proved that the action adventure game was anything but dead. That being said it did have a few issues, which is to be expected with such a brave and new venture from Vigil Studios and THQ.

The story is set roughly around the same time as the first installment but focuses on Death, one of the three horsemen of the Apocalypse. Death discovers that his brother has set the Apocalypse in place. Adamant that his brother, War, is not capable of doing so he sets out to prove that it is a set-up by enlisting the help of some other worldly beings. This leads Death to explore the Nether Realms enlisting the help of others to help save War. Death’s quest for his brothers absolution will go on to span many different worlds, leaving you astounded by an epic and ever expansive story.

Although the graphics are very similar to Darksiders that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Our hero, if you can call him that, still looks like he might have done more steroids than Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 70’s. Although the graphics remain largely the same, it is how they have been used this time around that defines the game. Your ghastly white rider stands a stark contrast against the vibrant landscapes and worlds that surround him. Even the different armours and weapons that Death equips are bursting with colour and character.

The soundtrack to Darksiders 2 is both uplifting and exhilarating. The background music emphasises on the momentous battles that ensue and helps to complete the whole experience. There is just enough subtly in the quieter moments to garner tension and I couldn’t help myself from stopping in awe at the scenery and just listening to the music while roaming the plains of the Nether Realms.

The gameplay remains largely unchanged in the majority of areas. Darksiders remains a mash-up of platforming and exciting combat. All the necessary improvements have been improved. The game feels significantly faster with a lot less delay while scaling increasingly treacherous towers. The largest noticeable change is in the combat, with enough weapons to match a collection that would rival a war museum, Death seamlessly blends his light and heavy attacks flowing from combo to combo shredding all those in his path. The overhaul is great and I still haven’t quite gotten over the depth of changing up weapons and the significant impact it can have on your fighting styles.

What’s new about Darksiders 2 is the far heavier influence on the RPG aspects in game. Now there are customisable weapons, armour, skills and levels to your character. Although the game may seem jam-packed with mechanics already, the levelling and customisation system blends perfectly like it had been there all along. The number of different armour pieces alone transform the once scrawny and nearly naked horseman to a badass with enough armour customisations to choke a horse. They work in a very similar way to the majority of role-playing games nowadays using the colours to set apart how rare a weapon is and by having level restrictions to use them. Some weapons come with attributes that boost health or add elemental damage to attacks. But it is the “possessed” weapons that really stand out. These weapons allow you to upgrade them by sacrificing other equipment to increase the weapon’s stats. Depending on what items are merged you can add the augments from the absorbed weapons to the new weapon.

As for replayability there are tons of collectibles in the world, many of which require you to have completed the majority of the game prior to going back and experiencing everything the game has to offer. Couple that with the new side quests that can be acquired and you will find hours of countless fun scavenging for rare gems and killing off some unbelievably well designed foes. This can be done at any point by simply fast traveling to the location and tracking the chosen mission. Unlike the previous installment the collectibles don’t come across as tacked on or forced. You want to go back and find more weapons, slay more demons and discover all the hidden nooks and crannies scattered across the map. My personal favorite side mission was to kill Gorewood, an ent like titan that just looks amazing. And if that isn’t enough there is also an arena-esque mode called the crucible that Death can fight his way through to obtain lots of goodies.

Darksiders is a great game. Not only does it manage to capture and embody everything that is fun in the genre, it adds a truck load more. You will spend the best part of 25 hours exploring dungeons, climbing towers and mixing up the vast amounts of armour, weapons or attributes to fine tune the game to your play style. The spacing is perfect and you never feel as if you have too much on your plate or that you are being hastily pushed along with new mechanics flying at you left, right and centre. The pace is perfect and you will no doubt be riding off into the sunset with your pale horse bragging about your unbeatable scythe in no time.







One response to “Darksiders 2”

  1. Chrichton avatar

    Nice review.This is one of the titles I have been waiting for and the way you describe it is exactly what I hoped it to be.But I am wondering what the issues were concerning the first Darksiders?Do you mean technical issues or gameplay wise?

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