Darksiders II Xbox 360 l PS3 l PC
DEVELOPER: Vigil Games
RELEASE DATE: August 14, 2012
I have the great pleasure of offering a unique perspective on a video game for a select group of potential players. Usually when I review a game it’s one that I’m familiar with and one that I’ve been anticipating for multiple years. In the case of Darksiders II, I went in almost completely blind.
I never played the original Darksiders. I did play its demo when it was made available and was thoroughly neutral; I didn’t hate it or anything, but had no intentions of playing the full game, either. Because of this, I had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of Darksiders II, allowing me a chance to offer an opinion to those who never played the first but are thinking about checking out the sequel.
In the game, you play as Death (or Mick from the band Slipknot), one of the feared Four Horsemen. It takes place around the same time as the first game, in which you played as Death’s brother, War. In the first game, War was accused and convicted of starting the apocalypse that wiped out the human race early, and banished to Earth. When the other three Horsemen, Death, Strife, and Fury, are informed of War’s fate, Death is understandably a bit enraged knowing War is the most honest and incorruptible of them all. This sets Death off on his own mission: to clear his brother’s name. But it won’t be anywhere near easy, and he may have to go to certain extremes to accomplish his mission.
There’s a reason I didn’t play Darksiders and had no initial interest in Darksiders II, and that’s, quite simply, because they’re not my type of game. I’m not a big fan of games that basically have you button-mash (sometimes wildly, sometimes strategically) your way through fights, somersaulting and jumping constantly to try and avoid being killed. The one exception being, of course, the God of War games.
But I like to remain open to all things winning me over, whether they’re my type or not, and so even though the gameplay/combat of Darksiders II wasn’t my favorite thing in the world, I was still open to other things winning me over.
For one, this is a beautiful game. It plays almost like a cool animated movie/series, with big, impressive characters and locations. The scale of some of the settings (and, less enthusiastically, some of the enemies) had me staring away, admiring the design in awe, which also reminded me of my time playing God of War.
I very much appreciated the boss fights of Darksiders II, as well. Yes, they infuriated me to no end in some cases (so many bloody somersaults!), but they also took me back to one of my all time favorite games, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (as well as other Zelda games), where you’d meet one big boss at the end of each dungeon/section.
There’s also a hint of RPG sprinkled in—not really enough to call it an RPG, but enough to appreciate—which helps to open up the characters and story a bit. And there’s plenty of side quests, usually acquired by chatting with characters throughout the game, so there’s more than enough to do in terms of content.
Overall, Darksiders II isn’t exactly my kind of game, but there is something strangely addictive about it. Whether it’s the world or the music or maybe even that type of gameplay winning me over a bit, I do not know. What I do know is that newcomers such as myself should at least give the sequel a rent and see if it appeals to them over before deciding whether to purchase it or not, while fans of the first game will more than likely be fully satisfied with everything the sequel has to offer, including its gameplay, story, visuals, and all around epicness.