Written by: Kevin Maczis
First off, let me say that my expectations for this game were only moderate. I played through the first title when it was first released back in 2010 and found it enjoyable, but overall it wasn’t anything that I would rave about. THQ has taken the Darksiders franchise to a whole new level with their sequel.
Game Type: Action RPG
Rated: M – Mature
The game features “Death”, the fourth horseman of the apocalypse, a metal-head looking, scythe-wielding tough guy who reaps souls for a living. “War”, a brother and fellow horseman to Death, has been accused of breaking the seventh seal, thus starting the apocalypse too early. Death, knowing War to be the most honorable of the horsemen, is out to prove his brother’s innocence by any means necessary.
Darksiders II is an Action-RPG in the style of the God of War and Ninja Gaiden franchises. On his journey, Death plunges through puzzles, dungeons, and a lucrative amount of slaughtering demons, angels, and whatever else crosses his path. I found the gameplay, as well as the story, to be fast-paced and engaging. The combat was rock solid, smooth, and a well timed dodge could mean the difference between a victory and getting your bell rung on some of the more challenging bosses. I felt that even the side quests had meaning and were relevant to the story. There were no “go kill 8 rats on the other side of town because I said so” moments, which made for refreshing little secondary stories when you were burnt out on pursuing the main questline.
The game itself, which I played in its entirety, took about 25 hours to complete. There is no shortage of gameplay here and you won’t feel cheated at all for the $60 you paid. Once the game is completed you unlock “Campaign+”, allowing you to play through the game again from the beginning, but with your current gear and abilities still intact. In addition to the main story and side quests, there is a “Crucible Mode” in which the player is pitted against waves of monsters in an arena-style battleground. In this mode, there are 100 waves of enemies to slice and hack through, meaning it will take you a little while to complete it. I didn’t delve too deeply into the Crucible Mode, as I wanted to complete the story portion of the game first, but what I tried proved to be quite a challenge and a good place to test out different gear that I pick up in my travels.
High. Between the Crucible Mode, an added difficulty level once you complete the game, and Campaign+, the completionist type gamer will have plenty to do before they put this game back on the shelf.
There will be times where you swear you dodged something and you wind up taking a giant axe to the face instead. The hit ranges for some attacks seem to be larger than they appear, but then again, I might just be bad at the game. This was nothing that I would boycott the game over, but on higher difficulties it can sometimes make the difference between survival and defeat.
Fans of the first Darksiders will remember the “Voidwalker” gadget quite well. Essentially, it is a portal gun for horsemen and it is the bane of my existence. While they did a much better job at making the puzzles that involved this piece of equipment less frustrating and tedious, I sincerely hope that this mechanic will not return if they ever make a Darksiders III.
One thing that really stands out in this game is the art direction and environments. Everything in this game is beautifully crafted and the areas are expansive. If I had to suggest one game to go out and buy this summer, it would be this one. Go out, pick it up, and enjoy the hell out of it!