Darksiders II Review -
Darksiders II, like its predecessor, is a solid game that borrows heavily from games like The Legend of Zelda and the God of War franchises. While Darksiders II sports some furious combat and an interesting back story, it still feels like that it never really reaches the heights of the games that it borrows so much from and really fails to find its own identity.
Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, is on an adventure to rescue his brother War from the clutches of the Charred Council. War was accused of initiating the apocalypse earlier on the kingdom of mankind, igniting a war between Heaven and Hell. Death believes that War was wrongly accused and rides to clear his brothers name. While this sounds like it gives a great platform for an epic fantasy story, there is poor execution with the characters and the player has no personal connection with Death. Rather than making him feel like a character, he is simply a tool and a means to an end.
The combat is one of the game’s finest instruments. You’re given your basic duel wield primary weapons that you will have throughout the duration of the game and numerous amounts of secondary weapons that you can exchange based on what the player deems necessary at that moment. There are gory finishers called ‘Reapings’ and luckily, there are no quick time button mashing events to be seen anywhere in the game. The combat was very fluid and the game introduces new moves and combos throughout the game, making you feel that Death was becoming progressively stronger. The enemies varied constantly and the game introduced them at points so that the player had to be repeatedly approaching a scenario with an open mind on how to best deal with the enemies at hand.
Platforming and dungeon crawling is what the player will indulge in most of the time in their journey in Darksiders II. The dungeons are thoughtfully prepared with some challenges that really boggled my mind and at times really had me truly frustrated as I couldn’t figure out what the heck I was supposed to do next; but figuring out those difficult puzzles and finishing the dungeons felt rewarding, for the first twenty times. Darksiders goes through the same motions throughout the entire game and rarely changes the dynamic on how a player approaches a dungeon. Climb some stuff, jump along a wall, throw a bomb, blow up a wall and huzzah! You finished the dungeon to get to the real dungeon that has the King, which you need to finish to gather three items and fight a boss.
The graphics on the Xbox played out decently enough for a modern title. It follows the same cartoon art style with colorful detail to the characters and a Gothic like architecture to the buildings. The scale of the environments were epic, with megalithic structures sprinkling the game world that really give depth and perception to the worlds. The size of the game is four to five times larger than its predecessor with numerous amounts of zones filled with side dungeons and secondary quests to fill the player’s time. The sound also emphasized and enhanced the mood. While it wasn’t entirely memorable, it still played a part for immersing the player in the world.