Darksiders 2 Review
Genre: Action, Adventure, fantasy, Open-World, RPG, Sandbox
What we liked
What we didn't
With War there is always Death…..
Many titles this year have got my juices flowing, many have I have longed to play, none as much as Vigil Games sequel to Darksiders so much since completing the original game back in 2010 as War one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and now two years later I finally get to play as his brother Death in Darksiders 2.
Darksiders 2 is an interesting addition to the series, the events of the first game happen throughout the events of this one, so it’s neither a sequel nor a prequel, it is in fact, a game that takes place at the exact same time as the first Darksiders. The of events that led to this game are the same, the End War has started and the Kingdom of Man has been destroyed during the apocalypse between the forces of Heaven and Hell in a mighty, bloody battle. War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse came to Earth when he heard the call to ride to fight in the apocalypse, however in a strange turn of events, the seventh seal that binds the horsemen has not been shattered, this seal keeps the Horsemen at bay till such time. War is then tried and judged for he has supposedly inadvertently blamed for the destruction of the Kingdom of Man and starting the apocalypse.
Darksiders 2 follows Death, a fellow horseman and brother to War, and the other two riders, Fury and Strife. Death does not believe that his brother War has caused the apocalypse, with that Death sets out to undo the wrong that has convicted his brother, by restoring the Kingdom of Man once more. To do this Death must traverse many realms between the Kingdoms Heaven, Hell and Man to set right the balance and also stop a new threat, Corruption, a maniacal threat that affects everything it touches. From there you know exactly what you must do, you are a new horseman, you have a new purpose and you have your goal, redeem your brother and rectify the mistakes of the past and unravel more of the horsemen’s past as well. Now unlike the previous game which featured a linear story with little or no side quests, this game features side quests and quite a few of them, so if you decide that you are a little bored of playing the story you can go out and complete a series of side quests to increase your level and get gilt.
As Death the game plays differently compared to the last game, for instance both games are action, fantasy role-playing, but the game takes more of the role-playing side than it does on the action. That’s not to say the game doesn’t have any action quite the opposite the game has as much or possibly even more action than Darksiders, the difference is that it is spread over a much larger space. What I mean is that Darksiders 2 takes more from role-playing aspects like currency and looting when killing enemies, so instead of just looting chests in the first game and you got either health, wrath or souls or even perks depending on what you found and where, you will in fact get armour, scythes and secondary weapons to customise Death, and each weapon and piece of clothing also comes with extra abilities like higher defence or health stealing. The game also features a levelling system with Death able to achieve thirty levels overall and with each level you get granted a skill point which allows players to improve one of Death’s tier trees called Harbinger and Necromancy. Harbinger is the combat based tier tree which Necromancy is the spell casting tree to improve spells, so you can choose your play style to how it suits you, for instance I mixed it up and picked the best of each.
As I mentioned the game features currency, this is effectively gold however in the game it is called “gilt” this allows players to go to shops where you can purchase weapons, armour, and the like, however I never did! I purchased one weapon in my entire game and never bought anything else because the loot system works on the process of the further you progress in the game the better the loot, you find yourself never using the shops for anything other than potions or talking to the NPC to get a secondary mission.
As for how Death moves he feels quicker, much more agile than War that makes him more nimble in combat, in the first game you could block, in this game you can dodge due to Death’s agile movements, also you start the game with a mount so no need to go out and find Despair (his horse) and get him back, Death can summon Despair whenever the game allows, which is pretty much everywhere when there is an open space so you will get to ride Despair a lot.
Speaking about Death’s agile movements he can run across and climb up walls better than War so you don’t have to make a pathway s. As for combat, Death has two attacks, using his dual wielded Scythes for quick attacks ( X or Square) that can do a fair amount of damage, and his secondary weapons (Y or Triangle) that can be one of multiple choices such as Glaives, Hammers, Maces, Armblades, Gauntlets, Claws, Bucklers and Blades, you can probably tell that these weapons are a mixture of slow moving, but powerful weapons to very fast hitting weapons which deal a great amount of damage over a series of hits. And after that you have combos, now you can purchase new moves and you deal a variety of blows to your foes, however it does become very repetitive after a while, for instance I did experiment for a while trying to string a series of attacks with a variety of combo moves but I always went back to what I remembered working well and used it all the time, this however is the exact same thing that happens to any game similar to Darksiders (God of War much!)
Moving on, the world of Darksiders 2 is vast, and I mean that, comparing it to the first game this one will completely dwarf it in comparison. For instance the game features several worlds, the first one is the Forge Lands, a world where the makers reside, then there is other worlds like Heaven, Hell and the Land of the Dead. Each world is fairly big encompassing the world map with several dungeons and each location is littered with enemies so you won’t be bored exploring the world. There are land marks in the world that stand so high you can see if from anywhere on the map, however the scope of the game does have a massive drawback, the game allows the player to explore which is a good thing, the problem is that the world is so big fighting enemies in combat is only a small part of the game, in fact in my entire first run through I only was in combat for around three hours, whilst exploring the world, I spent a good twenty hours just roaming around, so if you are expecting the world to be filled with action sequences you will be mistaken.
As for character design, well there have been some stark improvements compared to the previous title, with returning monsters like Stingers, Zombies, Prowlers and Stalkers, Darksiders 2 features a host of new enemies, as well as gargantuan ones with some monsters towering over Death in what seems like a one-sided fight, but that’s when you remember that you are Death, and you kick ass and you look bad ass. Character animations have been improved like characters like Death have more recognisable features that help stand out by unique features about them like the Makers are huge characters (even the women) with the males being large and muscular, to the women being slim and toned, it is the features that show the improvements in the game.
Overall Darksiders 2 was one of my most anticipated games this year, and it certainly was worth the wait! It is a fun, vast, expansive world where exploring can be fun and combat can be brutal, if only a little repetitive, with an excellent story that follows another one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and features that you can do after you finish the game like New Game + and taking part in the Crucible a brutal arena that has a hundred rounds to fight it you certainly will be kept busy with this game. Death certainly can hold his own game that helps to flesh out the Darksiders universe for and for future instalments, at least I hope for more instalments. Check out Darksiders 2, you seriously won’t regret it.