as my horse strides up to the tower I have to stop to ask myself, what am I actually hoping to achieve by being here? Will the old man even listen to what I have to say after I confined him to the tower? The thoughts race through my head and suddenly I’m lost in a haze of potential outcomes and none of them look pretty. I dig my heel into my steed and champion forward, hoping for a welcome I don’t deserve from a man who doesn’t want to see me. As I get closer I find my welcome, he’s 6ft 3, made of ice, huge club and is not in a good mood … the things you do for Family
So this is obviously the sequel to Darksiders, the long awaited adventures of the arguably the greatest horseman, the grim reaper himself, the bringer of the end, DEATH… although in this version it wasn’t simply enough to have Death it had to be called the Deathinitive edition (we see what you did there and it isn’t that clever THQ). So, the tale being told here obviously carries on from the end of the first game (which I wrote a piece for here) in which War is revealed to have been tricked by the council all along and has called forth the remaining horseman to tell them about this dastardly betrayal and have them all smash the council for their jest! Only it’s not quite a sequel. Deaths story takes place while WAR is actually still imprisoned by the council for his supposed crime and rotting in Jail. Death has taken it upon himself to free WAR by restoring the lost souls of humanity. No easy task as no entire race has ever been restored before and the journey to the tree of life is well hidden and guarded. After a less than enjoyable encounter with the keeper of souls Death lands trapped in the land of the makers… now with all the souls of humanity trapped within his body he must journey to the tree of life and free the souls to return to earth. The tale is much larger than the first game and that’s evident right off the bat. Its easily argued that the map world is around twice the size plus of the previous game with the player now having several hub worlds that each contain missions and exploration. As you progress along your goal of restoring humanity you’ll encounter the many enemies and allies that the world has to offer, from the aliens and the demons to the infamous makers and even some ghosts from the horsemans long forgotten past! One thing I will say about the story is that more does not necessarily mean better. I rather enjoyed the story to this game but it has tangents in some of the hub worlds that I feel are just specifically designed to pad out the game more than to tell a worthwhile story. The story has a few good twists and some really likeable characters especially in the maker world and the world of the dead. The chancellor for example despite being a real thorn in Deaths side is a very well written character reminiscent of aid to the king of Rohan in Two Towers, that slimy attendant secretly pulling the strings from the back. The end villain for the game too was pretty cool to me and his character gives the horseman and the world that’s been built a whole new level of depth as you find out who they are and why they hate Death
The core gameplay of Darksiders 2 is very similar to Darksiders, movement and combat haven’t seen a huge upgrade here and the platforming and prince of Persia style wall climbing has made a great return with some added improvements to the setup. The biggest addition here is the revamp to the RPG elements. Unlike the first game which had some pretty luke warm RPG aspects Darksiders 2 has gone a bit crazy with and the amount of gear that can be unlocked and used is pretty drastic. There are now stats for crit hit, crit chance, arcane damage, fire damage and about a dozen other things. Armour has also seen an overhaul too with individual pieces such as chest, gauntlets, legs and boots now all being separate items that you can swap out for different stats and abilities. Gear can also be sold in the hub worlds too which early in the game when it starts to make this stuff drop like crazy it can come in handy if you’re interested in some of the better items from the store early on. The drawback to this though is that you end up with a lot of stats and stat effects that you just wont use… once you realise that doing fire damage and having an insane crit chance and crit damage or having a build that’s almost all health boosts you sort of forget about the other stats and the gear for that becomes totally redundant. Another huge advance from the first game is boss battles and some of these are HUGE, the biggest being the Guardian, an early on boss that actually starts out as your ally. This fight is huge in scale and reminded me very much of the shadow of the colossus! Climbing all over it and trying not to get squished into little horseman pate 😃 there are more bosses in this game to coincide with the much larger game and world so the diversity is definitely there and even more small dungeon bosses and mini boss battles too so you will not run out of things to test your skill, gear set up or fancy moves against in this game no sir. The gameplay on the PC version does suffer though. It has moments where the frame rate just dies. You could be walking into an area and one enemy appears and now suddenly it’s like you’re trying to run the game using your toaster over for a processor but for the most part it’s a pretty stable port. I was playing with the Xbox pad though so I can’t say how the controls for the mouse and keyboard hold up with the port either 😊! With more gear, more moves, more items and more world the game has a vast array of gameplay to offer that I can’t really say too much more about as a lot of it is story based but I can comfortably say you won’t lack for game here.
Obviously when your game is as long and as wide as darksiders 2 you have to be packing some good looking environments and audio. Overall the world in this game hasn’t seen too much a style difference from the first game but everything is sharper, more detailed, more of it. It does have some areas where its visible that quality slipped a little bit. The ice world has some rendering drops where the environment doesn’t really load correctly when you’re underwater or if you manage to get stuck in one of the corners you’ll also see the world start to glitch out a little bit. Overall though the world is great to look at and fitting with the games style and aesthetic 😃 the sound work for the game is pretty standard really. I liked a few of the tracks early on in the dungeons for the maker world forges for the tears and fire of the mountain. The later levels have some good tracks but I can’t help but feel that the quality starts to slip in the later game, maybe because the game is so long that they just got tired of it? The voice acting is top notch though and I’m glad that this doesn’t suffer in the later game because nothing would have put me off more than late game half assed dialogue! Death’s voice does start to grate a little bit near the end but then so did WARs and I think that’s mainly because we hear them talk so much so often that it gets a little tedious but in general lines are read with intent and purpose which really bring some characters into a league of their own!
Overall this game is a great purchase and for £24.99 you’re getting your money’s worth of game in length alone. The story is interesting, characters are well done, the new RPG elements are a warm welcome if not partially redundant. the gameplay can get a little tedious later in the game purely because you’ll have done almost all of it already and at 20 hours for a playthrough if you play in long stints then it might be tiresome. A great game for a fair price but with some late game interest issues and PC port performance is sketchy at times.
As always if you agree or disagree leave me a comment or shoot me a message to let me know what you think! Thanks guys!