Many people have said that darksiders has copied shamelessly off other games, that it is a zelda-clone, blah blah. I think that what you get in darksiders, is not one but many games. There is a very decent platformer, a challenging puzzle game and a great action-adventure game. But what I like most about Darksiders is the lore.
I am sure everyone knows about the “Christian Apocalypse & the four horsemen“. The short version is that at the end of days Pestilence, War, Famine and Death ( personified as four horsemen ) would come; after a bunch of seals are broken and heaven and hell would be at war and the world would end. In Darksiders you start as War, the proud and vengeful horseman, who has been called to earth long before the appointed time. He finds that the battle between heaven and hell has already begun and he is getting blamed for war-mongering ( why, of course ). So War sets out to clear his name ( he is stripped of all of his power of course, otherwise there wouldn’t be much of game now, would it? ) and fuck everyone up. He finds help in odd places and discovers a deep treachery. I don’t want to put any spoilers but the ending so awesome I could’ve cried.
The artwork again is breathtaking and the environment is grim yet beautiful ( all the people are dead/ zombies, what else did you expect? ). Even the dungeons are not bland, filled with sculptures and cravings. War’s quest takes him from cities to deserts, from giant towers to Eden itself. So the graphics etc. are quite good. Even during the fast paced action, there is very little sluggishness ( it is there at times, but bearable ). The background music is ok, nothing exceptional but it is the voice acting that stands out. Brilliant work by Vigil Games, some of the best voice actors have provided their talent for Darksiders.
As the game progress, War regains some of his former powers and abilities. These abilities open up new avenues in previously visited areas and makes for a better experience while traversing the world looking for loot. But enough about the inane stuff. Let’s get to the gameplay and the shear awesomeness that will melt faces.
That right there is “Ruin”, the supernatural horse of War, which you ride around the wasteland, slashing faces and arms alike. I really like the weapons level system where the weapon becomes increasingly power as you continue to use it. More moves become available and damage increases as well. Most of the special moves are easy to pull off but you can’t get around by plain old button mashing. Dodging and dashing becomes important as enemies become powerful towards the end.
There are mainly 4 platforming elements
- The double jump and float, which is boosted by geysers. This what you start with. Gets annoying at times when you thing you have made the jump but you over did it, hit the roof and fall into lava.
- Slow time to run under/over/past fast moving object. I would have liked it to be included into combat as well.
- Swinging around with a chain. Fairly standard. I really like the part where some chests were hidden in the “Shadow Realm” portals to different areas.
- Portals. If you have played Portal, this is similar, except that portals can be created only in specific places. It makes for challenging puzzles, like throwing bombs through portals, shooting portals through portals and solving block moving puzzles.
The only thing I didn’t really like were the bosses, although they fit well with the story and all, there were very disproportionate in difficulty. Most of them required figuring out a simple move and spamming it hundreds of times, which gets boring. The bosses also didn’t do much, they had a fixed set of 4-5 moves and it all appeared very scripted, kills immersion.
The game runs well most of the times but I did find a couple of glitches, like jumping into walls and subsequently crashing the game, or getting stuck between objects. Enemies also get glitched and stuck at times.
Overall it was a very fun game and has a very good replay value.
Rumors are that Darksiders 2 would be about a different horsemen, I can’t wait 🙂