Aug 14, 2012
Death’s road to redeeming his brother War’s reputation after End War in the original Darksiders has him transcending many realms including Heaven, Hell, and Earth. Darksiders 2′s story involving Death of the Four Horsemen is supplemented by great gameplay and progression. The Darksiders series has earned many praise and has been judged somewhat based on how the game compares to the God of War and Zelda series which it clearly takes many elements from. Since I hadn’t played the original Darksiders, it probably isn’t surprising that I was lost when the terminology detailing pre End War events that propelled this solo journey of Death’s were explained. New or returning fans of the series are in for an addicting adventure that begins just as thrilling as it ends.
Darksiders 2′s beings primarily in the Forge Lands where Death learns of the Tree of Life leading to the Well of Souls that can help him restore humanity. The Well, however, cannot be so easily pursued as he encounters many trials before reaching his destination. End War, which eradicated humanity, caused by the angel Abaddonhas damned Death’s brother’s War who is to be trialed by the Charred Council. The time spent playing as Death puts you against Corruption, a primary source of opposition throughout the game. Corruption has spread throughout the lands making the journey to the well more difficult.
Darksiders 2′s quest based campaign has you mostly performing tasks that compensate for individual characters that lead you to other characters, that eventually lead you to the well. It’s relatively straightforward; however DS2′s rewarding gameplay keeps the game progressing smoothly. Death can be equipped with a variety of scythes, hammers, and armblades, as your primary and secondary weapons with other additional armor accessories that not only improve your combat attributes, they change Death’s aesthetics. Additionally, most weapons have elemental attributes and perks that can aid in battle such as health/wrath regeneration or the ability to scorch of frost opponents. Darksiders 2′s experience system will rank up Death as you defeat enemies earning skill points that can be spent on Necromancer and Harbinger abilities. Death’s Necromancer skillset allows him to summon allied ghouls and crows that can serve as a distraction, primary source of combat, and a way to gather health/wrath. On the contrary, Death’s Harbinger abilities consist of physical special attacks that tend to be more damage orientated.
When you’re not ravaging through unfortunate demons, angels, and souls, Darksiders 2′s amazing platforming breath life into the lifeless bowels of hell, and dungeons of the forge. Vigil Games has done amazing job of combining combat elements, and transversal platforming to progress through Darksiders 2′s dungeon puzzles. Puzzles take full advantage of Death’s abilities, Deathgrip, Soul Splitter, and pretty much every progressive ability you acquire. Boss battles that wrap up quests often have puzzle attributes as well; a great example of this is the Guardian battle early in the game. The final blow of these boss fights are Death’s true form, Reaper Form.
There is much more to be experienced in Darksiders 2. The campaign wraps up at about 20 hours which is great for a single player title. The game offers sidequests that can occupy your time during, or post completion aiding the development of Death while earning trophies. Crucible mode is a gift to the players who enjoy Darksiders 2′s combat, Death’s physical development in the story mode will carry over to the crucible to compete in wave based combat. The crucible all-or-nothing wagering style gives you an incentive to keep playing against tougher opponents to earn better prizes. The ability to purchase combat moves from designated characters in the Forge and other lands is enough to spice up the already intriguing hack n’ slash combat.
Death is awesome. You’d probably never here that phrase from me again. Darksiders 2 is ultimately a great game fueled by awesome puzzles, mild humor, and progressive gameplay. Where the story lacks, attention to detail and gameplay progression make up for it. Despite a few technical hiccups here and there such as loading and frame tear, Darksiders 2 is the complete package for fans of action adventure titles.
Dual Pixels awards Darksiders 2 a 9/10.