Darksiders is an interesting beast. Interesting in that it borrows heavily from quite a few established franchises like the Legend of Zelda, and even newer IPs like Dark Sector and Portal. Many games borrow elements from other titles but few manage to make these pieces they borrow their own, and I’m happy to say that Darksiders succeeds in fusing all these features into its beautifully realized world of Angels and Demons.
The story, if you’re not familiar with it, has you controlling War, one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who has been sent to a battle ravaged Earth after the signal for Armageddon was sent too soon. War gets blamed for all this chaos and is sent to clean up the mess using his arsenal of weapons that will get progressively more badass as you make your way through the game. Darksiders even takes the all too common formula of showing the player their character’s potential before brutally ripping it all away and making them start from scratch. Metroid did this, as did Prototype and a plethora of other titles, and this game continues the trend. I’m not a big fan of games doing this but I’ll forgive it here since tearing your abilities from you makes sense in the story so it doesn’t feel too cheap.
For the most part the weapons you’ll be using will be familiar fare, ranging from your primary weapon, a large sword, to a Scythe, Grappling Hook, Boomerang, and giant fists. Pretty much every weapon in this game has been done in another title and this means you’ll rarely be surprised when you find a new weapon. When I finally received the Boomerang weapon I instantly knew how to wield it not because of the on screen prompts but because of the Legend of Zelda and Dark Sector games where I used the exact same weapon. The sword is very similar to Dante’s weapon in Devil May Cry, the grappling hook is also ‘inspired’ by Zelda, and the fists will be featured in the upcoming God of War III. They’re all fun to use and feel immensely satisfying when I use them to bisect or crush an unsuspecting foe but I would’ve liked to see a little more innovation in this aspect.
The levels are where this game shines; the level design is superb and despite looking like another action game there is a hefty amount of puzzle solving in here as well. The environments are gorgeous, unique, and there’s a health variety in them to keep the game from looking repetitive. One area takes place in an expansive desert where another has you walking the demolished streets of a large city, the world never got old and stayed fresh until the last chapter. The overall design of the game is very bulky, as the characters are wearing massive armor, and they usually have small heads atop mountainous torsos. I can’t say I’m terribly fond of the character design but if you like this style you will be pleased.
The game is pretty substantial, gifting you a hefty 12+ hours of action packed gameplay and more than a few reasons to return to the world. The music is excellent, especially the ultra creepy score surrounding the sandy desert area that reminded me of The Thing. But if none of that is enough to get you interested than War’s horse, Ruin, should. You don’t meet him until around halfway through the game, but this horse is simply amazing. Naturally, with it you can traverse the larger environments more quickly with a wake of flames snaking behind you, but just watching Ruin come out of the ground like, well, a horse out of Hell, never got old.
Overall, Darksiders is an extremely fun game with brutal gameplay, beautifully realized environments, and enough content to make up for a lack of multiplayer (that really wouldn’t fit here anyways). For every thing they borrow they do something unexpected and brilliant, and this game truly is a game made by gamers for gamers. Trust me, you won’t leave unsatisfied.
Article from Gamersyndrome.com