Darksiders 2 Wii U Version Review

Darksiders 2 Wii U Version Review

Genre: Action-Adventure

Platform: Wii U

Developer: Vigil Games

Publisher: THQ

Released: November 18th, 2012

I can say, without a doubt, that the Wii U launch lineup is probably the most diverse for any console launch ever, with available games  to suit all kinds of gamers’ tastes: from family oriented games like Nintendo Land to hardcore games like Black Ops 2, the exclusive Zombi U and this Darksiders 2, there’s really a lot available to choose from. From a certain point of view, the presence of Darksiders 2 almost fills the void of a Zelda game for now since the series gets some serious inspiration from Link’s adventures, especially in the world’s exploration and dungeons, often requiring new items to solve puzzles and defeat bosses. Darksiders 2 on Wii U enjoys some extra content on disc which is only available as DLC on the other versions and obviously all the Gamepad’s extra features. We’ll be making a quick overview of the game’s most prominent features before focusing on the exclusive Wii u version content.

The End Of The World

Players expecting the game to keep moving the plot forward after the really nice ending of Darksiders will have to face a huge letdown: Darksiders 2 story is more of a side story, rather than a sequel. We’ll follow Death as he tries to help War out, traveling through many locations and collecting artifacts to win favor over many hellish creatures. Unfortunately the plot is really lacking in every sense: I did like some of the characters but the overall story lacks coherence and a sense of purpose. Traveling from one place to another is almost arbitrary and the ending is really anti-climatic: overall the first Darksiders’ plot is better in every way.

Knights of the Apocalypse

Luckly, everything else about the game is so much better than the first Darksiders. The game is still a Zelda meets God Of War clone but with a bigger emphasis on RPG elements: there’s a huge amount of customization options available for Death. Everything about the game is bigger than the first Darksiders: the worlds, the subquests, the power ups and the dungeons. The dungeons especially shine in this sequel: they’re bigger, greatly designed with many puzzles, locations, secrets and enemies. And there’s really a lot of them. Bosses are plenty as well, requiring both brute force and strategy to be defeated.

War is Ever-Growing and Ever-Changing

The battle system and customization system go hand in hand: defeating enemies and completing quests makes Death earn experience points which can be used to fully customize your main characters. You can choose a physical build, a magic one or even a balanced one: you have total freedom. The battle system is really, really good: you’re going to have a lot of weapons at your disposal, together with the always present scythes, as well as abilities, magic spells and so on. It’s greatly rewarding and really far from the clunkiness of the past: it’s not yet Devil May Cry style, but it gets pretty close. There are also many items to collect and equip, changing Death’s stats and appearance.

Next-gen Death

Among all the Wii U titles available right now, Darksiders 2 is the one that uses the Gamepad to actually improve the game’s experience: you can access most in-game menus right on the Gamepad, without having to pause the game. You can check out items, the map and even the quests your doing: you can also choose to rearrange all these elements on the screen by using the touch screen capabilities. It’s really a nice feature which makes playing Darksiders 2 a lot smoother than before even though some menus aren’t available on the Gamepad and you’ll still have to pause the game to access them on the big screen. Another minor gripe is that their design is identical to the regular ones. Other neat features include the Off Tv play feature and the possibility to listen to the game’s audio from the Tv or the Gamepad’s speakers, with the players choosing what they like best.

Good looking Death?

It’s really sad to say that this port doesn’t completely deliver, despite the good Gamepad features, due to many technical problems: we’re not too far from the other versions graphics wise, with even some textures improvements. However the frame rate is truly horrible, making the game unplayable at times: the drops are way too big when there are too many enemies in screen. There’s also too much tearing, bringing an easily noticeable input lag.

Final Thoughts

Darksiders 2 on Wii U is kinda hard to judge: the game’s quality is all there, coupled with a good use of the Gamepad, probably the best for all the games released so far. The Wii U version also has the advantage of having all the DLC released for the game on disc, without the need to purchase them. The game even looks slightly better than the other console versions, but the framerate drops bring the game down quite a bit: they’re not too frequent to be honest, but when they occur, they really damage the overall experience. Like with the other ports, if you have any other way to play Darksiders 2, stay away from the Wii U version; if the new Nintendo console is the only way you have to experience the game, you’ll surely enjoy it, despite the technical issues and the frame rate drops: it’s probably the best Ps3/Xbox 360 to Wii U port available right now.

PROS

  • Huge amoount of content
  • Great customization options
  • Many sidequests
  • Great battle system
  • Gamepad use makes the whole experience smoother
  • All DLC available on disc

CONS

  • Too much tearing
  • Bad frame rate drops when many enemies are present
  • Underdeveloped plot

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

8 out of 10 for the game’s content, 7 for the Wii U exclusive features


Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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avatar Gamer since 1989, Japanese culture and gaming lover and former JRPG enthusiast, heavy metal musician. 24 hours a day are too little to balance gaming, studying, working and playing in band!