As you very well know (if not, you should), I like to keep my reviews short and sweet because I want you to get back to gaming as soon as humanly possible. Okay, fine, my motives are quite selfish – I want to get back to gaming as soon as possible. I was extremely excited to review Darksiders II; I am a huge fan of the first one and I was looking forward to seeing how (and if) it improved. FYI, it did.
Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, sets out on a long, personal journey to redeem his brother War after he was captured and charged for his crimes against the Charred Council. Death is convinced of his brother’s innocence and is accompanied by Despair and Dust, his horse and raven, respectively. If God of War and Assassin’s Creed were to have a baby, Darksiders II would be the product, but less spectacular than expected.
Character designs are great but they are completely blown away by the intricately designed environments. The multi-level plans for each level encourage exploring and problem solving. From locked doors to hidden passages, every area has the potential for veiled treasure and tempts the player to walk, climb, or traverse every possible route. Unfortunately, with the advancement in modern technology, I expected some better graphics. Some aspects are pixilated and flat, ruining the mood of the environment instantly. Wallpapered skulls just don’t have the same effect – shocking, I know. The framerate issues can also be quite a problem, as well as inconvenient loading times.
The soundtrack complements the gameplay nicely, though the music stops too abruptly when it reaches the end. Silence ensues for an awkward 30 seconds, before starting back up on its loop. Sound indicators hint at collectable items. The voice acting is notable and impressive.
Death, equipped with primary and secondary weapons, hacks and slashes his way through his enemies to reach his objectives. The combat controls are smooth and easy to use; dodge, retaliate, dodge, attack, repeat. No strategic movies or tactics are required to overcome the variety of common enemies found throughout the game. Some of the bosses require a limited amount of strategy, but nothing a typical action gamer can’t overcome with a little effort.
Once you’ve solved the first puzzle, the rest are basically the same. They aren’t as challenging as I expected them to be and yet, I didn’t find myself bored to the point where I didn’t want to play the game anymore. The map is huge, much larger than the first installment, but the lands provide uninteresting travel with few enemies on occasion.
Moderate – With more than 20 hours of gameplay and a number of downloadable content to be released, this is a game that fans will replay a couple times.
This second installment of Darksiders has a longer campaign and a larger map with fantastic environments to keep you busy for hours and hours. If you’re a fan of action games with hack and slash capabilities, this is a game for you. If you like to stay away from such genres, maybe you should take up another hobby… like bowling.