Release Date: August 14th, 2012
Developer: Vigil Games
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], Playstation 3
Rated: M for Mature
Darksiders II, developed by Vigil games, is the second and most recent title in the Darksiders series to hit the market. I can honestly say, ever since the announcement of this second installment I have anxiously been waiting to pick up my copy. However, with the success of the first Darksiders, Darksiders II has a lot to live up to.
In Darksiders II you play as one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, Death. It is your job to help Death navigate through this apocalyptic world in an attempt to redeem your brother, War who has been blamed for starting the Apocalypse.
Darksiders II features a larger world than Darksiders, as well as a full weapon and armour upgrade system. Not only is the world bigger, but you will also find similarly large Dungeons that are more challenging and feature a puzzle like dynamic. You will also see a large variety of enemies and bosses.
So does Darksiders II live up to the hype or does it fall short?
Darksiders II, just like the first, has amazing graphics and audio. This title however features a more vast open world to explore. You get to explore a beautiful and extremely realistic world and along with all these real elements, they have still managed to give you a very comic feel. The cut scenes, although just reminiscent of simple concept art, are amazing! They add a beautiful, artistic and simple aspect to the game that I anxiously await while playing.
The audio is immaculate. There is not one moment while playing that I got irritated by background noises, noises my character made or any of the voice work. As a matter of fact the narrator voice adds so much excitement to the game. I was amazed by how goose bumps so quickly spread over my arms. They created a sense of hesitation, fear and excitement while playing I have never ever experienced from a voice. I enjoyed the voice narration so much so that I found myself turning up my TV just to get the full effect.
While playing Darksiders II I kept getting waves of “there is something so familiar about his game”, like I had somehow experienced it before. We all know this isn’t possibly as Darksiders II just released – and this has nothing to do with the original Darksiders because I kept telling everyone how different this two titles felt. This feeling was more like a feeling of similarity to two other equally amazing titles. Once I put my fingers on it I felt like I was playing some crazy combination of Zelda: Oricana of Time and God of War.
The gameplay is like no other, it is as smooth as could be and couldn’t get much better. Your character flows from area to area easily with minimal load times and absolutely no lag. You can easily access your in game menu and scroll through the options with no problems. Everything is easy to find; you will notice markers on your mini map, located in the lower right hand corner. The map lets you see where your next objective is as well as shows you treasure chest locations and accessible doors in dungeons. Best of all if you find yourself confused and or lost, simply click down your LS (left joystick) and your trusty companion, a crow, will guide you to the next are you need to go.
The controls, although not perfect, are pretty good. As you play through the game you are guided on how to use the controls and, if you somehow miss the writing on the wall, you can always access a moves list via the in-game menu. Now these controls were far from perfect and although simple to learn they were hard to master and had some flaws. First of all, some moves were complicated requiring and series of buttons. If you are anything like me, remembering moves that require combinations is almost impossible and combining this with the occasional button confusion one can become frustrated pretty quickly. When I say button confusion, I am referring to when you are trying to execute a certain move and character does something completely different. This creates a problem when you are trying to navigate your way through a dungeon and instead of jumping from one pillar to another you plummet to your death below.
In Darksiders II, you will also notice a more extensive loot system as well as a complete upgrade system for both your armor and weapons. Along with the familiar skills, you now have the ability to collect loot off of your dead enemies as well as equip this loot as you progress, find even better gear along your way. You can also sell all the “junk” you find for coins. Don’t forget to check the awesome loot all feature that allows you to automatically loot all items instead of having to go around and collect each item. But if you would prefer to inspect all weapons and armor before putting into your inventory you may want to refrain from the loot all system. Although keep in mind all items can be sold for gold.
Overall, Darksiders II is an amazing and beautiful title. It does not fail to keep fans happy. Although I cannot say confidently it is significantly better than the first title in the series, it is definitely not worse. With beautiful graphics, easy controls, awesome gameplay and chilling voice overs you seriously cannot go wrong purchasing this game. But “Achievement Whores” beware this game is cheap when it come to handing out achievements. You are going to have to put in both time and effort to get your rewards. Not to mention a little brain power when it comes to navigating some of these puzzling dungeons.
Replay ability: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5