Darksiders 2 Review
The first Darksiders game attracted its own following of true fans but never quite reached the blockbuster status of that most series would like to. That’s why I was a little bit surprised when I heard that THQ and Vigil were hard at work on a second game in the series. After playing Darksiders 2, I can say that I’m glad that Death got his own game. As far as the four horsemen go, how could you not want to play as the one who looks as cool as this guy does?
The first Darksiders game followed the story of War, of ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ fame, but instead of getting his own sequel, Vigil games are cranking up the awesome by making this story about Death. I immediately liked this guy better than War, he looks really cool and his attitude is unintentionally funny as he just seems to have nothing but contempt for anyone who isn’t himself, or his brother War.
The story follows Death as he tries to rescue his brother, War, who stands accused of bringing the Apocalypse down upon the world. Death sets out to find where his brother is being held but quickly finds himself in the Nether Realms, the area between Heaven and Hell. Much to his apparent dismay, Death will have to work with denizens of the Nether Realms to escape and find his brother.
Darksiders 2 still features the same sort of brutal melee combat that the first game did, but Death feels more agile and has a few new tricks up his sleeve. Death can carry two weapons at once, with his main weapon being his ever present scythe that he operates in two halves, but can be seamlessly combined for certain attacks. Hitting Y will cause Death to attack with his secondary weapon, which can be slower, more powerful weapons or weapons with faster attacks. Later in the game, Death will also get a gun. It isn’t the most useful weapon, but a big scary revolver just goes with this guy’s persona. Combat can be a little stale at first, but when you mix in some of the abilities Death learns later in the game, it can get much more interesting.
Vigil have also made Darksiders 2 feel much more like an RPG than the first game, adding in true levelling-up and progression as well as loot drops. That’s right you’ll be able to find and purchase new gear to upgrade Death’s arsenal. The prospect of new gear will keep you searching each area for more chests, instead of just plowing through the game and the stat boosts are nice too. Being a generally bigger game, it’s nice to have something to look forward to, when exploring. The stylized beauty of the world, and the characters in it are what really make the setting though.
Being bigger isn’t always better though, the wide open spaces of Darksiders 2 are often just that; wide open spaces. Getting around can be tiresome, even on your horse which you can summon quickly, and most of the interesting sights and chests are located in the game’s many dungeons. There are a lot of dungeons though, so it’s not like Darksiders 2 is made artificially longer by simply being physically bigger, it just seems like Vigil wanted to make it obvious.
There are no multiplayer modes in Darksiders 2.
Darksiders 2 improves on the original by making Death a great character and engaging the player more through loot and progression. Vigil have left it up to the player to make combat interesting though, and riding a long road to your next objective can get tiresome but the end product is a fun and beautiful Action RPG. If you liked the first Darksiders you’ll love Darksiders 2 and if you didn’t like the first one, Darksiders 2 is still worth checking out because of the new character, Death.