- Posted January 11th, 2010 at 11:11 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 24 Comments
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Darksiders is an action game borrowing heavily from God of War and Zelda. While it doesn't compete with either series, the game offers a healthy dose of fast combat, gratuitous gore, and overly drawn out puzzles and dungeons.
- The gory finishing moves
- The opening sequence
- The moment War turns into a giant fiery beast
- The repetitive gameplay
- The invisible walls
- The lack of originality
The video game industry seems to have an emphatic love affair with the end of the world. You’ll find that not much has changed with the start of 2010; the apocalypse theory is alive and well, albeit growing more than a little old. Darksiders takes the end of the world theory, and runs with it as if the game creators penned the concept all on their own. The game draws heavily from biblical tales of the apocalypse, but does so almost in jest, as if to let the gamer know the world may end one day, but probably not how Darksiders portrays it. Extracting pre-existing concepts is something Darksiders does to a point where many people will be left wondering what original ideas the developers had. This action game draws so heavily from other well-known titles that it’s hard to feel like this is a new game. Still, if you are a fan of games in franchises like God of War, Devil May Cry, or Zelda, you just may have found a perfect early-year purchase.
Darksiders puts you in the role of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. What the human race doesn’t know is that there is a secret balance between Heaven and Hell, a pact that will not be broken until the end of days. The game opens with a comic-style cinematic that illustrates this balance, and gives a bit of background. The comic book art style comes from the involvement of Joe Madureira, the artist who worked on Uncanny X-Men. This opening is one of the best parts of the game, which sadly goes downhill fast after the world ends. War is accused of prematurely starting the apocalypse, and after fighting and defeating both angels and demons; you are stripped of your powers and tried in front of the Charred Council. The council doesn’t trust War, so they set The Watcher, voiced by Mark Hamill, to accompany him as he returns to Earth to seek revenge and try to fix everything that is now wrong. A hundred years have gone by, and the surface world is a vast wasteland filled with demons, zombies, and the occasional angel.
The visual style is decent, but not nearly as good as some other titles on the PlayStation 3. All of the characters, from the angels and demons, to bosses and War himself are colourfully presented. This is a breath of fresh air in the sense that a post-apocalyptic wasteland isn’t just grey, and is full of vibrant, striking creatures of all shapes and sizes. However, the actual environments are fairly uninspiring. The opening of the game sets you in a city, destroying both angels and demons. We loved this part and felt the game had some serious potential. As it progressed and we were transported one hundred years in the future, the world started to fall asleep and the game felt as if it was running on fumes.
As mentioned earlier, the game draws heavily from other games. The first and most noticeable comparison is God of War. The combat is nearly identical. You’ll double jump, slowly falling back to the ground while hacking and slashing at enemies. The action is fairly fluid, and you’ll spend most of your time fighting groups of enemies, meaning you want all of your hits to count. The good news is that the combat works pretty well, but not perfectly. Fundamentally, Darksiders is a competent hack ‘n slash romp mixed with some minor platforming, and heavy puzzle-solving features, though doesn’t execute these aspects quite as well as we had hoped.
Your primary weapon is a giant sword that slashes and bashes enemies in graceful combos. You’ll also get a host of secondary weapons, including projectile artillery. Most of the combat is dealt with in basic combos, so you shouldn’t expect a great diversity in each battle. Boss fights, however, a completely different beast all together. Instead of tests of might, the boss battles require you to use more puzzle-solving style attacks, coupled with a healthy share of good timing. Your weapons, abilities, health, and wrath (the game’s form of magic), can all be upgraded through a travelling demon-salesman named Vulgrim. We enjoyed his wisecracking demeanour, but as a tool for the ... (continued on next page)
- 6:32am EST - January 11th, 2010
game aint all that. not better than bayonetta. visually poor too
- 6:44am EST - January 11th, 2010
Meh, Bayonetta didn't do it for me either.
- 7:20am EST - January 11th, 2010
Darksiders > Bayonetta
- 8:01am EST - January 11th, 2010
i suppose it depends what you like, personally i found the puzzle gameplay aspect of darksiders great fun as i love working things out. And none of the puzzles were overly difficult but just enough to make you have to actually think.
I will agree that it is repetetive but it was still refreshing from the usual HNS outing.
- 8:47am EST - January 11th, 2010
8 seems a little generous considering the review... repetitive, past-gen game mechanics, unoriginal... doesn't have 8 written all over it for me.
- 8:51am EST - January 11th, 2010
I was actually surprised with the small amounts of detail they've put into the game including the destructible objects. Sure, you can't break down walls or anything but you can take out alot of the smaller scenery and use most of them as a weapon.
A good review but I disagree with a few of the points made. Then again, I haven't finished the game yet so my opinion may change but I like what I've played so far. This is really the closest game will get to Zelda on a non nintendo platform.
- 9:10am EST - January 11th, 2010
played for a few min, liking it so far. 8/10
- 9:20am EST - January 11th, 2010
I am finishing up the game, and I would have to say it has been a fun ride. I still fail to see why a game that takes tried and true mechanics from a blockbuster hit and encorporates them into a new story makes for a bad/boring game. Thinkgs like GoW and Zelda are great games, and I am always left with a need for more games like these. When someone steps up and offers this the community reacts with negativity, because it is not the original. A good game is a good game, it doesn't matter where the ideas came from as long as it is entertaining.
"Are you not ENTERTAINED?"
- 9:40am EST - January 11th, 2010
Damn I was hoping for this to be about 9.
- 10:15am EST - January 11th, 2010
That Maximums decimus Meridious has a point... if people love those games why wouldn't they love this game too... 8.0 is a decent score the problem is Bayonetta is way better than Darksiders...
- 1:34pm EST - January 11th, 2010
I prefer Bayonetta cause i like fast paced battles.
- 3:31pm EST - January 11th, 2010
i guess this means a pass then for me.
- 6:43pm EST - January 11th, 2010
I like this game.If you buy it you really need to keep at it til you defeat the first boss.That's when the game starts to get good.Up until then I found it quite boring and too difficult.
- 7:52pm EST - January 11th, 2010
I got this! I'll rate it 8.5/10! Ita an instant classic!
- 2:25am EST - January 12th, 2010
I am close to the end and to me this game is easily 9/10. To me this game feels like Zelda-game done right. No too easy puzzles, this game actually has challenging fights and there is actual story. Zelda has been pretty much "finish three dungeons, get Master Sword, finish five dungeons, beat Ganondorf".
- 5:03am EST - January 12th, 2010
This game is definitely all-that, visually stunning and fun to boot.
- 5:06am EST - January 12th, 2010
PSU reviews are so predictable. I have guessed the score to every single one for over a year !
- 3:09pm EST - January 13th, 2010
I like it, but thats because its not too taxing on the brain( the fighting) . Some of the puzzles are frustrating and the combo descriptions can be vague. I am enjoying playing it
- 11:47pm EST - January 17th, 2010
Man, if the dislikes above are all thats bugging PS3 owners of this game, you got alot to be thankful for. Bought 360 version (no other option at the time) and the issues are horrid. Screen tearing, frame rate drops are just a couple things getting into my cornflakes about this game. However, this game really has not challenged me as of writing. I agree with PSU about 85% score wise.
- 12:36pm EST - January 19th, 2010
This game is much better than Bayonetta. Bayonetta is just a simple hack 'n' slash game, without the awesome puzzles and exploration of Darksiders. This game deserves a 9.0 at least imo. There are no original games today...
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