With the hotly anticipated Darksiders 2 getting closer and closer, PSU got the chance to have a chat with Jay Fitzloff, associate producer for the game.
PSU: What was the biggest piece of criticism on Darksiders 1 that you feel is improved upon in 2?
Fitzloff: Probably the biggest criticism we heard was something along the lines of, "I'm playing a Horseman of the Apocalypse but don't get my horse until halfway through the game?!" In hindsight, that was kind of a bad move, so we've solved that problem in Darksiders II by giving you Death's horse, Despair, right away. You literally begin the game on your horse's back. Another piece of feedback we received was that there was too much backtracking, especially in our later dungeons. For the sequel, you'll really only have to backtrack through an area if you're looking for a secret item you missed the last time. Our dungeons are now designed in a way that there's a quick exit to the next section once the part you're in has been completed.
PSU: Story wise, does D2 overlap with the end of D1 at all?
Fitzloff: Yes, but to say any more would be a spoiler.
PSU: Have you considered Darksiders 2 for the Vita? Maybe with cross-game save functionality.
Fitzloff: We'll consider putting Darksiders on any console if it makes sense for us. In the case of Vita, it just came along too deep into our development cycle for us to work with it.
PSU: Is War going to make a cameo?
Fitzloff: In the most recent demo we had at E3, War did make a cameo...in a way. In actuality, it was one of Death's foes disguising himself as War. Will the real War make a cameo? Well...hey, quit trying to ruin the story for everyone!
PSU: During the San Fran preview event, PSU reported that there was some screen tearing, as well as frame rate slowdown in build. Was the delay on D2 for technical reasons?
Fitzloff: The technical issues you saw at the San Fran preview event were more a result of where we were at in development than anything else. It would be much easier to create a game without having to show it to anyone before its release, but obviously that just can't happen. The main reason for the delay of Darksiders II was just to make it a better game all around. The end product will look better, have tighter controls, be more balanced and, yes, have fewer technical issues than it would have if it came out in June.
PSU: Elite enemies, how difficult was it to design things so big, but still interesting to fight?
Fitzloff: We approach our boss fights as more of a puzzle solving experience than just a giant monster with lots of hit points. Sure, there may be parts of the battle where you have to do a certain amount of damage, but we prefer to make players think their way through a major confrontation. That means every time you come head to head with a new elite enemy, you know what worked before is out the window and a new approach is going to have to be thought out.