It’s been six years since Darksiders 2 released and many fans never thought a third title would ever come to be, especially with Vigil Games being disbanded and THQ going under. Thankfully, we were proven wrong and in Darksiders 3 the story of the Four Horseman continues as they try to figure out who set War up as the cause of the apocalypse.
Darksiders 3 tells the story of Fury, the sister of the other three Horseman, who is ordered by the Charred Council to find the Seven Deadly Sins. Much like Darksiders 2, the third title takes place before the events of the first game.
Welcome back to the Apocalypse
War is imprisoned by the Charred Council awaiting trial and punishment. While Fury doesn’t really care what happened with War and why he started the apocalypse, her true motivation is to be known as the best Horseman and become their leader.
Fury is by far my favorite of the Horsemen. Her sassy attitude and disregard for anything but herself allows her to stand out. It also provides some of the best dialogue between her and the other characters that appear throughout the game.
As the story moves forward, we see how Fury grows as a character and how much more involved she finds herself in the overall picture of the Darksiders narrative, even proving toward the end that she plays one of the most important roles in the overall story.
Darksiders 3 has been a long time coming. With Gunfire Games taking over the franchise, it’s good to know that some of the original developers from Vigil Games got a chance to work on Darksiders 3, and it’s noticeable in the way it plays.
Fury’s rage burns bright in Darksiders 3
Fury uses a sweet chain whip as her primary weapon and it’s a fun weapon to use. Combat is just as fun as it was in past titles with its focus primarily on dodging attacks. Fury is a nimble fighter, and her acrobatics are on display in full force.
Combat is pretty simply. Combining attacks and dodging enemy attacks is incredibly satisfying. Pulling off a perfect dodge and watching Fury dodge in slow motion is a feeling you would get from defeating a Dark Souls boss. Outside of her trusty chain whip, Fury gets access to different weapons and abilities throughout her journey.
These different weapons and abilities allow her to access new areas and combine her attacks during combat. One of these weapons are these small stone chain weapons that act like small dual welding daggers. These weapons are imbued with fire and have a chance to set enemies on fire.
These weapons carry with them unique abilities as well that help with exploration. The fire ability allows Fury to walk through fire, lava, and allows her to propel herself upward, giving you an extra long jump to reach higher places.
You can never have enough weapons to kill demons
There are other abilities to acquire, but I won’t spoil them here. I will say that one of the abilities is so radically cool to look at I stood in awe and giggled as I saw it play out on screen. It’s something I personally haven’t seen done in other games before.
I should mention that equipping these weapons is seamless. Each weapon can be switched at any time and combined to use with your chain whip. Another cool concept is Fury’s hair actually changes color to indicate which secondary weapon you have equipped.
Speaking of combat, combat works just fine, but there are things that hurt it. Using the lock-on can set the camera in a locked position which can lead to the camera zooming incredibly close to Fury because it’s hit a wall. It’s also difficult to tell where other enemies around you because of it.
Darksiders 3 is a very difficult game. I started on the normal difficulty and got my butt handed to me multiple times for a lot of various reasons. In a lot of cases, I would face off against one or two enemies. Then, as I went to the next area, I’m attacked by enemies that kill me in two or three hits.
There is definitely random difficulty spikes throughout the game, but once I learned just how the timing of dodging worked heading into the end game, I was a master combatant, easily avoiding almost all attacks.
True power lies in your enhancements
The loot system from Darksiders 2 has also been replaced with an enhancement system. Throughout the game, you acquire enhancements that you equip on your weapons. These enhancements can also be upgraded with crafting materials that you find or buy through Vulgrim’s shops.
It’s important to note that upgrading your enchantments will force you to upgrade a certain path, which will increase one of two specific stats like increased health or physical damage. Depending on the path you choose, the other path will be locked to you until you get the final upgrade of the enhancement. So if you increase the health bonus of the enhancement, you wont be able to increase the physical damage.
Explore an expansive world full of secrets and mystery
One of the best aspects of the Darksiders franchise is its Metroidvania style of exploration. Exploring in Darksiders 3 is a blast. Seeing all the areas you can’t access early on and then going back and finding hidden paths with new abilities is just fun.
Seeing how every location connects to all the others and finding all the hidden paths is extremely satisfying. It can unfortunately become a frustrating chore simply because you can’t remember where all these other paths could be. This is because the game has no map. There is no way to track what areas you’ve been to.
Darksiders 3 looks like a very polished PlayStation 3 game. This wouldn’t be too big a problem if it was earlier in the PS4’s life span. However, six years in, I was hoping for a much bigger graphical push. That’s not to say the game looks bad, though it does suffer from texture pop-in and clipping issues throughout.
Music is also severely missing in the game, with some ambient music showing up once in a while and in some boss fights. It’s unfortunate, as the first two titles had great soundtracks. The voice over work on the other hand is top notch. Most of the voice actors do a great job, and the Seven Deadly Sin’s are perfectly voice and designed for the sin that they represent.
I was worried about Darksiders 3 before it’s release. After playing it, though, I can say that it exceeded my expectations. In a way, Darksiders 3 feels like the first game in the franchise. It’s not a big step forward for the franchise at all, but it’s also not a step backwards. Darksiders 3 is on the cusp of being a great game but falls just a little short due to some technical issues.
Darksiders 3 review code provided by publisher