Darksiders II

7 Overall Score

Outstanding Story | High Replayability

No multiplayer | Uneven Weapon Drops

Written by on October 8, 2012 in [, , , , , , ]

As the opening sequence starts within Vigil Game’s Darksiders II, it is apparent that is going to be an interesting ride. Death is there to avenge the wrong that has been done to his brother, War, by the Council within the first THQ title, Darksiders. Along with Despair, his horse, and Dust, a crow, Death is able to move amongst the world in quite a timely fashion. There are many non-playable characters to be met along the way, which make the game enjoyable and replayable at the same time, as well as enemies that will make the journey a memorable one.

The first thing that Darksiders II introduces is the combat style of Death, which is the complete opposite of War. Death is a dodger and very fast on his feet. The combat style within Darksiders II is one that has a very Bayonetta-esque feel to it. As Death makes sure to take down his enemies, be it one on one or three on one, the battle has that feel to it. He does not start out with the best weapons and therefore has to move very quickly and dodge away from his enemies to avoid the damage that they could inflict upon him. By stringing the dodges with hits upon the enemies, a player can actually get their hit count up quite high. This is something that can work well to a player’s advantage as they learn more about the way in which Death moves through the environment.

The environment is another interactive part of Darksiders II. The player is able to figure out the ways in which to move laterally within the sections by the slight glow on the walls. This allows Death to use his claws to actually glide along the wall or move vertically. At times this is the only way to transverse the room that Death is in. Even though Death can move throughout the world in this manner, there are times that it does not move seamlessly and it can become extremely frustrating. The player can find themselves wanting to transverse the wall horizontally, only to fall down to the ground. Also if the Death is trying to move vertically and the player wants to stop and accidentally finds themselves not doing so with the buttons on the controller, Death will continue to climb with nowhere to go. This does not affect the game play but can become annoying. Many of the rooms that Death finds himself in is a puzzle that has to be solved. Not only is there a mission that Death has been given but he has to also figure out the puzzle within the room to get to the next room. In this way, it has a very Zelda feel to it.

As with any game, there has to be someone, or something, that is going to give these missions to Death; enter the non-playable characters. The non-playable characters (NPC’s) sound like they have come from a Scottish-type land, as they all have this type of accent that actually make them more loveable. Each of these NPC’s are the ones that will actually hand Death the missions that need to be completed. It is quite possible for Death to have more than one mission going on at one time and having to decide which mission he is going to complete first. The NPC’s are male and female, of the same race from the first Darksiders, and are quite a bit larger than Death. They are in no means a threat to Death and are actually there to give Death help in times of need. Some will give him gold when needed, or special equipment, or advice.

As Death finds himself moving around the world, there are times that the player will find that they are unable to remember what way they have to travel. There are a few ways in which the game is able to help them out. There is a mini map in the lower right hand corner, that is always present, that will actually present a yellow orb indicating where Death needs to go for his present mission. If there is more than one mission that Death has been given, it is up to the player to decide which one they want to do, and then the orb will move depending on where Death needs to move within the world. The player can also hit the back button on their controller and pull up a menu, which contains a map. Within this map, there is a Fast Travel that allows you to move from one part of the map at a much faster pace that getting on Despair and riding him around. The final way that can help Death get around in the world of Darksiders II is his trusty companion Dust, the crow.

Dust does not doing any talking at all during the game, however he is there to give Death guidance when he is asked. If Dust is not called upon, he will just fly around in the area that Death is at and simply sit upon different statues or objects within the world. When Death becomes stuck within one the of puzzles that he is having to solve, or unable to figure out what to do in the area that he has to go, all the player has to do is push down on the left thumb stick and Dust will fly to the general area that Death is needing to move towards. In this way Dust is Death’s silent Guide. He is not needed to talk, as Death is a very vocal character and interacts well with the other characters within the game.

Within the game, there are many small boss battles that Death has to conquer before he comes to the main boss battle in each level. These mini boss battles are a small look into what the main one is going to end up looking like. All of the puzzles that the player and Death have had to solve within the world and quest prior to the boss battle is preparation for the battle at hand. It could be something as simple as knowing that the sticky bombs will blow up when they are shot at by the revolver or more complex as the fact that Despair needs to be rode upon for a certain amount of time in order to gain distance from the boss. During these battles Death is able to use the skill tree, accessible by pressing the back button on the controller, to call upon some special abilities. Depending upon where the player had decided to place their skill point achieved at the end of each level, there are certain types of abilities that Death is able to call upon. It could be something as interesting as being able to call upon a group of ghouls to do some damage or being able to do a Teleport Slash; it just depends on which side of the Skill Tree the skill points have been placed.

The different weapons that Death ends up with to fight the different enemies within the game is completely random. They are either dropped by an enemy or found within a treasure chest. The player may become extremely lucky and get a possessed weapon. If they get a possessed weapon, then it can actually be fed other weapons and level up quite a bit quicker than any other weapon and be used at any level that the player is at and not just use the weapon the coincides with the level that Death happens to be at. This can become maddening at times when there is no way to level up regular weapons other than randomly running into an enemy that may drop the weapon that is high enough and good enough to be used in the next battle. The player can use the in game emailing system, called Tomes, in which they can send another player up to four pieces of armor or weapons; this is another way to help get the better weapons for Death.

If a player is playing Darksiders II straight through and not do any side quests at all, this is quite easily a 30+ hour game. However, there are many side quests that can be had and an interesting never ending battle, the Crucible mode, which allows the player to simply do boss battles over and over again and level up within them. This is only achieved once the player has beaten the entire game but has high replayablility value. With this added in to it along with the side quests, it is hard to say exactly how many hours a player would be able to play Darksiders II but it would be well worth the amount of money spent on the game.

A copy of Darksiders II was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.


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Author: Kelly Brown View all posts by

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