Darksiders II is a game that knows and uses it’s influences to it’s potential. Death’s journey is a lengthy one, and while I do think it overstays its welcome, it certainly does what Vigil Games had originally set out to create.
You play the role of Death, one of the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse. Your brother, War, has been falsely accused, and it is up to Death himself to absolve this. Along your quest, you will meet multiple mythical inspired characters that are as over-the-top, as they as they are portrayed. The Darksiders world is far more interesting than its overall story, and that’s unfortunate because the idea of each game giving you control of each rider is a very compelling. Darksiders II does a great job bringing in players who had never played the original game and giving a simple update on what happened previously with War. The feeling that the game was being rushed out the door is clearly apparent near the end of the game. The ending Boss in particular is a disappointing end to what could’ve been an epic resolution to an epic journey.
Gameplay and Design
For a reaper, Death certainly is agile. Taken from influences such as Prince of Persia, Death is able to traverse environments, with some slight flaws. Climbing parts of the environments can be clunky at times, but it doesn’t ruin the overall experience, It just hinders it. Being one of the four horsemen grants Death the ability to traverse the mythical lands with ease thanks to his trusty steed Despair. This makes roaming the areas between dungeons much swifter. Death also inherits a crow named Dust, which will guide you to where you need to go next.
Death is equipped with many useful weapons and items that are both versatile and useful. Your main weapon are a pair of scythes while your secondary is either a heavy-slow weapon or a faster-lighter weapon. The choice is yours. Combat is very similar to God Of War, in which you slash and kill foes by stacking up combos until their health is depleted.
Vigil Games has obviously played plenty of Diablo considering the amount of loot that is in Darksiders II. Chests are scattered around the many dungeons and landscapes that are right for the taking. Glaves, boots, and body armor of all sorts can be found and used to your play style.
Great detail has gone into the elaborate puzzles that Death must overcome. This is where the Zelda influence is profoundly evident. The puzzles require much more thought than your typical Zelda puzzle. Despite my experience with similar puzzles, I had difficulty with a majority of Darksiders II’s puzzles. They are all intricately constructed, but a little too complex for my taste.
While Deaths quest has some bumps in its road, it’s a great mash up of several well loved franchises. Vigil Games uses the best parts of those franchises while adding its own touch, keeping things from being far too similar to the source material. I encourage fans of Zelda, to give Darksiders II a chance. While the story won’t blow you away, the overall gameplay and style that the game carries is certainly worth a look.