Darksiders II ReviewAlex Follin
When a person thinks of a typical role-playing game, a few images may pop into their noggins. There's the epic battles with monsters that look like they could shred you to pieces in a matter of seconds, the heart pumping orchestrated pieces, the evil villain and that sexy damsel in distress that you have to save in order to get some of that sweet "happily ever after". Darksiders II is no exception to the typical role-playing style that most people think of... Except the fact that you aren't saving some sexy princess tucked away by some villain, more like trying to clear your brethren's name as one of the Horsemen of the apocalypse for destroying humanity. Oh, and did i mention that you play as Death?
The game definitely follows the first installment, Darksiders, perfectly. In the first game, players can play as War, one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. Through this game, humanity as we know it, becomes destroyed before it was actually time for civilization to end, and to put it simply, War is blamed for it even though it is a crime he did not commit. In this sequel, players play as Death, another horseman who is absolutely positive that his brother did not commit these crimes and has set out on an epic quest to prove said innocence.
The game play is very smooth and easy, with the familiar hack'n'slash style that comes with classics such as God of War or Dante's Inferno. However, some aspects of the game seem rather repetitive, which this comment is mostly aimed at the dungeons. Though the environments are very visually appealing, a lot of the puzzles seem repetitive which make it easy for even novice players to plow through them awfully quickly. One strength it has is definitely the boss battles. Bosses seem outrageously large compared to Death, and aren't exactly the easiest battles in the world. This makes defeating them all that more rewarding and fulfilling to the player, it gives a sense of accomplishment. In addition to the main quest, there is also the option of doing smaller side-quests, that without them, might have given the game shorter hours of playing. This small little addition adds to the amount of content you can get out of the game tremendously. Also, the skills menu and decking out Death with the best equipment is easier to do with the stats ready to view before you even pick them up off of the ground. The interface of their menus for leveling up Death are easy to use, and in themselves, very visually appealing. The ability to decide what abilities that Death obtains is also pretty cool, and gives a new goal to completionists that want to upgrade every single ability.
Graphically, I love it, despite the bad reviews I've been hearing elsewhere about it. The over-world appears completely vast and open, but at the same time, it feels lonely. I know, when one thinks of an over-world in a game, they might wonder how one could feel lonely. The answer is simple when the world is pretty empty. There is a lot of time I spent riding around on Death's horse, Despair, with no enemies to slash or even a whole lot of trees to look at. This could be overlooked easily, but is still noticeable. Characters are really well designed, with a lot of detail going into both their appearances and their weapons. If I do say so myself, they look pretty bad ass. The towns and places, at face value, are also visually appealing. It's presented in a way that makes it seem like a scene in a Hollywood movie, and honestly, I could grovel at the opening cut-scenes forever.
One of the first things that attracted me to this game was the music. It has very epic orchestrated pieces throughout every part of the game that just sets the tone. The dungeon pieces feel very upbeat, like they're trying to pump you up, but still dark and dreary like someone would normally think of a dungeon. The over-world music was peaceful and gave the air of an adventure. I could fall asleep to the soundtrack and have really epic dreams about slaying monsters that are a billion times my size.
Overall, I think this game is a nice addition to anyone that likes a good story or is just a fan of adventure games, they will certainly not be disappointed by what Darksiders II has to offer. Although the replay value may not be as high as it could be, this is definitely worth a try.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.