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Darksiders II Review

Back in 2010, Vigil games brought us a relatively unknown game in the form of Darksiders. The game had a slow start, but then made itself a huge fan base as it started to get attention and popularity. Now with the release of its sequel, fans had there long awaited hopes answered. Darksiders II was a vast improvement from its already successful predecessor in almost every way imaginable. From the amazing graphics and scenery, soundtrack, over the top boss fights, etc. Both Darksiders games have made a name for themselves by deriving various elements from several hugely popular series such as the Legend of Zelda, God of War, and Devil May Cry just to name a few. So obviously Darksiders II has some big shoes to step into and fill.

 

The story for this installment takes place during the 100 year gap of incarceration that War suffers at the hands of the Charred Council. But instead of War, the story of the Four Horseman is lead on by his brother Death. Death believes that War is innocent and sets off on a quest to restore mankind to its former “glory” in order to clear his brother’s name. Visiting many realms including Heaven, Hell, and Earth, Death’s journey is a much larger and far spread one than that of War in the first Darksiders game. Although many elements of this entry to the series seem rather repetitive and drawn out, fans of the series will be easily able to look past these slight “defects” and truly appreciate the improvements made.

 

Now I did get rather tired of the enemy selection in Darksiders II. With the exception of the boss fights, 90 percent of the enemies within the game required no strategy to kill and instead the players simply used hack and slash methods. This alongside the simple and severely overused system of finding 3 of the same item in every dungeon to advance to the next area was quite annoying and took away from the overall game play. A little more variety would have cut these monotonous sections into much more bearable portions. Although once the player does get to a major or boss fight, it was incredibly satisfying. The other downfall was the lack of challenge with the puzzles in the game. Personally, I found the puzzles within Darksiders I much harder in most cases and the ones in Darksiders II were just boring after the first half of the game.

 

Now having given you the negatives, I must list what I feel came through as the positives and improvements. The game is much larger than the first installment, and gives the player a much better free roam environment allowing many side quests and dungeons to be explored. Whether it’s a hindrance or help, the amount of collectibles has also increased dramatically. Numbering over 300 total, finding everything within the game is a huge task that will surely take any dedicated gamer many hours to do, and does give many rewards. The scenery in the game is breathtaking and a vast improvement on the previous title. From lush forests, to the catacombs of hell and the high cathedrals of Heaven, it does much to please the eye. And I was pleasantly surprised at how much I got attached to the main character Death, and how well voice actor Michael Wincott portrayed what I would have imagined the horseman to be in my mind. Kudos to two amazing actors taking up the rolls of two of the now brought to flesh Four Horseman.

 

Another very good improvement is the addition of customizable weapons and armor sets for Death. The player now will cycle through dozens of weapons and pieces of armor with some upgrade ability throughout. This plus a skill tree that allows you to take two separate paths of upgrades really makes the player feel more in control of there individual Death. Ranging from the ability to summon ghouls in battle, split your soul into 3 pieces, perform a devastating scythe attack or many other brutally satisfying abilities. The addition of a fast travel system cuts down on the vast amount of walking and traversing the player will already have to endure in Darksiders II as well.

 

Overall the game had many glitches and downfalls to overcome, but was vastly satisfying as a whole with its great storytelling and compelling characters. Once again leaving much to be seen and a hope of Darksiders III to come, I give Darksiders II 7 out of 10. Happy gaming everyone.

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