Darksiders is a third person action game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. In it you play War, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, falsely lured out of your vigil into a struggle between the angelic forces of Heaven and the infernal demons of Hell. The struggle takes place upon the third kingdom, that of Man. It is discovered early on that War faltered in his duty, appearing upon the world before he was summoned by the breaking of the seven seals, forged by the council at the beginning of time.
Like the introductory sequences, the game takes a darker tone, showing the struggles of heaven and hell across a variety of scenes and settings. Initially armed with Chaoseater, your blade stripped of its full potential and power, and accompanied by the Watcher, a sarcastic demon who serves as your keeper, you set out to right the balance of power between the two forces. The story is engaging, and the cast of demons that War interacts with each have their own unique styles and personalities.
Believe it or not, she's one of the good guys.
The game world is filled with collectibles in the form of three colours of souls. Blue represents currency, green souls for health, and yellow for Wrath. Like many games of this genre, souls are collected by killing enemies, smashing non-sentient items (why cars have souls, I'll never figure out) and finding glowing chests brimming with them. Currency is used to purchase new moves, upgrades and consumables. Health is self explanatory, and Wrath allows you to power the arsenal of moves that War learns over the course of the game. On top of souls, War finds new equipment, and passive and triggered moves. The pace of acquiring these is done well, and it gives the game an almost RPG-like element.
In-game currency allows you to buy upgrades and consumables.
The souls are not the only thing that Darksiders shares with other games in the hack and slash genre. The combat is familiar, a simple and rewarding affair. Hitting the X button smashes Chaoseater into enemies, the Circle button will grab them, Square jumps and R1 blocks. The game will gradually build the complexity of the game with new moves and new enemies, and by the time you are comfortable with the basics of combat, War will begin to regain more tactical movers, and before long you'll be eviscerating your enemies in a glorious and spectacular fashion
One feature that is unique to Darksiders (or seemed unique to me) is the lock-on mode. By holding L2 button, War will lock on to the target, and while that isn't new, the accompanying letterbox mode that applies when locked on gives the battle a more visceral and cinematic feel. The game also breaks up the potential for monotony of constant combat by throwing the occasional combat challenge at you, necessitating the killing of a certain number of enemies, killing enemies with aerial combat and killing a select number of enemies as your health continues to be eaten away by poison. Though these don't completely change up the game, they do change it up a bit. Add some light puzzle elements, and some aerial combat, and you've got quite an experience.
Epic battles are commonplace in the game.
Visceral and cinematic sums up the feel of the entire game. The story is epic, taking place a century after the coming of the Apocalypse. The voice acting is well done , and the characters are represented well throughout. Demons, large and small have inherited the earth, and War makes short work of those that oppose him, with combat that feels very satisfying. Even the musical score is well produced and helps to maintain the pace and feeling of the game. While Darksiders doesn't do anything revolutionary with the genre, it presents a tight package that is enjoyable and engaging and combines staples of several genres to provide an action filled gaming experience. We award Darksiders 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Final Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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