Darksiders is based on the end of the world, loosely based on the book of Revelations of John from the Bible. You are War, one of the Four Horsemen, in the literal sense. All hell has broken lose on earth, with angels hurling themselves down to fight the big war of the apocalypse. Has this got your attention yet?
It feels and plays a lot like God of War, however, they also managed me make it feel like a mature Zelda clone as well. You spent a lot of the time collecting things around the world, picking up items in dungeons to unlock certain areas of the world. This has a very familiar, but still unique feel to it. You purchase combos, items, and health through a portal merchant who is, conveniently, in every area. But to really get the ultimate gear in the game, you’re going to be doing some treasure hunting throughout the game. Most of the treasures are not too hard to find, but this tends to fall into the problem category as I’ll explain that later.
Graphically, this game looks like a tweaked up version of World of WarCraft in some senses. It has an overall cartoony feel, but a really dark cartoony feel. I personally don’t care either way if the game looks ultra-realistic or if it’s more vibrant in colors. There’s only so much you can handle on the opposite ends of each spectrum. What makes this game really work is the overall beauty of the worlds they did create. There’s hardly anything that’s ugly in the game, from character models to terrain. When you see he world crumbling in front of you right from the beginning, you’ll be in love. The whole game feels like this and with hardly any frame drops, the game just is smooth as butter. I rarely point out anything as far as audio is concerned, but I’d like to add that the voice acting is terrific. It fits the graphical scheme fine.
The worlds they created are all pretty much different from each other, each with a unique boss battle. You’ll travel to open lands in the desert to more traditional Zelda-esque closed areas filled with mayhem. The bosses are really huge and look really dangerous, but this is again, where the game fails to deliver. It manages to bring on huge boss battles that are just too easy. I personally found the first boss battle from the first dungeon to be the most difficult.
The game is really not that hard, and it’s not because I’m the ultra-skilled player I claim to be. It’s just an overall easy game. I played on ‘Hard’ and was only punished during a few stages. Even at the final boss, I didn’t die once. It also doesn’t help when you find an item that turns your sword into a bloody mess and deals more damage per hit. Or the armor that deflects most of the damage you take. It’s a more relaxed feeling instead of a headache like some games induce on some players. Yes, I’m looking at you, Demon’s Soul.
While the game is incredible fun, there’s a few puzzles towards the end that are recycled so soon that you will grow tired of the trial and error gameplay which is almost absent from the beginning of the game. However, this is far from ruining the game or it’s fun. The only true complaint I have with the game is the length: I took my sweet time and got through the game in 17 hours, not counting the time I just was standing there under a waterfall while I took a break. You run in at 4 main dungeons, a master dungeon, and then the final fight. There’s hardly any side-quest (and if by side-quest you don’t include hunting down chest with hidden items in them, then there’s no side-quest). Is there any replay value? Sort of. If you want to run through the game on a harder difficulty, you can run through it with the rare armor you got, making the difficulty not too intense.
I’m rooting for a second game. I loved the combo system, the puzzles (most of them), and the blend of God of War/Zelda. The story is great fun of betrayal, revenge, and well, war. There’s hardly nothing not to like about the game aside from it’s length and difficulty. If you’re not looking for something too long though and hate difficult games, this will be perfect.
TL;DR: Buy. You’ll play this again soon.
Reviewed on the PlayStation 3.