Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Death is only the beginning. A Darksiders 2 Review.



In the beginning:

The Darksiders games puts you in the saddle of two of "The Four Horsemen" featured in the Bible's and a bunch of other mythology. The game first gave you wielding wrecking sword of War sent to Earth to fight demons that had taken over after humanities destruction during the apocalypse. Now in the second installment, the revered scythes of the Grim Reaper (or Death as he is referred to) are yours to find out the reason for his brother's betrayal and bring humanity back to life. You heard that right, bring us back!

As most of us real hardcore gamers know, THQ is not the biggest money making game publisher right now. In fact, in recent news they have reported major losses. Many people speculate that Red Faction: Armageddon's sales records did not help. Those are not the kind of sales record anyone wanted to record either. Darksiders 2 won't save that sinking ship entirely, but depending on how it is, it may either plug some major holes or hand drill them some new ones. Lets take a look at this second game universe, shall we?



The first 7 days of creation:

The Darksiders games have a distinctive yet familiar style, of everything, to them. Some characters/enemies can be much larger and taller than others, often carrying huge weapons that other average characters could not wield, except for most in Final Fantasy and other, uh, unique games. Mainly from Japan, but also this game seemingly open with endless appearing worlds, relevant musical changes from world to world, land to land, and dungeon to dungeon. The art also has a cartoonist and yet trying to appear as imaginable to exist out side the comprehension of humanity. Darksiders 2, being included as looking the same way the first, looks the same. Which actually, it would have been interesting to see a different graphics style for each different horseman, but that's just me. Darksiders 2 has the combined visual style of God of War and Legend of Zelda (I saw it stated, but I thought of it first) and not just in appearance either.

All the styles in the list above are all a great fit for Darksiders 2. It looks great, big, and open for all exploration; until you fall off and Death's majestic wings foof out and guide you back to land. The one tinsy wee little thing that keeps the game weighed just a bit down are the slightly dated graphics. They look exactly the same compared to the first game, but you can see that the games epic-ness as escalated in Darksiders 2. Making the use of the newer graphics 2 years later seem like an anal complaint. *cough*Battlefield players*cough* The musical score in that game sends you right to Hell when it appears to be Heave and vice versa. The music soothes and pumps you up in everyplace you travel. The game features little drawings in the initial loading screens. Then after the short 15 sec loading time the game menu pops out with some interesting view shots of Death. When you hit continue, the camera turns around and go ahead playing. That's something that actually blew my mind when I saw it. Coz I've never seen it before! You wont get too confused, unless your only into realistic looking games; then live a little and look at something new.



This has been the journey so far...

So War gets thrown in jail for 100 years following the End War. He is charged for his "crimes" and the Charred Council tells the other three horsemen of his fate. Death does not agree, as he believes War is the most honorable of them all and would never prematurely begin the Apocalypse and gets pretty mad. He feels  that these actions are a conspiracy and defies the Council's orders. That's where the player comes in; you must set out a provide proof of War's innocence. Death also plans to resurrect humanity during that time, so that is first things first. I assure of the accuracy of the story, even I have not played the first game or completely followed precisely. Go Wikipedia!

This fairly decent and complex story line takes a few turns to keep the interest abound. Just for reference it has a linear story, with an abundance of character dialogue that is more informative than game changing. Darsiders 2 features many side quests to complete to learn more about the particular universe(s) of both games. Most of the NPC characters have a good partial development, seeing as your not really talking to one person all the time. Death has a nicely flushed out personal story of how he became chosen to be Death and past event with main antagonist. The voice actor is also very good at taming the scariness and adding a bit of elegance to his rage. Those Canadians really now how to talk the talk. Darksiders 2 forms a decently good story with character development only where it is crucial.




The Man Comes Around

"And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder. One of the four beasts saying, 'Come and see.' and I saw, and behold a white horse"

Darksiders 2 gives you the scythes of Death, literally and with some secondary weapon choices as well. Ranging from Fast Attack Gauntlets and Claws to Slow Attack very large Battle Axes and Hammers. Sadly you can't choose to have single scythe like in Dante's Inferno. Speaking of which, I think Death might still have a beef with Dante for killing him and stealing his first scythe. Anyway this game plays very familiar and on par with typical Hack and Slash games. So you may say, "Well, why is this game any different?" If you look closely while playing, you may notice a bit of obviously present God of War gameplay. That's not all it is, in fact, Darksiders 2 starts out that way then begins a noticeable triple game hybridization. First, you start with a base of God of War. Next step, add a frosting layer of Zelda. The last step is to add a dash of Diablo and there have a gameplay recipe for the Darksiders 2 cupcake, OF DEATH!!! Now how does this taste?

Surprising fresh, entertaining and, very challenging. The Hack and Slash, upgrading, weapon systems, and abundance of diverse and constant enemies are all inspired from God of War. It's very typical, boring, and really difficult all the time! The game takes a cover of side quests, dungeons and puzzles from the LoZ games (well, more so the newer ones). The platforming  elements are also taken from previously stated games. One little issue is the climbing obstacles can be difficult to find at times. Along with that, there is Raven or Crow that is supposed to guide you to your next location. He works outside, but find your own way through dungeons. Might as well sell him for gold. Most of the puzzles are aggravating when spending ten minutes going back and forth just to find the solution was right in front of your mask! Lastly, the dash of Diablo is the crap ton-o-weapons everywhere and the loot, loot, loot! Which is a good brain exercise to see what you need or don't to sell of drop for a better loot. That mish-mash is so prefect and cool, it's awesome stuff, until it's time to jump through a golden hoop. If you can find it...



(Good) Rant Time

Is there not an 100 percent original idea for a game anymore? I mean Portal was a hybridization of fps, physic based, and puzzles perfectly slid together. So, that's our gaming future, a infinite combo of game genres and sub-genres. There is a lot out there and really sub-genres are only hybrids anyway, right? In a way hybridization is in all video games and that's how it's been and will always be. I know there might be some combos that just don't work, yet. That will be the real next test for developers, find any combinations of game genres and try fit them together. More and more will happen like this. So either a game will be a disaster or just okay to amazing. To reiterate, I mean, a gamer would be able to sit down with a game and name a group of games this mashes together. Like I have said before, we'll just have to wait and see. End rant...



In the end of all things

Darsiders 2 gives you Death and puts you between Heaven and Hell just to find the truth. Ever feel like doing that? I do. Anyway, this game layers of few other games and arranges them in a way that makes this particular game, easy to enjoy, challenging to play and familiar to the conservative part of many gamers. So this is easy to suggest a nice long 5 night or Gamefly rent because it's long. I believe if you like *deep breath*
RPGs, Action Adventure, Hack and Slash, Loot games, Epics, Story driven, or just cool looking games, just get it! Although not perfect, it's good and you will have many sweaty hand cramping hours with it. Darksiders 2 earns a 5 out of 6 fried eggs. Get it? Cause they're all dead! (Sic) sense of humor, I know.


"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts. And I looked, and behold a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, and hell followed with him."


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