Many gamers were saddened when THQ went under, and they all feared that Nordic Games would do nothing with Vigil’s lost property. Thankfully, they were wrong as Nordic has released the bastard child of The Legend of Zelda and God of War on next generation systems. Darksiders II: The Deathinitive Edition can be purchased for the PS4 and the Xbox One.
This version not only contains the original game, but also all of the DLC, 1080p graphics which have been enhanced using a new rendering engine that makes the shadows and environments look so much better, and a reworked loot and balancing system that evens out some parts of the game. I’m planning on opening my still sealed version for the Xbox 360 and popping it in to compare one evening–that will be fun to do. Then I can nitpick the old graphics! Console Master Race!
The story hasn’t changed any from the original game; you play as War’s brother, Death, and you’re aiming to get him cleared of all charges. Problem is finding the proof that the Charred Council will believe, so instead, Death seeks to resurrect humanity so that all charges are dropped. The first thing Death must do is find the Keeper of Secrets and after a brief encounter, Death is sent to a world on its last legs. This world is slowly dying from the Corruption and to make matters worse, Death must get to the Tree of Life before the planet perishes.
This leads Death on a huge series of fetch quests throughout the world. First you must free the fire from the belly of the planet, then you must free the tears. Thankfully, the fetch quests aren’t like the usual ones; these involve massive dungeons to traverse, enemies to beat, and loot to find. Once I was done with one quest I couldn’t wait to get started with another and another–not to save humanity because people suck, but because I was enjoying the hell of out this game.
The controls are fairly easy to learn; square is attack with your main weapon, triangle is attack with your secondary weapon, and L1 is dodge. Pretty simple, right? Except the dodge being bound to a trigger threw me for a loop. I’m use to it being set to the X button, so there were times I took unnecessary damage because I was jamming on the wrong button. Unfortunately, this continued with me throughout most of the game, but I persevered and overcame. As you progress, you are taught more and more platforming moves and attack moves. The platforming controls are very tight and easy to grasp–the tutorial tells you have to jump from beam to beam and it’s natural and easy to remember.
When you need to throw a bomb at a wall to gain entry to a chest, you simply click R3 and you’ll pop into aiming mode. Aiming mode is easy to use and can also be used when you find projectile weapons to kill the Corruption. I know I’ve not played the original Darksiders in quite some time, but I don’t remember a button to click on to see where you have to go. In Darksiders II, Death uses his raven, Dust, to show you what path you must take next. This was extremely helpful for me since I get lost really easily in these dungeons, especially when I pause for a second to do something.
The new RPG elements that they added to this successor are fun. I just have one word for it: loot. Everyone loves loot–finding loot, picking it up off of fallen foes, trading and upgrading loot, it’s all a blast and it was all added here. After you kill a bunch of foes you can run around and pick up all of the loot they’ve dropped. They may have dropped armor, weapons, or gold, all of which are very useful.
I didn’t realize at first that Death was practically naked, so as I slowly picked up new pieces of armor, I would immediately compare them and place them on Death to soak up damage and to gain some perks. As is with every RPG, you can only use items that are your level or lower, and some of these items can be upgraded. What is neat is that when you upgrade an item, you don’t have to go find a blacksmith or anyone to do it for you. You simply “sacrifice” other weapons or armor to increase the item’s level. It’s a nice addition, I think. This way I could have several weapons to fall back on in case I ran into a very tough enemy.
Now, I never got a chance to play my copy of this game on the Xbox 360, so I’m yet to really compare the graphics and controls, etc.. What I can say, though, is that this game looks amazing on my television. Joe Madureria’s character designs really look amazing, and it makes me hope that Nordic signs him up to design Darksiders III when that finally comes to fruition. I use to follow Madureria when he was drawing comic books in the late 90’s, and I’m glad that he’s found his niche in gaming. The voice acting is great, each character has a distinct voice and the actors really take hold of their roles. The music adds to the ambiance of the game, too; when you’re in a desolate place, the music makes you feel that. When you are in more of calm, natured filled area, the music calms you and makes you want to stay in that area.
I’m one of those gamers that kind of rolls his eyes when he hears about another “Remastered” game for next gen consoles. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this particular remaster–maybe it was the fact that I didn’t play the old one or because I love the Darksiders games so much. Either way, I fully enjoyed my time with this game, and it makes me hunger for more Darksiders entries. Gunfire Games did a great job porting this to next generation consoles and from what I hear they may be working on a third entry. I’m guessing that this remaster was a test to see if making another game was viable. Hopefully it is doing well in their eyes and will garner another game for us. If you’ve not played this game before, this is the version to get. If you have played it and have an itch to jump back into the world of Darksiders, you should definitely pick this game up.
A PS4 code for Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition was provided by Nordic Games for the purpose of this review