the Andrew Bailey

Darksiders 2

Do you remember Darksiders? I remember having a lot of fun playing Darksiders. What about Darksiders 2? I have that one. In fact, it's been on my "I want to play this for Halloween" list for years. I've recently played through and finished it. I know that it's nowhere near October, and I'm way behind on everything, but better late than never, right? I know it's been a while since I've done one of these, so let's blow off the dust, and see what I remember from the original.

Screenshot of Darksiders 2, showing Death mowing down demons with scythes

The first thing that I noticed is that there's an awful lot of irony going on in the story. You play as Death, as in the horseman of. The apocalypse has happened, and Earth is screwed and humanity is finished. None of the horsemen did it, but War is framed for it. Death knows what's happened to his brother, and wants to help him out of the pickle he's ended up in. Death hatches a plan to resurrect humanity, and to do so, he needs to go to the tree of life. Read that again: Death wants to resurrect humanity. Despite being quite the edgy boy, there is a person inside. In each of the worlds he goes to, Death's journey usually involves going to three places to do three things, then return to whoever sent him on that quest. Questgivers often point Death back to that old man that first sent him out, and who's been narrating the loading screens.

Combat gameplay is hack and slash. Your primary weapon is always a pair of scythes (because you're playing the horseman of Death), and your secondary weapon is anything else. I don't recall using any secondary weapons at any point. There are special moves that you can buy, but I didn't bother with any. Like most videogame characters, you start off poor. After I got going, I didn't feel the need to improve since what I was doing was working (mostly).

The other side of gameplay is puzzles. This often involves you parkouring around a room, rolling balls into sockets, or directing energy around the level. The puzzle design is outstanding, and every one outclasses everything from Skyrim. Some of these puzzles are particularly difficult, and need leaps of logic that weren't hinted at. Some I gave up on and reached for guides. Exploration is rewarded with quest progression, or chests full of loot. There's lots of collectibles scattered around, but I never managed to find them all in my only playthrough, but I never felt held behind because of it.

Screenshot of Death threatening the Mad Smith with a scythe

The art themes are varied, and quality holds up. The worlds (in order) are a forested Viking landscape, a dead desert, a cursed angelic tower, and finally Hell. With 1 or 2 exceptions, cinematics are not pre-recorded video, so Death is equipped with what you have him with. The overarching artstyle itself is not bothersome, and generally has that same edgy gothic style that the first one did.

Sound mixing is good, and everything sounds like it should. I recall in the last game that there were times when a gate slamming shut would sound rather quiet, but I never noticed that here. Jesper Kyd composed the music, and I rather like it. He's one of the guys that did the music for Borderlands, and the music here sounds rather similar. He nails post-apocalyptic melodies well.

The Deathinitive edition comes with all the post-launch DLCs. There's 3 side quests, and a few sets of armor. I always stumbled across the armor while solving puzzles for the main quest. All of them were exceptionally good pieces that I used for a long while.

Despite me coming to the occasional bossfight and not playing the game for a few days at a time, I enjoyed Darksiders 2. I don't recall the particularly rough edges that the first game had (there's only one horseback combat section here). Assuming that Darksiders 3 is more of the same, I can see myself getting and liking it at some point.

Posted under Gaming. 0 complaints.