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E3 2012: Darksiders II Offers More of Everything

Posted on June 11, 2012 AT 12:42pm

Vigil and THQ are filling Darksiders 2 with as much content as they can. But are there some fine details getting lost in the big picture?

When War first came charging in on his flaming horse in the original Darksiders he was met with critical acclaim and cult success. But it wasn’t without it’s shortcomings. While the game had a very distinct Metroid-Zelda-Vania feel to it’s hack and slash platform adventure, it still had its faults. There was a story, but everything that was happening was veiled in mystery, there were upgrades, but they were limited. Now, as THQ gets set to release Darksiders 2 they’re upping the ante in every aspect they possibly can, but with all the new features will fans of the original enjoy all the changes being made?

The Plot Thickens

Just like every spooky goth, Death is deep, much more so than his brother, War. There is much more back story given to the origins of all the key players right off the bat. What the horsemen are, where they came from, and why they do what they do is all explained before your adventure even begins. The mystery of who framed War still remains and you will most likely spend most of the game trying to figure out the whodunit.

Loot it Up

Instead of having to get all your gear from a creepy skeleton with the voice of Mark Hamill, enemies will drop random loot for you, including weapon upgrades and armor. There’s going to be a lot of swag for folks to grab and while options are always good, but if you play anything like I’ll do, you’ll be stopping after every battle to optimize all your gear, which can end up taking a lot of time. So be prepared to put in the extra minutes to pimp out your duds.

Combat Evolved

Scythes, hammers, axes, throwing blades, and more will help you take on the demon hordes in battle. A skill tree akin to the ones seen in games like Borderlands or The Reckoning are used to unlock various magic spells that can do everything from buff your stats to summon undead hordes to do your bidding. Customizing Death’s abilities to cater to your own playing style is easy, whether your into quick hacking and slashing or you prefer smashing everything to bits with a hammer.

It’s So Big

The scale of Darksiders 2 makes the original look like DLC. The first area alone is as large as the first game and the level designs really help emphasize just how massive the world you’ll be traversing is. The arctic mountains that make up the intro level, with their icy cliffs, snowy fields, and ancient ruins, are a fine example of just how big THQ is going with this title. This is also means even more platforming than before, which might be a turn-off to some gamers who are more in it for the brutal-ness of killing things as Death.

It Could Use Another Coat

While things have definitely taken a step in the right direction as far as combat and plot are concerned, and the more in-depth RPG elements and loot make for perfect additions, there are still some kinks to work out. Camera angles were still awkward for a few of the platforming segments and getting the timing right for wall runs was tricky. While this is a truly ambitious sequel, a few touch ups here and there could make a huge difference to the game’s reception. I really enjoyed the first Darksiders and I really dig the Skeletor style that Death has going on, hopefully Darksiders 2 will live up to its big plans when it hit shelves August 14th.

Were you a fan of the first Darksiders? What do you think of all the new RPG elements they’ve added? Are you worried it’s going to stray too far from the original formula? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

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