Posted on July 30, 2012 AT 06:02pm
Darksiders II is only weeks away from release, and this highly anticipated game is getting a lot of press, already nearly guaranteed to be a hit well before it even hits shelves. The publisher of the game, THQ, in association with Vigil Games, who developed the game, held an event recently for a few select members of the press and the Darksiders community to give everyone a hands-on preview of the game. Death was alive and well (as much as he could be) at THQ studios in Agoura Hills, California, and the much hyped sequel to the hit game Darksiders was on full display.
Community members were given access to the first zone of the game, the scope is massive, and just as big as the entirety of Darksiders. Many parts of the beginning of the game have been revealed so far, but this time, an extensive look was given, with roughly eight hours of playtime given to the main quest alone.
The story itself takes place at the same time as the original game, this time with Death as the protagonist for the game, moving to rescue his brother War from the wrath of the Charred Council, who have accused War of starting the Apocalypse a bit early. Moving through several zones, numerous dungeons and lots of lore, Death sets in to do whatever it takes to rescue his brother, calling in favors and helping others, as long as it gets the job done.
The game itself is beautiful, vast and expansive, and giving players much more freedom than the original. The first zone takes players through several main dungeons as well as a few side dungeons, and every bit of it is as beautiful as the last. The character design is good as well, looking like a land out of time, with lush forests and vegetation throughout. Characters range from serious to silly, all within context, and all of them serve a major purpose, whether it be training or information.
Death himself is one of a kind, an adaptation of the one of lore, but given a complete life of his own. Snide and sarcastic, Death acts exactly as someone representing that sort of thing should, selfish, driven, and unrelenting. Using twin scythes and various secondary weapons at his disposal, Death can rip through anyone or anything in his path, and means to, if they’re not able to help him. When he speaks, it’s quick and concise, when he’s fighting, its a smooth, flowing nightmare for anyone in his path.
The combat system is excellent, and a lot of time seems to have been investing in making it a more fluid and complex than the original. Death is much faster, much agile, and much more vicious than his brother, using various combos and secondary attacks to tear through his foes. Using slow, powerful weapons such as hammers and axes, or using quick-striking weapons like bucklers and arm-blades, the choice is up to the player to wreak havoc as they so choose.
The level of customization is incredible in Darksiders II.Vigil Games has put a lot of effort into making this game unique for each player, as there are so many different options that no two games should be alike. Choose different scythes, secondary weapons, and armor pieces, as well as develop your Death your way, with the main RPG element of the game, the skill trees. Using Harbinger, Necromancer, or any combination of the two, players can give Death special abilities such as a teleporting slash, the ability to summon ghouls or crows, and numerous others.
From the play-through that was shown at the summit, many different aspect of the game were shown, as well as a good amount of story, up until the first major boss, the Guardian. Traveling through several different dungeons, Death solves puzzles, traverses, and fights his way through ice, lava, and corruption, a poison-like crystal that has ravaged the land of the Makers Realm. With help and advice from many in the realm, Death moves through the first several dungeons, battling several bosses and mini-bosses along the way. Throughout the fights Death can accumulate gear through the loot system, a comprehensive system of different gear that can be stored and used to the players content. Gear can be kept or equipped immediately, a concept that makes the game incredibly fluid. Another interesting introduction is the Tome system, which allows messages to be used in game, with messages revealing information, and even gifts! There is sure to be some interesting content to come from this system by way of the developers, so keep an eye on that new feature to be useful throughout the game.
Without revealing too much, the dungeons each have a particular theme and goal in mind to continue the progress of the plot, completing a specific task to move on to the next area and complete one more piece of a larger puzzle. Finishing one dungeon lead Death to the next, unlocking areas and leading, in spectacular fashion, to the next part of the game, which would add more and more to the lead-up to the final boss himself.
Moving through these dungeons, doing side quests and completing tasks in this realms leads Death to the final showdown with the main boss, The Guardian, a massive stone creature that is several hundred times bigger than Death himself, forcing Death to use his faithful steed Despair to fight portions of the battle. Defeating this boss is an intense, complex fight that is only the beginning, but takes cunning and practice to gauge his techniques to figure out and defeat him.
Judging by the first zone of the game, Darksiders II is going to be every bit of the hit it has been hyped to be, and is easily a release day purchase. With complex and fluid combat, a interesting and multifaceted story, and a much larger environment to play through, Darksiders II is ramping itself up to be a Game Of The Year candidate. Everything about the game from the Community Summit, even while not in the final build, works to near perfection, allowing players an engrossing and grand experience that is unlikely to be matched by many other games. Watch for Darksiders II when it releases for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC and Wii U on August 14th, and marvel, as many who attended the Summit have. Stay tuned for more details from the Summit and about the game itself in the near future.
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