Platform Reviewed: PS3
Length: 15-18 hours (25+ for 100%)
Zelda, God of War, and Portal are some of the games people will mention if you ask them to name some of their favorite game franchises. Each game is appealing to a wide variety of people for their fun gameplay. Darksiders is a game that takes elements of each of these games and blends them into a game that far exceeded my expectations.
The story and voice acting in Darksiders are surprisingly stellar and keeps the player’s attention throughout the game. The player plays as War (one of the four riders of the apocalypse) who is in charge of keeping order between heaven and hell. At the type of the apocalypse the seven seals will be broken summoning the riders to bring the end of the world. War is summoned at the beginning of the game during a battle between heaven and hell, but the seventh seal was never broken. The council to which the horsemen answer, blames war for starting the war early. War convinces the council to allow him to find out who is responsible and the player spends the rest of the game figuring this out.
The game borrows a lot of gameplay elements from Zelda that most players will immediately pick up in. Bombs, boomerang (crossblade), grappling hook, environmental puzzles, switches, timed platforming, etc. can all be found in Darksiders but each element is done correctly and ends up being a ton of fun. The combat in the game will remind a lot of gamers of the god of war series with lots of combos, enemies dropping health bubbles and experience, varying weapons, etc. The combat is fast paced and a lot of fun when blended in with the rest of the game. Towards the latter parts of the game war even acquires a weapon that very similar to the portal gun that is needed to solve a lot of clever puzzles. There are 3 main weapons in the game that each have a weapon upgrade slot that you can place an upgrade inside to boost the item’s abilities. The currency for upgrades and items in this game are souls that you gather from defeating enemies and collect from chests.
Almost the entire game takes place in one large map with no loading times between areas. The map is set in an apocalyptic city with randomly scattered zombies, angels, demons, etc. that you will fight as you journey from one area to the next. In a very similar fashion to Zelda, new areas are unlocked only after gaining new abilities (like grappling hooks) and dozens of hidden items are only available in an old area after you have gained a skill to reach the item. There are 4 main dungeons on the map that each have puzzles, enemies, a boss, etc. that will take up the largest chunks of gameplay.
Overall, Darksiders is a game that is easily dismissed by gamers in the beginning as a God of War clone or Zelda knockoff, but these people who don’t play the game are missing out on one of my now must-buy games. I am easily giving this game a very high score and am going to recommend you pick up a copy and play it before the sequel (Darksiders 2) comes out next year!