Many people have said that Darksiders takes its influence from games such as Zelda, Castlevania and God of War and to be honest, they may have a point. But to be honest, given that these titles are amongst the greatest ever released, you have to wonder how many other titles have taken their influence from these games.
Is a developer wrong for taking its influence from the greats? In my opinion, the answer is no. In fact, the developer should only be blamed if the game in question is a shambles and in the case of Darksiders, that’s far from the truth.
The original Darksiders launched in 2010 and has been one of my favourite titles ever since. You can imagine then that the thought of playing on Nintendo Switch is one that appeals to me. I’ve already sampled the delights of enhanced graphics on the PS4 Pro version of the Warmastered Edition, so the option to play on the go seemed even more appealing to me, especially since I just can’t get enough of this game.
THQ Nordic and its developer has done such a good job of remastering this PS3 original that you just have to give it a second look, especially if you didn’t bother to play the first time around. The game almost feels new again thanks to its super smooth framerate, updated graphics and super stylish cutscenes.
If you’ve not played Darksiders in the past, then you’ll be greeted with the game opening up unlike any before it. Somehow a pact which was agreed between Heaven and Hell has been broken, leaving you, playing as War in the middle of the chaos which is sure to cause doom for mankind. War has been blamed for breaking this seal of trust, so sets out on a mission to Earth to clear his name. Of course this is not going to be easy, as for one you have lost some of your awesome powers, and just to rub it in, you are accompanied on your journey by The Watcher, who is a nasty demon who is along for the journey, just waiting for you to slip up so he can punish you in some way.
Throughout your journey you will face up to all manner of enemies, from demons to angels and awe-inspiring monsters, there really is an incredible mix and each creature seems to get more difficult to defeat than the last. I don’t really want to give too much away in terms of the story, but let’s just say it has my favourite ending out of all the games I’ve ever played, which is quite the compliment really.
Back to the action. When War returns to Earth he is only armed with his trusty sword known as the Chaoseater. This sword cuts through most enemies with ease and since Darksiders has an RPG tinge to it, you are also able to upgrade all weapons stats, making attacks more powerful and also adding enhancements which will benefit War. Other weapons you’ll gain later in the game include the Harvester, Death’s very own Sythe, the Tremor Gauntlet and Redemption, which is a canon-type weapon which literally blows enemies to pieces.
War also gains equipment, such as the Crossblade, which acts like a nasty four-sided frisbee, and also Mercy, which is Darksiders version of a handgun.
In addition to his arsenal, War is also blessed with Wrath and Passive abilities. Wrath abilities range in their effect, for instance, Blade Geyser summons blades around you which spring out of the ground. Passive abilities meanwhile include the likes of Chaos Form, which sees you turn into a practically invulnerable flaming demon for several seconds, devastating everything in your path with ease. It’s also worth mentioning that you meet up with War’s horse Ruin later in the game, bringing a new twist to combat as you slay the enemy from your steed.
With all these weapons and abilities you really are prepared for combat and when you add in defensive moves such as Quick Dash, which allows you to move away from impending attacks, you really will appreciate the thought which has gone into the combat system. Of course no amount of enemies, weapons or combat would be complete without a well thought out adventure and happily, Darksiders provides this. Although it all starts out a bit hack and slash, it isn’t long before you are faced with challenges, puzzles, epic battles and huge bosses to keep you occupied.
Throughout your adventures, you’ll also come across all manner of items, these include treasure chests which help refill your life and wrath, while also giving you souls which is the in-game currency. Hidden away in the levels you’ll also find artifacts which you can trade with a demon known as Vulgrim. He not only provides new equipment, but can also give you the ability to learn new combat moves, and fast travel between areas.
The presentation in Darksiders really is outstanding. Each area you visit looks better than the last, whether you are in the apocalypse torn Crossroads or the mysterious Anvil’s Ford.
Darksiders does not include multiplayer, however when you have a game which is roughly 20-25 hours long you can hardly complain about this.
To me Darksiders was already an epic game with fast-paced action, eye-popping environments and awe-inspiring enemies, so if you are yet to play this game or just want to revisit an older game on your new console, then Darksiders should be first on your list, because if you missed out first time around, you missed out on an unbelievable experience. It truly is one of my favourite games of all time and I can’t speak highly enough of it.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*