“Darksiders” is a game by Vigil Games is huge… that’s the best adjective I can find for the game…
For me, the initial draw for this game was the fact that the concept art was being done by Joe Madureira, a comic book author of some renown that I love. Later I found out that the game story was also done by him, which peaked my interest further…
At first glance, “Darksiders” is a God of War clone, in which we control “War”, one of the Four Riders of the Apocalypse… In this story, though, the Riders are like a force of Balance between good and evil, more than the end-of-days characters we’re used.
In the game story, “War” comes to Earth during a huge fight between Demons and Angels, but he is alone… His brothers aren’t with him, and his influence in the events is weighted by the Council that enforces Balance and is deemed that he didn’t have the right to interfere… Because of that, he’s sentenced to death, but he convinces the Council to give him a chance to prove his innocence and is sent back to Earth, 100 years later, devoid of powers and with the mission to find out what really happened, if it wasn’t the apocalypse…
Yep, the story is that hard to follow, but that’s part of the charm of the game!
Anyway, saying that “Darksiders” is a GoW clone is completely unfair… It’s like comparing a Ferrari with a Mini, because both have wheels…
While the combat and graphics in “Darksiders” isn’t as good as in GoW3, for example, it makes up in a much better story (GoW’s was a bit simple) and in the amount of things you can do…
I mean it, every weapon and special power that’s ever been in any 3rd person action game is on “Darksiders”… and I mean EVERYTHING! The game is a total whore for getting things that worked great in other games and add it to their own, twisting it just enough to fit the plot and setting… And while the resulting system isn’t as polished as the original one (for example, the time-manipulation thing isn’t as good in this game as it is in “Prince of Persia” or “Soulreaver”), it makes up by not failing completely and having loads of different mechanics and using them combined in puzzles in a very neat way.
The boss fights are huge (and most of them are very nice), riding Ruin (War’s horse) is totally awesome and the graphics have a fresh look to it, being more comic-book like than realistic.
All in all, the game lasted for 12-hours (which is lots of time, considering most games you can finish nowadays with 7 to 8 hours of play), and is excelent value for money (especially if you want to get all the bonus stuff and all).
Of course, the game isn’t without its flaws… The main character doesn’t have that much personality into it (going from dark and broody to dark and broody and homicidal in 5 seconds), although the supporting characters are interesting and well done; adding too much powers and weapons to the game instead of balancing the existing ones, or polishing them a bit more; some nasty bugs regarding collision detection (one of my pet peeves, to be honest).
To be honest, the game’s biggest flaw was that they added so much stuff in it, they didn’t polish what was there already…
So, in summary:
- Gameplay: 10/10
- Story: 8/10
- Graphics: 8/10
- Sound: 8/10
- Everythingness: 10/10
- Overall: 8/10