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Darksiders II (PC/PlayStation 3/Xbox 360)


Aug 22, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the Earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” ~ Revelation 6:8

A ghoulish Nephilim named Death rides across the plains on his skeletal steed, Despair. An intense green fire emanates from within the equid’s body. Its rotting skin flaps in the wind. Translucent bones poke through the blazing animal as it hurtles across the lush landscape. In the distance, The Tree of Life is a floral behemoth reaching into the grayish blue ether.

Finally, the leader of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse enters a volcanic foundry filled with skeleton warriors and various undead creatures. A tempest of scythe blades, hammers, mauls, maces, and axes fly across the dungeon, splitting asunder anything that crosses their master’s path. A cascade of ribald hit points rain down as our God-like protagonist swipes, slashes, evades, defends, and unlocks special necromancy and skills to rid the realms he travels of corruption in order to prove his brother War’s innocence and restore humanity to a barren Earth.

This is the stark and violently beautiful tone struck time and again during Vigil Games and THQ’s Darksiders II. The fall’s first major sequel finally ends the gaming drought that gamers experience every summer. The original Darksiders was a successful cult hit and the development time put into its sequel is apparent from the outset. Care is put into the major elements that delineate tentpole series from one-off curios.

The masterful score (courtesy of Assassin’s Creed composer Jesper Kyd) and fetching art direction are as far-reaching and bold as the worlds Death rides across in his lengthy action-adventure. The narrative coincides with the events of the first Horseman story. And like War did in Darksiders, Death completes his hero’s journey by conquering Diablo-aping dungeons, traversing walls à la Prince of Persia, slaying massive bosses like Kratos from God of War, and solving Zelda-esque puzzles. One major hitch in the gameplay department is the insistence on the developers to throw fetch quests at your feet in groups of three instead of compelling through-lines.

At a solid 20-to-40 hours, Darksiders II easily leapfrogs the game time of its successor, but there are nagging technical problems. During the Gnashor boss fight in a gladiatorial arena, I experienced some frame rate issues and at a few points the beautiful character models and architecture flash away to reveal the boring inner skeleton of this fully realized world. It’s a shame that this happens, but thankfully these game-breaking issues are rare.

The combat in Darksiders II is fast and furious. Death can unleash a wild and varying set of combos, juggles, and evading moves. In addition, he can augment this traditional violence with a formal leveling system, which offers two upgrade paths. One increases his prowess as a swiftly moving melee fighter, while the other focuses on arcane abilities, enabling him to summon upgradeable helper ghouls and murderous crows. Even if you lean on one path more than the other, the real heavy hitter magic attacks become available as you gain experience.

The tiny-yet-cumulative headaches of olden RPGs are largely removed here. Players can fast travel to any key locations you’ve already visited over the course of your adventure, ducking out of a dungeon to stock up on health potions, for example, before returning to the exact spot you teleported from a few minutes later. Sidequests are logged and color-coded in the menu. The menu can be sluggish when switching between categories, but the ability to quickly see the strengths and/or weaknesses of any weapon or piece of armor as you pluck them off the battlefield is a godsend.

Darksiders II is a tad sophomoric at times, but THQ and Vigil punctuate each narrative twist with riveting action that harkens to classics of varying genres. It also helps that Michael Wincott’s gravelly vocal turn as Death can be as comically dry as Ezekiel’s Valley of Bones. The character designs are also inventive and vary across the three major worlds: The Tree of Life, The Tree of Death, and Earth. The supporting vocal cast are delightful as well. Hulking trolls toss Death like a wee lass and merchants make jokes from time to time. Ghostly voices in the City of Dead will unnerve many players and the combat sound effects all portray a sense of heft and force.

Despite some technical faults, Darksiders II is an awe-inspiring second entry in a potential four-part series. (Next up would be the whip-wielding horsewoman Fury or the Rider of the White Horse, Strife.) Vigil unfurls a conversant world that champions the prototypical games of the past and sometimes rivals them. (www.darksiders.com / www.thq.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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January 19th 2013

Darksiders II action is fun, even though the enemies and puzzles can be repetitive. The RPG elements are incredibly well-implemented. Good game

May 9th 2013

I love this game. I admit, when I first played it I was underwhelmed (yes, I played the 1st one) and a little disappointed, however it quickly grew on me and turned my opinion round. There are pacing issues, but overall it’s a solid game, very enjoyable and I’m always anxious to see what new weapon will get dropped by a downed enemy!
I did torrent a copy of the game at 1st to try it. (Hey, I was low on funds and impatient..!) When it came to payday I bought a copy. Hell, I might even buy a 2nd copy to ensure there’ a 3rd game.
Thanks for a great game Vigil.

abdul raheem
October 5th 2016

Darksiders II (PC/PlayStation 3/Xbox 360)
it is verynice article and good postthanks for sharing this article to us
    i really like this article because i got good info about this article thanks for haring this article to us .best regards.
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February 15th 2017

Modeling technique is used to come up with virtual building models of naturalistic touch and the architectural services is provided to it using the aid of 3D Rendering. 3D Modeling and Rendering empowers designers and architects to show all of the other as well as interior, outside building parts like water bodies elements as well as real-life, landscaping, sky, vegetation, etc.

June 13th 2017

Although this game has some repetitive combat mechanics, it is still one of the best games of its kind out there. I’d say this one is better than the first one. It should be cheap if you get it today.

Darksiders II
June 13th 2017

Despite its problems, I was compelled onward in my quest with Death because Darksiders 2 is simply a fun game. The RPG elements and to-the-point action all make for some solid gaming, glitches and all. It’s a shame so many glaring issues hold such an ambitious endeavor back from the greatness its developers were clearly aiming for. Still, if you love action adventure games, it’s certainly worth checking out - but don’t expect it to rival the masterpieces it will inevitably call to mind.

February 16th 2019

I love this game. Thanks for making it. Loved the thought that was put behind writing this game’s story. I’m glad. :)

July 20th 2020

i wish i could play some more of the darkside on my new laptop

September 8th 2020

best game