Darksiders 2, Vigil Games hack-and-slash RPG fusion has been a prominent figure within the video game community as of late. As a fan of the original, and one that occasionally hops on the bandwagon of mass appeal, I added the game to my “must play” list. After 25 hours of dungeon crawling, creature slaying, and loot collecting, I completed Darksiders 2 (with plenty of collectibles still to attain). I previously wrote an article before its release called Why Darksiders 2 Will Rock Your World. While it was quite an entertaining ride, I’m not quite sure if the experience reached that level of admiration.
Darksiders 2 follows the journey of Death, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse and the brother of War, the protagonist from the first installment. Death’s story coincides with War’s expedition; they both occur concurrently. Due to the shared timeline, Darksiders 2’s plotline functions as a vehicle to deliver back story rather than offering its own unique tale.
After viewing the anticlimactic conclusion of Darksiders 2 (slight spoilers below) I was left with a feeling of apathy. Besides the surprising ease of the last boss, the conclusion was opposite of epic. The game’s finale, and in truth its entire course, seems unnecessary in the grand scheme of the series’ narrative primarily because the sequel and first game shared a common ending (except perhaps the short scene after the credits).
The purposelessness of the sequence of events reminded me of another game, fun to play, but nearly pointless in terms of story, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Despite the lull in anecdotal progression, the voyage throughout multiple worlds, varied temples, and assorted enemies was unexpectedly amusing.
Combat and Gameplay
A key factor to Darksiders 2 success was its combination of fast-paced combat and RPG elements. Though not as fluid or brutal as God of War, Darksiders 2 allows players to utilize relatively simple combos against an assortment of enemy types. A plethora of weapons are at Death’s disposal including a mixture of fast and slow weapons, dual scythes, gauntlets, and even giant two-handed hammers. The jittery, unpredictable camera can be an issue, especially when fighting against multiple foes but it’s a manageable concern overall.
In terms of new additions, the possessed weapons are great supplements to the overhauled combat and upgrade mechanics. These special equips allow for players to sacrifice their unneeded items which will power up the possessed weapon of choice. Players are free to build a weapon that complements their play style whether it be hack and slash or more distance driven with the use of wrath powers.
Personally, my focus was on critical damage. I combined the speed of the scythes with a slower secondary weapon to deliver a blend of rapid flurry attacks with slow, powerful finishing swings. My most recent possessed weapon, a pair of scythes, was enhanced with boosts to critical damage, critical chance, health on critical, and execution chance. While these upgrades work wonderfully for me, the beautiful part about Darksiders 2 is that players are free to customize how they please.
The major flaw of Darksiders 2 is the presence of glitches, bugs, and problems galore. For me, the game majorly glitched on two occasions. One being in an early temple, a mini-boss was stuck to the wall unable to be damaged or even locked on too. The other occurred within the Foundry, while climbing a wall near the end of the dungeon. I warped through, outside of the level’s confines and was literally stuck between a rock and a hard place. A simple reset fixed both problems, but both scenarios were annoying nonetheless.
As a fan of the original title, Darksiders 2 was a worthwhile experience. I appreciated the push towards a more RPG driven style, and the inclusion of skill trees, an open world, and one of my favorite things on this planet, loot. I just hope the next game of the series will address the variety of issues while improving on the facets that failed this time around.
If you’ve played Darksiders 2, what are your impressions? What do you think the developers need to work on for Darksiders 3?
Editor’s Note: I’m in the process of collecting the bazillions of collectibles that Darksiders 2 has to offer then on to apocalyptic mode! As for a random note, I really liked the fight between the Forge Lands final boss the Guardian. It reminded me of a battle from Shadow of the Colossus which is a game that is near and dear to my heart.