Posted: January 25
The Darksiders series is a tough nut for me. I really enjoy the universe, and I'm enthralled by the art style and character design - even if it seems not dissimilar to the style of another company named after chilly, inclimate weather. On top of all this, the combat really can be a lot of fun, and learning enemy attack patterns and trying to come out completely unscathed is something I enjoy.
Then there's the puzzles... So many puzzles! This is, of course, personal preference. I grew up on Zelda games like a lot of folks, but I just no longer enjoy environmental puzzles - even if they're not of any particular challenge. Every section plays out the same way: you come to a new area looking for something in particular, you meet someone who may know something, they send you on a series of convoluted quests in exchange for their secret/item, you complete said objective(s) and then move onto to the next realm. Every dungeon is a series of many environmental puzzles and a little combat until you finally beat a boss character and move onto the next.
And yet, I really enjoy the characters and world...
A quick note on the port: This was a poor job; full stop. The controls work better on a gamepad, but you lose the precision which is also required for many of the ranged items. It's a difficult call, and I found myself regularly switching between both control methods (which requires a full restart, by the way).
Graphically, the game mostly holds up well thanks to the aforementioned competent art style. Performance varies, however. Even with a GTX 760 (mid-range at the time of this review), performance will dip notably with shadows at the highest setting, and VSync in-game causes problems. I found the best performance by lowering shadows to the second highest setting and disabling in-game VSync and enabling it through the control panel. Keep in mind: these are effectively the only graphical options in this game. There's not much to tweak and tune here. In fact, you aren't even given the option to change resolution until 5 minutes into the game proper - which means 720p for the first few cutscenes...
The long-short is that I would recommend this game to fans of the series/comics as well as anyone who ever wished Link had a darker side. Just be prepared for a slightly drawn-out experience and a lot of environmental puzzles. On an aside: kudos to THQ for making a character as naturally detestable as Death relatively likable!