Posted: March 23
Darksiders II continues the epic tale of the four horsemen of the apocalypse from the first game, where you played as War in the beginning of the end times as the final war between heaven and hell begins, triggering the extinction of mankind. In this game, you play as Death, trying to prove your brother War's innocence in a trial where he is accused of starting the end war on his own accord, too early. It is basically Law and Order, if Mr. McCoy also went on killing sprees with scythes.
The game itself uses all the good bits from a variety of genres with surprisingly pleasant results. It pulls off spectacle fighting well with satisfying combat, and Death has many, many tricks up his sleeves. His attacks feel fluid and with different timing on followup attacks he can perform an almost dizzying amount of different combos, launchers, juggle attacks and dash strikes. On top of this Death gets access to either physical special attacks, or spells, as he gains in power throughout the game.
The game also takes from role playing games, with the levelling and skill progression we've come to expect in all games now but also randomized loot, which is something you don't see in this kind of game. There's areas where monsters can be grinded for gold, loot and xp as well as shops that sell gear, and having the right kind of stats on your stuff has a big impact on your character.
The game is also an at times pretty smart puzzle platforming game, and you can expect to spend just as much time figuring out how to reach those hidden treasures seemingly out of reach, as you will fighting stuff. Death climbs, wall runs, runs on ledges and grapples onto stuff but also has to use the enviroment to his advantage.
I also really like the world designs as a whole, there's lots of beautiful and interesting scenes to take in. It is pretty, and not just all brown either. Quite the looker, really!
Generally I find very little wrong with this game and I'm not sure why this game never became a super smash hit. There are some things though that I will mention.
At times very poor camera handling. This game commits the sin of randomly taking camera control away from you often right in the middle of a platform puzzle, along with changing your controls. You can jump at a wall and press up, to try to make Death wall climb it only to have the game take the camera and decide that now you need to press left for him to wall climb. This can lead to a large number of annoying deaths.
While the game still looks overall pleasing, graphics afficionados will immediately notice poor texture quality and filtering, low polygon count on objects and doodads that clip into view at disturbingly short distances. Depending on your hardware you may also have to run the game fullscreen windowed or with the ingame Vsync enabled to reach stable 60 fps without heavy stuttering, or mess with RivaTuner/Inspector etc to find the magic setting that makes it run well.
There's many areas where you have access to Despair, your loyal death horse thingie for faster travel, and you can also fight on horseback. This feels goofy, both the riding controls and mounted combat are rather awkward and could have been taken out.
There, done with the whiny bits. Because all in all I'm having a grand time with this game. At time of writing I've played 15ish hours on one playthrough and I think I'm maybe half way through the game, so there's quite decent length to it as well and I am looking forward to seeing how it ends.
Overall rating for this game from me will be two tacos. As we all know tacos are delicious.