MMO News, Reviews & Opinions
MMO News, Reviews & Opinions
- Written by Sm1tty Sm1t
Never has a game swayed back and forth from astonishing to frustrating like Darksiders 2. The action and combat pendulums back toward wonky puzzle design and frustrating camera work so often that players will have a difficult time determining if they love the game or hoping that the main character make a special appearance in their living room to just end their misery. Eventually you’ll have to decide if what’s done right is enough to outweigh what’s done wrong. For combat-loving fans, it is. For those looking for deep, contextual puzzles that require thought to finish, it’s not.
Death is a strange character to focus on this time around. After battling angel and demon alike as War in the first installment, seeing the Grim Reaper himself should cause everybody he meets to shudder in fear. Unfortunately, much like War was underestimated, Death is also treated like nothing more than a nuisance and is scoffed at. Yet time and time again he ends up the victor, reaping soul after soul and delivering them to the afterlife. Because War, Death’s violent brother, is walking the earth prematurely (the plotline of the first game), Death sets out to restore mankind, which was rendered extinct when the seals were broken and the battle on earth ensued. To accomplish that, Death must access ‘The Well of Souls’; problem is, the connected worlds of the afterlife have begun to be poisoned by ‘The Corruption’ which has caused docile creatures and formerly friendly NPC’s to become tainted.
They don’t stay tainted for long though, as Death maims, mutilates, dismembers, and destroys with the swing of his scythes. The combat system, similar to that of the previous game, actually seems upgraded thanks to the implementation of obtainable loot found from random encounters or chests scattered throughout the world. The typical loot is found for defense: chest, boots, arms, etc., but the offensive weapons found -- both in forms of the primary scythes or the array of secondary items like hammers, glaives, or claws -- are where players should find the greatest variation. For higher raw damage, slow weapons like the hammer, mace, or glaive will put a hurt on most creatures. Although the faster, lower damage weapons are far and away the best in the game, causing quick, decisive damage that can stagger foes, allowing for even more attacks to be landed. It’s a great (if not typical) way to give players a feeling of customization toward their own unique play style.
Speaking of customization, players are also provided with skills points each time they level, which can be implemented into one of two separate trees. One tree focuses on pure offensive skills, utilizing Death’s penchant for combat, while the other focuses in necromancy. Defensive abilities are abundant, but the meat of the skill tree revolves around summoning minions to do your bidding. Explosive ghouls and a murder of crows will answer your call and rain havoc on opponents.
And while the customization is good and the story pulls players in, the execution of the game itself leaves much to be desired. Far too often players will face a puzzle or a boss that offers no guidance or hint as to what exactly needs to be done to see it to its end, leaving players to bang their head against a wall time and time again until, by chance, the solution is found. It’s a similar complaint that players cried from the original game and while a minor addition has been added in the form of Dust, your loyal companion crow, too often Dust is vague or simply incorrect when he indicates which direction you should be heading to finish a quest.
The final piece of frustration comes in the form of the camera, a piece they’ve yet to get quite right from the onset of one and continue the awkwardness in the second. Granted, it’s better than the first installment, but there are still times where players will scratch their heads wondering where exactly the next ledge is, or which platform they’re supposed to be on. Of 90 deaths I obtained throughout the game, a solid 20+ hours, 87 came in the form of ‘falling off of things’.
Still, despite the constant camera issues, seeing death plummet to his doom over and over, and the frustration born from lackluster puzzle design, the game still offers something. Those looking for solid combat will find it with various fight combos and some of the best enemy design to be released this generation. If you’re searching for an interesting story (which runs concurrently with the first game, surprisingly) that spans multiple worlds, Darksiders 2 can certainly provide that. And finally, if you’re looking for a game that offers multiple playthroughs, collectibles, and still offers a challenge even when you’ve become the badass that Death should be, pull up a chair.
Overall Score: 7.5 out of 10
Disclaimer: A copy of this game for XBox360 was provided for review purposes