Monday, 16 January 2012
When I first heard about the Darksiders game a few years ago I was instantly drawn to it as it was based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, something that hadn't been done before. The type and style of the game also appealed to me despite it being nothing new. Not long after hearing about the game I started looking into it and found my favourite artist, Joe Mad! was the creative director behind it. This just gave me even more enthusiasm towards the game ages before its release.
So the game itself...
You play as War, the red rider of the Four Horsemen, an enforcer of the Charred Council. The Four Horsemen's most important duty is to heed the call of the Endwar and punish anyone on Earth. When you're prematurely summoned to Earth,a chain of events begin that ends with the unfortunate extinction of humankind and the victory of the armies of The Destroyer. You are charged with the crime of upsetting the balance and are sent back to Earth to find answers, or die trying.
Despite the game having good reviews all round it is too often accused of stealing ideas from God of War and Zelda. (Pffffft Zelda my arse...I've never played one, never will, moving on now) I can see why Darksiders and so many other hack and slash games are compared to God of War, it is a good game, but I think its unfair to say Darksiders has stolen bits from it. As good as God of War is, it is still just a hack and slash game that didn't really reinvent anything itself in the genre. Darksiders and every other hack and slash game generally do the same things, it just depends how well it does them and how much fun it is to play and I think Darksiders is alot of fun.
The game is based around a fairly basic but interesting story that doesn't over complicate things. The world is big with the options to backtrack as far as you like, reaching places that weren't previously accessible. This gives a fair amount of replay value in going back to collect all the hidden items, provided you can remember where everything is. I've personally played the game through 5 or 6 times and haven't been able to achieve 100% completion which doesn't so much annoy as make me want to try again!
The artistic style of the game is another reason I like it so much. Joe Mad was picked by Vigil because he had the kind of art style that they wanted for the game and I don't think they could of picked anyone better. Mad's style of big bulky characters and sharp edges give War a powerful presence and an atmosphere to match. The creature design is also very impressive with everything looking over proportioned and menacing, just how things from hell should be! Its really interesting to see just how much of an individuals artistic style can be built into a game and how recognisable his style is within Darksiders.
The combat in the game, while nothing special, works and is enjoyable. I have heard reviews of it being overcomplicated but I think this is unjustified. The combat flows well with an interesting variety of weapons that can be upgraded and swapped throughout the game. The game tends to throw big waves of enemies at you in one go and the way War can wipe through them all just emphasise the power he has. The only problem I had with the combat was there just wasn't enough enemies to get through and I was left not being able to fully upgrade everything I wanted to.
I was pleased with the length of the game as I got 40+ hours out of each play through. Others have stated it lasts only 15+ but I assume this is without playing the game to its full extent and exploring the areas properly. So I guess its range is appealing to different types of players. If you want a quick hack and slash to plough through its an awesome 15+ hours, but for the more involved gamer who wants to get the most out of it, you have 40+.
Overall its a fun game with good characters, interesting environments, appealing art style and fast paced combat. Go buy it!