Strife, War, Fury, and Death. Those are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from which the Darksiders series ever so much revolves around. These horsemen just happen to be the last of the Nephilim. The Nephilim are a superpowered bastard race supposedly conceived from the sons of God who are fallen angels (demons) and everyday joe-schmoe’s 10 out 10 smoking hot daughters. Sounds nice, right? I imagine that going a lot like the exorcism scene from This Is The End, with the twist that the human is strapped to the bed. Now that’s compelling! As you can tell, these are the same horsemen which are loosely based on biblical scriptures. Not that I would expect too many to know that, though.
Of those four horsemen, you journey through the story as Death to prove War’s innocence since being charged with crimes against humanity, who jump started the Apocalypse early. Your journey isn’t alone as you are aided by who else other than your trusty steed, Despair. Unlike the first Darksiders, this mount is available right from the get-go, which is really nice.
Darksiders 2 gameplay is very Indiana-Jones-meets-RPG like. I’m not talking about rockets either, but rather Role Playing Game (think Dungeons and Dragons). I mean Indy is good, but he doesn’t have spidey-like reflexes, or a scythe. From start to finish, the game incorporates a lot of puzzle solving. You’ll roll big balls, hit levers, think with portals, do this, do that, basically… solve puzzles. You get the idea, it’s a platformer. But, a platformer that also has a huge open world, loot system, skills, and more.
The controls for Darksiders 2 seemed a tad clunky for my taste. General movement and combat are really smooth, even horseback riding, but doing calculated maneuvers such as vine wall hopping and some backward jumps just seemed to be in need of tweak-age. Could this be a PC problem? Sure. Would hooking up one of my console controllers fix this problem? I have no idea. But either way, it should be flawless. Hell, the action key is an arrow on the screen and by default the key is “E”. Like that won’t throw anybody off…
That moves me into my next topic. This game is probably the worst console ports I’ve played — hands down. Steer clear of the neglected PC version, instead opt for your favorite console flavor. What’s wrong with the PC version? Simple, the Anti-Aliasing and V-sync features are beyond busted. Depending on your setup, this game can be a real pain in the arse to get working. Without some divine 3rd party tools, expect your graphics card to overheat, spontaneously combust, and have Death consume you, soon to be followed by Despair. Jokes aside, rolling out a patch to protect consumer hardware should have been made priority to say the least. Shame on you Vigil Games. THQ was so disappointed in the port they closed up shop! (I kid, I think.)
I found the Darksiders 2 soundtrack very fitting for the game. It has a general darkish vibe to it, which I really wouldn’t expect it any other way. Throughout the 26 track listing it has a good mix of rhythms and sounds. One could say it won’t completely bore you to Death. If I had to come to a single verdict, Jesper Kyd did an excellent job composing the music. I would go as far as saying for whenever a sequel comes out, it would be a huge mistake to not bring Jesper back aboard. This man does game music justice.
All things considered, Darksiders 2 is a great platformer with lots of hack-and-slash style action, a decent loot system, and an excellent soundtrack. If your experience was anything like mine, the PC version will leave a bad taste at the start but wears off with some game play. I would consider this strictly console only, as the future concept of patches for the PC version of the game being slim to none. I should also note this a loner game. There is no multiplayer. With 30-50 hours of gameplay you shouldn’t — ahhh who am I kidding. Playing as the 4 horsemen in a group against mobs of enemies would have been a sweet addition in my book for some extended value.