Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition is a role-playing hack and slash game originally developed by Vigil Games and published by THQ as Darksiders II. It was then remastered by Nordic Games after THQ was liquidated, and Nordic acquired the rights to the Darksiders franchise. The Darksiders Franchise is set in a universe in which Heaven and Hell are at war on earth and humans are all but extinct, with the player taking on the role of one of the horseman of the apocalypse. The game’s Play Time is around 30 – 40 hours including all main/side quests and new game +.
The game’s story kicks off with a quick reminder of the events of the start of Darksiders, whose events run in parallel to Darksiders 2. Darksiders 2 however, sidesteps in its choice of hero to the first game and instead opts for a different horseman known as Death. The story follows Death on his journey across multiple worlds in the quest to clear War’s (from the first game) name whilst battling a new evil called corruption that threatens to destroy everything.
The gameplay involves solving puzzles and fighting various types of enemies to make your way through the world and through dungeons. The dungeons in the game require some minor puzzle solving skill to complete and as in the first game during most dungeons in the game the player is given an ability that is required to complete that dungeon while subsequent dungeons will build on and give more complicated puzzles requiring the same ability or a combination of a few. The combat in the game is that of a classic hack and slash which requires performing combos by making different combinations of heavy and light attacks and using the dodge button in order to evade enemy attacks that come your way. The games roleplaying elements allow the player to level up to a maximum level of 30 and allocate skill points to either one of the two skill trees within the game in order to obtain different skills.
The player can also equip different armours and weapons to increase damage caused and the defenses of the character against enemy damage. Combining the usage of different armours/weapons and skill point allocation, it is possible to slightly alter the play-style of the game between melee and caster orientated combat however, the difference is minute and pointless should the player create a weapon focused on the health steal stat. This combat could be improved by further distancing the differences between play-styles and altering how much of the health steal stat can be used to prevent be exploits that allow the player to receive a huge amount of health recovery per second. Despite the problem with the balancing, combat is still fun and varied.
Like the original Darksiders, Darksiders 2 offers some superb voice acting using some great voice actors, such as Michael Wincott playing Death and Keith Szarabajka as The Crowfather—among other actors—all of which have a huge amount of experience in performing various roles. The experience of these voice actors makes each character you interact with feel different to each other, but themed to each of their respective areas. An example of this in action is that in the first area—the Makers area—the Maker character designs have a Celtic tribe look to them, so they have a more Scottish tone to most of their voices however each character still feels unique. The Crowfather’s voice actor does a phenomenal job of narrating Deaths adventure throughout the game and all other supporting characters such as Ostegoth and Vulgrim have unique and memorable voices that make talking to them a joy.
The Darksiders 2 music was composed by Jesper Kyd, who has composed music for many games including the Assassins Creed series and Borderlands series. The music composed for this game has been expertly performed and the music for each area in the game fits the theme in which it was designed; from the calming ambience of the maker’s mountain village to the ominous music of the demons fortress of shadows edge, and everywhere in between. The Music for boss fights feels as boss fight music should for a hack and slash game. It instills a feeling that the fight is between two powers that are beyond any mortal’s comprehension and makes the player feel that, even if the weapon balancing throws off any real challenge to the fight.
The remaster of Darksiders 2 was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and included some shiny new graphical upgrades, 1080p resolution, changes to balancing, a new difficulty mode called Deathinitive mode and all the DLC that was released on the original was included. While the game is still as fun to play as the original the game, it still includes some problems from the original. One of these problems is that all Story DLC access, apart from the crucible DLC are separate from the main campaign maps and accessing them requires changing which story is being played via the main menu. This must be done for each DLC in the game. Another problem with the game is that by using the possessed weapons to create your own weapons, and feeding unwanted weapons to them in order to mix and match with stats, some of the weapon stats are still too overpowered. This can make the game too easy even on its hardest difficulty. There is also a problem with a few of the side-quests being incredibly tedious and terrible to track, as they have the player collect X number of a certain item in the world but give no indication as to which of the areas in the game the player has yet to collect them from, or which areas the player has already collected them.
In summing up, Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition deserves 8 out of 10 for its upgrades in the visuals over the original and the inclusion of some slight balancing improvements into the game which increases the challenge the game provides the player. Hopefully, with the franchise in the hands of a new publisher the chance for another sequel is still possible however, this may take many years to happen.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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