I have been waiting to avenge my fallen brother War, for over a year and let me tell you, Darksiders 2 delivers. A much more fleshed out game than the original, Darksiders 2 feels more like a traditional role-playing game than an action-adventure. In truth, it really is a bit of both, as well as a shooter, and puzzle game. I think what endears me to the game, is that one size does NOT fit all and you will find yourself enjoying many aspects from many games. It is apparent that Vigil shamelessly borrowed some of the best parts of many successful games and I have no problem with this, as Darksiders 2 executes and delivers. I have heard the buzz that Darksiders 2 is nothing more than a giant fetch quest, and whereas I can see how some might feel that way, to me it is just an opportunity to explore these fantastic, dark worlds. I really could care less if I am a fed-ex boy disguised as Death, because Death is so damn fun to play.
I think a facet of the game that is overlooked is that Death is a bada** and never forgets to remind those he encounters that he carries the biggest stick. As one of the 4 horsemen, you feel like you already have that swagger. You are the incarnation of Death and you are going to save your brother and bring justice to the universe. How could you not walk the walk with let your scythes do the talking knowing this? There is none of the zero to hero over the length of the game, here you are the hero and spend the time you have only gaining more power and skill. With the addition of special weapons, being able to feed your possessed items to power them up, and letting you pick up and utilize different armor to change your appearance is simply brilliant. Not only does Death have swagger, he has style!
Though the game can appear to be pretty linear, the worlds offer a lot of exploration with hidden goodies strewn throughout. Some have mentioned that the “outside” environments feel empty with a lack of things to kill while you are exploring, however I imagine this is Vigil’s attempt to pace the game. Some RPG games I have played the combat becomes repetitious and tedious as every two steps there is something intent on flaying you alive. I would like to think the pacing is so you have a moment to look at and appreciate the world around you and not fall into the cycle of endless combat.
The combat feels relevant and special and I enjoy having time between the battles to hunt for hidden loot without the endless fighting. And speaking of combat, the melee in Darksiders 2 is a smooth, quick paced affair. I have yet to run into any sort of latency and the combos move with fluid grace from start to finish. The finishing moves in Reaper form are like an epic highlight reel. The bosses take strategy and ingenuity to overcome and I find myself playing with a grin of satisfaction as I annihilate the competition. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the monsters haunting the rest of the levels and worlds you encounter. These fights usually dissolve into a key mashing affair without any need of tactics or strategy to win. But even these fights are, if nothing else, fun to behold as you wrack up the combos.
The art-style is much more refined than the first game and I think you will enjoy the cel-shaded graphics and cleaner renderings than in the first Darksiders. The incredible use of textures and lighting really brings these fascinating places to life. The sound is fairly well done however at times when it transitions into action sequences, it might stutter. Aside from that, I have yet to find a bug or glitch to detract from this terrific game. Honestly, if you were on the fence about this title… buy it. It is worth the investment in both time and money.