Darksiders: Discovering more of War. Downloadable content fixed.
War: of the Four Horsemen.
Darksiders, courtesy of specific advertising, is more than just a game.
In the beginning it was a brand new I.P. to come out (though is different than Vigil Games' original idea before they went down their Darksider path), previously holding the sub-title of: Wrath of War, was action/adventure based. Crawl thru dungeons, kill enemies, gather currency, get some key items and some key weapons. Pretty straight forward.
Constantly referred to a Legend of Zelda-esque game. Some have even argued it is like Devil May Cry/God of War (mostly due to the techniques and such). Or even like a Legacy of Kain kind of a game. In all cases, they are right, to a point. But this blend is very one-sided. Where it is similar to others, but it is different just the same. The similarities do help with players to get into the game with relative easy.
War himself has been referenced, however comically, to being a World of Warcraft character reject. Due to very similar appearances of War and some special, or otherwise, characters.
Either way, it was their way to portray the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. To the Darksiders Lore, were War, Death, Strife and Fury. Strife and Fury are the only 2 to have name alterations out of the four: Strife is also known as Pestilence whereas Fury is also known as Famine.
If you are new to Darksiders, look up some Concept artwork that has found it's way online. Illustrated by Paul Richards, it is just enough to show where the game came from without showing too much. It doesn't compare to the Art of Darksiders, of course, but it isn't bad for the curious or the collector. Though keep an eye on the info just above each thumbnail, it will tell you what Project it is for, since there is more than just Darksiders artwork there.
Look it up at Autodestruct.
Reservation incentives and specials.
Pre-ordered or 'Reserved' copies were accompanied with a prequel Comic/Artbook (start from bottom of page and work your way up); few events right before Darksiders takes place (and foreshadowing some things). As well as a permanent skin for the scythe called 'The Harvester' (which is unlocked using the case-sensitive universal code: The Hollow Lord). Special location pre-orders were also accompanied with unique Foil Poker Deck cards. While others got a 7 Inch War action figure.
With those, there was a Lapel Pin available, as an incentive/swag for special circumstances. The Lapel Bin had the Darksiders Logo, and was dubbed the 'Horsemen Cometh Order' Darksiders Pin.
Another was a simple yet interesting pen. Under the 'This is Your Last' label, it was a pen. Designed with several skulls stacked on top of one another which were the make up of the top of the pen.
All were while supplies last, of course.
Before Darksiders launched, THQ had a special Sweepstakes going on for a time in which Community Members and those interested in Darksiders could participate in the Sweepstakes for a chance to win (for the moment) a one of a kind grand Prize.
Grand Prize Prize: One-of-a-kind Custom Darksiders Xbox 360® Laptop painted by Joe Madureira and designed by Ben Heck & an exclusive autographed "Darksiders" Poster.
Since the end of the Sweepstakes and the reign of Darksiders concluded, the site was removed. But fragments can be found, courtesy of the Web Archive.
Site was easy enough: darksidersweeps.com
The PC version pre-order was also coupled with the Darksiders Cloth map, digital graphic novel and Darksiders, with some other pieces of artwork and such. But the biggest was the Art of Darksiders (which was part of the digital Hellbook as the artbook) which was in physical form.
First Run special offer.
First run copies (which had a foil-like 'shine' to the cover art) also contained a code slip insert (shown at the right) that was (a while later) revealed on the Darksiders website to be for a THQ Special: The Digital Hellbook (which contains the Hellbook art and info scans, trailers, additional videos and other art based promotional material which can all basically be found online) and was also a discount (only pay shipping) coupon for a slightly older THQ title: Red Faction - Guerrilla.
This was a great way to start off a game release (speaking of course to those who got the code actually sought out what it was for) and assisted with game sales. One of the many 'errors' with this is that within the THQ shop, at the end of the transaction right before going thru with the order, you were given an option to have the digital content burned onto a disk for later use. With this offer, the only digital goods was the picture stating you got Red Faction: Guerrilla (shown at the right).
This, being purely human error, did cause a bit of a ruckus, with forum posts and such.
A little about the previous Official Website.
At the beginning of its life, the official website featured all kinds of content (as sites tend to do). Ranging from artwork/concept art to fan-kits (featured below in digital content), to a video series they had running at the time called "Have You Noticed", which merged game detail with in life catastrophic footage, Further showing off that it is post-apocalyptic theme. To an interactive World-Map (where you would scroll over areas and a pop up would feature area information) and to a 4-part Trailer series called the Hellbook (name inspired the Digital Hellbook). Plus a bit more.
You can no longer visit the site live. As it has been abandoned. You can partially see it via Internet Archive but all features will not work.
Their forum had some 'challenges' going on to members only where they would issue specific details, allowing members to follow suit and post proof of their entry. By completion of each challenge, members were awarded 'points' as well as badges that were placed beneath their Username/Avatar space. There were only a few badges given (due to most, if not all, staff leaving the site to work on their next project: Darksiders II).
Examples would be: One was a screen capture of a certain trophy/achievement. Another was a DeviantArt fan art submission. Few polls related to the in-game content.
There were special contests held as well as some third party media sites (some game magazines, and such) that gave away Cloth Maps for the game, a life-sized replica of Chaoseater. Among other things.
Facebook Applications (offline).
THQ had a few Social Media applications made to further advertise the game as well as appeal to existing fans of the game. Primarily Facebook only.
The applications were:
- Friend Judger: Where you could condemn a Facebook friend or recruit them. Unlockables were key and the more you judged, the more you got unlocked. Which was just weapons and abilities used in the actual Retail game.
- Darksiders Quiz: A simple 'What Would you Do' kind of quiz. Nothing really special.
- Gifts of Doom: Pretty much just send gifts to your friends. A straight forward way to expose others to the Darksiders name.
- Messages From the End: Using the Well of Souls, you would click a coin to fall in and you would get a random message. Some 'inspirational', others just statements.
*These applications are now off-line due to Darksiders II.
Augmented Reality demonstration.
Following suit for mobile entertainment, they even released an IOS mini-game dubbed Darksiders: Weapons of War. Where you swing your iPhone around to perform techniques that destroy your opponents, allowing you to unlock weapons and other content. This is priced as $0.99 cents and is still available.
Another application was made, for free, but was just wallpapers of War, dubbed Darksiders: Images of War.
Non-purchasable content was released on the previous Official Website, which had a few goodies of it's own to offer during the time. One being the "Desktop Dashboard":
- Widget*: a little app that ran in the corner of your Computer. Displaying Time, Date, and any Darksiders News.
- DS Theme*: Changes the background image, Mouse cursor icon and adds sound effects to clicking.
*Widget server is off-line and the theme is no longer officially available.
Additional content included from their previous website is (in no particular order):
- HMV "Fallen Angels" 2010 Calendar.*
- Buddy Icons.*
- Screen Saver *
- "Augmented Reality" marker.*
- Augmented Reality program (gone from official site but is hosted on a third party site). What it did was 'apply' War to a printed marker that reacted when you moved your hand close to it.
*Content by a star is compiled into a .rar file for download.
For the sake of Digital Content, I'll upload content from the Digital Hellbook for your viewing pleasure. Some content previously stated will be found on the Digital Hellbook, be aware of content duplication.
*Uploaded as a .rar file.
Products currently featured on Amazon.com.
Along with all the digital content released for Darksiders, there has been quite a few physical creations made for it. Aside from the previously mentioned Comic (which has an Amazon page), Cards, HMV Calendar (to HMV subscribers), Digital Hellbook and Cloth Map (which is rare due to never being retail).
There has also been:
- Chaoseater Sword (not the same to the replica given away, this is another replica meant for retail). Made by United Cutlery.
- The Art of Darksiders, which is a full on art/concept art book. Primarily soft cover, Hard Cover's can be found within the Udon Shop (not to mention eBay of course).
- Graphic Novel (comic).
- Resin Samael and War Riding Ruin statues.
- War Action Figure.
- Darksiders Soundtrack: Director's Cut (which features the music of the game as well as a few songs that never made it in).
- Press Kit exclusive (and very rare), Black leather or other material cover/box/sleeve holder for the game.
*Related products linked to by Amazon app featured to the right.
Penny Arcade comic.
Penny Arcade took it upon themselves to do a comic of their own for Darksiders. Cleverly taking Legend of Zelda's Link into account. It is a very small comic, but still enjoyable.
The Wrap up.
All-in-all, THQ seemed to have high hopes for Darksiders to pump out such content for a brand new I.P., but is accepted due to how well the game was received. The game becoming such a hit has inspired a 'cult' following of dedicated fans. Which THQ has understood and had a few products made for release sometime during Darksiders II (before, during, after).
As soon as Darksiders II gets launched, I'll go over all the juicy details of extra content and swag for it as well. Stay tuned, and please don't mind the constant edits...
New information coming in all the time. Revised: 2/01