ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review: Darksiders II

Updated on February 18, 2013

Developer: Vigil Games - Publisher: THQ - Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC - Release Date: August 14, 2012

Concept: Improve an already solid formula with a more formidable lead character and an addictive loot system.

Graphics: Character designs (Death's, especially) are fantastic and environments are much more detailed this time around. The frame rate tends to lag at times, and load times between areas are an annoyance

Sound: The score is serviceable, if unremarkable

Playability: Death's agile fighting style makes him way more enjoyable to play than War and platforming feels fluid and responsive

Entertainment: Darksiders II's fast-paced action and inventive puzzle design will keep you engaged no matter how hard the plot tries to put you to sleep

Replay Value: Moderate


Welcoming Death With Open Arms

The original Darksiders was an wonderful amalgamation of Zelda-style exploration and God of War-style action. Darksiders II expands on that formula by adding loot to the mix and an even larger open world to create a melting pot of fun ideas.

While War was fun to use, he also felt lethargic and tank-like. His brother Death is speedy and acrobatic, making him a much more enjoyable fighter than his brother. Slicing through scores of enemies while gracefully dodging attacks makes you feel like the unstoppable force you'd expect the horseman of death to be. The new Death Grip pull foes within scythe's reach (think Nero's Devil Bringer in DMC 4) and also functions as a fun swinging mechanic in exploration. I was initially skeptical of the larger platforming focus, but Vigil nailed the Prince of Persia-inspired traversal, with wall-running and pole-to-pole leaping that feels as polished as Ubisoft's renowned platformer.

Darksiders' dungeons can confidently stand alongside Zelda's offerings in terms of quality. They're just as well-thought out, and the added emphasis on large-scale platforming make them a thrill to explore. Another plus is that they don't fall into the cliche of categorization (fire temple, water, etc.) Puzzles are devilishly clever and smartly incorporate several cool powers into their solutions, making you feel like a genius for solving them. My favorites revolved around the Soul Splitter ability, which divides Death into two, playable, halves to unravel some delightfully complex conundrums.

My only complaint about dungeons is that a few are too long for their own good. They drag on forever, with some areas feeling like they were extended solely to add length. Some people will love the super-sized design. I, however, had to take breaks exploring some areas; not because I was stuck, but because I was literally worn out from exploring the same area for so long.


The introduction of loot brings an addicting element to the table. You're always finding new, better equipment; my load-out changed on an almost constant basis. Loot is in such excess that the large inventory space can be depleted pretty easily. Thankfully, Vigil remedies this first world problem by introducing Possessed weaponry, rare items that require a sacrifice of other equipment to level up and become stronger. Instead of lugging tons of crappy gear to the nearest shop, you can spend it towards making that powerful Possessed scythe even more devastating. This system is an excellent alternative to selling equipment and I often held on to valuable items just to create the most over-powered weapons possible.

For all the forward strides Darksiders II takes, the story clumsily stumbles backwards. The original Darksiders ends on an exciting cliffhanger that, sadly, isn't followed up on at all here. Death's story runs parallel to War's, with the Pale Rider seeking to redeem his brother by restoring the human race. Death travels to various realms performing random tasks for little in return and no real payoff in terms of meaningful revelations or big moments. The story is so dull and uneventful that it feels like a filler arc until we get to the real stuff in a future entry.

The main story may be a snore, but at least the side content is entertaining enough to make up for it. Whether it's surviving waves of enemies in the arena-style Citadel, hunting down legendary fiends, or navigating the perilous Soul Arbiter's Maze, there is plenty to keep you busy when you're not trying to resurrect humanity. There is a tad over-reliance on collect-a-thon quests (Book of the Dead pages, missing construct limbs, three sets each of stones and lost artifacts) but they at least reward you with stat boosts and treasure keys, so the incentive is definitely there.

Technical issues, such the occasional frame rate drop and the sluggish menu screen, are mild annoyances in what is an otherwise polished experience. I would have loved to see where the series was going next, but with THQ's collapse and Vigil's apparent dissolution, those hopes have been dashed. Still, if this is the end, what a great way to go out.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)