PauseBreak: ‘Darksiders’ is apocalyptic fun for mature ages
Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 23:01
What if the Apocalypse didn't feature the rapture, but instead a brutal fight between angels and demons as the human race ran screaming for their lives?
This is the idea that developer Vigil Games has proposed with its game "Darksiders."
Players take the role of War, one of the four horsemen who has courtside seats to the action.
Yet, something has gone terribly wrong, and the apocalypse has started too early – the angels get their wings kicked and demons rule the world.
Of course, those in charge decide to then blame War, who is the only one of the horsemen who decided to show up to the epic battle. Uh-oh.
Instead of being destroyed by his masters, War earns the chance to return to Earth and figure out what really happened, although he has lost much of his power.
"Darksiders" feels like someone threw a bunch of games in a blender with a healthy dose of original story, combining "Maximo" with "Jak and Daxter" and level design stolen from "The Legend of Zelda."
This gives players a hack-and-slash game with beautiful colors and plenty of extra weapons for them to find, usually by solving a puzzle.
Hack-and-slash is the method of swinging your sword around as you get swarmed by enemies, but "Darksiders" combat system is helpful in that it lets you focus your attacks on one enemy in case a tougher baddie attacks.
When a bad guy has taken enough damage, players can press a button to defeat them with a violent finishing move.
The weapons that War is gifted with help with this as well, allowing him to attack at range and make his combos longer for a never-ending stream of punishment.
The puzzles that War encounters are never too hard, though, so the new weapon/tool per level rule seems slightly ridiculous.
The character design is both good and bad, and seems as if they had two different people working on it.
War himself looks fantastic, a perfect combination of angelic warrior and knight, with Link from "The Legend of Zelda's" face.
However, his constant companion, the Watcher, looks like someone took a black blob and splashed some purple on it.
Lack of creative design seems to be a problem throughout and also spreads to some of the enemies, from demons to angels, as if there wasn't any thought put into creating them.
However, most of the story characters do not suffer from this fault.
The demon Vulgrim, who acts as a merchant for War, has an awesome design, personifying purple evil with some sweet spiked bits.
The other story demons fall under the same basic design, sometimes with wings, yet each is unique enough so it doesn't seem like they're repeating designs.
"Darksiders" feels like it uses all of its energy up early in the game.
It suffers from the same problem that many hack-and-slashes do, in that the fights can get repetitive and demon slaying can only offer so much excitement before it gets a little stale.
This game borrows from so many other franchises that it just isn't really unique, as far as gameplay goes. It feels unoriginal.
But for gamers looking to fight warriors of heaven and hell while watching an exciting storyline, you could do much worse than this action title.
"Darksiders" is available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.