8 Hour Review – Darksiders 2

Hello World! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write any gaming content. But fear not! Today it comes! Darksiders 2 arrived this week, and Death is exploring options to restore humanity in an attempt to restore the balance so that he can help clear his brother’s name! But is Death enough of a man… err…. nephilim to follow in War’s footsteps?

So I’ve played around 10-12 hours into Darksiders 2. And I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. The combat is dramatically improved over the first Darksiders, and feels incredibly fluid, dynamic, and entertaining. It does seem a bit odd that Death has more weapons in his arsenal than War, but it works. You truly feel like Death, even on Apocalyptic difficulty, reaping your way through hordes of foes with your scythes and a wide assortment of secondary weapons. And the loot, oh the loot. If you’re looking for a good way to get a loot fix this year, this game is the way to go. You’ll see it everywhere, with various different rarities, stats, damage types, and other assorted perks. And to make it even better, there’s a special category of weapons called ‘Possessed’ weapons that you can feed other weapons too to make them stronger. No, I’m not kidding… you can actually absorb weapons into your possessed weapons to level it up, and as it levels you get to pick additional bonus stats for it. And, if you don’t find the weapons you’re after… just sell them to the merchant and buy new ones. The merchants have a wide variety of weapons, and your vendor trash sells for an actually meaningful amount – allowing you to easily afford those expensive items if you can’t find what you’re looking for as you slaughter your way through the hordes.

My biggest problem thus far with Darksiders 2 is the pacing. While I’m enjoying the exploration and the interesting combat… I haven’t found a single new adcventure ability – and I’ve complated at least 6-7 dungeons, with three of them being major story dungeons. And I have yet to find a single new ability. This kind of kills a bit of the Zelda/Metroid style feel from the game. Part of what made Darksiders awesome was how frequently you got access to at least something new. Not saying Darksiders 2 is bad because of this, but I do wish that at least one of the first 3 major dungeons had something new. Climbing walls is only going to keep me entertained for so long, afterall. The good side to all this is that the movement is quite responsive, and Death feels really acrobatic – which is an awesome change from the clunky, heavy War. The dungeons I’ve been in so far make me kind of feel like a slightly less over the top Ryu Hyabusa. You get a lot of the running on walls, climbing, and acrobatic jumping. It’s fantastic.

On the presentation side… the soundtrack, voice acting, and graphics are all getting high marks for at least the first 10 or so hours. The character models are interesting – especially Despair, your horse, who just looks absolutely amazing. The environments are gorgeous and varied. The soundtrack reminds me a lot of a fantasy epic like Lord of the Rings – which is just amazing. I haven’t heard any characters whose voices or lines really bother me, but Death’s voice actor in particular does a fantastic job of sounding like you’d expect Death to sound – and the person who wrote Death’s lines should be given a raise. His dry, acerbic wit and arrogance make for a hilarious character to listen to. Fantastic. The story, however, has not been as… present… as I would’ve hoped so far. I’m hoping this improves later on, but the first 10-12 hours are a bit devoid of real story and purpose. It’s unfortunate, but with everything else, this doesn’t take much away from the game so far.

I am thoroughly enjoying Darksiders 2 so far, and I’d better wrap this up so I can get back to playing some more so I can get a proper review out.

Happy Gaming!

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