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Darksider's Review

This is a discussion on Darksider's Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Darksiders Review by Gauss Basic Information: Developer: Vigil Games Publisher: THQ North American Release Date: 1/5/2010 European Release Date: 1/8/2010 ...

  1. #1
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    Sep 2011

    Darksider's Review

    Darksiders Review
    by Gauss

    Basic Information:
    Developer: Vigil Games
    Publisher: THQ
    North American Release Date: 1/5/2010
    European Release Date: 1/8/2010
    Trophies: Yes

    On the surface Darksiders is a game about War, the first of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. In the Darksiders universe the ruling body in the Universe is the Council, a group of ancient beings who balance the conflict between heaven, hell, and the human world by employing four horsemen to protect the balance and using seven seals as a pact to prevent war between the three kingdoms. When the seventh seal is broken, the Apocalypse starts and all 3 kingdoms will be judged.

    Darksiders begins with War being summoned and the Apocalypse beginning, but it is very clear as you prowl the streets of New York killing Angel and Demon alike that something is wrong, this is further confirmed after the first boss fight, when you find out that the seven seals are all still intact and War was the only horseman summoned. The council blames you for the carnage and as a part of your punishment you have to bring those really responsible to justice or die trying. You are also given a ‘Watcher,’ who acts as your handler in this game, ensuring you are actually doing what you were instructed.

    When you are let loose on the world you find out the ‘Destroyer’ (read: Devil) is holed up in a great tower and Earth is now a wasteland plagued by war, a war which it seems the demons are winning. The tower is protected by 4 ‘Chosen’ demons and your quest quickly becomes their destruction, on your ultimate quest for revenge and justice.

    This story is fairly straightforward and is not without its unexpected twists and turns, not to mention loose ends for an eventual Darksiders 2. Not to worry though, Darksider’s story is self-contained, it closes nicely. This part is actually one reason why I really like this story and single player experience. It is a great example of a group being able to make a game open to having a sequel, without leaving the entire story hanging off a cliff at the end of the game.

    The singleplayer experience, storywise, is very well done. It’s not phenomenal and some of the character development (particularly with the ‘Chosen’) leaves something to be desired, but it is without a doubt interesting, and the plot twists will definitely take you by surprise. It’s a great example of old-school video-game story telling. The villain is a mysterious entity you have no real idea about (other than his name) until the end of the game, you know from the very start exactly where you are going and what you are doing… but the final villain is not revealed until the game’s final act. The story leading up to that point is all about War and his preparations for the battle, the Watcher, and the small supporting cast. It’s a great albeit simple way to build suspense and interest, while still keeping you feeling like the story is going somewhere.

    The combat is focused on 3 buttons: you have your sword attacks, your alternate weapon attacks, and finally your special item. Each is assigned one button, and all combos dealing with that specific weapon are controlled with that button in conjunction with the joystick or shoulder buttons. It’s a simple combo system, you may only have 3 or 4, and instead when you level up your weapon it increases their damage or hits.

    The other end of the gameplay focuses on platforming/puzzle solving. As you could have guessed each of the 4 ‘Chosen’ is in a different dungeon, and that dungeon contains an item which helps War in someway get through its puzzles, on your way to eventually killing the big boss at the end of the dungeon.

    Many of you, at this point are probably saying “Oh, sounds like Zelda!” or if you aren’t a Nintendo-fanboy you might be saying “Oh, sounds like Soul Reaver!” or one of the other dozen games that have used this gameplay style before. While this has been a topic that has caused beratement by other reviewers before, I am going to be honest: Yes, the general style is like LoZ, but it is far from a rip-off.

    This game is a great example of gameplay innovation by combining ideas that haven’t been combined before. It takes that general skeleton of the Puzzle-dungeon/open-world/simple-combat action game and expands by adding a God of War style upgrade/exp system whereby your weapon skill is increased by using your weapons and downing enemies. Your inventory of items is expanded as well to allow for slotting bonus items on your weapons which add additional effects.

    The end result is a game that is eerily familiar, yet surprisingly refreshing/original. It gives us a style many of us love with enough original ideas, and ideas from other genres that end in a result that is something truly great. If I may be so bold as well, it does something LoZ hasn’t been able to do: evolve the gameplay style.

    Darksiders is the weird type of game in terms of graphics. It reminds me a lot of Dead Space. The game is not a feat in graphical achievement and you won’t be rubbing your eyes thinking “Can a game really look this real?” What the game did do is construct an environment that comes to life, the artistic direction and how the environment was constructed just makes the whole game pop.

    The end result is, despite having absolutely no basis of reference is a great environment that feels very real. Much like how EA Redwood was able to bring us the Ishimura, Darksider’s vision of their world will leave you wanting to explore and experience the world in which the game takes place.

    Aside from the brilliant construction of the world, the technical side of the game is good. It’s what you would expect from a next gen game and what you would want from an action game. The textures are very well done as are the character models. The framerate doesn’t dip or shift, there aren’t any glitches. It’s a well put-together game. The graphics aren’t ‘Uncharted 2’ level, but they also don’t break immersion.

    Gameplay: 8.5/10
    - The Gameplay is like God of War with a higher emphasis on exploration and a little “Adventure” thrown in the mix, or a Legend of Zelda with a deeper character upgrade system and a little more “Action” thrown in the mix.

    Singleplayer: 8/10
    - The story is a great example of old-school video-game story telling. You spend the game preparing for a final battle against a villian that is only truly revealed in the final act.

    Technical: 8.5/10
    - The environment is wonderfully constructed in terms of art and style. The graphical/technical performance is good, but this is no Uncharted 2.

    Overall: 8.5/10 - Superb

  2. #2
    Team Dingleberry
    simula67's Avatar

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    Sep 2011

    Great review, Gauss. This game doesn't get enough credit, in my opinion. Being a LoZ fan myself, I loved the Zelda feel without it being close to a rip-off, as you also said. I would recommend this game to anyone.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2011

    So I finally decided to see why everybody said this game was so good and finally dished out $10 to buy it and to be honest I still don't get it, its not a bad game but not really the "GREAT" game its fans made it out to be, the Story didn't really grip me and felt very poorly written, the graphics is at best average, also most of the characters where dull and boring with the exception of the Watcher and Ulthane who made the game a little more entertaining, also the puzzles completely sucked not they where hard more that they where just poorly planned and had no challenge what so ever except for being time consuming at points

    Dont get me wrong not writing this to bash the game or upset people just saying for me at best it was just average not really that special and I am really glad I didn't pay full price for this cuz it wasn't worth that at the time lol as here this cost more than God of War 3 when it was released and I am glad i decided to buy God of War 3 in the end

    BTW nice review as always Gauss
    Annoying members since March 2010

  4. #4
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    Feb 2012
    South Korea

    I picked this one up for $20. I'm slowly making progress through it but am also finding it difficult to find out what games this game so good. I might just beat it and say to hell with the platinum.

  5. #5
    Forget I Was Ever Here
    Yoo_Hoo_Sniper's Avatar

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    Sep 2011

    I picked it up for $10 awhile back from BB and loved it i can't wait for Darksiders II and the CE great game fun to play

    It is time for me to go underground

  6. #6
    Puns always intended.
    Larrydavidsavatar's Avatar

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    Sep 2011
    One dimension short of being in a 3D game.

    Got this as one of the free PS Plus titles and despite the slow feeling start, Darksiders is growing on me.
    I did not expect the style or mechanics at all, descriptions i had heard included 'GTA meets Zelda' ' Devil May Cry meets Tomb Raider' and ' Soul Reaver with an open world'.

    Now, all those descriptions have a bit of truth to them, however, this game certainly develops it's own identity as it goes on. It does indeed mix the different parts it takes from other games into a more unique whole.

    A good game, just a needs a bit of time to get into, you are well rewarded for your patience.

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