Hands-on preview: Darksiders II (Xbox 360)

The adventures of the four horsemen of the apocalypse continues.

THQ recently held a closed media event to showcase the latest build of the sequel to Vigil’s hack-and-slash debut title, Darksiders. PC World was one of the selected publications invited to cover the event and we went hands-on with Darksiders II ahead of its official release.

The first hour

The preview level began in an underground setting that was filled with deadly lava that needed traversing and submerged labyrinths that needed navigation. The setting was a stark contrast from the opening level from the original game, which was set in an urban environment. The other major change was that the protagonist is not War but Death, who comes with his own set of new moves, weapons and acrobatic abilities.

The graphics and sound were a slight leap over those found in the original game, which was a nice looking game in its own right, though the underground setting in the preview meant that there was not that much variation in the environment. The preview build was running on an Xbox 360, which is common at these types of events, but since the first game was near identical in graphics and presentation on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I am expecting the same with Darksiders II.

One of the problems I had with the original game was that I had trouble navigating levels and finding the objectives. When playing the sequel, I once again found myself stumped in certain areas wondering what to do or where to go to next. Fortunately, there was a handy game guide available at the event, and there is still the possibility that a tutorial might make it into the final game. The combat mechanics in the game were tight and responsive, and Death’s new moves and attacks meant that the battles played out slightly different than with War in the original Darksiders.

While the underground levels that I played were a bit slow paced, I did receive a short demonstration of a later level where Death is more leveled up and rides his own horse. The said level was an open area with a giant boss, which was impressive in size, scope and detail. It’s nice to see developers achieving new things with the consoles’ hardware.

The verdict

I was a fan of the original Darksiders when it came out due to its unique art style, interesting setting and engaging gameplay. I did have some issues with navigating maps and finding objectives, as well as the sharp difficulty curve near the end of the game, but overall it was a fun title. The voice acting, especially for the game’s protagonist War, stood out and really helped make the game experience memorable.

Based on what I played, Darksiders II is shaping to be a worthy successor. While the new protagonist Death and the completely unfamiliar locations in the game took some time for me to get used to, I’m genuinely intrigued about where the developer will take the story and how it will stack up to the earlier installment. Gameplay wise, it is the same furious action and platforming that was in Darksiders, with a couple of new elements to mix things up.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags darksiders 2thqXBox 360

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Patrick Budmar

Patrick Budmar

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?