First look: Darksiders II (Xbox 360)

We play test THQ’s and Vigil’s latest journey through the apocalypse

The original Darksiders literally came out nowhere in 2010. A new IP born from a relatively new developer and supported by a conservative marketing campaign, Darksiders managed to quickly stand out in the market and make a name for itself for being a solid game.

The next chapter

Featuring a unique graphic style and enjoyable action RPG gameplay, Darksiders quickly became a cult hit before growing into a mainstream darling. As a result, expectations for the sequel have been high ever since the game was first announced.

The good news is that Darksiders II is just as good, if not better, than the first instalment. The game forgoes the War character in the first game to focus on Death, who comes with his own set of moves and abilities.

The original Darksiders was known for its sharp difficulty curve near the end of the game and sometimes confusing level design, and the developers seem to have taken the feedback on board to make the game a bit more well rounded and accessible than before. Darksiders II has a higher level of polish overall, and it shows in all aspects of the game, from the fluid combat to slick presentation.

Pros

- Darksiders II sports a more varied colour palette than the first game, as well as detailed environments and impressively scaled boss fights.

- Level progression and puzzle solving is enjoyable from start to finish. With a long single player campaign, Darksiders is guaranteed to last for many hours as well.

- The game comes with an atmospheric music score that helps set the scene. Sound effects are impressive, but the real star is the impressive voice acting carried over from Darksiders.

- Controls are quite tight and responsive overall, leading to satisfying battles in-game.

Cons

- Not that many outdoor environments, so most of the in-game progression takes place in underground caverns.

- Mastering the camera controls during combat can be a bit tricky at first.

Bottom Line

It is not often that well produced action adventure games such as Darksiders come along, especially in the middle of the year outside of the Christmas season. Do yourself a favour and go on an adventure with Death to stop the apocalypse.

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Patrick Budmar

Patrick Budmar

PC World
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