Darksiders 2 hands-on preview from E3
Published: Monday, June 25, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
As the first game I got my hands on at E3 2012, my hopes were high. I was a big fan of the first Darksiders. Sure, it shamelessly stole features from other games, namely Legend of Zelda style dungeons and God of War style combat, but it recreated them so effectively that the game was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that was just familiar enough for gamers to easily get immersed in the play style.
When the game was initially released it was somewhat of a surprise hit, attracting countless gamers with its art style and gameplay. When Darksiders 2 was announced last year, I was excited to see where it would go. When I finally got my hands on it, I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Darksiders 2 is not exactly a sequel; in fact the events of the game take place simultaneously as the events of the first game. Where Darksiders focused on the redemption of War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, Darksiders 2 shifts perspective to War's brother, Death. Out to prove that War is innocent of his alleged crimes, Death seeks answers about the accusations and hunts for evidence to clear his brother's name.
Part of Darksiders' allure was its deft use of God of War style combat: heavy, somewhat ranged attacks that dealt large amounts of damage but that could still block. Darksiders 2 flips that formula on its head. Death wields duel scythes, focusing on fast spinning attacks, which keeps combat feeling fast and fluid. While Death cannot block, he can parry and evade with ease, leaving him with open to attack enemies' weak spots precisely.
In addition to combat changes, Darksiders 2 introduces multiple RPG elements to deepen the game. When defeated, enemies now drop loot: armor, gold, weapons, and more. Loot is leveled, meaning that randomized enemy drops can result in epic loot, Borderlands style. Armor can also now be equipped, adding to Death's stats, making him faster and deadlier as the game progresses. Armor equips are also visually represented on Death himself, making loot feel important.
The game world of the original Darksiders was pretty big: massive dungeons all linked by a common hub world. Darksiders 2 takes this concept and expands it tremendously. In addition to epic, Zelda style dungeons, players can also help Death traverse mini-dungeons and market areas where players can sell their acquired loot to purchase better equipment and weapons.
According to THQ, Darksiders 2 is also considerably longer than its predecessor. Fans of the series can rest assured that there are many hours of Death dealing ahead of them.
Darksiders 2 is set to be released this August on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.