Darksiders II gets it’s first DLC expansion, taking Death through an icy tomb where he’ll encounter new enemies, fight several bosses, and grab a ton of loot. Limited edition owners of Darksiders II already have access to the DLC, but those who are trying to decide whether to throw down $6.99 (560 Microsoft points) for the expansion, might want to proceed with caution.
Argul’s Tomb is a higher-level dungeon, meant for players who are near the end or have completed the core game. The expansion takes you to a never-before-seen location, where Death meets up with the merchant, Ostagoth, and learns about the fate of the Deposed King (a character you encounter in a Land of the Dead side quest). The short campaign includes three parts: one shooting section and two small dungeons filled with ice-imbued versions of enemies you encounter in the main game.
The shooting section is a bit stale. It takes you through a linear cavern and never presents a significant challenge. Enemies show up, you shoot them, they explode, you move on. That’s all there is to it. Even the boss at the end of the dungeon presents little challenge. Compared to the main campaign’s shooting level, the ice cavern feels stripped down. Where before there were small nooks and crannies to explore, tough enemies to defeat, and collectibles to discover, the cavern is missing those elements. It just ends up being a boring stroll down a relatively uninteresting path, filled with cannon fodder and new pieces of loot.
On the other hand, the more traditional dungeon sections are a little more entertaining. You’ll have to traverse platforming puzzles, find keys to locked doors, and battle hordes of frozen skeleton warriors. These areas are comparable to the larger side quest dungeons in the core game. The puzzles aren’t particularly difficult, especially if you’ve already completed the more challenging levels toward the end of the main campaign. So, if you are at that level, you’ll find Argul’s Tomb to be a breeze. There aren’t many surprises here--only more of the same in terms of gameplay. However, there is a significant amount of loot to snatch up.
As you dispatch enemies, conquer the bosses, and open up hidden chests spread throughout the dungeons, you’ll pick up a ton of unique equipment, and a legendary item for completing the entire quest. Depending on your level, trudging through Argul’s Tomb might be worth the effort simply from the pickups you receive. You’ll come across one or two high-level possessed (powerful, customizable items) weapons and likely find a usable set of armor, if you are hovering around the level twenty range. Otherwise, you may be out of luck.
The Argul’s Tomb expansion also has a few technical issues that didn't exist in the main game. In the shooting section, Death often gets stuck on invisible walls or doesn’t walk up small steps properly, which will have you trying to work yourself out of it in the middle of a fight. There was also an instance where the final kill animation of a boss left Death completely invisible. It’s disappointing to see these types of issues pop up, especially when you come from the relatively clean presentation of the main campaign.
Darksiders II Argul’s Tomb is a short, two hour romp through a nonessential frozen dungeon. The shooting section is stripped down from comparable missions in the main game, and the standard side quest-style dungeons have few surprises, adding little to the overall story. Treasure hunters who are looking for a few pieces of armor or a new weapon might find the expansion worthwhile. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a dungeon as robust and challenging as those you’ll find in the main campaign, you may be disappointed.
Proceed with caution