Google+

Darksiders review

AT A GLANCE
  • Huge, beautifully detailed world
  • Tons of cool hidden stuff to find
  • Artfully steals from the best
  • Handful of fatalities get old fast
  • Fetch- and schlep-quests quickly get annoying
  • Portal gun doesn't work everywhere

According to biblical end-times prophecies – or at least, to Darksiders’ stylized version of them – there’s an uneasy truce that exists between Heaven and Hell, and all that’s keeping it in place are the legendary Seven Seals. When those are broken – something that’s only supposed to happen once mankind has advanced far enough to survive a war between the two sides – all of creation will erupt in the Endwar, an apocalyptic battle between angels and demons to decide the fate of the cosmos. As Darksiders opens, that battle has already begun… far, far earlier than it was supposed to.


Above: Whoops

Fast-forward to a hundred years later, and it’s pretty clear something went wrong. Hell won, humanity is extinct and all that’s left of Earth is a blasted cinder populated by zombies, demons and a few handfuls of surviving angels. With the balance of power disrupted, blame for the catastrophe falls on the impossibly burly shoulders of War, the only one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to ride during the chaos. To clear his name, he volunteers to trudge out into the ruins of New York, find those responsible and slaughter them all.


Steal from the best

To say that Darksiders isn’t the most original game is a gross understatement. While its ruined world and masterful art direction (by comic artist Joe Madureira) feel fresh, Darksiders is, by and large, an amalgamation of cool elements swiped from other games. But that’s not a bad thing; from the beginning, its developers have proudly pointed out that Darksiders cherry-picks some of the best things from some of the best games around.


Above: Like this horse, for example

Most notably, it borrows a lot from the Zelda games, using the series’ rich history of more-or-less open-world exploration, gadget-assisted puzzles and themed dungeons as a template for its own beautifully devastated world. Meanwhile, its fast, combo-heavy, somewhat gruesome combat – along with a few other choice elements – comes straight out of God of War and Devil May Cry.

It doesn’t end there, so rather than simply bore you with a long description of the things Darksiders lifts from other games, we’ll simply show you some of them:


FROM ZELDA:


Somewhat grating spectral “helper”


Boomerang that can target multiple enemies and also catch on fire


Awesome horse that can be summoned almost anywhere outdoors


Lifestones/Heart containers


Abyssal Chain/Hookshot


Slightly gimmicky puzzle bosses


FROM DEVIL MAY CRY AND GOD OF WAR:


Aerial juggle combos


Special moves you can buy


Bringing a gun to a swordfight


Multicolored, multipurpose orbs


One-button fatality prompts


Chaos/Demon Form


FROM PORTAL


Linked portals (duh)


Above: Don’t get too excited – you get the “Voidwalker” item very late in the game, and it only works on special surfaces. But it does enable you to create high-speed exit portals, which is kind of awesome


FROM PANZER DRAGOON


On-rails shooter segment


FROM LEGACY OF KAIN: SOUL REAVER


Floaty not-quite-wings

So yes, if originality is of paramount importance to you, this probably isn’t your game.  But more important than where those diverse elements came from is how well they mesh together, and in Darksiders, they mesh together pretty well… most of the time.

More Info

Release date: Jan 05 2010 - PS3, Xbox 360 (US)
Jan 08 2010 - PS3, Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: THQ
Developed by: Vigil Games
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
18+

17 comments

  • majormoses117 - March 10, 2011 12:52 a.m.

    Just bought this game a couple of days ago. Gotta say I love this game. Lots of gore and violence, but enough puzzles and downtime to take a breather and challenge your brain. For me, there was a part near the end of the game that seems to drag on and on because of backtracking, but the finale is awesome and the game is overall a must buy, especially since its been a year or so since release and price has dropped way down. I got it for $30 used at gamestop.
  • Larinah - September 30, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    For anyone reading this review to decide whether they should rent it or buy it or w/e, I have to say, this review is very well done. I rented this game the day it came out and beat it, and I had fun the whole time. But I also don't mind repetitive combos and finisher kills.
  • SHINIGAMI - March 8, 2010 8:21 a.m.

    quite trivial puzzles throughout. some really hard ones, but nevertheless still great fun i think. the ending leaves you to think could there be another one on the way?
  • dantheman1711 - January 14, 2010 2:20 a.m.

    i with golden yuma on tht 1
  • GoldenYuma - January 12, 2010 12:15 a.m.

    ok, dont get me wrong, this game looks pretty good... but u would think that they would come up with different gameplay than copying other great titles? like god of war... in my opinion THE best playstation game handsdown... and zelda which is a classic.. idk inmy opinion not a keeper...
  • Yeager1122 - January 9, 2010 5:02 p.m.

    Sounds like fun especially since it borrows from alot of my favorite games but i think il pass on this one.
  • BeastXIII - January 9, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    Started playing through tonight and so far, as always, I'm strongly agreeing with GR. Great game... just can't help but feel it's missing "something"...
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - January 8, 2010 5:36 a.m.

    Wait for the to drop in price and get both. But seriously Bayonetta looks a bit more fun than Darksiders but that's just my opinion.
  • Hayseyboy - January 7, 2010 3:09 p.m.

    Can't decide between this an Bayonetta!!
  • Silentboy - January 7, 2010 1:47 a.m.

    I really enjoy this game. If you like action then buy this. Bayonetta is also awesome, but I prefer Darksiders
  • lewis42025 - January 6, 2010 2:03 p.m.

    this is almost a must buy for the summer.
  • rxb - January 6, 2010 12:45 p.m.

    I really liked the look of this, but the fact its the same week Bayonetta isnt looking for me. Im happy this is good though as Id head a few worrying things from previews.
  • Defguru7777 - January 6, 2010 1:52 a.m.

    I hope I like this when I get it. It seems like it could go either way.
  • StrawyHeavy1022 - January 5, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    I don't know..doesn't look that fantastic... Maybe its just me, but i'm getting alittle tired of post-end times war zones. Good article none the less G.R.
  • jackthemenace - January 5, 2010 7:57 p.m.

    SECOND! sorry. i'm SERIOUSLY glad a pre-ordered this with bayonetta! they look to be shaping up to be the best game si will ever play. i doubt it, but maybe :D and the fact it borrows from games like zelda and God of war actually help sell it to me, since i just bought spirit rtracks and it's cool!
  • Ded - January 5, 2010 7:37 p.m.

    It certainly interested me, this one, but not as much as Bayonetta I have to admit. What's with all the Angels/Demons stuff this quarter? Isn't Dante's Inferno coming soon too?

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000