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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

Darksiders isn’t without standout characters, either; in addition to severe, humorless War and his intentionally loathsome, hint-providing sidekick, the Watcher (voiced by Mark Hamill in full Joker mode), there’s the creepy (but oddly charming) demon merchant Vulgrim and the misguided Uriel, leader of the remaining angels on Earth (who all blame you for the apocalypse, by the way, and will try to kill you on sight).

There’s also the demon Samael, a monstrous rival to the Destroyer (Darksiders’ central villain) who sends you on the game’s central quest: track the Destroyer’s lieutenants to their lairs, kill them and return their hearts to Samael so that he can regain his formidable powers (and then probably be a threat to you in the future).

And then, in the midst of all this deadly seriousness, there’s Ulthane, a gorilla-looking blacksmith who speaks with a thick Scottish accent and fits in with the cast of angels and demons about as well as a Muppet would with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He’s the most obvious Madureira creation in the game, and as a result he kind of sticks out like a massively stocky sore thumb.


Above: Yes, really 

But at least he meshes with the world a little more smoothly than the top-hat-wearing, posh-accented zombie who occasionally pops up in secret caves to beat you with his cane before vanishing mysteriously.

Even at its most bizarre, and even at its most tedious, Darksiders is a lot of fun to plow through. And if the ending is to be believed, we can expect at least a couple of sequels out of Darksiders’ post-apocalyptic setting. We’re already looking forward to finding out what happens next.


Is it better than…?

Bayonetta? Depends. Are you in the mood for a Zelda-inspired, exploration-centric adventure with a bunch of cool gadgets, collectibles and slightly gimmicky puzzles to back up its stylish combat? Then Darksiders is the better choice. However, Bayonetta’s a lot cooler to look at, and its combat is faster, more over-the-top and a lot more entertaining, so it wins out as a pure action experience.


Okami? No. Darksiders’ ruined world is a compelling place to explore, but its pretty ruins don’t hold a candle to Okami’s lively, colorful environments (and you also won’t get the satisfaction of bringing the devastated Earth back to normal, which you will in Okami). Darksider’s combat relies a little too heavily on repetitive finishers, while Okami’s is endlessly inventive. In summation: yes, we know we nag you about it a lot, but you should really play Okami if you haven’t already.

Brutal Legend? Depends. While they’re both Zelda-inspired games set in post-apocalyptic worlds, Darksiders doesn’t have Brutal Legend’s awesome soundtrack, charming characters or heavy-metal aesthetic. But it also doesn’t have Brutal Legend’s clunky RTS sequences, and that’s a huge mark in its favor. Brutal Legend wins from a storytelling and aesthetic standpoint, but if we’re talking pure gameplay, Darksiders has this one sewn up.


Just for you, Metacritic!

In spite of lifting nearly every gameplay element from other, often better games, Darksiders still succeeds at bringing these disparate threads together into a brutally satisfying whole. It’s also a blast to explore even at its low points, and if the idea of a Zelda with a more “mature” bent and better combat catches your interest, you’ll want to check this out.

Jan 5, 2010

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

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