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Darksiders review

Zelda meets God of War in a postapocalyptic wasteland. Is it a heavenly mashup, or a ripoff from hell?


  • 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.

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DescriptionIn 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.
PlatformPC, PS3, Xbox 360
US censor ratingMature
UK censor rating18+
Alternative namesDarksiders: Wrath of War
Release date5 January 2010 (US), 8 January 2010 (UK)