Darksiders revives the classic adventure game in its full form but repetitive combat, technical issues and a slightly boring world keeps it from reaching it true potential.
Knowing very little of Darksiders I had no idea what to expect. At the heart of it you have an action-adventure game that resembles the pacing and structure of Zelda but what Darksiders does is not try to create a new genre but revive a genre that is almost lost.
You play as War, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse which means that you are a total bad ass. However everything isn't as easy as killing demons for War as he is found in the middle of a conflict between Heaven and Hell, as the Apocalypse has commenced on Earth. 100 years later you find yourself being blamed for the premature war and so are given the task to clear your name by cleaning up the mess on Earth by destroying the source of the evil, The Destroyer.
This leads you to travel the wasteland in search for answers as you explore through the twelve areas of the world. This is where the game takes on the Zelda formula as it makes you fight your way through an area to reach a temple, of sorts. From here you are placed with the task to work out puzzles such as raising the water level so that you can reach an out of reach platform, then moving onto fighting a mini boss or two and eventually reaching a very useful item for example a Hook-Shot. This will help you progress onto the boss area and from here you can piece together the rest. Along the way you can collect Souls which can be used to purchase additional weapons, moves and power ups to boost War's strength, speed, health etc. The formula isn't unique but it hasn't been put to good use in some time and for those who haven't or cannot play a Zelda game this is just as good in terms of pacing to the game.
You will engage in quite a lot of combat during the game and this is probably where the game falls down a notch. This is due to the fact that all is required is one button mashing to succeed in killing any enemy in your path. Wrath Powers are a type of magic in the game which allows you to either poison enemy’s, summon multiple daggers from the ground or turn yourself into stone to gain extra defence. As well as these you can turn into Chaos form which turns War into a huge fiery Demon, however even these don't make the combat versatile and so the repeated kill animations and button mashing make the game feel weak on the combat front.
The major flaw I had with the game was the world itself. Exploration should be something fun; especially when you have a horse which when summoned rises out from the ground and breaths fire. However this is not the case for Darksiders as the world just isn't fun to explore. I found myself just going from point A to point B taking in little of the sights and caring even less about the collectables and 'secret' areas littered around the world. It just became more convenient to warp from areas instead of travelling by foot. War can use his wings to glide for a short period of time, use a speed boost to travel fast in small bursts or grapple to high ledges but these are only fun to do when necessary, meaning in the dungeons/temples.
Technically the game has a striking look. When you think of apocalyptic world you don't imagine it to look as varied as Darksiders makes it. Each area has a distinct look and War himself is a sight to fear wielding a huge sword on his back and his glowing blue eyes make him a formidable force. However the game suffers from screen tearing and low textures. The game never looks bad but at the same time it doesn't outstand in any graphical way.
Darksiders has a special place in my heart as it should just receive five stars from giving life to the classic action-adventure genre, but looking at it objectively Darksiders has issues. Repetitive combat, boring exploration and some technical issues stand in the way of this game reaching its true potential. As the ending for the game leaves it on a striking note I am left with the thought that in 18 months we will see a Darksiders sequel which corrects its wrongs but for now it is good a classic format return.
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