padrino's Darksiders (PlayStation 3) review

Epic Adventure, Hold the Fairies

 Lets see if I can get through this review without mentioning Zelda... D'oh!  Just figured I would put in a few good words about this game, because it really deserves quite a bit of praise.

Darksiders is a action adventure game with quite a bit going for it. Its got a fun combat system, looks great, and takes place in a large, interesting world thanks to a great art style.  The music won't take root in your brain but it goes well with the art style. The sound effects are very good but there are some hiccups with the sound during some heavy action and during some transitions. Overall, the technical details are solid and the game feels pretty well polished.

What really impresses is all the many styles of action that the game begs borrows and steals from the best action games of the past. Lets see. You get a boomerang glave  for fighting and you can even set things on fire with it. Things like bombs that grow like plants. Hmmmmmm... sounds kind of familiar. Its also broken down to dungeon style levels where a weapon you gained on the level will be used to take down the final boss. But these dungeons, cathedrals, deserts, etc are all unique and they never feel cut and paste. Enemies too have decent variety. Sure you will face the same lower level minions quite a bit but they dole out new enemies at a  good pace.

So, originality is not this games thing. Its shameless. But its done so well that you shouldn't care. Or maybe you should care because mature theamed, action adventure games, of this quality, don't grow on bomb plants.

The pacing of the game is great other than the first couple of hours in which is kind of slow. But after that, the game really opens up and you get a stream of new items, weapons, magic, and even a horse. And all these new things are quite a bit of fun to learn and use. The combat also opens up with more combos and weapons but remains fairly easy. This game is not trying to be a skills heavy action game but more of game where you feel pretty powerful.

With all these game mechanics and a large world, you might expect that game is kind of long and it is. I have heard 15 to 20 hours and that seems about right to me. There are three large dungeon style quests and more than six different environments to traverse. There is some backtracking later in the game but its not as bad as it sounds.  When you revisit areas of the game later, you can reach new areas with you new abilities. Its all put together in a story that may not be that deep but at least it makes sense (I'm talking to you Bayonetta).

So, if you are a fan of action adventure and you would rather not hang out with fairies and wear a green tunic, give Darksiders a try.


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