shinwei's Darksiders (PlayStation 3) review

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85% Zelda, 14% God of War, 1% Portal, and 0% original.

Clocked in at just under 20 hours. Apocalyptic Difficulty. Got all the Lifestone Shards and all the Wrath Cores except for the one you buy from Vulgrim for 10k souls (I hate farming souls).

Loved:

This game is Zelda. I have never before seen a game so blatantly  copy the Zelda formula before, and that would normally be a bad thing except this game actually does it well. Dungeon structure, tools, and puzzles feel right at home to any Zelda-fan. This is a good game to sate your Zelda-craving until the next big one for the Wii.

Concept Art. Although I didn't particularly care for the way the game looked while you were playing it, the various illustrations and stuff you get to see during the main menu and other areas illustrated by Joe Madureira are pretty great. Unfortunately whoever tried to translate his style into 3D just made a WoW clone.

The backstory. The fake apocalypse and Heaven and Hell stuck on Earth 100 years after human extinction and everything is pretty damn cool. The various demons and angels you meet are fun, and War himself (while he has no character growth) definitely has a sweet design.

Nitpicks:

Grinding. For a game that is NOT designed for multiple play-throughs, it kind of sucks 
that if you feel like being completionist you actually have to grind to get everything instead of just locating hidden items in true Zelda fashion. You have to grind to get your weapon levels up to max, and you have to farm souls like crazy if you want to buy everything to get all the trophies/achievements.

Not quite Zelda. Despite faithfully copying the Zelda formula, this game doesn't seem to have the same amount of soul as the flagship Zelda titles. In Zelda games when you explore you are met with wondrous locations and cool characters to interact with. In this game when you explore most of the time you are just met with more combat.

Controls (PS3 version): The lock-on button is L2. Moving with the left analog stick while holding down the L2 button seriously gave me cramps sometimes.  
 

Hated:

Clunky, unresponsive combat. For an action-adventure game, fluidity of combat and responsiveness of controls is pretty damn important. Unfortunately this game just does not nail that. As I've said in numerous posts prior to this, there are several very noticeable frames of lag in between the instant you press a button and the initiation of that action by the character on screen. The result of this is that even though you have a decent set of cool-looking moves, the combat still falls far short of the standards set by top-tier action games like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden, and instead settles for second rate at the level of a God of War game.

Shitty dodge and block mechanics. This game forces you to just  get hit by cheap shots sometimes. Almost all of your combos cannot be cancelled with a dodge. The dodge move itself is very stale, never gets upgraded, and half the time you end up dodging in a direction you didn't want to go (so you still get hit). Dodge and block are also on the same button. 

Weak secondary weapons. To win in this game, you just stick with your sword. There is no reason to use etiher of your two secondary weapons in combat ever, really. That's not to say that the other two weapons are not that effective (they are) - but in order for you to get them to be effective you have to spend a ton of souls and GRIND to level them up (which is exp that COULD have been used to level up your sword). All this is made worse by the fact that there are no cross-weapon combos. You can't chain a sword attack into a scythe attack and back - once you start a sword combo you don't press the secondary weapon until it's done, and vice versa.

Verdict:

This game is a blatant but mostly well-executed copy of some of the most memorable games in the Industry. It's about 85% Zelda, 14% God of War, 1% Portal, and 0% original.

I give it a 4/5.    
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Other reviews for Darksiders (PlayStation 3)

    A great inspired hybrid game but not without flaws 0

    Many similarities have been drawn between Darksiders and games such as Zelda, God of War, Portal and so on. All of these comparisons are fair but it’s more accurate to say that the game is simply a massive hybrid of good game design; an homage to other games we’ve all enjoyed or at least heard about. Bad-ass-ery incarnate Whether you think of it as simply derivative or not their is no question that Darksiders pulls off every borrowed mechanic and similar idea just as well as the games it seems ...

    12 out of 13 found this review helpful.

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