Darksiders 2 after 15+ hours

I've been playing Darksiders 2 over the past few games and while I'm enjoying the combat, there really isn't much else to the game. The story is thin and padded to hell with every task being a fetch quest. The game has gone too far into an MMO type of game where you talk to the quest giver, complete said quest and into return you get to move on to another quest giver for more money and loot. So many aspects have change that don't suit the game at all. Even Death seems like a massive pussy rather than a badass. I really miss a lot of the Zelda in this game because it feels like a much weaker game without a lot of that stuff. The worlds feel too large but also barren and boring. While DS1 was smaller and on the short side, it felt focused. It had a much interesting moments more frequently.

Backtracking in most games is a chore but DS1 let you get around fairly quickly and DS2 is better and worse when it comes to this by allowing you to quick travel at any time but then there are moments within the story where the game just won't allow you and it won't even give you a reason why and you only find out when you go to use it. This is when it's way worse than the original game. Travelling around is just boring is DS2 where stretches of land can take several minutes to cross where you're just left taping R1 to make your horse run faster and you don't even care to just avoid the enemies as they're few and far between and usually of a lower level. In the 2nd area of the game towards the end your quick travel will be disabled and travelling back was a huge pain. There are a couple of times where you have to get off of your horse and navigate through these mini dungeons but they don't add anything, they're just there to pad the game time even more.

The original game took me around 15 hours to complete and was a blast. At roughly the same time in this game, I have no idea how close I am to the end and I'm desperate to just get it over with now. I'm struggling to just understand why this game is so different from the first. While it was no masterpiece, it knew what it was. DS2 feels like it's having an identity crisis. While the original game was pretty shameless in its ripping off Zelda, did anyone really care? The game was what we've all wanted Nintendo to do for a long time but Vigil brought us this new world with an interesting premise and characters but that's all but gone here. The story is practically the same 15 hours in as the first minute. Death wants to save his brother, corruption as taken over, Death doesn't care, repeat. Now go fetch me these 3 items. I think I've lost track of how many fetch 3 items quests there have been, it's mind numbing and now I'm just going through the paces. I may write a review at some point and try and turn this from a rambling mess into something coherent but so far, this game does not feel like a worthy successor.

EDIT: Just want to leave some notes here for future reference:

Thane asks you to kill 4 people as a true test of your skill as a warrior. After killing all 4 he has zero reaction but hey, you got loot that will last you a couple of levels.

18 Comments
19 Comments
Edited by mrcraggle

I've been playing Darksiders 2 over the past few games and while I'm enjoying the combat, there really isn't much else to the game. The story is thin and padded to hell with every task being a fetch quest. The game has gone too far into an MMO type of game where you talk to the quest giver, complete said quest and into return you get to move on to another quest giver for more money and loot. So many aspects have change that don't suit the game at all. Even Death seems like a massive pussy rather than a badass. I really miss a lot of the Zelda in this game because it feels like a much weaker game without a lot of that stuff. The worlds feel too large but also barren and boring. While DS1 was smaller and on the short side, it felt focused. It had a much interesting moments more frequently.

Backtracking in most games is a chore but DS1 let you get around fairly quickly and DS2 is better and worse when it comes to this by allowing you to quick travel at any time but then there are moments within the story where the game just won't allow you and it won't even give you a reason why and you only find out when you go to use it. This is when it's way worse than the original game. Travelling around is just boring is DS2 where stretches of land can take several minutes to cross where you're just left taping R1 to make your horse run faster and you don't even care to just avoid the enemies as they're few and far between and usually of a lower level. In the 2nd area of the game towards the end your quick travel will be disabled and travelling back was a huge pain. There are a couple of times where you have to get off of your horse and navigate through these mini dungeons but they don't add anything, they're just there to pad the game time even more.

The original game took me around 15 hours to complete and was a blast. At roughly the same time in this game, I have no idea how close I am to the end and I'm desperate to just get it over with now. I'm struggling to just understand why this game is so different from the first. While it was no masterpiece, it knew what it was. DS2 feels like it's having an identity crisis. While the original game was pretty shameless in its ripping off Zelda, did anyone really care? The game was what we've all wanted Nintendo to do for a long time but Vigil brought us this new world with an interesting premise and characters but that's all but gone here. The story is practically the same 15 hours in as the first minute. Death wants to save his brother, corruption as taken over, Death doesn't care, repeat. Now go fetch me these 3 items. I think I've lost track of how many fetch 3 items quests there have been, it's mind numbing and now I'm just going through the paces. I may write a review at some point and try and turn this from a rambling mess into something coherent but so far, this game does not feel like a worthy successor.

EDIT: Just want to leave some notes here for future reference:

Thane asks you to kill 4 people as a true test of your skill as a warrior. After killing all 4 he has zero reaction but hey, you got loot that will last you a couple of levels.

Posted by MstrMnyBgs

The main problem I had with the games story was that it gave you the primary quest in the beginning to go redeem War, but then from there on out it was: Go meet person A. Person A tells you to go find People B, C, and D. Each of them wants you to kill People E, F, and G. But before you can kill them you need to gather these 3 things.

So I agree that the actual plot didn't advance practically at all in the middle of the game, but rather just had you running around doing chores it seemed.

Posted by csl316

I was enjoying the game for about 10 hours, but then I realized it expanded some stuff but lost so much. Where are the angels? Where are the memorable characters and cool story bits? At this point I don't know even know if I'll finish it.

Posted by MildMolasses

My favourite part was when you were in the middle of a "fetch 3 of whatever" quest' and then they give you another sub "fetch 3" quest! Brilliant. I found the game to be mostly uninteresting, but I do applaud them for mostly cutting out qte's at the end of boss battles. It was nice to watch the custom animations for a change rather than scanning for button prompts

Posted by mrcraggle

@MstrMnyBgs: Nailed it. It's just lazy and just prevents you from going to where you really want to. I'm Death, why am I running around after these people? I know the rule of 3s is pretty common within games as stated by Miyamoto but they just abused it here. The 2nd world starts out really awesome but then just devolves to fetch quests. I want to speak to the king. Well first get these 3 items and beat a boss. Ok done, now I can speak to the king? well before he'll tell you any shit, bring these 3 people to him and then while you're getting those 3 people, you have to get 3 souls for one of them. It's ridiculous.

Posted by Nightriff

Disappointing to hear this, recently played Darksiders because of Patrick's enthusiasm and loved the hell out of it, sure it has its issues but it was still a great game so when I hear these things its disappointing. I will play it at some point but reading these just confirms that I might as well wait till it is even cheaper.

Posted by MariachiMacabre

The story was really weak. Corruption is a terrible main antagonist with the most cliche name. I thought he was only the final boss of the first area and was really disappointed to see this boring antagonist over something with a connection to the first game.

Posted by laserbolts

I agree. It's sad because I loved the first one and I was very excited for Darsiders 2. Darksiders 2 isn't a bad game but it is the dissapointment of the year for me.

Posted by csl316
@laserbolts
I agree. It's sad because I loved the first one and I was very excited for Darsiders 2. Darksiders 2 isn't a bad game but it is the dissapointment of the year for me.
Same. It was probably in my top 3 most anticipated this year. It's pretty cool but very flawed, imo.
Posted by mrcraggle

@Nightriff: Greenmangaming have it on sale. I got the game and season pass for just over £17.

Posted by mistergrieves

This is all a little sad to hear.  I loved Darksiders and I've been holding off on picking up the second one for various reasons. 
 
I'll still be picking it up, but I'll go in with measured expectations.

Posted by mrcraggle

@mistergrieves: Same here. I bought it on sale a while ago but only ended up playing it during last years Extra Life and enjoyed what I played but didn't go back to it after that until Jeff and Patrick started talking about it on the bombcast. DS2 still has the same, really fun combat and improves it with the various weapons as each type is quite unique and can really switch up combat as not all fast weapons behave the same but I'm not really keen on the loot idea as a whole. The combat is what's keeping me going at this point whereas the original just pushed me to keep going as I got more and more invested in the characters and story and the levels themselves were all unique. That's not to say DS2 is completely void of that, it's just marred by pacing and giving you the same quest to do 3 times rather than giving you 1 interesting quest and an awesome dungeon to go through.

Posted by Village_Guy

Yeah, I've stalled in Darksiders 2... I really enjoyed the story and the Angels of the first game, but so far nothing of the story really interests me in Darksiders 2.

The combat is alright, but the tasks and exploration feel kinda like a chore or something.

Posted by FirePrince

Darksiders 2 is a game that thinks it is so epic, it absolutely forgets that somebody is actually playing it, and that the boring bits don't take 5 seconds, like in the movies.

It also moves at the speed of an iceberg.

Posted by Redhotchilimist

I cared about the similarities to other games. I never finished Darksiders 1 because it felt so similar to games like God of War(in the combat department) and Zelda(Not all of us want Zelda to go in the direction Darksiders is going for, no). There are other games with similarities, but even Zelda-like Okami had its entirely own combat system that wasn't ripping off anything in particular and downplayed the puzzles and structure of the Zelda games. It seemed from all the coverage that Darksiders got more of it's own identity in this installment. Sad to hear that's not the experience a fan of the first one got.

Posted by JoeyRavn

I go a step further and say that Darksiders II has no redeeming features at all: uninspired and inconsequential plot, repetitive combat, vast areas filled with absolutely nothing, dumbed down exploration, very scarce "Zelda-esque" backtracking... The few good aspects of the game had been done in Darksiders 1 much better. And the loot system feels tackled and hurried, and it adds barely nothing to the overall experience. I would have liked it better if you only had a few possessed weapons that you could upgrade, like you do with the various swords in Zelda games.

So, yeah, Darksiders II is not worth the money.

Posted by mordukai

@mrcraggle: I will agree to everything you said in your blog. About the only thing keeping my interest up is the loot as I am a loot horder. Darksiders 1 is a better game. Don't really know why they diverted from the formula that made the first one so good.

I would also like to add that I personally find the "2008 PoP" style platforming severely out of place in this game.

Posted by mrcraggle

@mordukai: I only played the original game a few months ago but I feel like I can't remember it properly as to the point of the PoP gameplay you mentioned. It feels like a very similar and very different game at the same time. I love the idea of loot but here it just feels so lazy. I like the idea that different weapons give act differently even within the same speed class but 1 claw weapon to another claw weapon is basically identical. After playing Borderlands 2, it doesn't go to the same lengths. Possessed weapons sound like a good idea but pretty much only on paper where the reality is that they're almost useless after gaining a couple of levels and most of the gear you get from random drops is utter crap whereas in Borderlands, my best gear has come from a random find rather than questing for it which is more the case here. All of the faffing about still just adds to the unnecessary padding the game has. I haven't actually gone back to it since I wrote this blog post but the game shows its hand so quickly and the games pace is just bringing me down. I'll never understand how GB gave the game a 4/5 or how it got a 9/10 from Polygon.

Posted by Barrock

I was incredibly hyped for Darksiders II. Loved the first so as soon as the Collector's Edition became available I pre-ordered it. But I totally agree. The story is pretty thin, the environments aren't as interesting as the first, and the lack of Zelda-like upgrades made the entire game feel very samey. The ultimate disappointment was the ending.