kristofmic's Darksiders II (Limited Edition) (Xbox 360) review

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Death is on the scene

Death is on the scene in this follow up to the sleeper hit Darksiders. In seeking to clear his brother, War, Death is taken on a journey through mystical space, hitting up the forge lands where all is created, the undead city, an apocalyptic Earth, heaven and hell. This vast expansion in the world is a welcome change over the first, and the fast travel mechanic is a necessary blessing. Its points such as this where it’s clear the Darksiders developers wanted to iterate on the first and simply make another game that is a mish mash of many cool mechanics from other games. In some instances it feels a bit contrived, like the Portal gun you get late in the game, but they clearly took the time to turn what could have been mush into a lovely stew.

The game is not without its shortcomings. The combat animations are very interesting and there’s an element of skill to pull of the appropriate moves, but one could simply progress through button smashing. While the game assumes very little knowledge from the first, the story is quite confusing. This is unfortunate given the game’s length since the loot, combat and puzzles get a bit tired leaving little else to keep the gamer going forward. But the biggest problem I found was the puzzles tied to skill progression. While few puzzles (and battles for that matter) were inherently challenging, there were many times I was left stumped only to find it was because I didn’t have the appropriate skill yet. Without a map mechanic to mark areas to return to, I invariably didn’t once the necessary skill was on hand.

These shortcomings are not to overshadow the entirety of what I found to be yet another rather fun game with tons of cool loot, visuals, and killing (or re-killing).

Get it if you’ve got the time.

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