(There's a Tl;Dr at the bottom)
This isn’t a new game, I’m well aware of this, but time has passed and there may be people out there wanting something to do, and who may not have heard of this game. I recently decided to pick up the game Darksiders again to give it a playthrough. Back when I first got this game I was obsessed with it, and I was playing it to a ridiculous degree. Looking at it now, it doesn’t hold up as well with me as it did before.
I’ll start with the themes of the game, as I think they’re quite relevant to appreciate the story. I’m going to be frank and say the themes are a bit all over the place. It bases its characters and most areas around biblical ideas. For instance, you’ve got the angel Uriel, the Demon Samael and the Horseman of the Apocalypse War as characters. Everything has a bit of a fantasy theme to it due to the fact that you’re mostly fighting Demons, and defending yourself from Angels. Yet, the game is based in modern times both during the apocalypse, and after. It just looks a bit odd initially seeing these colorful, inhuman looking creatures rampaging around these modernised areas, and while it’s cool it never the less seems to fail at blending in. How ever to the games credit you don’t spend much time in these areas, and instead soon trade up for darker inventive areas which suit the creature’s designs and the overall atmosphere of the game much better, such as a Desert formed from the ashes of the dead as well as a Dark Cathedral.
But, the oddest thing for me is that some of the creatures had guns. In fact you have a gun, all though the reason for you having a gun is a bit more forgivable, it isn’t so much with the creatures. And I don’t just mean pistols or rifles when I say guns; I mean guns the size of their freaking bodies that fire energy balls or exploding molten chunks of stone! At first this seemed like a cool idea, as the first enemies you encounter with these are the angels. I think this would have worked as the angels (obviously coming from heaven) do have a cleaner, futuristic look about them which works because heaven is said to be a much more thriving place than hell. But then you encounter Demons with the guns, and just the way these guns work and play, really seems out of place with their middle-aged looking armor. I think the idea of blending all of these concepts together would have been cool, but the uses just weren’t consistent enough for some things to seem necessary or even effective. So, it's a fantasy game based off of religious themes, with an unwelcome touch of sci-fi/modern themes, which thankfully don't feature much.
Now the story centers around the main character War, one of four horsemen of the apocalypse. He serves The Charred Council, a powerful force that want balance between Hell, Heaven and the Kingdom of man. On that note, if you know the stories in the bible pretty well, then yes you know that either the people who did their research into the religious writings going into this game were either retarded, or they just wanted to change things around. I, personally chose to ignore the names used and just went along with the characters and settings that were used in the story. It did make it a bit easier, but still it was odd. Not frustrating, but yes if you’re highly religious this game will most likely insult your intelligence on multiple occasions, and you should give it a miss. Seriously, these characters are completely irrelevant to the original scriptures and writings they come from. I mean, the character called Abbadon is an ANGEL in the game…and Abbadon is a Demon in reality.
Anyway, yes you are War and have been called to Earth as the Apocalypse has seemed to have occurred earlier than was originally predetermined by the Charred council. The event completely wipes out man-kind, and you have been blamed for it. The council sentences you to death-unless you can prove yourself otherwise, and so you must go forth through the destroyed world of man to discover who is responsible.
Poor War. I feel so sorry for my character, being forced to go through so much-having been blamed for something he didn’t do, having to charge through hordes of Demons, and even being forced to kill Angels to keep himself alive. Surely this will scar him for ever? Well, no actually War is a god awful leading role for a game. All the way through, his attitude and personality never changes from an aggravated asshole. Seriously, his facial expression never changed and those eyebrows are always furrowed. You think he’s going to end up tearing his own forehead off he’s pushing his eyebrows down so hard! I mean, this is the main character, someone we’re meant to relate to and care for so we can appreciate and identify his struggle really well, and he just doesn’t seem to care that he’s hit rock bottom. The only thing I really liked about this character was his dialogue. God, all of the dialogue in this game I swear is one-liners and I love it-and War’s the biggest source of them. And when I say one-liners, I don’t mean, man falls over cliff, mans enemy says “see ya’ next fall!”. No the liners are a bit more clever then that, and can be pretty bad ass at times. But it still doesn’t justify how War’s mother could have died and he’d still be frozen in that lifeless expression “>8[’’.
As for the story, it’s 50/50. The actual story’s nothing epic, but it’s still pretty good. I think if they’d have spent more time on the mystery of finding out who caused the apocalypse to occur prematurely, rather than what you do for most of the beginning of the game, I’d have liked it a lot more. But, you start doing some jobs for the Demons Vulgrim, a cowardly merchant who will trade his powerful relics and weaponry with you in exchange for souls, and the powerful and imprisoned Samael. These tasks are a bit repetitive. Basically, you're sent to to multiple areas ran by The Dark Prince’s finest, ‘The Chosen’, where you have to kill them. Now this really gets a bit old, especially considering even when you think it’s over, you still have to keep doing it. Basically, work your way through a complex, puzzle filled area filled with creatures you need to kill, get to The Chosen and kill her. And, do it again. Granted this formula gets changed every now and then with some pretty cool sequences, for instance riding through the city on a Hi-Jacked Gryphon where you can see Angels and Demons are brutally struggling for control over the area. And of course you get attacked by both sides during. So, it’s a substantial story. Way too much of it is taken up by some bland events, but even here some interesting stuff happens, and once you’re done with that it does get very interesting.
And yes it’s an action game of course it’s an action game there are Demons in it and your main character has a sword. The action is all great in my opinion. Brutal, gritty, bloody-…and clearly choreographed :3. Never the less it all looks good and it’s enjoyable to watch and play through. You start off with some attacks of your own of course, and as the story progresses you get some. You can also buy some from Vulgrim, as well as new weaponry which mixes up the approaches to combat you can take in the game. Naturally with the flood of combat options you're given, players can freely choose what approaches they want to use for combat that best suits them. You can customize War’s statistics with the relics you'll attain through the game to make him even more optimized to your battle strategies. Soooo many ways to kill.
As I mentioned before, gameplay mainly focuses on getting around areas filled with platforming, puzzle-solving and action that's pretty well put together. The three elements are put together pretty well through out the course of the game and it's always enjoyable to success through the areas. How ever, I'm told that most of it is derived from other games, and it shows. From throwing organic plant-bombs at structures to clear a path like Link before him, to dodging gigantic sand-swimming worms to get to your next objective like the Jedi, War sure did absorb everything he'd done while playing games. This apparently frustrates people. But why? Some say it's because they may as well have bought a Zelda game. But that's not true, it shamelessly takes concepts from Zelda, but isn't that what a sequel does as well? Almost all sequels do this, and we don't mind. So, just because it has a different name means we hate it? What terrible logic! And besides it's not like they took the bad stuff from it. It took the good stuff from a game, and used it in a different light, just like sequels do. On top of those things, Darksiders world has a lot of collectibles, that unlike some games, are actually worth searching for. For instance.
And then there's my favorite point of the game, the design. The area designs, character designed, weapon designs and even the fucking DOOR designs are awesome (if you've played the game, you will understand this.). But that's a matter of opinion. I like overblown, thoroughly detailed designs, such as the one's in Darksiders. Some people prefer more basic realistic designs as they're more believable. Here's the thing though, it's a fantasy game. Fantasy games are all about creatively killing creative creatures, moving through creative areas, or for the less respectful game I've noticed to be popping up recently, just creating. Darksiders doesn't fall into that last part thankfully. In terms of the graphics, the game is actually based off of a comic book and so has a cartoonish look to it. I personally don't think this works, considering the dark, gritty nature of the game, and most of the time it doesn't actually look good.
(Tl;Dr/conclusion)Overall, I'd give the game a 6/10. The stories not amazing, but it's good enough to give reason for the gameplay and the things you do in it, which really is the best part of it, and it's always good too look at. If you're religious, maybe give it a miss. If you're not and think you'd be offended by the religious context, you won't be as it doesn't shove it down your throat. It's not a game I'd recommend getting if you had other games to play, or other things to do in general, but if you don't have much stuff to do this game will serve as an ample time filler.