DARKSIDERS 2 IS ON THE WAY
"Darksiders is The Legend of Zelda...
if Hyrule were destroyed in the Apocalypse,
Link was given a chain gun,
and grew some balls."
Release date : January 5th 2010
360 & PS3
There were some early 9s and 10s that showed up in early December, but early reviews are often full of crap - so here's some that popped up the week prior to release.
9/10 - IGN Australia
9/10 - IGN UK
8.5/10 - Game Informer
My fave so far is this review from AusGamer
(9/10), which basically tells me everything I wanted to hear about the game.
If you don't trust those damned cynical professionals, and would prefer to hear the organized opinions of some fellow PAers, here's Professor Snugglesworth's review
. And, why the hell not - here's mine
Darksiders! What's the story? Who's the dev? Why should you care? I'm here to tell you, bucko.
Vigil Games haven't made anything
else, and Darksiders has been in development for years. In terms of pedigree, this game has nothing
. Nothing, that is, unless you count comic book artist Joe Madureira
. He formed Vigil Games with David Adams
and some other talent from NCsoft.
Now, word is Joe "Mad" is a big deal in the world of comics - I can't vouch for that - but I can say that even with the traditional post-apocalyptic grey-and-brown world, I love this game's art style.
Screenshots! (Big, BIG screenshots.)
...y'know, these shots don't quite sell the game for me. Perhaps it's better I point you towards this trailer
. This is the one that made me sit up and take notice.
The basic premise is, you play as War - one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first playable part of the game is you and your Mounted Apocalypse Posse ripping the Earth a new one to usher in the end of days, Book of Revelations-style.
What a twist! You were tricked into triggering the apocalypse early! Left in limbo for a hundred years, you are judged guilty by the overseers of the Balance - but you convince them to let you return to Earth to find the orchestrator of your betrayal.
Once you get back to the mortal plane, it's not all kittens and puppies. The world has been torn apart by a century of war between the angels and the demons - and they both want you dead. To make matters worse, your glove has been possessed by Mark Hamil.
This happy fellow is a malicious spirit that the overseers of the Balance stuck you with, to keep an eye on you while you're out of their presence. Described by the developers as an "evil Navi," The Watcher will point stuff out to you - but he's not necessarily there to help...
Why should you care?
I was once like you. When I first saw video of Darksiders, I was blown away that they were willing to show anything at all. A generic, chunky he-man slices up a generic-looking monster in a vast, empty waste that looked... well, you get the idea. It looked awful
. But the more I see, the more I like it.
Once War whittles down his enemies, he can dispatch them with brutal finishers. So it's got a little God of War in there. I've also seen War blast an enemy into the air with his sword and keep him aloft with a hail of gunfire - so it's got a little Devil May Cry as well. If you're going to crib elements of combat, it doesn't hurt to start with the best.
We all love Mark Hamil, but my personal favorite VO is Phil LaMarr. He's Hermes Conrad (and many others) on Futurama, he's Samurai Jack, he's Vamp in Metal Gear Solid, and he's Marvin - who gets his head blown off in the back seat - in Pulp Fiction. LaMarr plays Vulgrim - essentially, the demonic merchant War buys his gear from.
If you watched the video I liked above, you probably recognize War's voice from somewhere, but you can't pin it down. Well, that's Liam O'Brien
, best known for his work in the English localizations of anime. He's quite a prolific talent. Anyway - all this stuff is nice, but here's the kicker. Here's the important bit:
It's like Zelda
The Watcher is an "evil Navi" and your horse is like "a bad-ass Epona." Seeing a trend here?
At media events, when discussing the game with devs, journalists are quick to compare it to combat-heavy games like God of War and Devil May Cry, but the developers shrug off these lables and straight-out say the game Darksiders is most like is Zelda.
You've got a giant open world. A lot of it, you can't access yet. You're not strong enough, or you don't have the right tool.
You find new powers and tools by entering dungeons. Each dungeon is unique, and each one houses a special artifact that - naturally - will be key to solving future puzzles and bringing down that dungeon's boss monster.
Once you leave the dungeon, you discover your new found power will grant you passage to previously inaccessible areas - and there, you will likely discover a new dungeon...
So that's it, that's my spiel. Dig on some trailers
if you want more media, but it's this multi-part developer walkthrough that really sold me: