Darksiders

Darksiders Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

Deceived by the forces of evil into prematurely bringing about the end of the world, War, the first Horseman of the Apocalypse, stands accused of breaking the sacred law by inciting a war between Heaven and Hell.

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8Out of 10
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War has a massive, kick-ass sword.
War has a massive, kick-ass sword.

War has a massive, kick-ass sword.

Other items of gear War comes into possession of, such as a grappling hook and portal gun, each serve a significant purpose in the game, and often grant you access to previously inaccessible locations in the game world. Combined with some Prince of Persia-like platforming, the latter puzzles are truly memorable and will test your usage of the tools acquired up to that point. In many ways, the game feels more accomplished as an adventure game than it does as a frenetic hack 'n' slash, with War's mountable phantom horse Ruin giving the game yet another piece of the classic Zelda pie.

As in Zelda, the game is partially open-world, but features a number of massive locations that serve as dungeons, each delivering a big reward upon completion. There's a considerable amount of backtracking at times, which is common in games of this type, but might not be what you're expecting if you thought Darksiders was another formulaic hack 'n' slash. Gladly you can quick travel between the main areas in the game world using serpent holes, opened once you complete the game's first big quest, saving you considerable time.

Vulgrim, a monster who serves as the demon version of Resident Evil 4's trader, pops up at set posts around the world, offering rewards for special artefacts and selling new weapons, moves and Wrath powers in exchange for collected souls - the game's currency, released from all defeated enemies and found in special chests. As and when you come across them, weapon enhancements can be applied to each weapon, granting such bonuses as increased damage, extra souls harvested, accelerated weapon experience and more. You're able to customise War to suit your play-style, whether it be enhancing your weapons to earn extra souls and therefore the ability to buy new items and abilities, or going for the more brute force approach, sacrificing some extra souls in favour of being able to take down enemies more easily.

Post-apocalyptic worlds are rarely beautiful, but Vigil Games has managed just that with Darksiders. Yes, the world has been torn apart, but the impressive use of colour throughout (you'll see more than shades of grey and brown here), the vast landscapes, giant enemies and general sense of scale makes for one of the most striking looking games of this generation. It's not as whiz-bang as some other current-gen offerings, at times appearing a little dated, but its style is unquestionably superb.

Riding phantom horse Ruin is great fun

Riding phantom horse Ruin is great fun

There's sadly a fair amount of frame rate trouble and some screen tearing, which hurts the presentation somewhat, and War as a character pales in comparison to Hamill's Watcher and the mega demons you encounter, but on the whole it's hard not to be sucked into the game world. Everything is accompanied by a brilliant musical score that conveys the sense of inter-realm war perfectly, being both epic and doom-heavy, and the voice acting is uniformly excellent.

Darksiders deserves attention. As a new franchise it does so many things right and should find a place for itself in a massively crowded market. If War was a more engaging character and the combat more refined, Darksiders would stand as one of the early contenders for game of the year. Even so, it's a highly entertaining, 15 hour plus adventure, with some gorgeous visuals, devilish puzzles and exciting action. Fingers crossed the no doubt planned sequel will build on this very impressive debut.

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14 Comments

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BLAZER's Avatar

BLAZER

longest action-adventure game I have ever played till date.At first the game seems a bit monotonous but as the game progresses you feel like playing it till the end.
Posted 07:39 on 09 December 2010
Danen's Avatar

Danen

Yea nice review i think that the Darksiders 2 will be more Epic and more brutal than this one, BTW great game !!!
Posted 21:39 on 12 July 2010
LJKL's Avatar

LJKL

nice game and at least its open world well very exellently done i would love to play it
Posted 13:02 on 18 January 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

Finished Darksiders over the weekend and I have to say that I thought it was cracking - it was a pretty long game too.
Some of the puzzles were quite taxing and took a bit of working out and the combat really does improve over the course of the game. Some nice boss battles too. I was very impressed!
Posted 11:36 on 18 January 2010
Diesel22's Avatar

Diesel22

This or bayonetta
Posted 10:13 on 16 January 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ guyderman

:laugh: Don't intend to scare you with Batman 2. I guess this quote from the 1989 Batman film will fit very nicely about this lol

Widoman: I'm not going to kill you. I want you to do me a favor. I want you to tell all your friends about me.
Guyderman: What are you?
Widoman: I'm Widoman.


Changed it a lil bit :p

ME2 is going to be the first 360 game I have brought since Forza 3 come out :o
Posted 13:40 on 08 January 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ Wido

Wido stop scaring me about Batman 2 - *shudder* - my mind can't cope with the possibility of it being crap - LOL!

I've not experienced any screen tearing yet - looks like I was right on this occasion to go for the PS3 version as oppsosed to the 360 version (which is actually unusual for me).
Posted 13:34 on 08 January 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ guyderman

Couldn't of said it even better than that. By the way, have you noticed any framerate drop or screen tearing? I'm not boasting about the PS3 verison, but I haven't come across these issues and it make look like an actual good port for a change for the PS3.

@Player: The depth that Darksiders has and the story on which the game portrays can easily have a sequel. Something could go wrong in the Charred Council and one of the Horseman could of turned rogue? War and the others will be sent to earth or wherever to give out justice. I am no where near the end or halfway in Darksiders. So I cannot really comment if they can be a sequel with the current plot. Though, observing the other possibilities of a sequel where I am upto, could make a good plot.

I do agree that most sequels depends on how much that game sells and the demand from fans who want a sequel. Rocksteady is clever to release another Batman as they know it will sell well because of how well Arkham Asylum was. Though, not even a year possibly and they are already about done another Batman as it will raise some questions about the level of quailty on which Batman 2 will have. Why change something which isn't broke will come into play.
Posted 13:30 on 08 January 2010
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer@ Wido

depends on how good the game sells tbh. If it bombs(like saboteur), idk there will be any sequel.
Good review. Might get this when cheap as all my money is invested in me2 at the mo
Posted 13:21 on 08 January 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

I've found rather than conventional combo's you have to mix and match your approach - Chuck a car at them, run in and wack with your sword, dash to the side, blast them with one of your specials, couple more hits with your sword, blow your horn at them (seriously?!?), dash attack and up in the air to finish them off! Great fun!
Posted 13:20 on 08 January 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Good review.

Would like to point out that the PS3 verison I have got, I haven't come across any framerate drop or screen tearing. I do too agree with the dodge/dash. Guy makes a good point by why having the dash as the same button as block. Very good game and the combat is good isnt like Bayonetta, DMC, Ninja Gaiden or God Of War. What makes the combat exciting is the use of the environment. You can throw cars, smash up a light post and use the light post as a weapon or throw the light post from range.

I'm certaintly liking this as it is a good action adventure.

Main question is though.... Is this the Zelda clone which the 360 & PS3 have been waiting for? I think so. Vigil has made a good attempt and I'm sure they will be a sequel to this lovely game.
Posted 12:59 on 08 January 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ SexyJams

Good point SexyJams - so far this certainly doesn't feel as ferocious as say Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry so I think it may be a bit easier for people to pick up and play - although some of the creatures even early on are quite tough to get to grips with (or maybe I should've started on Normal and not Apocolyptic difficulty - Gulp!)
Posted 12:02 on 08 January 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Stunning review Tom,
although you say the combat isn't deep enough, I have to argue that maybe some people don't want the level of combat that Bayonetta offers.
The mere fact that I know I will never be able to take full advantage of the combat in Bayonetta has totally turned me off of buying the game...
Posted 11:37 on 08 January 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

God review Tom - I've played it for a couple of hours now and must admit to being a little under whelmed at first - until the world opened up and then it improved massivley. Love the presentation of the game and I agree about the combat too - at first it is very limited, but again improves with upgrades.
My major gripe - as you mentioned in the review is the dodge /dash move, but my main gripe with it is why was it the same button as blocking - a lot of the time it feels like chance as to wether you dodge or block taking a bit of the skill element out of the combat. Good game though!
Posted 10:55 on 08 January 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Darksiders
8
Out of 10
Darksiders
  • Old-fashioned action adventure
  • Excellent puzzles
  • Stylish visuals
  • Combat isn't as deep as some will want
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 08/01/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Vigil Games
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 1,980 44
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