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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Darksiders kicks off 2010 with a bang
Darksiders kicks off 2010 with a bang

Darksiders kicks off 2010 with a bang

It's Zelda meets God of War meets Tomb Raider meets Soul Reaver. Darksiders appeared to be another hack 'n' slash clone, developed in an attempt to appeal to the God of War fan base, but it's actually an action adventure game far more diverse, offering combat, platforming, puzzles, exploration and a whole heap of collectable items. While this huge variety makes Darksiders something of a rare breed these days, it does come at a slight cost to the quality of certain areas. Still, as a fairly old-fashioned romp through a large world, Vigil Games' post-apocalyptic adventure is something of an unexpected treat.

War might be said to be good for absolutely nothing, but as the lead character in Darksiders he's good for an awful lot of things. As one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War is responsible for sorting out any squabbles between the armies of Heaven and Hell, working for a kind of intermediate group known as The Charred Council. When seven sacred seals are broken it signifies an apocalyptic war has broken out on Earth, and that the Horsemen must be summoned to fight the opposing soldiers.

As it turns out, an epic battle broke out, War appeared, but the seals were not broken. Upon his death in battle, War is returned to The Charred Council, where he is accused of causing the Apocalypse and sentenced to death. Pleading his innocence and pledging to find who prematurely started the apocalypse, it is decided that the warrior be sent back to Earth to prove his innocence. He's not sent alone, though, with one of the Council's keepers assigned to make sure War doesn't stray from his mission. The Watcher, voiced superbly by Mark Hamill, appears from time to time and will offer advice if you're clueless over what to do next.

Years have passed on Earth while War resided with The Charred Council, so on his return the humans have been wiped off the planet and zombie-like mutants roam the land. These creatures, alongside the various soldiers of the afterlife, pose a great threat to War as he wanders the scorched earth, so it's good that he's more than able to hold his own during a fight. While he has been stripped of most his powers by The Charred Council, in typical video game fashion his abilities and skills improve as you work through the game. Still, to begin with you're not exactly useless.

Big bad enemies appear throughout

Big bad enemies appear throughout

As you'd expect, War has a primary attack weapon (a massive sword) and a secondary weapon (changeable on the fly), each coming with their own range of attack moves. Combat is certainly more button mashing friendly than the hack 'n' slash genre's most revered titles, but it's not a walk in the park, either. Before too long you'll have an abundance of moves at your disposal, blocking and countering to contend with, a speedy sliding dash to evade enemies, a beast-like Chaos form to unleash and Wrath abilities (essentially magic). Although not up to the standard of something like Bayonetta, Darksiders' combat is certainly more accessible to the masses, and more depth is revealed as tougher enemies come into play.

If there's one single aspect of the combat system that lets the side down, it's War's dodge move. The slide War performs simply isn't very good, and doesn't gel well within the fast, almost balletic combat. Where possible it's far preferable to use the block and counter attacks, although the timing of this doesn't feel as instinctive as it does in the genre heavyweights.
The way Vigil introduces new weapons and their uses is one of Darksiders' most impressive achievements. You're never far from getting something new to play with, and the many environmental puzzles require clever use of these new items. The Crossblade, bearing more than a slight gameplay resemblance to the boomerang in Zelda and the Glave in Dark Sector, doubles as a handy projectile weapon and a way to trigger distant switches. It can also be imbued with the properties of other objects, such as flaming torches, opening up other puzzle elements.

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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: 3,085 7
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