Seems Nice Enough: Getting To Know Darksiders’ Death

By Nathan Grayson on August 8th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

No, don't worry, I'm only here for your cat. You're not on the schedule until... oh. Oh my. Haha, kidding. Kidding. I am actually here for you.

Hey everyone, it’s Death! You remember, Death, right? I could’ve sworn you two met at some point. Ah well, he’s really great. Here, here, both of you grab a drink and sit down. Now then, let me tell you about this guy. Oh, sure, he acts like a half-clothed embodiment of humanity’s inevitable end with the physique of a mountain (that has great abs) and a demeanor made of solid ice (that also has great abs), but really, he’s just a big old softy. I mean, he’s hacking through the armies of hell to prove that his poor lug of a brother, War, didn’t kick off the apocalypse. Isn’t that just the nicest thing you’ve ever heard? He has such a way with words, too. Watch as he strings together both horrifyingly vicious combos and sublimely melodious language after the break.

Wow. That actually looks pretty neat. To be perfectly honest, I skipped the first Darksiders because everyone pegged it as a mix between a series I’m completely burnt-out on (The Legend of Zelda) and a series I utterly despise (God of War). Darksiders II’s crazy mythology and completely over-the-top Warhammer-meets-the-end-of-days art style, though, have me reconsidering my dismissive stance.

It seems like it’d be a really fun world to lose myself in, and Craig’s write-up makes mention of elements from a series I adore (Prince of Persia) and a series that preys on my instinctual desire to hoard shiny things (Diablo). So I’m not entirely sold, but I’ll definitely keep an eye on this one. It’s out in a couple weeks, too, so I should probably skip sleeping to maximize eye-keeping-on time. I suppose, then, that you and Death should probably scoot along so I can have extra time to– oh gosh, you started making out on the couch while I wasn’t looking. Man, this is really awkward. I’ll just let myself out.

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46 Comments »

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  1. Askeladd says:

    I recently bought Dark Siders on steam and still have to play it. I liked the devil may cry series, how does it compare to DS? …even though I only liked it because of the silly actions the main character does.

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      RedViv says:

      The fighting is similar, but the focus is generally equally distributed between the arena combat, and exploration. Just as stated above.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It’s basically a Zelda game with God-of-War style combos tacked on. Good fun, but absolutely nothing to do with DMC.

  2. skyturnedred says:

    I really like the changes they’ve made comparing to the first game. Basically, everything they had to leave out because of lack of time, is in the sequel. Looking forward to it.

  3. Drayk says:

    Still haven’t finished the first one, but I’ll definitively gonna play this one at some point.

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    RedViv says:

    Top Dollar is Death? Rad.

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    Anthile says:

    And the strict lord Death bids them to dance.

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    TheApologist says:

    For all that people (rightly) say it is derivative in its elements, overall I can’t think of another game quite like Darksiders. The art style is great fun, and the Zelda kit unlocking and puzzley dungeon business give it a variety that God of War or the Onimusha series lack.

    Will almost certainly pick up DII at some point

    • Teovald says:

      I hate Warhammer (or 40 000 k) art style with these oversized armors worned by supersoldiers using oversized weapons with oversized bullets because oversized oversize oversize but I like Darksiders art style. It does not feel entirely original but it fits well the ‘you are War incarnated’ premise.

      Darksiders also accomplishes the exploit of making a cliffhanger ending that feels right and made me giggle.

  7. TehK says:

    Preordered and so looking forward to this. I just love the whole four-horsemen-apocalypse-mythology-thingy.

  8. Tom Walker says:

    So… can you die? Only you’re Death, right? What happens when Death dies?

    • Teovald says:

      In Darksiders mythology, the 4 Angels of Apocalypse are the last members of an extinct race that serve as mass destruction weapons in case Angels or Demons break their peace.
      War is just an eternally pissed off guy that likes to swing his oversized word around battlefields.
      Death likes to kill people, these two names are more their main hobbies really.
      Yes, apparently in their race’s culture you use your hobby as your name. Not really surprising that they disappeared with such a poor naming system.

      • Tom Walker says:

        Just as well, really. I wouldn’t like being known as Masturbation.

      • Choca says:

        In that culture, I would be known as Brownies then.

        • ChiefOfBeef says:

          All shall come to know me as ‘Barbecue Sauce’.

        • Lemming says:

          I would be known as Pizza. Which I’m strangely OK with. I also star as a soldier in Cannon Fodder.

      • Syra says:

        I would be blandly labeled Gamer =(

        ..oh…wait..

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      MonkeyMonster says:

      he won’t – see Reaper Man :D

      • Underwhelmed says:

        I will be calling the horse “Binky” no matter what the name is supposed to actually be in game.

        Also, the Death of Rats needs to be in the DLC.

  9. CaspianRoach says:

    I want to play Darksiders 3 as Famine — going around villages, burning down fields and stealing food from the houses. Yeah, that would be badass.

    • Hirmetrium says:

      Joe Mad’s Darksiders universe has the other two horsemen as “Strife”, the white knight, who is an expert marksman (War and Death use his pistols in both games) and “Fury”, a horsewoman who is fast and lethal and uses “wrath” spells more.

      Strife will likely be very difficult to design for without making an FPS. Fury, however, will fit perfectly within the current game.

      • Lemming says:

        Weird that that you say that about Strife, after you just said they use his guns in the current two 3rd person games. I don’t really see what would force it into first person. Tomb Raider? Gears of War?

        Also Fury has a whip as well, I believe.

        • Teovald says:

          I guess the challenge would be to do not make him over reliant on his guns .. in order to do not make the game a TPS …unless that is what the devs want to do, the only issue is that they would have to redesign a lot of the game mechanics, it would not be an issue for a game centered around Strife, but if they want to include the 4 horsemen as playable characters in a future game that would not work very well.

          If you put Strife in Darksiders (1), you could have combats where you have powerful guns but ennemies that try to get close, and when it happens you have to rely on a weak (compared to War’s Sword) blade and escape moves to get away from physically stronger opponents. It would have to be tested, but it looks like an interesting gameplay.

  10. MeestaNob says:

    Darksiders is fantastic Nathan, you really need to put some time aside to play it, especially if you’re going to play this.

    Also, the last moments of Darksiders ending cinematic is one of the COOLEST THINGS EVER.

    EVER.

    • Jenks says:

      It really, is, I almost ran through the wall in front of me when I beat Darksiders.

      “No… not alone.”

    • smartalco says:

      It is honestly one of the best endings to a game I’ve ever played. Which is really got damn weird since it is also a cliffhanger for subsequent entries in the series.

      • Teovald says:

        I think Darksiders really nailed how to do a cliffhanger ending introducing the next game :
        -The main plot line of the game is resolved ; you know what happened to the seven seals and War’s innocence is proved
        -The main culprits are punished and so his the sadistic imp that pissed you off during the whole game.

        And hey, here is that enormous change of situation that will result in a good game.
        I was also delighted by this ending.
        If they use such endings in a dozen of episodes it will quickly become frustrating. But it worked very well for Darksiders 1.

        • Lemming says:

          Originally the plan was the for sequel to let you control all four horsemen. It was only after they realised the scope of what they were trying to achieve it got changed to Death alone and a parallel storyline. So the ending wasn’t meant to be quite the cock-tease it turned out to be.

  11. Kyoss says:

    I’m really not the guy who values graphics over gameplay, but: come on. This looks like a 90’s game. God of War had way superior graphics and the combat also seems lacking in comparison.

    fyi: i bought Darksiders because of all the hype and hated it.

    • wodin says:

      When I read comments like this and there are usually a few on here about on game or other I always wonder to myself what PC system these lads had in the nineties and what games where they playing…………as I obviously missed out big time.

      • Underwhelmed says:

        It was a special video card called the “Voodoo eXtreme Rose Colored Glasses 2000″

        Also God of War is a boring linear Gorefest for 12 year-olds. But it does have boobs, hence popularity.

      • Aatch says:

        I agree, I’m a 90’s child, (born ’91), I remember mid->late nineties computers. They certainly don’t look like that…

        I’m calling nostalgia/rose-coloured glasses on this. I got an awesome Galaga game when I got a Playstation, all those eons ago, and remember it looking awesome. I was doing some research for a game idea and looked it up and, while it doesn’t look crap, it certainly reminded me that my memories from over a decade ago are probably faulty.

        In fact, I remember playing an old side-scrolling Duke Nukem game when I was a kid (though I’m not convinced that it was contemporary), so it’s not as if bump-mapped trillion-polygon graphics-fests were a standard fare then.

    • smeaa mario says:

      I am not necessarily trying to take a swing at you for that comment but honestly, all technical and visual goodies aside, if you think GoW beats Darksiders, there is something horribly wrong with your conception of gaming.

    • AJ_Wings says:

      God of War didn’t have a Zelda style over-world like Darksiders did. Also Darksiders craps all over God of War in terms of level design and exploration.

      Also God of War 3 sucked a donkey’s bollocks.

    • Lemming says:

      God of War series is a great set of action games. Darksiders is also great. Neither is better than the other (although personally, even though I love both, God of War edges it because there is simply more of it).

      I’d also go as far as saying the main God of War trilogy is flawless from beginning to end. There aren’t many game franchises that can claim that.

      I don’t really see the logic of slamming God of War because you couldn’t explore it in, because it’s not an action-RPG Zelda-style game at all – It’s a brawler. You can’t explore in Tetris either, you know.

      Honestly, what can people knock about a brawler that has you playing the angriest man ever born killing mythological creatures in a variety of ironic ways amidst lush visuals, epic boss battles and a heart-bounding orchestral score?

      What is this, a hippy commune?

    • Syra says:

      Lol Yeah I’d love to see you pull this off on your amiga mate.

      As for comparing God of War and Darksiders… completely different games. Bit stupid the fanboys go on about this, both good in their own ways, comparing the combat to god of war is a bit laughable anyway as it doesn’t have the level of flowyness (it’s a word now.) or the depth that a proper game of that hacky-slashy-beat-em-up ilk has. It’s far closer to zelda with a few 3 button combos and the sexy-ass art style akin to the over the top gothic feel of WH40k. There you go, your work here is done haters.

  12. obie191970 says:

    The first game was fantastic because of its deliciously campy story, fantastic puzzles and satisfying combat. And now for this, they replace the tank-like War with a more nimble and explosive Death, add loot, leveling, a combat arena and three guaranteed DLC’s for the price of $0(If you order from THQ…). Yeah, I’m sold. Plus, Necromancies!!!!!!

    • Underwhelmed says:

      I think Darksiders is a near-miss of a great game. I liked it a lot, but it didn’t quite hit the target it was aiming for. I have high hopes for the second though.

  13. kevmscotland says:

    I find it ironic that a game featuring Death, shall be the one that decides if THQ Lives or Dies.

    They have a lot riding on this one being a success.

  14. solymer89 says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig3FhngMUAM

    “Are you not entertained?”

  15. Jupiah says:

    Generally not a fan of game trailers that include quotes from reviewers about how great their game is (show me, don’t tell me) but that rest of that trailer is so awesomely badass that I am really interested in this game now. Definitely considering picking up the first one now so I can get caught up on the story before the sequel is released.

    • Aatch says:

      You know a game is good when most of the trailer is in-game footage.

      Also, this is a parallel storyline, so you only need to know the beginnings to understand the story, which I reckon they’ll probably explain. That said, they will (hopefully) add in some extras for people that have played the first one to spot.

  16. Suits says:

    I too am a sucker for that kind of mythology and the apocalypse is a great theme.

  17. Aatch says:

    I stayed away from Darksiders because of all the hype, bought-and-completed it recently (mostly because of the impending DS2) and mostly regret not playing it earlier.

    The gameplay is awesome (I played it on Apocalyptic, just FYI), it shows you where to go without being brutal about it, lets you travel around with very few limitations. The controls are easy and mostly intuitive, the combat is fluid and visceral, but (barring some exceptions) values player control over flashy combo’s. It’s challenging without being punishing, I always felt that it was my fault that I died, rather than the game being a dick. It autosaves at decent places (so not much retracing) and respawns you with 4 life bars (though that is only noticed late in the game) instead of whatever you had when it saved, so you don’t get dicked by a bad save.

    It’s not perfect, no, there is definitely a bit of a wide gap between easy-to-kill and hard-to-kill enemies, and it was exacerbated on my play-through because mistakes in Apocalyptic are punished hard. This led to some frustrating sections where I would only be able to dodge, and have little time to attack. The horse in the game doesn’t come in until much later, and many places in the game completely disallow the horse (this was a design fault as the horse was conceived later). The world seems a little empty at times, while this is to be expected for a post-apocalyptic ruin where humanity has been wiped out and everything that’s left wants to kill you, it didn’t quite hit “eerie”, as much as it hit dull at times. This is mostly only when backtracking for goodies though. Getting the Abyssal Armor (which is in 10 pieces scattered around) kinda breaks the game as it makes you practically invincible as long as you keep hitting things, but you can’t get it until late-game so it’s a minor point.

    I found it more similar to Devil May Cry with the combat and upgrade system than God of War though, since it heavily focussed on combos and made a point of lifts, but the Zelda-style puzzle solving and the “crap, I have to fight some guys now” rooms are brilliantly done.

    It definitely borrows heavily from many other titles, but combines them in a way that makes Darksiders a unique game. Derivative is only a bad thing when it doesn’t do anything more than just be a clone. Darksiders is no clone, it is a big jumble of Zelda (OoT especially), GoW and DMC, wrapped up in a surprisingly deep mythology that takes plenty of cues from Biblical mythology without letting it overtake the mythos. I do like the fact that they tried to keep many of the names (especially the demons and angles) biblical, so Samael, Abaddon, Uriel and The Destroyer (with The Destroyer being straight from Revelations).

    Darksiders 2 looks good. They apparently listened to a lot of the complaints about the first one and factored that in. They are also making Death his own character, gameplay-wise, rather than just a reskinned War. He is supposedly more agile, favoring acrobatics and many light strikes over War’s more solid stance and heavy swings, likely a response to the fact that it was much easier to dodge than block with War. They are also adding in several new ways of traversing the world, though it remains to be seen how much of that will be gimmicked into single-levels and how much will be integrated into the world in general.