Wot I Think: Darksiders II

By John Walker on August 14th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

This is how the game looks most of the time. Awesome.

The original Darksiders managed to frustrate us. But that was two years ago, and it’s a fresh start. And no suspense here: the sequel is absolutely fantastic. I’ve been playing Darksiders II in every waking hour for days, and can now tell you Wot I Think.

According to the game’s own clock, I’ve been hacking, slashing, punching, puzzle-solving, horsey-riding, chatting, and massively stomping my way through Darksiders II for 20 hours. According to reality, it’s been a lot longer than that, including re-attempts, inventory fiddling, stat adjustment, re-attempts, shopping, cutscenes, and re-attempts. And I’m only two-thirds of the way through.

Unfortunately, with review code only arriving late Friday, despite my best efforts I’ve not had time to finish this before writing. But with a huge amount of time already put in, I feel pretty confident to tell you what a splendid time this is. It really is.

Darksiders II is massive in so many sense of the word. Obviously in the realm of RPGs, 30 hours doesn’t seem too extreme, but this is primarily a third-person action game, and in that world it’s positively epic. It’s also a third-person action which is doing a damned good impression of an action RPG. And a puzzle platformer. Then there’s the vast scale of absolutely everything within, from the multiple massive worlds to the gargantuan enemies, to the sheer volume of every action. To call it bombastic is to underestimate things to a ludicrous degree.

It is also derivative of just about everything imaginable. There’s barely a single original idea in here – and yet that never proves a bad thing. Instead this is a lucky dip of great game ideas from everywhere else, compiled together in one enormous project, dwarfing its inspirations in terms of size, if not always in design. Within the game you’ll find one huge chunk of Prince Of Persia, a generous slice of Zelda, no inconsiderable lump of Metroid Prime, and a car park full of Ratchet & Clank. Then there’s the bucketfuls of Shadows Of The Colossus, all served with a massive side order of Diablo. And these aren’t reaches – these are bold, clear influences, and what a bloody good thing that is. What a fantastic list of games to be reminded of, all at once.

This is, rather obviously, the sequel to Darksiders. I must admit I’ve not played the original, and you can hate me for that now:________. Good, let’s get on. With the first game’s protagonist, War, imprisoned for the crime of wiping out humanity, this game’s sort-of-hero, Death, is determined to prove his innocence. By… going to a tree.

There is, in fact, an enormous amount of story here. Vast mythologies about the various realms that share our universe, the Nephilim and Death’s murdering of them, a terrible Corruption that’s destroying all the realms, and a long, elaborate quest to free War. Along the way you learn background details of various races, as well as completing sidequests relevant to their interests. And despite all this, I haven’t a flipping clue what’s going on. This doesn’t seem to be to do with lacking the story from the first game, but rather because it appears to be opting to tell you Death’s tale in a completely mad order. You know he’s done a bad thing near the start, but you don’t find out why, or when, until much later, and then it still just obfuscates further. It matters not a jot – in fact, it might even be quite clever. But what really counts is that you’re told to go somewhere and find a thing/kill a guy, and you do it, and it’s so much fun to do so.

Time is split about 2:1 between fighting and exploring. In the latter, it couldn’t feel much more like Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time. Right down to the animations of how Death moves, the pattern of wall-runs (indeed, the pattern on the walls to hint you can wall-run too) and pillar climbs, rotating devices to raise platforms, there’s even what’s essentially a rewind mechanism for when you fall off ledges. You’re magicked back to the spot where you fell with minimum penalty. And just how much does every right-thinking person long for more of Sands Of Time? Exactly. You’ve got it here.

Fighting is more dominant, although most of the time it takes the form of a more action-RPG style, dozens of enemies attacking you in waves, as you deploy your various skills that you’ve bought from trainers or earned through levelling up. However, here it’s much more about combos rather than just hitting number keys, carefully timed moves with both of your equipped weapons and various assigned skills, along with jumping and dodging. It’s incredibly frantic, and yet even for a fighting game klutz like me, impressively easy to get to grips with. There’s an enormous amount of variety of how to shape your Death, despite a rather lacklustre two-pronged skill tree, letting you choose from a squillion different weapon types and tactics. I’ve opted for claw-based special weapons, and my obligatory scythes are just the finest you’ll see.

Weapons are the most Diabloey of all. There are plain whites, nice greens, fancy blues, and oh-so-very-fine purples, dropped from the many chests found in hard-to-reach places, or bought from the traders you’ll meet on your journey. It manages to capture that perfect sense of desperately wanting to always be upgrading, while feeling regret when it’s finally time to move on from a favourite hammer. And there’s a lovely addition here too – sacrificing equipment. Better than all the other item types are the orange, upgradeable weapons or armour that improve themselves by devouring others. Sacrifice your busy inventory to them and they’ll gradually level up, boosting their primary stats, and letting you choose to add many others. A five-time-levelled orange item is a wonderful thing. And best of all, when they’ve finally been outclassed by drops, they sell for a fortune to a merchant.

The final prong, I suppose, is platforming, although it mostly overlaps with the POP:SOT action. Like everything else in the game, dungeons and towers are vast, and figuring out correct routes through them is where most of the puzzles appear. This starts off as your basic switch pressing and route-finding, but deeper into the game you’ll have conjurable accomplices, whose deployment makes puzzling far more elaborate.

Then there are the bosses. Many a great game has ruined itself with its bosses, and Darksiders comes damned close on occasion. There are possibly a hundred bosses here – I’m guessing in the dark – and they come thick and fast. Pretty much any room wider than a corridor is probably going to slam up a gate behind you as you walk in, and ask you to kill something five times the size of you. Or five hundred times. And mostly, you know what, they’re fine. Killing them is less about attrition gaming, and more about judiciously employing the skills you’ve learned, making excellent use of the dodge, and not forgetting you have an occasional ability to turn into a giant winged form of yourself where you can squish most things flat.

There are, however, a couple of exceptions, where the game’s occasional glitchiness combined with poor flagging of weaknesses can mean much swearing and hand-slamming takes place. The dodge, while very entertaining to use properly, fails to fire for indiscernible reasons, and that never, ever feels fair. Also, one of Death’s later skills, a purple magicky thing that’s essentially a grappling hook, is also extremely twitchy, failing you at stupid moments that can be far too frustrating.

Other glitches appear throughout. It’s a bit too easy to get stuck in the furniture, although the utterly exemplary checkpointing means this is rarely too severe a problem. (Seriously, no game has ever had better, more frequent checkpoints than this one.) And at one point an entire lump of exposition was lost when a cutscene went mad, swathes of dialogue went missing, and I awoke in a different location.

In the end, Darksiders II is about two things. Size, and detail. And it’s just so brilliant at both. It’s hard to convey just how enormous everything is. Death himself is a huge man, a horseman of the apocalypse, beefy and armoured, carrying weapons twice his size. And he’s the smallest thing in the game (bar some stupid buzzy bug things). The first group of characters you meet are the Makers, a race of giants who seem to have had a pivotal role in creation. Each towers over you, but they’re nothing compared to their constructs, golems the Makers built, the size of houses. Except, well, they’re the titchy ones, because by the end of your ten hours with these chaps, you’ll be freeing and fighting creatures who step over hills. This is a game where you don’t just open doors or look in chests. Here enormous purple ghostly hands roar open vast hulking doors, making colossal slamming sounds, or rip chests into chunks to empty out their content. Everything is as loud, as huge, and as dramatic as it possibly could be.

The detail is so impressive too. I love so many things, like how when Death climbs a vertical wooden beam, he makes a galloping sound. And talking of which, his horse, Despair, is meticulously crafted, walking, trotting and galloping with pristine animations, one of the best gaming horsies since Shadow Of The Colossus. There’s Death’s swimming – it sounds such a trivial thing, but swimming is where exactly 100 percent of action games go wrong, but not any more. His stroke is that of an Olympian, again remarkably well animated, and actually a pleasure to play with. For once water sections don’t induce a groan, but actually a cheer. And I love that when you reload the game it gives you a topical “story so far” recap to remind you what you were up to.

There’s some bad news too, I’m afraid. To call the port half-assed is an insult to chopped up donkeys everywhere. The graphics options are minimal, and the menus are utterly insane if negotiated with a mouse. In fact, you can’t go “back” with a mouse at any point, despite the buttons appearing on the screen. The game doesn’t even offer a “Start New Game” option, instead asking you to load one of three saved games, all blank obviously. And that’s after making sure you’ve been warned that it’s going to auto-save, and not to switch off your PC mid-save, every time you load it.

There’s no option to switch between keyboard/mouse and 360 controls, so if you want to play without your controller, you’re going to have to unplug it before you start the game. That’s just abysmal. Although honestly, despite there being adequate options for traditional PC controls, it’s a game obviously designed to be played on a pad, and I strongly recommend you do.

It can take quite a lot to make you forget an obnoxiously bad PC port for menus, but the only reason I’ve remembered to include it is because I wrote it on my pad. I’m totally sucked in to this world, absorbed by an epic game. No, there’s not an original bone in its body, but it’s like playing a best-of of gaming, on an extraordinary scale. I haven’t finished it, so I can’t say with any surety that it doesn’t go completely stupid with boss fights toward the end – I fear it, but I don’t know yet. When I get there, I’ll be sure to post to say. But the first 25 hours or so have been worth the price of entry (not that I paid, but I’m great at empathy).

I just wish they hadn’t called it Darksiders II. I’m not exactly in the minority not having played the first game, and it would seem too great a shame to put people off playing this. It should really have been called Darksiders: Death, so let’s all imagine it was.

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78 Comments »

  1. philbot says:

    I never got to finish the Darksiders, after a game breaking bug wouldn’t let me progress, but what I played I absolutely loved. Looking forward to getting my hands on this one!

  2. Torn says:

    There’s already a page of tweaks up on PC Gaming Wiki: http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Darksiders_II

    Uncapped framerates and checking for a THQ account every time you load seems a bit messed up. Am going to wait until they patch the promised ‘configuration file’ in later.

    • Tiller says:

      Not sure about the uncapped framerate, but the THQ server checking screwed me up for a while last night. Same with switching resolutions and the Vsync. Seems to be some sort of cloud issue. All I did was cut my connection when starting the game and it loaded fine.

  3. Premium User Badge

    TheApologist says:

    This is exactly what I was hoping for. I really like the first – a harmonious blend of other games’ systems and mechanics in a fabulous aesthetic – and it sounds like this takes that strategy and goes further.

    Kerching, THQ!

  4. Freud says:

    The first one was excellent and it seems the sequel is as sequels should be: bigger and better.

  5. Choca says:

    I’ve played about ten hours of the game and it is indeed quite awesome. Can’t wait to get back to it actually.

  6. d00d3n says:

    The original Darksiders was easily one of the best games of 2010. Compared to any modern Zelda game, puzzles were not as ingenious, polish was obviously not as good and pacing was all over the place (especially the beginning section and the traversal parts between dungeons). The real success of the game as I see it was the wonderful use of characters, story and world building in Zelda type game to make the core gameplay of slaying monsters and solving puzzles feel meaningful to the player. Other successful Zelda clones that did this are Beyond Good & Evil and the Little Big Adventure games.

  7. Premium User Badge

    oWn4g3 says:

    Although honestly, despite there being adequate options for traditional PC controls, it’s a game obviously designed to be played on a pad, and I strongly recommend you do.

    Is Darksiders 2 compatible with non-XBox 360 pads? The only thing I was able to do with my Logitech Rumblepad 2 in the prequel was constant camera panning in awkward directions. Bought it quite cheap but never managed to play it as I was not willing to buy a new pad that would cost more than the actual game I need it for.

    • John Walker says:

      I assume so, but I haven’t tested.

    • Telzis says:

      Before my old gamepad (a Saitek Cyborg) broke, I used the Xbox 360 Controller Emulator for Darksiders and some other games:
      http://code.google.com/p/x360ce/
      Start the executable, configure your buttons, copy the DLL and the generated config file to the game directory. You might need to rename the DLL to another xinput version to be recognized. When starting the game, you should be hearing a “ping” which means the DLL has been loaded and the game will use the “faked” Xbox Controller.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        supporting second on using the gamepad emulation above. Hell, on older/poorly supported games like Assasins Creed 2 you need this program to make use of AN OFFICIAL XBOX360 GAMEPAD.

        long story short ubisoft sucks

      • Premium User Badge

        oWn4g3 says:

        Thank you! I have used something similar before and iirc I even tried it with DS1 without success. However I will download the game again and try with my Rumblepad. If this works, nothing will stop me from getting DS2 :)

      • end0rphine says:

        or Just try motioninjoy

      • RegisteredUser says:

        Literally every single current game uses that stupid xinput stuff, which most “normal” USB controllers don’t have if they are older than xxx.

        Using x360ce however lets you play them all with the gamepad. You may need to fiddle with the filename(some games use a different library), but usually “xinput1_3.dll” works with the games.

        I have a thrustmaster el cheapo thingie and x360ce was my saviour.

  8. whexican says:

    Glad to hear its a solid game. I came close to pre-ordering bt opted out since I rather buy GOTY edition that has all the DLC included. :)

  9. Xocrates says:

    Stupid Oceans.

  10. Freud says:

    I hope they toned down boss fights requiring quick or precise aiming. That was the most frustrating part of the first one. It’s a third person action game. I’d rather they focus on mechanics that fit that for boss fights.

  11. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    So it’s Darksiders, except more and better.
    That’s how I want my sequels.

  12. Tiller says:

    The game has an abundance of lower resolution textures and the like, but damn if the art direction isn’t some of the most fabulous stuff I’ve seen in gaming. Death doesn’t feel like War in the slightest, for better or worse. I think that’s what they were going for, with Death being a lot more agile and less of a Tank.

    • Gorf says:

      i was a bit unsure if i liked the art style at first and was slightly cynical but i love it now, not quite as much as i love badlands type art but its still cool.

  13. aliksy says:

    I keep seeing the first one go on sale and passing it up for some reason. Maybe I’ll be able to get both in a bundle deal in 6 months…

  14. Kid_A says:

    I was all ready to go buy this today, but for some reason we’re getting a whole week’s delay instead of only until Friday as per usual Gamestop/GAME machinations. Hmph.

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      steam and the official darksiders website don’t display any release date for europe, which is immensely weird (or am I just blind).
      I finally found a August 21st release date, which seems to be the one, according to your comment.
      A week delay is indeed a bit of nonsense.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Phinor says:

    I really wish I liked the original Darksiders but even after giving it hours and hours, it just never felt enjoyable. Just about everything in that game was at least decent, often great, but I just didn’t enjoy playing it. Now I’m torn with Darksiders 2. Sounds like everything is better in the sequel but the problem is, I still might not enjoy it.

    I also really hate the fact that the EU release is one week from now and there’s yarr versions already available for all platforms. If it was released today worldwide, I might have actually bought it after reading the reviews but next week I have other things to play and day 1 hype of DS2 is gone. So maybe Steam Christmas sales, if THQ is still up and running? Oh well, at least the PC port is currently terrible so it might be better in few months after some patching and user tweaks.

    • Giaddon says:

      I hated Darksiders, so that makes it easy to avoid the sequel. Just wait for it to go on sale if you’re curious.

    • caddyB says:

      For a second I thought you said Europa Universalis release next week.
      Oh the disappointment.

    • Arglebargle says:

      That report of bad porting and UI would be enough to keep me away, even if I liked the style of game. Which, looking at that pile of influences from games I don’t like or care for, is not the case. May be acceptable to some, but the obvious disregard for PC player control tells me to send my money elsewhere.

      There are loads of good games to play, I don’t have to put up with shoddy ones.

    • Grim_22 says:

      I hated the first game myself – I’m of the very strange opinion that it’s an excellent game that just wasn’t fun. As we’re of the same opinion on that, trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss Darksiders 2. It’s just amazing, and an improvement in every way possible.

  16. JoeGuy says:

    Yay, glad I pre-ordered this now. Have the first DLC dungeon to look forward to too. Probably save my Game+ playthrough till the DLC’s are all out and then go get some epic loot from the Crucible.

  17. Chris D says:

    I’m not usually one to complain about port quality but the first game would always crash after about 10 minutes for me. I reckon I could have fixed that if I’d been able to change even basic graphics settings. Can’t really afford to take a chance on this one doing the same.

    Feel free to mock my rubbish PC if you must but if I have to upgrade then I won’t have the money to buy this game anyway. It’s kind of a catch 22.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Oozo says:

    First “Dragon’s Dogma”, now this, later this year “Dark Souls” – seems like an excellent year for chopping up huge, towering beasts.

    (BTW, “to call the port half-assed is an insult to chopped up donkeys everywhere” is a very fine sentence indeed.)

  19. Slinkyboy says:

    PC Port so-so bad? I guess I’ll wait before I grab it on Steam and hope they patch this up

    • Dominic White says:

      The PC port doesn’t have any additional bells of whistles, but it’s still the best version of the game. And, like John says, the only time you’ll care about it is if you’re working your way through a checklist of boring points to score the game on, instead of playing it.

  20. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    Glad this turned out good and will definitely pick it up. I want to revisit the original before I fdo though so I’ll hold off for a month or two I think.

  21. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    Now: Phoenix Wright 2
    Then: Sleeping Dogs
    Then: Dark Souls
    Then: Darksiders
    Then: Darksiders 2

    Busy days

  22. epmode says:

    I’d probably buy this if it wasn’t for the season pass. The same went for Saint’s Row 3. Now I’ll just wait for a sale.

    • Fierce says:

      While I totally agree with you and will probably wait for the Halloween sale as well, I almost understand that THQ needs to do the DLC Dance in order to make up for the massive loss they made on the uDraw controller. While some would shrug and say that dumb business decisions should be aptly punished, I don’t think it would help anyone to see the franchises that THQ has and the “relative” care they put into PC games to disappear down the toilet drain of bankruptcy while publishers like Activision continue their homogenization crusade.

      I mean, I loved Darksiders, and Darksiders 2 is in the Top 3 of my Steam’s wishlist, along with another THQ game… and even I raised a judgmental eyebrow at the $70 asking price for Darksiders 2 + SP. Even though I’m an industry conscious adult who actually wants to help THQ through their recovery, I’m having trouble opening my wallet for that amount.

      I guess all I’m trying to say is… I can forgive THQ for going all in on DLC nickel and dime-ing (Have you seen the DLC list for Warhammer Retribution? Holy crap!) for now, as long as they don’t opt-out their games on upcoming Steam sales and their game issues are addressed. For now, the quality of their franchises has bought some faith that when times are no longer tough, they won’t respond by nickel and dime-ing even harder.

      Can’t really say that for any other publisher these days.

      • caddyB says:

        They do the DLC dance, but THQ games I’ve bought so far have always been feature complete when they were released, and the DLC was just that, extra content if I wanted to pay for it ( I generally did ).

        Not like there was a DLC vendor in the camp telling me to spend money to save some villagers.

        • Fierce says:

          Which game was it that did that, Dragon Age 2 or Mass Effect 3?

          I don’t own either of them.

          • caddyB says:

            Even the first Dragon Age had a dlc vendor in your camp.

          • Fierce says:

            What?! I don’t remember this NPC…

            And I played regular DA:O for more than 6 months before I re-bought DA:O Ultimate Edition on the cheap. Maybe I just completely missed this camp person?

          • Vinraith says:

            @Fierce

            In DA:O (without the DLC, of course) there’s a guy near the wagons in your camp with a big, glowing exclamation mark over his head. That’d be him.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Hmm, I bounced off the original (which I bought in a sale) thanks to my increasingly harsh requirement of having to be entertained quickly by a game as I found the opening hour or so incredibly insipid. I’ve contemplated going back to it (as Zelda comparisons are always a draw for me) but from the sounds of it I’d do better to wait till this one drops in price a bit and play it instead.

    Someone remind me about that, ta!

  24. coldvvvave says:

    Is the first one worth playing?

    • Fierce says:

      Yes.

      Throw a car at the helicopter.

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      No. Not at all.

    • caddyB says:

      It’s decent. I liked it a lot, but never finished it. I should probably go back to it actually, but I’m playing Legacy of Kain, Defiance at the moment. So boo.

    • Xocrates says:

      Definitely.

      Not an original idea to its name, but loads of good ones bundled with flair.

  25. Waltorious says:

    What’s the DRM on this? Steamworks? I think I’ll probably buy it, just need to figure out where to get it.

  26. caddyB says:

    I’m so glad you like it.
    This might be THQ’s only hope after all, and I rather like them ( and 40k )

    • Fierce says:

      You don’t count Company of Heroes 2 among their hopes? Really?

      Why not?

      • Xocrates says:

        If this one fails, they might not get that far.

        • caddyB says:

          Indeed. They need money “NOW”, because they’ve been canning a lot of things lately, which can only mean that they don’t have enough resources to keep developing them.

        • Fierce says:

          Oh they’ll get that far. Really, they will. They’ll slit their throats for the blood to pay the completion vampire if they have to.

          Company of Heroes is practically their flagship franchise. There’s no way they’ll choose bankruptcy (it still has to be chosen, remember, they can always seek unfavorable loans) over an attempt at a softer landing with their golden egg.

          This isn’t like Stalker 2. They’ve literally said they’re going to refocus on their core franchises and get them out the door in order to right the ship. Company of Heroes 2 and Metro Last Light are going to be finished, bank accounts be damned. Unless they’re burning EA-level development budgets which obviously could become unsustainable, anything less wouldn’t make sound financial sense.

          I’m saying this as a business owner, not a gamer. That they’re hurting for cash makes these releases more likely, not less.

          I mean, don’t even get me started on how they can leverage this just-released Darksider 2 revenue for further financial support. Interest junkies in banks the world over happily embrace these situations.

          • Xocrates says:

            I think you’re overestimating the importance of company of heroes for THQ.

            Yes, it is probably one of their best reviewed games, but while I can’t find sales figures I seriously doubt it outsells most of the other THQ properties, and in particular I doubt it even manages to outsell Dawn of War.

            Ultimately, I just very much doubt that they’ll treat a PC-only franchise as their flagship.

  27. Azradesh says:

    I hate every one of you in the US that has this game already. >_<

  28. Demiath says:

    I’m currently playing through the first Darksiders and it does nothing for me. I got a cheap pre-order for the sequel through Green Man Gaming but if I can’t be bothered to push myself through the original I doubt I’ll ever get around to even installing Darksiders 2.

    The oft-mentioned “generic” elements are definitely not problematic as such; it’s the whole Zelda formula of limited exploration and annoying block-moving puzzles coupled with shallow but also unforgiving combat (not to mention those “let’s guess what the developers were thinking” bosses) which I simply don’t understand the supposed appeal of.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Reports like this are why I didn’t pick up the first Darksiders, even at the ‘supersale’ levels. Combines a bunch of gameplay elements that I dislike. Guess a lot depends on how you came into gaming. Actioneer fans might be more tolerant/appreciative of the game. Coming from a wargames/strategy games background, I find this sort of thing really tedious.

  29. trjp says:

    So I can steal it today or wait a week to buy it.

    That must be a hard decision for anyone who’s not got solid-gold morals and the willpower of a God.

    Imagine I’d already pre-ordered (and thus paid) for it – do they still expect people to ignore the lure of ‘play it now or wait – your choice’.

    How fucking stupid do you have to be to LENGTHEN the delay between US and UK releases?

    or – what’s coming out on Friday which they’re terrified of? :)

    • apocraphyn says:

      You’d think next week would be the terrifying one, what with Guild Wars 2′s release. (And Dark Souls, for that matter).

      I’m really not sure whether I should get the PC version or the *cough* Wii U *cough* version, myself. Glad it’s been received well, anyway – I greatly enjoyed the first iteration.

      • trjp says:

        I loved Darksiders too – and normally I can wait for a game as I’ve got plenty of others, but I find the idea that pirates get the full release a week before paying customers to be ridiculous.

    • Ident says:

      For some reason THQ has a history of screwing the UK on release dates. For example, DoW: Dark Cusade took about a month extra to get to the EU, and then at least another week to get to the UK making it the last territory that it launched in.

      Why they do this I have no idea. Even more confusing is why they’re using a tuesday launch when the UK is usually a friday launch.

  30. Nico_101 says:

    Stylistically, it looks just like World of Warcraft.

  31. BatmanBaggins says:

    For some reason I just really did not enjoy the first one that much. I’m not even sure why. I think I got about 5 hours into it, then put it down, and never felt the urge to pick it up ever again.

    This sounds promising, though, so I’ll give it a try…

  32. UncleLou says:

    I’ve seen a few bad ports in my time. This is not one of them.

  33. HaVoK308 says:

    Considering the original Darksiders is a fantastic game, and it can be purchased for $4.99, I would say calling it Darksiders II was a good idea. Think you are missing out? Play the original!

  34. domoslaf says:

    You, PC folks, are really cute sometimes. I love RPS to bits, mostly thanks to the writing style, and being primarily a console gamer myself I feel really warm inside reading a piece like this. I mean with all your pretend console hate to see you so happy with what is basically a “best of” collection of console games from the past 20 years just has to be amusing.

    I’m somehow really glad you like it so much, John. ;)

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I think RPS, despite being PC-only, tend to have a lot of love for console classics (just look at all the moaning about the passing of Sega, or the praising of Dark Souls before the announcement of the port, or everything RDR). It’s the streamlined, shallow crop of modern console games that gets at everyone.

    • John Walker says:

      None of us have any hate for console games, and we all own and play games on console, fwiw.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Its not about whether consoles or PC “create” or have better games at all.

      And its not that I as a PC gamer and PC supremacist hate consoles per se. I grew up on the NES and SNES, after all.

      Its more a thing of years of “Yea, this should/could have been much better if developed for the PC, but we need to sell our consoles, so we are forcing the devs to make it $consoleplatform exclusive” and “Make them delay it 6-24 months so they buy more consoles, first” and “Why make it run well on PCs, its already sold on consoles” etc pp make you sigh, feel annoyed at times.

      There is no real reason that the PC doesn’t have 1:1 every single game the PS3 and XBOX360 has as well(or PS1-3 and Xbox, all of the handhelds, etc..you get the idea. And we have firm believers in this, too, as the emulation scene shows..and they have xx% less efficient processing). You can plug in any controller and the graphic and sound capabilities are vastly superior on the PC.

      The logical order should be developing a game at maximum fidelity for the PC, then releasing adequately cut-down-so-it-runs console versions(which are already mostly co-generated by the medium setting textures for the PC, e.g.).

      Instead we’ve had a decade of “And now for a quick 1:1 slop-port to cash in those final dollars and cents” _IF_ they even were that merciful.

      So when I think about it, I think its more the publishing / developing practices that I hate, not the platforms or the people.

      Actually most of my dislike is that not everyone is getting access to _all_ the games. I want a world of “We all get to enjoy!” rather than us vs them pitting.
      So I guess I’m left with hoping the PC emulator scene keeps going strong, because the “exclusive!” logic is definitely not going to go away..

  35. Uthred says:

    Limited graphical options, no config file and screen tearing would be annoying by themselves. But the fact that the developers explicitly stated that there would be no screen tearing and proper graphical options and a config file for the PC version means that they straight out lied to their customers.

    • UncleLou says:

      There aren’t many options admittedly, but there’s a vsync option, which works fine on my PC. No tearing whatsoever.

  36. UncleLou says:

    Two hours in, I have just one complaint: NO HELMET GEAR SLOT. That’s the second time now that a recent loot-heavy game negelcts helmets, after Dungeon Siege 3. Seeing how Death has a particularly ugly mug (and hairdo), I was hoping for a wide variety of headgear.

    /pet peeve

    • Obc says:

      he looks like the goddamn Crow, why would you want to change that? xD

  37. RagingLion says:

    I won’t play Darksiders 2, but just stopping by to say: “To call the port half-assed is an insult to chopped up donkeys everywhere.” ….. is an amazing line.

  38. hymnharmonia says:

    I can’t stop playing this game.
    The first Darksiders did absolutely nothing for me and I stopped playing it after a couple of hours.
    This, however.
    This gives me the exact same wonderful feeling I got playing Ocarina of Time, about ten years ago (yes, never had an N64 so I emulated it on PC).
    I’m glad I picked this up, despite how boring the first game was.

  39. postwar says:

    I wish they would make a similarly high quality sequel to Warhammer 40K: Space Marine. I really liked it on the PC.