Darksiders II review - play with death

Author: Stranger
Date: 2012-08-17 13:02:00
The review was based on the X360 version. Also applies to the PS3 version

The first Darksiders was warmly welcomed by the players and you can definitely not deny their good taste in this case. It was a very correct slasher, which, compared to its direct competition, may not have distinguished itself with an extremely complicated combat system, but he made up for any shortcomings in this field with an interesting topic, the ability to maintain our interest throughout the campaign, and excellently prepared puzzles. The second movement is similar in this respect, although I am pleased to say that in some respects it is even better than its original.

Before we get into the details of the plot of Darksiders II , it is worth briefly recalling what the previous installment of the series was about. The whole was very loosely related to the Apocalypse of Saint John. In the game, we played War, i.e. one of the four biblical horsemen. The character in question was wrongly accused of bringing Armageddon upon humanity, and throughout the entire game we tried to restore balance under the watchful eye of the Observer. While the ending of Darksiders: Wrath of War clearly suggested the creation of the second part of the series, it is not a direct continuation of the events of that game. The action of Darksiders II takes place parallel to the events of the "one". While the War is trying to hunt down the mighty Destroyer, we direct the other horsemen - Death - who wants to save his brother at all costs (I used bold letters here not by accident). All of this, of course, means taking part in a new adventure, which, as expected, is long and full of countless adversities.

The plot of Darksiders II was conducted quite efficiently, skilfully justifying the subsequent efforts of the controlled character on the way to saving the War. For the most part, I followed the action with great interest and many times I was pleasantly surprised, but I still think that the writers did not do as well as before. Above all, there were no equally expressive supporting characters as in the previous installment of the series. The new heroes of the story are mostly colorless and probably the authors themselves noticed it, because we witness many returns (not wanting to spoil too much, I will only say that we meet again, among others, the demon merchant Vulgrim). The second point is a fairly average ending to the story. The game doesn't end with as much bang as it should , and the final boss is a disappointment (also in terms of the difficulty of the duel).

As I mentioned at the beginning, Darksiders II in terms of gameplay does not differ significantly from its predecessor, being a slasher with clearly marked elements of exploration. The combat system is still very accessible. Its core is the use of two buttons, responsible for the main one (as we are controlling Death, it could not be anything but large scythes) and an additional weapon (here we can choose both a slow two-handed weapon and various blades characterized by high attack speed) . I like the fact that the game does not require you to remember long combinations of buttons, but focuses more on the intuitive use of available blows, supported by dodges and various special attacks. The latter category includes transforming into a deadly Reaper, launching lightning-fast charges or summoning magical beings to help.

Many of the aforementioned unique attacks can be unlocked from the skill tree. This is not the only remnant of RPG games, because during the game we also find a lot of equipment (items of clothing, amulets, weapons), which we choose in the inventory according to our needs. Gathering fans will be satisfied as the loot is random, and collecting sets of rare items is quite a challenge. It is worth adding here that Death turns out to be more agile than War, and it can be seen during skirmishes. The game, moreover, often requires you to show great dexterity when avoiding blows from opponents. This is good news, especially for die-hard fans of "classic" slashers. The positive image of fights is undoubtedly influenced by a diverse bestiary, which includes not only different types of demons, but also overgrown insects or constructs, i.e. something like golems. The quite frequent bosses are equally interesting, and although many of them are defeated in a very traditional way, i.e. by targeting their sensitive points, there are also exceptions to this rule. A nice surprise awaits, among others, players who remember the titans from the last part of Castlevania .

When it comes to exploration, just like in the "one" we have a division into acrobatic performances with the use of interactive elements of the environment and logical puzzles. I would like to focus on the second component at this point, because the puzzles in Darksiders II are one of the strongest points of this game. It starts out innocently, because you have to roll the ball into a large hole or pull the levers in the right order. Over time, however, the puzzles become more and more complicated, and I can assure you that you will often stop trying to figure out the next step. The variety and attractiveness of these challenges is undoubtedly influenced by the various skills and gadgets unlocked by the game. Later in the game, you will have to play with portals, give correct orders to summoned creatures or tear the soul of Death apart, thanks to which two copies of it appear in a given location. It is worth noting here that each puzzle has its own logical justification and therefore the satisfaction with solving them is HUGE.

Darksiders II is a comprehensive game - there is no doubt about that. Completing the main storyline itself takes a minimum of 20 hours and during this time the boredom practically does not make itself felt. This is undoubtedly influenced not only by the aforementioned gifting of Death with newer and newer skills, but also by a large variety of visited areas, which include both numerous dungeons (abandoned forts, citadels, caves) and vast areas on the surface (forests, frozen, city of the dead). I do not want to reveal too much at this point, although I will mention that we will also have a second visit to Earth, characterized by slightly different rules of play from the other stages. It is also worth noting that the game rewards the re-examination of the same locations, because, like Batman's recent adventures, reaching certain areas is possible only when you have a specific ability.