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HUGE step back from Darksiders 1
on October 5, 2013
Like many gamers, I was highly anticipating Darksiders 2 after loving the sleeper hit, Darksiders. Playing as the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse was an interesting idea and not only were the environments varied, but the gameplay was very fun and satisfying. For the sequel, THQ decided to make some interesting choices.
Story-wise, this game takes place roughly during the same time period of the first game. This left me a little disappointed because I wanted to know what happened NEXT, rather than be re-told the events I had already played. Granted, Death (the main character of 2, War's brother) does not engage in the same battles etc, I still felt it was a step back for the story.
Graphically, it also feels as those Darksiders 2 is a step back from it's predecessor. Even though it was produced years later, many of the textures are blurry and the details in the environments are not as prominent. This may have to do with the increase in map size. Darksiders 2 is roughly 2-3 times larger than the first game, but I don't think this is positive. Many of the additional space is filled with nothing. Halls feel empty and lifeless. Travelling can get tedious because there's so much land to traverse. In this case, bigger does not always mean better.
Gameplay...ugh, where do I start. Unless they've patched the game, I had numerous issues while playing Darksiders 2. In an attempt to sell more copies (or something) they sped-up the gameplay as Death is much quicker than his brother. He is not even able to block, but can only evade. The camera is very sporadic, getting stuck on objects in the environment and making it difficult to follow all the actions on screen. DS2 also added more climbing elements, similar to Assassin's Creed. Unfortunately the controls during these sections are not precise enough. I found my character taking a dive the wrong way or not responding to my commands. It would be one thing if you could always take your time when inputting the commands, but some sections require quick movement and the combination is no good.
Looting. Well, again, trying to borrow from Borderlands, Diablo and other successful franchises, THQ incorporated looting into the gameplay. Almost every enemy drops weapons, boots, helmets, armor, etc. Although on paper this sounds like a great idea, again, it takes away from the game much more than it adds. Not only is it annoying to continually be bringing up the menu, but the looting system doesn't feel rewarding. I actually like the leveling system of the first game much more. Granted, this is a personal preference and I understand some people may enjoy looting very much. I liked it in Borderlands but I didn't here.
In summary, Darksiders 2 looks like quite an amazing game on paper. Quicker gameplay, looting, larger environments, wall climbing, etc. Unfortunately when all the elements come together, it just doesn't WORK. In addition to everything I mentioned above, I ran into progress-halting glitches numerous times. I waited 10 minutes for an NPC to open a gate, even though I had nothing left to give him. I got stuck in another area because a cinematic scene wouldn't trigger. All of these disappointments left me not liking this release at all. Avoid and spend your money elsewhere!