Darksiders – Before Death, there was War – Part I
With every passing day, Death is getting nearer. Allow me to make myself clear before the confusion gets a little out of hand. Death in this particular context refers to the main protagonist in the upcoming sequel to THQ’s Darksiders.
The game is expected to hit the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC in August, 2012. The trailers reveal that a hefty dose of thrilling action and gripping storyline is in store for the fans of the original Darksiders game.
With the new sequel just around the corner, it seems like a pretty reasonable idea to take a stroll down the memory lane and look at the first part of the game that was released on current generation consoles and PC a couple of years ago.
Two years ago, before Death had confirmed his plans to descend to the world, it was War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who had arrived in the region.
Darksiders told the violent story of War as he got framed for ruining the balance between heaven and hell and bringing about the destruction of all humanity. Determined to clear his name and prove his innocence while exposing the real culprit, War set out on a mission. For those who have played the popular Nintendo game Zelda or PlayStation exclusive God of War franchise, Darksiders would push them in an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu. To know whether the product turned out to be the best of both worlds or if ended up being just another generic action hack and slash game that tried to earn success by copying two colossal hits, it would be best to go deep into the details of Darksiders.
One of the most striking things about the game’s presentation was Vigil Game’s decision to go for a colourful, cartoonish, fantasy art style instead of obsessing over making the characters and environments look as real as possible. Both the bosses and stages also had a colourful look and scale, while the animations were pretty fluid. There were a number of awesome effects on offer, such as the wings that allow War to glide over wide gaps and flashy trail of weapon. The game used colour quite nicely throughout the game.
Darksiders did have its share of flaws in the presentation. The game had occasional screen tearing problem and irregular drop in frame rates were not a rare sight. However, the two flaws hardly contributed towards seriously damaging the experience.
Some players had an issue with how the world had been designed. While the developers made no mistake in giving each area of the world a distinctive style, they forgot to form a stronger synergy between them. Therefore, the areas or zone often seemed a bit disconnected. This, however, kept the game pretty much in-line with the over-all theme, apocalypse. Things would have turned out to be even better had the developers introduced more citizens in the game and shown how everyone was coping with the impending doomsday. At times, the scarce population in the street came off as pretty disappointing and left players desiring something more.
(Continued in Part II)