Lets set the scene.
I think I’ll invoke a little Ghostbusters….
Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
Ray: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Ray: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Egon: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
Winston: The dead rising from the grave!
Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
This week I review Darksiders, which I played on the PS3
Do you remember the first time you played Ocarina of Time for N64? If you were like me you loved it, but you always wished that Link had some god damned balls. You were also incredibly handsome and popular beyond belief.
Well, wish granted. Just pretend that Peter Pan wanna be spent the last decade in the gym punching through mountains and listening to Scissorfight because that is what you would get with Darksiders.
What is the coolest book of the bible? If you said Ecclesiastes, I’d say no, but not a bad pull. The correct answer would be Revelations. The Michael Bay of bible books. All “BOOM” and “SHABLAM” and moving orchestral scores as we pan around the weary face of Bruce Willis.
In Darksiders, that shit has just gone down and you get to be one of the stars of the show. You’re not a God of War or some petty Gear of War, you are fucking WAR itself, the Gene Simmons of the Apocalypse. You come to earth to reign destruction on everyone who gets in your way. Humans, Demons and Angels alike. I threw a car at a fucking helicopter and chopped pedestrians in half with a sword that was taller then me. w00t.
Here’s the catch, the world wasn’t supposed to end. You were set up. You were the only rider dispatched and you are getting framed for the destruction of earth. You get released after 100 years of purgatory esque imprisonment to wander the ruined, demon infested earth and hunt down those who did this to you and find out why.
That might be my favorite aspect. You are not in this to fight for the righteous or save humanity. Humanity is gone and ain’t coming back. This is a straight “I don’t give a shit who did it. Everyone is gonna fucking die till I’m done” revenge story. Bad ass.
I have read / heard a lot of critics hate on this story before I had completed it, so I was worried. Having beaten the game, the only point they raised that I would agree with this that it sets up for the inevitable sequel and doesn’t give you complete closure, but what game does nowadays? I liked it so …. up yours? I’m sorry I didn’t mean that. Lets never fight again.
Like I said earlier, Ocarina of Time, and I mean that with all due respect. If you loved that game you will love this game (unless your some ultra douchey purist fanboy). I mean its almost a re-skin, but I dont care because we haven’t had a game like that since OoT, and that shit works. Open over world with dungeons and places that can only be accessed with new toys you got from the previous dungeons. Linear without feeling linear. In that style there are 2 major elements: combat and puzzles, I’ll touch on both.
The combat owes a little to God of War / Devil May Cry in that it is fast, fierce and combo heavy. Its not as tight or deep as those games, but it gets the job done. By the time you finish the game you will have 3 primary weapons at your disposal. All of which you can level up and augment with enchants either found in the world or purchased from the shop keeper. You can also buy combat upgrades and new attacks as you progress and level your weapon. By getting new weapons, buying new attacks and using the interchangeable enchants, the system gets a little depth to it and can allow players to tailor load outs for a certain fight or situation. However, most of that time you will be using your big ass sword, which might be one of the coolest swords I have ever seen in a game.
You also get several secondary weapons that translate 1 to 1 with Zelda weaps. A Glaive / Boomerang which you can imbue with fire / electricity / poison. (Thank you Dark Sector). A Chain / Hookshot, good for Scorpion “COME HERE” attacks. Hell you even get a Horn / Ocarina that will knock back enemies and open doors. Of course you get a bad ass horse (you are a horseman of the Apocalypse after all) that would hate fuck Epona if they were in the same room for 2 minutes. Plus a god damned gun. Like a Hellboy gun. Huge.
Also with enough rage built up you can go all Balrog all over everybody’s ass.
The puzzles are not bad either. Some are are incredibly simple, however a few made me feel like I was quite the dandy boy for figuring them out. Just pay attention to the environment and remember that (just like Zelda) odds are the tool you just got will be very useful in that dungeon. Its not Portal, but it works. Oh and you get a Portal gun. Seriously.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
People hate on the art style in this game. Having a World of Warcraft background, I liked it. Big huge bulky looking weapons and armor. Rad. The guy in charge of the game (art direction and story) is comic book vet Joe Madureira and I dig his style. I love the character and environment art. Everything looks fuckin’ cool.
That being said, the graphics tend to get kinda pixilated on closer inspection. There are also some screen tear issues. Its not enough to ruin the game for me but graphics whores will shit all over it and they would have a point (albeit minor IMHO). God of War 3, this ain’t (play that demo BTW). I also thought the game looked better on the 360 when I went to Razorballs house, despite internet opinion claiming the PS3 version the prettier one.
As far as sound is concerned, I have 2 words for you, Mark Hamill. He is a video game voice god. He doesn’t play the main character, but he’s there enough and I love it. So voice acting is good (the voice of Samael is another standout), attacks and weapons sound heavy and powerful and the music works. Overall the sound is good to go. Nothing game changing, but I have no complaints.
This game is solid good ol’ fashion gaming. Is it the most innovative game out there? Nope. Is it actually very derivative? You could say that, but what it draws from are great games, so I don’t mind.
The creators said they set out to make a gamer’s game, and I would say they have succeeded. The game clocked in at just under 20 hours for me (I do ALOT of exploration) on normal difficulty. You could probably drop the shoulder and plow through it in 12, but getting there is 1/2 the fun. There are also a number of hidden items in the world I did not get. Since I refuse to use a walkthrough or map, I will probably go back through on a harder setting and try and find it all.
If you loved Zelda, but refuse to buy a Wii then give this game a whirl. I doubt you will be disappointed.