So thinking I knew some of the backstory already was probably a mistake on my part. While I did keep hearing things here and there that sounded like they were trying to use Christianity as the source material, they strayed so very far from it that it left me more confused than if I had never heard of the "Four Horseman" before.
Now I know this game and its predecessor are constantly compared to God of War, perhaps unfairly so, and I have tried to keep from doing so myself – but in this instance at least, I feel it is necessary. God of War takes a known story – that of the Olympian gods – and introduces its own character and storyline into it. And they do so flawlessly. Darksiders 2 does not do nearly as good of a job.
Basically they take a couple of characters and concepts from the source material and then do something so completely different with it that it left me wondering why they even used anything that already existed at all – just tell your story without trying to make it sound like anything already out there. It would be like me telling a story about a kid named Charlie Brown and his dog Snoopy and Charlie's best friend Linus – and how they fought off the aliens from Novus 4 with their Blanket of Security and their Doghouse Dogfighter spacecraft. In this version they never mention the word "blockhead," or any of the other Peanuts characters – and Linus isn't a smart quiet philosopher and Charlie isn't a loser...
Other than drawing you in with familiar sounding names, there would be no reason to base that story on Peanuts. And I think that's what Darksiders does.
Now, before you accuse me of being upset because they are blasphemous or sacrilegious, Dante's Inferno drew from the Judeo-Christian tradition and did so in a way that makes sense. Do I believe they are 100% true to the source material (the Bible, tradition, or Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy)? – no. Not even close, really – but the changes make sense, and the story itself makes sense.
I know I'm harping on the story. I'll talk about the gameplay in a minute, I'm almost through.
The story doesn't even make sense on its own. If the embodiment of Death shows up at your doorstep – and you are fully aware of who and what he is – what is your reaction? Utter fear, right? Or at least some sort of pleading for more time or something. Not for the people you meet in this game.