Darksiders II is an action game that follows up 2010’s Darksiders. The game is centered on the quests of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Though the Four Horseman are biblical, I wouldn’t say this game is.
The Horseman are merely characters in a story that deals with battles and retribution. Certainly there are references to Heaven, Hell, and angels, but the story is its own.
Darksiders II is focused on Death. Death is on a mission to free his brother War, whom he believes has been wrongly convicted of destroying the entire human race. Death believes that if he can restore humanity he can clear War’s name.
The game is primarily a quest game. Death is either searching for items or battling enemies and bosses. In that respect the game is fairly straightforward, and a bit repetitive. What makes Darksiders II enjoyable is the character of Death and the vast number of different locations he travels through.
Death roams through lands with intriguing names like The Forge Lands and Land of the Dead. In the Forge Lands he encounters the Makers who reveal their realm has been taken over by Corruption.
Throughout the game Death finds himself on many quests in his search for the truth that will free his brother. He must defeat Corruption by restoring the Guardian to its pure form. He must find the Well of Sould in the Land of the Dead before he can restore humanity.
On and on he travels, encountering new enemies along the way. He must find two keys to access the power of the Well of Souls. One key is held by the angels, and the other by demons. The Well of Souls holds the power of life and death, therefore making it a dangerous power to control.
Game play itself is fairly easy. There are numerous hints as to what should come next, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time wandering around aimlessly. Some may find this to be less challenging, but the fun in the game is the action rather than the puzzle.
Death can do some pretty cool things, like running along rock walls and jumping from precarious places. He has the choice of getting around on his horse Despair, which is much more fun than just walking or running. Despair is only available in certain areas, but he makes traveling through wide open lands much quicker.
Most enemies are pretty easy to beat and are defeated through a few simple moves. It’s important to pick up extra health, which is hidden throughout the journey, because Death can run out pretty quickly. Even the bosses are pretty easy to beat, and require basically the same moves as the easier enemies.
I liked meeting all the different characters throughout the game. They tell a pretty interesting story all about life and death, as well as good and evil. I particularly liked encountering Lilith, who claimed to be Death’s mother.
The lands Death travels through offer a lot of different scenery. A lot of the time Death would be traveling through forest type lands, open fields, and mountainous areas. He also wanders through ruins and some temple-like building. Finding places where Death could climb and run along walls could sometimes be challenging. With the added element of scaling a sheer wall or cliff straight up, it was not always obvious which way to go.
Overall, this game had a good story. The many different characters are the best aspect of the game. One of the only downsides to the games is the repetitiveness of action. Once you learn to defeat enemies, use weapons and run along walls, the action seems kind of the same. Death does learn new skills along the way, but most of the action unfolds pretty much the same way. The game is satisfying enough, but doesn’t exactly break any new ground as far as adventure games go.
Darksiders II is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes, and Violence. This game can also be found on: PC and Xbox 360.