Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Did I talk about Darksiders yet?

The word is spectacle. Spectacle, spectacle, spectacle. I think the main point of the game is just to look really cool.

There's this beefy dude with ridiculous armor, and he bashes demons with his enormously oversized sword. It's moderately hack-and-slashy, but the combat's not particularly great. It's just flashy and over-the-top.

Here's the story. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are supposed to come riding down when it's time for the Apocalypse. Unfortunately, War gets duped into riding down too early. Gasp! Now there's all these angels and demons having this big ol' apocalyptic war and all the humans are dead, and everyone is mad at War because they think it's totally his fault. War's superpowers get confiscated and he has to trudge around Earth until he can find the real culprit and clear his name. There's ten gazillion plotholes in this premise, but it's mostly just an excuse for the hacking and slashing and the spectacle.

I heard good things about this game before I started playing it, so I had high hopes. I'm disappointed to say that it didn't meet my expectations. It's not that it's a bad game, per se; it's certainly passable, and it definitely provides lots of spectacle. Being pretty to look at is fine, but Darksiders fails to impress me on gameplay, and it comes down to the combat. The combat just kind

There's a combo meter, for example, but it's not actually clear how it works—from what I can tell, it drops the combo count for no reason. I'm still attacking, I'm still hitting enemies, I'm not taking damage. What more does it want? Am I timing my attacks wrong? Am I pressing a wrong button? I don't know, because there isn't any sort of feedback system to tell me. Does the combo count even mean anything? I have no idea.

War also has very limited ability to dodge or block attacks, so in most fights, there's not much tactics beyond mashing the attack button. Coming to Darksiders from games like Bastion and Batman: Arkham City, it's a woefully inferior combat system—a flaw that's difficult to forgive for a game that consists almost entirely of combat. Maybe this changes later on, but I'm two hours into the game already; it wouldn't be much of an excuse if it did.

From what I've seen so far, I'm unimpressed with Darksiders. My rating: Meh/10.

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