Review by Cordell Hewitt
Behold, I saw a rider on a pale horse, and his name was Death. And he slays his enemies with style in his epic adventure in Darksiders II.
The story takes place within the same time as the previous installment, following in Death’s quest to restore humanity in order to clear War’s name. His adventure takes him through a series of four dying worlds called the Abyss. Each world has own unique feel, from the green plains of the Makers, to the barren Land of the Dead. Though the graphics can be called cartoon-ish, the worlds are beautiful, making it worth exploring every corner of the game. The first two worlds are vast and give the player the opportunity to take part in plenty of side quests and explore various dungeons. Once again the dungeon system borrows from the Legend of Zelda style, where the player goes back and forth though the dungeon to complete the quest and/or fight the dungeon boss at the end. Though the later dungeons incorporate the use of the abilities you later acquire, expect to mostly be climbing, running, and jumping from wall to wall.
The loot system will seem very familiar to RPG veterans with the different classes of loot (from the white common to the purple legendary) However, a nice addition to this formula is the ability to change equipment in-game when you come across new and better gear, which saves the player the trouble of switching to the inventory screen. Also the player will occasionally come across rare possessed items, which can be leveled up by sacrificing unwanted gear, potentially making these items some of the strongest in the game.
The series once again borrows mechanics from other games and adds elements from Prince of Persia and various RPGs. The mechanics of the combat follow the established formula, different series of primary and secondary attacks. Death can pull of stunning combos with his primary scythes and instantly switch to a secondary weapon, which can be either a heavy, sluggish weapon (like a hammer or ax) or a light, quick weapon (such as claws or arm blades). Unlike the first, game you won’t always be able to beat your enemy down to perform a quick-time finisher. They are still there, but do not as occur as often, making them feel like a special treat that doesn’t become tediously boring after the hundredth time. As you level up Death, the player can have him learn different techniques from two different skill trees. One tree focuses on utilizing wrath ( necromancy) while the other focuses on strengthening his attack power (Harbinger). The combat really delivers when going up against epic bosses that will occasionally require to use your various abilities and anybody that especially enjoys the combat can test their skills in the Crucible.
There are some technical issues in the game such as bad camera angles and texture glitches. However, despite these flaws, they are few and far between enough that they should not effect the amazing experience that this game has to offer. The only major issue that I had with this game was that the final boss was a pushover and did not deliver a thrilling experience as the previous bosses.
Though it may not live up to the expectations of the games from which it has borrowed, Darksiders II delivers a satisfying action/adventure experience, enjoyable for anybody looking for a good action game.