"The God of War..."
A new year brings new games to look forward to. Thankfully 2010 starts with a bang as Darksiders hits. Granted it's a game about the apocalypse with you facing the forces of Heaven and Hell as War, one of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse, but what a way to start the New Year!
From all the screenshots and videos you'd be forgiven if you thought "Ah God of War." You'd be wrong... sort of. There are similarities between Darksiders and GoW, like the fighting, the collection of orbs, the weapons and their upgrades - and not forgetting the vast opponents you'll be hammering your way through. But this is not God of War. Instead, you're a God... called War.
Down but not out
War is a betrayed Horseman who's looking for the culprit responsible for him being called to Earth and bringing about the End of the World. Unfortunately, War has been stripped of his powers and now has only his oversized sword to vanquish the Armies of Heaven and Hell, so this will be an uphill struggle from the word go!
The opening hour in Darksiders can be a real battle in places due to the amount of enemies and the sheer power that they have. But be patient and Darksiders will reward you with some truly awesome weaponry and powers to use in your fight against the never ending supply of enemies. Your rewards for downing your foes come in the shape of souls: green for health, yellow for Wrath and blue to purchase moves and abilities.
Darksiders offers a massive world for you to explore, full of chests that contain armour, souls and other bits and pieces. It's your choice whether you search for them all, but as some of these chests contain items to boost War's power, I'd recommend that you do! As stated Darksiders does have a God of War look and feel to it, but due to the massive levels, puzzle solving and dungeon exploration, this to me felt like an X rated Zelda title; I mean the guy even has a horse!
Speaking of puzzles, Darksiders will test you're grey matter quite a bit in places as you shunt train cars back and forth, raise lifts to get to platforms and light torches to set bombs on fire. Darksiders has a real flare for puzzles, but some of them can be a royal pain in the rear. Yet when you eventually solve a puzzle you'll inevitably slap your forehead at your own stupidity; one of the hallmarks of great game design. The combat in Darksiders is slick and easy, with one button used for your sword, one for your secondary weapon and another button for grabbing, you'll soon see that Darksiders is easy to pick up with impressive moves that look complicated being very easy to pull off. The key to Darksiders' combat is timing. As well as melee weapons there are also long distance weapons should you want to keep your enemies at bay, from an oversized throwing star to a kick ass revolver that packs one helluva punch!
The apocalypse never looked so good...
Thankfully the enemies that you'll be fighting have had a great deal of thought put behind them and look great, thanks to X-Men artist Joe Madureira. On Hell's side you have the standard Zombies which hobble about and can be despatched with ease, then you have mutated Bat things, hell hounds, and a whole assortment of vile creatures for you to hack, slash and dismember!
Heaven's forces meanwhile look a little more battle ready and not very angelic! Oh sure they have white wings and wear gold. But the gold they wear is gold armour. Big chunky armoured suits that protect them from the ass kicking that you are giving. On top of that there is the weapons that heaven have. Not only do you have to content with Swords, you will have to defend yourself against projectiles and a "plasma" cannon-type-thing (which you can pick up.)
Darksiders is leading the charge into 2010; thankfully it's leading the charge with style. Yes it has a few flaws here and there and yes it does appear to have borrowed a bit from two very popular game franchises, but you can't deny that the end result is a fantastic beginning to what looks like being a really great gaming year.
- Nice fluid combat.
- Looks great.
- Fantastic character design.
- Some Head-slapping puzzles.
- May have borrowed too much. >