Darksiders II is the second game in the Darksiders franchise. The first game, Darksiders, follows the story of one of the four Horsemen - War, who is accused that he brought the Apocalypse to Earth. Darksiders II follows the story of probably the most feared Horseman of all - Death.
Developer: Vigil Games
Release date: August 21, 2012
Darksiders II takes place parallel to the previous game. In the prologue, it is revealed that the Four Horsemen (War, Strife, Fury, and Death) are the last of the Nephilim, fusions of angels and demons who waged a bloody war on the rest of creation. In order to preserve the balance of the Universe, the Four, who had grown tired of the conquest, received incredible powers from the Charred Council in exchange for slaughtering the rest of the Nephilim. The Horseman Death trapped the souls of his fallen brethren in an amulet, earning the title of Kinslayer, among others (though he kept its preservation a secret, since the Council ordered the Nephilims' souls destroyed).
While War is charged with his crimes, the horseman Death, sure that his brother is innocent, sets out on a personal mission to erase his brother's 'crime' and resurrect humanity.
The world of Darksiders II is big. The main story is about 14 hours long. If you are a completionist and want to finish the secondary objectives as well, it might take you about 22 - 25 hours to do it. The story pacing is just about right. Players may be disappointed that the cut scenes are not cinematic pre-rendered sequences, but a motion comic style videos.
The world of Darksiders II is huge. There are two means of travel: Death's horse - Despair or fast travel. The fast travel is useful because you can visit old locations without having to ride (or walk) to them every time. Each of the realms Death visits has a big overview map that can be used to navigate between different locations and dungeons. Yes, there are dungeons. A lot of them. There is a neat feature that if you are stuck in the dungeon and in desperate need for potions, you can fast travel to merchant location and fast travel back at the exact place you were previously. This saves a lot of time. The dungeons themselves are varied, provide combination of acrobatics (climbing), fighting and puzzle solving. Almost every dungeon finishes with a minor or major boss fight.
Boss fights are another important segment of Darksiders II. The bosses are different, most of the time a lot bigger than Death himself. Their behaviour is pattern based, so once the player figures out the pattern of the boss's actions, the fight is very easy. Still, the fights can be quite challenging, especially on your first playthrough.
There fight sequences in the dungeons are mostly arena based: you are confined in a room, and you can proceed to the next room only if you defeat all enemies. It is a simple formula that works well, but can become tedious.
The puzzles are simple. There are only a few places where you will be scratching your head, but that's nothing serious. Most of the time, you will solve puzzles without problems.
Darksiders II in it's essence is an action-rpg game. This means that there is character progression. As you build up experience and level up, you can upgrade Death's existing skills or unlock new ones. The skills are divided in two skill trees - Harbinger and Necromancer. Harbinger focuses mainly on melee combat skills. Necromancer focuses on magic based attacks. Death also possesses the Reaper form. When in Reaper form, Death deals more damage and is invulnerable. There is a level cap of course. The maximum level Death can reach is 30, although on your first playthrough you can only reach level 22.
Death can't fight without weapons. There are primary and secondary weapons. Death's primary weapons are his Scythes. There is more variety in the second weapons section. Death can equip: axes, hammers, glaives, tridents, bucklers, claws etc. Each of these weapons offers a special attack that is very useful in a given situation. For example the hammer allows you to slam it to the ground dealing massive area damage, which is useful for crowd control. There are several types of the weapons. The most powerful type of weapons are the Possessed Weapons. Their extra properties (like fire damage, critical chance etc) are dictated by the abilities of the items you sacrifice to power them up. This is a very rewarding mechanic. Each weapon type has its set of combos. They are not difficult to execute, and are very fun to watch. It is also possible to chain combos between the primary and secondary weapons. The combat is very fun and challenging. It never gets old.
Darksiders II looks great. You will often stand still and just look at the environments. If you even remotely like comic books, you will love the world of Darksiders II. Joe Mad has done an amazing job. The animation of the characters is great.
The music is phenomenal. Each new area has its own background theme that makes you feel like you are there. The action music is great. It will make you wish the fights never end.
The only downside is that the textures look blurry at times and the presentation is not in full HD.
Darksiders II is a great game. It offers lengthy story and encourages you to replay the game over and over again. The combat is deep and fun. Sometimes Death can feel a little bit overpowered, but that is ok. The video presentation lacks full HD support (it looks like upscaled 720p). The sound is amazing. After finishing the main campaign there are a lot of DLCs that can play, and in my opinion, they are also great. I would recommend this game to everyone.
Words by ZdravkoN.
*Please note that this is a customer review which has been edited for spelling.