Darksiders 2 PC, PS3 | Xbox 360 Game | Review

Darksiders 2 PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Game

Darksiders II, this much-hyped sequel from THQ and Vigil Games, was promised to be so vastly improved that it would be “more like Darksiders 2.5″. But here is a game that emerges so plain it’s hard to get enthused. Bigger and more complex it may be, but all you can really say about Darksiders II is that it’s okay. It’s perfectly fine.

You play as Death, a semi-decomposed, gravel-throated Horseman of the Apocalypse out to clear his brother’s name after he inadvertently triggers Armageddon down on Earth (see: the original Darksiders). Death finds himself stuck in a mystical world between Heaven and Hell, and must scour several semi-sandbox environments looking for trinkets that’ll sort everything out.
Darksider 2

It’s the perfect blanduscript to accompany Darksiders II’s cut-and-paste action-adventure gameplay with a smattering of light RPG elements. You can pick between two skill trees – warrior or mage – and pour XP into improving either your melee attacks or your spells. Armour and weapons can be customised and upgraded too, giving you the room to pimp your Death to your heart’s content. But it’s all moot: Super Bastard Sword or not, the combat in Darksiders II inevitably devolves into button-bash, hack-’n'-slash nonsense, as you occasionally tap dodge while spamming your strongest attack.

Darksiders II’s platforming has all the nippiness and fluidity that the combat so sorely misses. Death hops and jumps like Altair on Red Bull, effortlessly leaping from a surface to surface with just a single button. Shimmying up pipes, running across walls – Death has all the moves, and it ensures that traversing through Vigil’s gorgeous locales is easily the best part of Darksiders II.
But the world feels uninhabited and airless. NPCs are dotted very sporadically, and exist only to assign mundane fetch quests and repeat generic animations. It’s not a small game, either: Darksiders II links its main objectives with sprawling meadows and endless ice fields, completely unpopulated by anything except listless enemies. It’s an entire game full of World of Warcraft starting areas – grinding combat on barren fields.