Darksiders II: Death Lives- Better than the First

That which starts with War ends with Death.

“The End of the World Began with a Lie”

What came before: Synopsis

First came War, on his mighty red stallion; with him came the final conflict, Armageddon, when Heaven and Hell fought on the Earthly plain. However, War came too early (that’s totally what she said), and mankind, the third species who was to participate in the battle when they came to full strength, perished from his folly. As a result of his insolence and presumed treachery, War was sentenced to imprisonment by the Charred Council, a group which maintained the balance between the Kingdom of Heaven, the dominion of Hell, and the realm of Earth.

This was the introduction to Darksiders: Wrath of War, the first game of the series. The game allows you to play as War, who is on a path to redeem himself and find the perpetrators of his act of misjudgement. However between War’s imprisonment and the events of Darksiders I, there lies 100 years of mystery, where mankind perished and demons overran the Earth. Rather than being a sequel, Darksiders II is a prequel of sorts, occurring between War’s imprisonment and the events of Darksiders I. Rather than playing as War, gamers are now given the privilege of controlling the oldest and most powerful of the Four Horsemen, Death.

In Darksiders II Death is attempting to save humanity from the destruction brought by Armageddon, while also redeeming his brother, War. However upon this path, Death discovers that there was something far worse than Armageddon occurring, and an ancient enemy threatened to overwhelm all three races.

Analysis- Is this a God of War Rip off?

In general, it sounds like a pretty interesting concept, but we all know that cool concepts can still be turned into a crappy game. Some people are skeptical as to the value of the Darksiders series. This is due to numerous misconceptions that have popped up around the gaming community, particularly slander coming from PS3 loyalists who claim that the game is a rip off of God of War with worse graphics. As a player of both of these games, and a user of both systems, I would like to think of myself as neutral on the subject, so here is my opinion (which I assume you want, as you are reading my blog and not IGN or something along those lines)

While Darksiders and God of War have many similarities in regards to the playing style and its use of ancient religious lore, Darksiders is not a carbon copy of the Playstation franchise; at least not entirely. While God of War focuses highly on the pre-existing historical/mythological details of ancient Greece, Darksiders lore is mostly original in its content. While there are numerous references to judeo-christian mythology, especially in character names(Abbadon, Sammael & the Four Horsemen), these characters are a far cry from their real world mythological inspirations. Even the four horsemen are unique in their own sense.

While Death and War are based upon real horsemen from the book of Revalations, their fellow horsemen Strife and Fury are original characters. Along with this, the very nature of the horsemen are unique. They are the few remaining members of the ancient race known as Niphilim (the name is based on Christian lore, as the Niphilim are children of angels and humans).

Analysis- The Character

Darksiders: Wrath of War was a pretty decent game, though it was far from original in any aspects except its story, yet even that can be related to tons of game stories in some way or another. As War, players acted as a generic tank character, cleaving through hordes of demons with an iconic-albiet cliched- super huge sword (Chaos Eater). War was fun to play with, especially once you unlocked the fancy new toys that the game offered to you. Even so, the game got old rather fast as it was a repetitive cycle of hacking, slashing, jumping and dashing.

Developers are promising a different kind of game with Darksiders II. Where War was a tank who bulldozed through everything with his brutal unrefined force, Death is a more agile, sleek, refined fighter. With Death, angry fan boys lose a lot of the claims that they have to Darksiders being a carbon copy of God of War. While War could easily be paralleled with Kratos, Death is an entirely different character with his own unique playing style and story, which makes him wholly unique.

Analysis- Game mechanics

Along with this change of character, Darksiders II has implemented various changes to the game-style. While in the first game, things were fairly linear (beat a level, get a cool weapon/power but no leveling up), the sequel implements new systems such as a looting system,  an inventory with interchangeable items (armor, robes, etc) and even a leveling system.

The path that developers took with this sequel is oddly reminiscent in the method which Assassin’s Creed used to bolster it’s franchise. While it kept interesting elements that attracted fans, it also rebooted many things and implemented features to allow for smoother game play. Darksiders II even implements a radial wheel for weapons and powers, similar to the wheel that Assassin’s Creed implemented (I am not saying they stole this extremely common inventory display, I am merely noting similarities in sequel alterations).

Conclusion and Ending Remarks

While the staff from Darksiders made a great deal of improvements to the game mechanics and stories, I still can’t help but be less than impressed with the graphics of the game. While the graphics are not horrible, I know that they could be so much better. Perhaps the development team thinks that the game looks nice in it’s cartoon like appearance, yet I am sure many fans can agree that if they gave Darksiders the graphics of games such as Grand Theft Auto IV or Skyrim, it would look SO MUCH SEXIER!…I am getting a chubby just thinking about it.

Anyway, we can’t get everything that we want, especially in the first sequel of a franchise, but Darksiders II looks like it has the potential to being a great sequel that will build the game into an even stronger franchise. Be on the look out for Darksiders II: Death Lives, which hits the shelves on August 16th.

(Sorry for the commercial, but the trailer is pretty epic so it’s worth a short wait)


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Check out a second article here: Darksiders II (Update)