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The original Darksiders was a gaming experience that really
resonated with me, from the art style to the overall design and ambition, it
definitely seemed like a start to a series that will only get bigger and better
as time goes on. As the first game developed by Vigil Games it gave me high
hopes for their future as a developer. If
the current trend is to be assumed we could indeed be looking at another
three titles in this series, the second of which I am very excited for. Darksiders
2 was recently revealed and the protagonist this time around is none other than the rider of
If you never played Darksiders the core fiction is set around an interesting take on the apocalypse that begins with the complete extinction of the human race. In their place the armies of heaven and hell fight for control of everything. War descended to Earth during the cataclysmic events but came to a surprising discovery where not only were his brother’s not present but he had been betrayed and framed as the cause of the pre-mature end of the world. As punishment for his supposed crime he was to be removed of all his powers and imprisoned eternally. After a great many years he is awakened and given a chance to discover the truth behind what really happened with the Watcher (voiced by Mark Hamill) keeping a close eye on him throughout his travels. Along the way he met several colourful characters, from the downright scary Samael who provides War with his gradual returned power and Vulgrim who can best be described as Darksiders version of Resident Evil 4’s iconic “whaddya buying” traveling weapons dealer.
Naturally as the story progresses you uncover more details
about what really happened but even at the very end of the game you still don’t
know who truly started it all. In comes Death, while details are sketchy at
best right now, it is confirmed that his role in Darksiders 2 will be quite
different to that of War’s. During the period in which War is imprisoned he
sets out to also discover the truth of the apocalypse but his main goals are to
get his brother his freedom and hopefully restore humanity. Along the way he will no doubt come across
many who wish to stand in his way and much an ass will need to be kicked. The thing I love most about Joe Madureira’s
art direction for these games is that it can best be described as nineties
comics meets World of Warcraft with some heavy metal imagery in the mix. I’m an artist myself and these things are
very similar to the sort of stuff that influences my own work. Understandably some people consider this artistic style somewhat generic and immature but as a ninties kid who loved this stuff growing up and still does, I can't get enough.
If you are familiar with Joe’s comic book work you can see
where this look mainly comes from. He likes his characters big and full
of detail with any feature that can be exaggerated being so, big fists, tiny heads, and ludicrously big weapons. It
isn’t surprising Vigil is also working on a massively multiplayer game set in
the Warhammer 40,0000 universe while also having helped out their partner
studio; Relic with the upcoming Space Marine Warhammer action title.
Death seems to have received a similar visual revamp as War, he's big and intimidating and solves most situations with not one but two scythes. While I thoroughly enjoyed playing as War, Death seems way more up my alley as if the teaser trailer is any indication he has more of a humorous sensibility to his character.
Vigil is promising a much bigger and better sequel like any studio would, but what sounds particularly cool is that a more in depth loot system will be present this time around and combat is being expanded upon substantially. While I loved Darksiders these elements were definitely some of its short comings, though the weapons and items you acquired were all fun tools to use, they got very repetitive towards the middle of the game and the combo system especially needed a lot more to it to even hope of comparing to titles like God of War or Bayonetta.
Regardless of how Darksiders 2 turns out, I’m in it for the style and story above all else and can’t wait to step in to the shoes of Death and ride my giant undead horse around smacking some more demons in the face. I hope you enjoyed reading my first article for Player Affinity.