Originally planned as a quadrilogy before the demise of THQ and the disbandment of Vigil Games, Darksiders was one of the most highly entertaining action titles that came from the last-generation. Fortunately for us the recently re-branded Nordic THQ, the company that purchased the rights to the series, felt the same way.
Each of the games in the series focus on one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but for reasons unknown, Nordic THQ decided to release both remastered entries in the Darksiders universe in non-chronological order. At least they continued the trend of incorporating the name of each Horseman in the game’s title. Just like the “Deathinitive Edition” of Darksiders II, another pun of a title has been given to Darksiders in the form of “Warmastered.”
The first entry in the series follows the titular Horseman, War, after he finds himself prematurely called to Earth assuming that the Seventh seal which invokes the “end of days” has been broken. Unfortunately for him, the seal was never broken and he is now accused of breaking the sacred law by inciting the war between the realms of heaven, hell, and mankind before the appointed time. Facing his own death, he is given the opportunity to return to a now ravaged Earth to clear his name and face a legion of demons with nothing but his colossal Chaoseater sword.
When first released back in 2010, the original Darksiders was hounded by issues such as slowdown, texture pop-in and screen-tear, but thankfully these issues no longer prevalent. Optimized to run at 60fps, Joe Madureira’s vibrant comic book-like chunky visuals are better than ever. Characters and the game’s world are simply intoxicating thanks to the game’s bright color palette appearing even brighter because of improved textures, and the combat is still satisfying and challenging. Even the genuinely funny, well-written dialogue has aged well, with voice actors like Mark Hamill providing voice-overs that come off as genuine and believable.
While Darksiders II took more of an open world and quest-like approach to gameplay, the first game was more linear in nature. Each area ends with a boss encounter but with plenty of puzzles leading up to each confrontation. It’s action-RPG gameplay fuses Zelda-like dungeons with God of War inspired combat. From heavy gauntlets that allow you to smash giant crystals to enlarged ninja stars that can be thrown to hit switches, the arsenal available to War is varied, and in conjunction with your main sword attacks can be used to decimate your foes in many stylish ways. But you won’t get very far without the use of effective dodging, blocking and counter-attacking.
Nearly seven years later and Darksiders still holds up exceptionally well. If you’ve played it before, it’s worth revisiting. If you haven’t, it’s a solid adventure that’s well worth the $20 price of admission. Hopefully this means that the third entry franchise will be announced soon.
A Xbox One copy of this game was provided to Gamer by Nature for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.
- Solid and smooth framerate
- Great world and characters
- Fast paced combat
- Iffy camera
- No new content