Zelda, God of War, and Portal are some of the most beloved video game franchises of the modern era. Each game has a unique set of qualities that set it apart from the masses and give the player a unique experience. Darksiders takes elements from each of these games and blends them into a fun, enjoyable experience that pays homage to these classics.
Darksiders has a suprisingly great storyline that really draws the player in and keeps the player’s attention throughout the game. Each of the voice actors in the game provide top notch acting that makes each character feel alive. The player plays as War (one of the four riders of the apocalypse) who is in charge of keeping order between heaven and hell. Legend has it that at the time of the apocalypse seven seals will be broken summoning the riders to bring the end of the world. Somehow war is summoned alone at the beginning of the game but the seventh seal was never broken. The council to which the horsemen answers, blames War for coming early before the seals were broken. War convinces the council to allow him to find out who is responsible and the player spends the rest of the game figuring this out.
Darksiders borrows a lot of gameplay elements from Zelda that will feel familar to most players. Bombs, boomerang (crossblade), grappling hook, environmental puzzles, switches, timed platforming, etc. can all be found in Darksiders. Each element is implemented smoothly and ends up giving that nostalgic Zelda feel while still being Darksiders. Combat in the game will remind a lot of gamers of the god of war series with lots of combos, enemies dropping health bubbles and experience, varying weapons, etc. The combat is fast paced and a lot of fun when blended in with the rest of the game. Towards the later parts of the game war even acquires a weapon that very similar to the portal gun that is needed to solve a lot of clever puzzles. There are 3 main weapons in the game that each have a weapon upgrade slot that you can place an upgrade inside to boost the item’s abilities. The currency for upgrades and items in this game are souls that you gather from defeating enemies and collect from chests.
Almost the entire game takes place in one large map with no loading times between areas. The map is set in an apocalyptic city with randomly scattered zombies, angels, demons, and others that you will fight as you journey from one area to the next. In a very similar fashion to Zelda, new areas are unlocked only after gaining new abilities (like grappling hooks) and dozens of hidden items are only available in an old area after you have gained a skill to reach the item. There are 4 main dungeons on the map that each have puzzles, enemies, a boss, etc. that will take up the largest chunks of gameplay.
Darksiders is a game that might be easily dismissed by gamers in the beginning as a God of War clone or Zelda knockoff. I personally made this mistake when I first tried playing the game but I would have missed out on an incredibly fun game if I allowed myself to stop playing. Once a player beats the first dungeon they will be hook on the gameplay and story and won’t be able to stop. I am easily giving this game a very high score because I simply had a lot of fun playing and am going to recommend you pick up a copy and play it before the sequel (Darksiders 2) comes out this year!