Darksiders II Preview

I was lucky enough to attend the Darksiders II preview event in Sydney recently. The event was awesome – for starters it was held in a castle (well a 8th century 26 room mansion is close enough to a castle for me!), and – most importantly – I was able to pay a two hour demo of the upcoming game. XBox 360 was the console of choice, although it should be interesting to see how this plays on the soon to be released Wii U.

Darksiders II features Death, the most feared of the legendary four horsemen of the Apocalypse, on a quest to the clear name of his brother War, who was blamed for starting the Apocalypse in Darksiders. This sees him travel to the Maker’s Realm – the Makers are the creators of everything in the universe – however they are slowly dying out. Before their decline they starting building the Guarding – a huge stone creature whose role it is to fight the “Corruption” (huge crystalline growths) that is destroying their world. This story is occurring at the same time as War’s own journey in the original Darksiders.

Death is a fun character to play. Unlike his brother he is quick and agile with acrobatic skills reminiscent of Prince of Persia. He can run along walls and balance on small beams with ease and – amazingly – grace! It’s not too easy, though, and avoiding boiling pits of lava can be tricky until you learn the moves for each level. In combat evading blows from enemies plays a big part, although there are plenty of weapons to try out along with Death’s trusty dual scythes. There are some RPG elements at play in the sense that Death is customisable – you can choose from a number of armour sets and there are Necromancer (magic) and Harbinger (warrior) skills to award him with, depending on which style you’d prefer him to take, and randomly generated loot to be found making each Death unique.

This game is quite larger than the first instalment. To give you an idea, the 2 hour level I played at the preview was the map size of the entire original Darksiders game. There is a lot to discover, and there will be side quests as well to keep you going. There is a strong puzzle-solving element to the game which is both enjoyable and also challenging at times. Accompanied by his ghostly horse, Despair, and his trusty crow sidekick, Dusk (who is essential for helping to navigate) Death’s journey in Darksiders II is looking to be a promising one!

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