Darksiders 2 Demo Hopefully Not Indicative of Final Product
THQ’s original Darksiders was well received by fans and critics alike, but the next installment of the game is looking decidedly shakier. This time around players will be taking control of Death and trying to clear the name of fellow horseman War. Judging from the E3 demo, the graphics haven’t improved much in the two years since the original. This wasn’t the final version of the game but unless it gets a major facelift, Darksiders 2 will be behind it’s competitors in terms of polish. As for the gameplay involved in the demo, there was nothing that Death did that really stood out and made the player go “wow.” However this was just the very beginning of the game and hopefully Death will acquire more impressive moves and weapons as the game goes on.
Now admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of hack n slash games but to me Darksiders 2 just seemed a bit generic. I ran around, fought some skeleton monsters, picked up some loot and moved onto the next section. Death does have some quicktime death animations but nothing I saw while playing really hit me as spectacular. I know THQ hates the comparison, but God of War death animations really put anything I’ve seen in Darksiders to shame. Death is much more nimble that his brother war and he can do some free climbing around the environment, but the controls aren’t very intuitive and I found myself leaping into bottomless pits on more than one occasion. On the upside, Death can gallop around on his horse “Despair” right from the start. There’s no waiting to get the beast. Unfortunately, I didn’t run into any mounted combat during the demo, but that would be a definite plus for the Darksiders 2.
One of the things that irked me was how linear the demo was. There was no exploring involved. Players just had to stick to the path they were given. However, the Darksiders 2 developers have mentioned that the final game will be huge. Apparently there will be areas in Darksiders 2 that are as large as the entire first game. Perhaps THQ is just playing their cards close to the vest. Maybe they want players to be astonished by how large the world is, so they only showed a tiny, extremely linear segment at E3. At least I hope that’s the case.
At the end of one dungeon there was some sort of ice giant, but again nothing really stood out about him. He seemed like a creature I had seen in many games before. There was no real trick to beating the giant. Hack n slash away when he’s vulnerable then dodge when he goes to smash you. It was pretty straightforward. Players did get to fight Death’s brother War at the end of the demo, which was admittedly pretty cool, but overall the demo just left me a bit unimpressed. I will say this though, the trailers I’ve seen for the game are looking really good. There’s lots of lush environments and gigantic enemies. Also, Darksiders was known for having an amazing story, which is something that’s hard to get a sense of in a short demo. I’m hopeful that when the game does come out, I’ll have to apologize for being so skeptical and praise THQ’s genius in setting the bar low with the demo and then blowing people away with the actual game.