Darksiders 3 Could Be Smaller, More Detailed
Darksiders 2 hasn’t come out yet – it drops in two weeks, on August 14 – but it’s never too late to begin planning one’s next move, which is why, when speaking to Video Gamer, Haydn Dalton, the game’s lead designer, talked a bit about what Darksiders 3 might be like.
Dalton’s comments were merely speculative, but very interesting. “If we come out and it does really well,” he said, “then I think it’s really compelling; we can’t not come out and maybe do something else in the Darksiders franchise.” He added that if “we go and sell 4 or 5 million units, I’m pretty sure [THQ CEO Jason Rubin] won’t say, ‘Let’s go and do something different now’. Maybe what he might do is turn around and say, ‘We’ll do another Darksiders game, but we’ll try and reduce the scope so that we can make it even higher polished’. Because our scope is huge. Maybe he says, ‘Bring the scope down a little bit, we’ll still do another game but it’s a lot more focused’. That’s not such a bad thing to do either.”
Pay careful attention to how he put this. Rubin is the man brought on board to right the THQ ship after a disastrous 2011, and with only 2 months under his belt, he’s already demonstrated a rather active management style, most prominently canceling Saints Row The Third: Enter The Dominatrix, and fast-tracking Saints Row 4 instead. I have no doubt that he probably has expressed concerns about the scope of Darksiders 2 privately; either that, or the Darksiders 2 development team itself thinks the game might be too big.
Meanwhile, look at what Dalton also said: “we go and sell 4 or 5 million units.” Frankly, that’s a tall order for any game not named Madden, Call Of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. Could this be Rubin’s internal edict regarding whether or not Darksiders gets a part 3? Obviously, I’m speculating, but these seem like pretty specific comments, too specific to just be random spitballing. Whatever the truth, this shed some potentially interesting light on THQ’s current mindset.
Meanwhile, as long as we’re talking about downscaling Darksiders, how would that work? Dalton continued, saying “It depends on how much the reduction of the scope is, right? We’ve done a huge world in this one, but [though] reducing the size of the world might be seen as a big impact from a player point of view, you know what, we might do a lot more interaction within the world if the world was smaller. And there might be even more polish, there might be a lot more animated things in the environment and a lot more detail or destruction or whatever it might be in the world because of a reduce in size. Rather than doing sheer square-footage, it’s more like what can you do in less room by focusing on it, and depth [and] interaction within a smaller environment.”
All very coo, of course, but all of this is moot if Darksiders 2 flops. ” The only people who can really shape if we do [another] Darksiders or not is basically the public,” Dalton said. And he’s right. Especially if the game’s E3 demo is indication of the final product.