Darksiders first came out on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2010, which doesn’t seem all that long ago. The game itself received mixed reviews, with it being the best-selling game in the month of release over in the States, but ultimately selling under 2 million, leading to the developer’s disappointment. Saying this, they still decided to remaster (or should I say Warmaster) the game which is interesting, itself. Personally, I feel this shows the apparent limited effort it takes to release a definitive edition of a game as well as the potential niche in the market for current hack-and-slash games.
I was very much looking forward to playing this game. For some reason, I missed the Darksiders titles on the previous gen so went in with no preconceived ideas. I had seen a few videos and thought the game beared a strong resemblance to God of War – a game I absolutely love, and had just finished watching my wife complete God of War 3 on the PS4, so I was ready to see what Darksiders had to offer. As soon as I switched it on, the game felt crisp and installed quickly. A promising start.
A simple version of this story is that there are four horsemen who are aptly named: Death, War (the protagonist of the story), Strife and Pestilence. These guys are pretty strong and have been given some super demon powers. However, something goes a little wrong in the predetermined story, and War finds himself down on Earth fighting a range of evil and angelic-looking demons. He’s then killed by some kind of super demon and is brought up for charges against the council. His punishment is to go back to Earth and kill pretty much everything, whilst joined by a spirit-type demon who is watching your every movement. Personally, I feel the story is a little…well… over the top but when you are trying to create a game similar to God of War, you need to do something special to rival Greek mythology.
(DVDfever Dom: Clearly, dying is not the career setback it is in the real world!)
When a game is Warmastered, it is important that they stay true to the original gameplay. This isn’t always the case with the likes of the Final Fantasy VII remake. However, it is only going to appeal to the original gamers if they do. As mentioned, I haven’t played the original game, but I can see through videos that they haven’t changed the mechanics of the game at all. There’s no rocket science involved in the gameplay, here: you move and you attack and that is about all. My first issue is with the camera; Darksiders is based in third-person, but similar to so many other of this genre, so you can use the second analogue stick to toggle the camera. At times, this becomes quite tricky and you find yourself messing about with the controller for a while to try and make your position work. I have to admit that this is a common problem with any such title, therefore, I wasn’t overly surprised to be faced with said issue.
I have to admit that I love the simple gameplay side to this game, especially that you don’t need to worry about a million different combinations of moves, or about bringing up a scroll halfway through a fight to change some of your equipment. Im addition, all the power ups are quite simple and you can upgrade your weapon. With ensuring that the game isn’t too complicated to level-up, they have made a game which is enjoyable to play. Saying that, what is quite annoying are the buttons they have chosen for certain attacks. However, with an easy remapping and an Elite Controller, you can forget about any of those worries.
Something worth mentioning is the length of this game. I expected to finish this game in a couple of days and it to take me around 10 hours. To my surprise, Darksiders will take you around 18 hours to complete, and you can add another 5 onto this if you want to 100% it. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is down to the player, but I myself found it slightly too long, albeit not by too much considering that even if you didn’t play this game for a couple of months you would still be able to pick it up and not have forgotten how to play. It is worth noting that you get all the addition content with the Warmastered edition, which adds extra time on to the game.
Overall I am going to give the gameplay an 8. It’s solid although doesn’t offer you anything new and suffers from the usual genre setbacks.
There are some areas where you always hope remakes keep the same, and some where you hope they make dramatic changes. Now, although not meteoric, the graphical changes capable with current gen consoles is definitely noticeable. Darksiders wasn’t a game which pushed the Xbox 360 to its capability and I am afraid to say the Warmastered edition barely scratches the surface with the Xbox One’s strength. Prior to this, I watched many a video of Darksiders on the 360 and compared it to what I was playing on the Xbox One S (on a new tv) and I haven’t been able to spot a difference. Now this is poor.
So it feels like a 360 game being played on the Xbox One which is maddening. I was expecting to notice a slight difference, but sadly I couldn’t one bit. Reading further into this remaster, they have apparently doubled the text resolution. Really? I can’t notice the difference it makes, but I guess I’m am glad they definitely did something…
Due to me not being able to notice any difference I have to award to only award this area a 5. The graphics aren’t shocking but are in no way good (example video below)
Audibly, throughout this game you are made to feel uncomfortable, be it by the sudden dark sounds or the constant low music running continuously, or even by the husky voice in every character in the game. This is intentional and was exactly what I wanted from the game. Darksiders is a dark game and therefore you want to feel on edge. My only complaint, here, is how at times I found myself not as on edge and a little bit bored of the same rifts. At times, instead, I put a good album on to listen to whilst I was playing. Saying that, the sound when your sword clashes with an enemy is fantastic. I love how it really sounds like metal is clashing with metal. Overall, the sound doesn’t stand out as amazing. There are no real songs which will make you turn up the volume but they are solid. 8.
I really enjoyed this game, and I am pretty sure I would have enjoyed the 360 version as well. If I was to review this as just a remaster, then this would have been a completely different review however I have reviewed this as a standalone experience. So even though some of the areas – particularly the graphics – seem a little dated, the game itself is pretty cool. My biggest issues are with the graphics.
However there are plenty of things I did like. It was also really nice to play a game which you could put down for a week and still know what is going on. If you are like me and you can’t sit every minute of a day on a game then you’ll appreciate games that aren’t too complicated. At times I found myself getting a little bit bored, but overall I had a fun and enjoyable experience working through this game. Therefore, I believe that this game deserves an 8. It is worth noting that it pretty much is a copy of God of War but I loved God of War and had no issue with it being of the same ilk.
Overall, if you are looking for some fun, easy action then this is the right game however I am not sure how worthwhile this is to play if you have finished the original.
- Publisher: THQ Nordic
- Players: single-player, multiplayer
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1