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Darksiders II (2) (PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)
Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Available For: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360
Developer: Vigil Games
Genre: Third-Person Action
Age: 18 (PEGI)
Trying to give a full flavour of a game this large in a short review such as this, is like trying to park an Airbus A380 in a parking spot at your local supermarket - impossible. With over 20 hours of gameplay in the main campaign, and a whopping 30+ hours of side quests, here's a large taste of what can be found in this most epic of games.
Taking place at the same time as Darksiders and splintering away from the story of the harbinger horseman War, players take control of the formidable Death in his mission to gather power from another realm and help his brother War in his time of need. Plentiful cut-scenes tell the tale brilliantly with every superbly delivered line.
Whilst the original was an action platform game which dipped its digital toes into the waters of role-playing games, Darksiders II dives straight in. Additions such as lootable weapons and armour, as well as an in-depth skill tree help to create a deeper and more customisable experience. But despite there being plenty of upgrades and kit choices, the menus are intuitive enough to avoid players constant meandering, and allow them more time to get involved in the action.
The combat is fast and furious, with scythes and secondary weapons being used to slice, dice, dismember and disembowel the enemy. Camera angles can occasionally cause grief, although the enemy lock-on system helps to get around this. Ghouls can be summoned mid-battle and are handy to distract minions whilst the player takes on a larger beast. And there are plenty of large beasts - boss battles litter the path and provide a great deal of variety every step of the way.
Dungeons are laden with enemies and puzzles, with a feeling not too dissimilar to Zelda. Level design is always top-notch, and constantly has players thinking outside the box in an effort to progress. Often the new skills and abilities Death learns are detrimental in the solving of these riddles.
Aside from the dungeons is the big open-world. Vast landscapes to be traversed, discovered, and explored. It's a massive world, packed with massive amounts to get submersed in.
The sound and musical score is mind-blowing, it creates tension, sorrow, excitement and sadness. There's no emotion without scintillating sounds to back it up in a sublime way.
Although being far from ugly, Darksiders II doesn't have the graphical polish many games boast these days. With a little spit, it would have been perfect in almost every way.
We went to War and have experienced Death - now bring us Fury and Strife.
SCORE: 9 / 10
PROS: Awesome puzzles, big open world, plenty of upgrades, and some BIG bosses.
CONS: Adequate, but not perfect in terms of visuals.
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