There are many people out there who believe that the world will end in 2012 when the Mayan calendar comes to a close. While that prophesy remains to be seen, we can all be certain that in 2012 Death will ride his horse into our counsels in the form of THQ’s Darksiders II.
The sequel to 2010’s Darksiders looks primed to rain down an unstoppable flurry of pain next year in the form of a new protagonist. Following the story from the perspective of Horseman Death, rather than the previous title’s main character of War, Darksiders II takes place concurrent with the first Darksiders. After War is convicted and sent back to Earth by the Charred Council, they inform the other three Horseman of his fate. Since this news goes against what his knows to be his brother’s true nature, Death embarks on a rage-filled quest to clear his brother’s name and travels to the Nether Realms between Heaven and Hell to call in favors from the realm’s powerful beings.
At a recent press event we were treated to a hands on demo, with commentary from the game’s Creative Director Joe Madureira, which took Death through a rampage against a number of skeletal henchmen and a mini-boss in the form of a scarab creature. A number of weapons were shown, such as a giant hammer, scythes, hand claws, and throwing knives, all of which are upgradeable along with your base powers through the use of the “coins” that drop from defeated enemies. The combat system looked pretty fluid, using a combination of button patterns to preform certain moves. Also, Death wielded a chain that could be used to bring the smaller enemies to you or to project you onto the larger ones.
There was also the return of the puzzles and platform jumping that seems to be a staple in third person action games. While the ones that we were shown did not look too challenging we were told that some of them down the road will be more difficult. The chain also came into use to let Death swing and propel across large areas and above obstacles, as well as tossing explosive items to help you progress forward in the game. We were also shown Death’s true “Reaper” form in a cut scene which looked amazing!
The sound of the game was solid from what I could see, with satisfying combat noises as well as the ever popular coin noise that comes with the gold dropped from vanquished enemies. The visuals were smooth as well and the camera angle was at an opportune angle allowing you to see what the landscape had to offer but not getting in the way during a fight. Also there was a damage count for each of your hits that was not too big or distracting and became quickly unnoticeable as the event went on.
The attention to detail to the design was breathtaking. The character models and even the environment are some of the best I have seen a while. This game is 100% aesthetically pleasing if you are into cool looking demons and hell. Also, be sure to pay attention to things going on in the background. Without giving spoilers, there was a cool floating island that had what appeared to be two dragon heads chained to it that kept biting and snarling at each other.
While the developers are a bit tight lipped on many elements of the story, we were informed that the remaining horsemen, Fury and Strife, will be in the game in some capacity, and Michael Wincott (Alien Resurrection, The Crow) will be providing the voice of Death. If you like beat ’em up adventure games then be sure to keep an eye on our site for more information on the game as it comes!