This is one helluva dark and dreary game, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Many gamers were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed playing the original Darksiders. While it may not have introduced many new gameplay elements to the action genre, the title combined several gaming styles and features into a fun and exciting package. In 2012, Darksiders II was unleashed upon the gaming masses and it received high praises as well. Now a slightly upgraded version, called Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edtion is available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and dealing death as a horseman of the apocalypse has never been more fun.
Players took on the role of War in the first game, and the sequel casts them as his cursed brother, Death. When War is punished for doing his job too well, it's up to The Grim Reaper to save his brother by resurrecting humanity (ironic, don't you think?). In order to accomplish this, the ultimate anti-hero must first visit the World Tree. But in order to do that, he must rekindle a great forge's cauldron, ask the help of a mighty golem, destroy an even mightier golem, collect numerous items here and there... you know, typical fantasy hero work.
This awesome surrealistic adventure begins with linear gameplay that opens into a vast world that players are free to explore on the back of the mighty warhorse, Despair. There are worn-down castles and dungeons to pillage, mighty enemies to destroy and hidden areas to discover. In addition, it's really fun to explore new areas and find chests full of loot using the sweet platforming and climbing skills at Death's fingertips. I really love how discovering the right path takes much more than simply finding a key. Guiding Death through some areas requires riding atop a mobile golem and using its abilities, while other areas require the use of explosive orbs or a cool ability called Deathgrip. Sometimes the path is obvious but requires skills like using handholds and wall-running, while other times players must find hidden paths that could be underwater or behind debris.
This sweet game would still be great if it only had exploration, puzzle elements, and platforming, but it becomes another beast entirely when the awesome combat elements are added. Not surprisingly, Death's main weapon is a pair of razor-sharp scythes that he whirls around with lethal ferocity, and he can also wield secondary weapons. In addition, Death has access to numerous stylish yet deadly moves and learns new ones from trainers and from leveling up.
Two skill trees offer Death two distinctly different ways to unleash hell upon his enemies. The Harbinger tree features more offensive moves that can be augmented with fire damage or the ability to generate wrath while the Necromancer tree lets Death summon minions to do his dirty work. It's cool how some abilities from one tree can still be used in another, such as choosing the Necromancer shield ability even when following the Harbinger skill tree.
As mentioned before, players can now pick up loot from enemies and chests as well as purchasing and selling loot from vendors. This welcome feature lets players customize their character much more than before. For instance, players specializing in offense will want gear that adds strength and critical hit damage, while defensive players will want gear and weapons that add hit points and resistance. It's entirely up to the players to decide if they want bonuses like lightening damage and increased execution chance.
Another favorite new addition is a set of weapons that can be upgraded with other armor and weapons from the player's inventory to make them much more powerful. Not only that, but the same attributes found in the gear used to upgrade these weapons is usually transferred to the upgraded weapon. Each weapon can only be upgraded five times, and they usually end up being the most powerful weapon available in their category.
The Deathinitive Edition of this game contains all of the DLC that was available for Darksiders II as well as graphical upgrades and gameplay fine-tuning. For starters, the rendering engine has received a complete overhaul, which lets the developers increase the resolution to 1080p. In addition, there are now dynamic shadows and increased textures to help make the game look more like current-gen titles. What this means is that the game looks better and plays smoother than before. Well, smoother for the most part, as I noticed a framerate drop on many occasions. Fortunately, this mostly occurred when a new large environment was introduced or when the action was particularly intense. Still, when an older game runs at 30fps instead of 60fps, there should be no slowdown at all.
I appreciate how the DLC content has been integrated into the Deathinitive Edition rather than being separated as it makes the gaming experience seamless. When the plethora of DLC content that includes powerful weapon packs, stunning armor sets, and cool extra missions are added to over twenty hours of gameplay, the result is a great deal for newcomers at only $30. However, Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition doesn't offer much to attract anyone who has played the game before. For anyone who hasn't played the game, there's no better time than the present.