THQ's Darksiders II looks like a great action title.
Death using a gun on the enemy!
Characters in Darksiders II look fantastic.
Released in January 2010 the original Darksiders was a game that was technically proficient, exciting to play and had plenty of launch support from THQ. Unfortunately releasing a game a couple of weeks after Christmas isn't going to boost sales and the game, while selling moderately well, wasn't the roaring success THQ were hoping for. Still with sales probably approaching 2 million units by now it was enough to have the sequel greenlit. So what is Darksiders II about...
Awakened by the End of Days, Death (who is the brother of the first games' main character War) the most feared of the legendary Four Horsemen, embarks on a quest to undo Armageddon. Along the way, Death discovers that there are far worse things than an earthly Apocalypse, and that an ancient grudge may threaten all of Creation. Become the terrifying force which everything fears but nothing can escape in this action game which takes in parallel to the original title.
A XBox 360 screen, but it shows the large inventory and customisation in Darksiders II.
Developed by Vigil Games, who created the original title, Darksiders II is a third person action game that includes both RPG and puzzle elements. Indeed, as you can see in the screenshot to the left here there is a massive range of inventory items available each of which will change stats such as Defense, Arcaden levels, and the amount of Gilt found. These items will often be dropped by defeated enemies. The game includes three specialisations as well as customisable Harbinger and Necromancer Skill trees to create your own form of "Death". As well as the open world the game includes numerous side quests which should add many more hours to this already lengthy game bringing the length up to 40 hours if you explore everything with a world around four times the size of that in the original game.
In terms of actual gameplay Death isn't as heavily armored as War from the first game so, being much lighter, he is also much more nimble in moving around the levels. As with the original game combat is a mixture of melee and ranged attacks and without a block button it will come down to evasion to avoid enemy attacks. Large beings called Makers appear throughout the game and act as the "shop" where you can purchase new items and abilities.
What the hell... it's one of the horsemen!
Unfortunately this game doesn't include any multiplayer components, that is despite the game being perfectly suited to some co-op gameplay action.
Visuals in Darksiders II certainly look impressive with big, bold characters and colours used throughout the game. You can see from the surrounding screenshots, and the impressive trailer below, just how artistically gorgeous this game really is - from levels to character design this seems to have it all with the main character, Death, having 800-1000 different animations. Hopefully the final game has a solid frame-rate.
Darksiders II is looking like a cracker game and one which should generate a lot of interest among gamers. If the development team can take what they did with the first game and then add layers of depth on top of that then this will be a game worth keeping an eye on. Originally scheduled for release in late June 2012, the game was pushed to mid-August to allow time for more polishing. Not that it appeared to need it, but we're happy for the developers to make this the great title it deserves to be. Only a few weeks to go...
Preparing to launch at a massive enemy.
Darksiders II is due out mid-August 2012.
Here's THQ's most recent, gameplay including, trailer for Darksiders II. Enjoy...