Monday, 2 January 2012

Darksiders II Preview - Welcome to the Apocalypse


After playing as War in the first game, this year, we step into the boots of the second Horseman of the Apocalypse in Darksiders 2. Death awaits us all.
Darksiders II Preview - Welcome to the Apocalypse
Darksiders was - pardon the pun - a dark horse in the action genre. It was a breath of fresh air from all the sequels being churned out since, let’s face it, few studios are willing to risk it with new IPs nowadays. The game imagined the end of days for us mortals as players were strapped into the boots of one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – War, who was wrongfully framed for bringing about the apocalypse.
Death watching over you
Death watching over you


The game played out from a third-person perspective and was a hack-and-slash game at heart, but it borrowed various gameplay elements rather graciously from other more popular games across genres. At first, many were cynical and some even went as far as calling it a Zelda or God of War clone, but once it got down to brass tacks, there was no doubt about the fact that Darksiders pulled off this diversity with great flair and style not seen in many new IPs today. 

Art style
Darksiders 2 takes place during the timeline of the first game, only now, you’ll see and experience things from War’s brother, Death’s perspective. Your primary goal, of course, is to track down and punish those responsible for framing your brother. Don’t worry though; you won’t be trudging through rehashed levels from the first game. Since you’ll be playing as Death this time around, developer Vigil Games gets a lot more creative (and by that we do mean sinister) liberty when it comes to overall character and level design. A striking and vibrant art style is something this series has always boasted off thanks to its creative director, Joe Madureira, who also happens to be a well known comic book writer and artist.
Come at me bro
Come at me bro


Combat
Darksiders offered players a pretty robust combat system and it looks like Darksiders 2 is taking things to the next level with more fluid and intuitive fighting. It’s still largely a hack and slash game with light and heavy attacks that can be mixed up to pull off crazy combos, but it now also follows an RPG-esque combat principle, where you’ll be visually notified (via numbers) of the damage you inflict upon enemies. Unlike War, Death cannot block, so you’ll have to make do with dodging incoming attacks. Of course, offense is the best form of defence, so feel free to dish out your own brand of pain with brutal melee combos as well as deadly magical spells. Upon slaying an enemy/boss, you can now loot their bodies and be rewarded with a plethora of items like gold, fragments of armour and lots more. More RPG fun for everyone
Darksiders 2 is taking the RPG elements a bit further by meticulously designing four distinct hubs (or cities) where you’ll be able to undertake side quests from various NPCs (non playable characters) as well as sell all the loot you don’t need. Besides that, you have a larger game world, multitudes of dungeons to explore and plunder, combat arenas to conquer as well as a rather lengthy single player campaign to boot. Rest assured, we’ll be spending a lot of time with Darksiders 2.
Death race
Death race


Platforming
Besides combat, platforming was a very important pillar of gameplay in Darksiders as it provided players with some sort of respite from the relentless action. Unlike War, who was built like a tank, Death seems a tad more agile and athletic, and will be capable of wall running a la the Prince of Persia for a few seconds. He even has a Ghost Hook attached to his arm - a grappling hook of sorts with which he can cross large distances with great ease. Think of the game’s platforming as a cross between Castlevania and Uncharted. Now, how can you go wrong with that?
Death's customary scythe will be present in the game
Death's customary scythe will be present in the game


Darksiders 2 looks like its expanding upon everything players loved about the first game. You have a more refined combat and platforming system, a twisted yet beautiful art style as well as RPG elements to significantly increase the length of the game. It’s no wonder that it’s one of our most anticipated games of 2012. If you on the other hand are still not convinced, have a look at the very first gameplay trailer.

 

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