First Look At Darksiders II: Death Lives

As a lot of you may be aware, Darksiders and I have a checkered past.  We shared a love hate relationship that continued for many weeks.  I loved the gameplay and story Darksiders provided, as well as the many puzzles that needed to be solved, while progressing through the story and seeing what damage and chaos my old friend War could provide.  With that said, when I was up against with one of the many bosses you battle throughout the game, I was faced with one of the biggest choices I had to make playing a game I loved: go to YouTube for help.  Until that point I had played many games, and never had to resort to the web for help, and that is where the hate portion comes in.  I never did get past that boss battle, but I do think of my old friend War quite often and wonder how he is doing. I do believe I found a new friend, and he goes by the name of Death. I was privileged enough to attend a Darksiders II event just to see if we could bond and become friends with the next installment in the Darksiders series, a much-anticipated game for myself and many other Darksiders fans.

Now before I start I did not get “hands on” time with the game, but we were taken through a few levels, as well as a background of how Death has been represented in the past and how Death would be portrayed in Darksiders II. Based on what I saw, I do believe Death and I will become good friends soon enough.  But will a good character and my high expectations be met in Darksiders II?  Read on my friends, and I will let you know what I observed, as well as what we were told during a Community Round Table as David Adams Studio General Manager, Ryan Stefanelli Producer and Hayden Dalton Principal Designer answered some questions the community had about Darksiders II.

Let’s set the background for you: Death, probably the most feared of the Four Horseman, is awakened by the End of Days.  He sets out to undo Armageddon and finds far worse things going on, as an ancient grudge threatens all of Creation.  So this brings up a good point: is Death the right Horseman for the job?  Of course he is; as Death is, well let’s face it, Death. No one wants to tangle with him, and that is what makes him the most feared of the four Horseman.

If you are familiar with Darksiders you already know that the game took place during the untimely earthly Apocalypse, and Darksiders II takes place during the same time.  So will Darksiders II look and feel like the first Darksiders?  I would have to say no, as the combat system has been improved upon, the art and graphics have been tweaked, and the game has its own feeling and style.  As we know already (if you played Darksiders), War was a straightforward fighter, who was likely to use his powers to charge through an area and leave a heap enemies behind him.  Death takes a different approach: he is a nimble and agile character with moves like a wall run that, by chaining together jumps, will allow him to traverse down a narrow hallway or even between walls.  Death will also be able to beam run, which allows him to run along thin platforms including chains and ropes, making him a lot more agile than War, as War prefered the hand over hand method.  Throw in a Pillar Climb/Jump to the Wall bounce, and Death proves to be very agile.  One movement that sticks out is the Ghost Hand. When you acquire this item in the game, Death can hook onto attachments found in the game, and pull himself towards them.  He can also use this movement and chain it together with other moves, making him that more agile.

Combat is very impressive in Darksiders II (not that it wasn’t in Darksiders), as you have your basic moves from Evade, Jump and Death’s main weapon: his dual Scythes that change shape as Death performs different combos of attack.  From being joined together to form a single weapon to tossing an enemy in the air, they are very impressive.  Death’s secondary weapons can be combined with the Scythe maneuvers and form an impressive combo.  Ghost Hand that I touched on above can also be used during combat as Death will be pulled closer to an enemy, allowing him to get up close and personal with one of the many mini-bosses he will face; let’s just say Death can reach out and touch someone in short order.  Death can also use his Reaper Form, were he can perform a Reaper attack that provides a quick death to his enemies. An unlockable skill for this form is the Reaper Transformation: a very powerful move that will be available to use when the Reaper Meter when it is full.  Death’s time as a Reaper is limited, and should be used to cause massive damage to many enemies at once, or for one of the larger boss battles you will face.  Death will also gain many spells and abilities, from summoning up a horde of exploding zombies, to using necrotic energy. It’s nice to see that Death is not limited to being a Scythe swinging death machine, and is allowed to take a more wizardly path.  Either way the destruction left in Death’s wake will be impressive.

Like I said earlier, we did not get hands-on time with the game, but we do have some more information to pass along.  Darksiders II does not have a set in stone release date, but we do know to expect the game this summer.  The game will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and the Wii U (yes I said Wii U, this was not a typo).  Darksiders II is set to give us 30 hours of gameplay, and will alow the player to go back to side quests and additional content even after the story ends.
Darksiders II: Death Lives shows a lot of promise. To answer my question from the begining, Death and I will be a match made in heaven, and it looks like we will be spending some quality time together in the future trying to clear War’s name.

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