First Look – Darksiders 2
Developed by Vigil Games and published by THQ, Darksiders 2 is a sequel that follows the story of the cult-hit Darksiders.
Most gamers believed that Darksiders felt more like a cross between the Legend of Zelda and Devil May Cry but, once THQ unveiled the new Darksiders 2, we quickly realized that Vigil was working on more than just a regular Darksiders sequel. What started off as a game with heavy mythological tones turned into a great immersive universe with twists and turns.
The Lore of the Universe
Something was really wrong. Playing as one of the four horsemen “War,” you tried to figure how the war between the Angels and Demons started. You, of course, didn’t do start the Endwar of the Apocalypse and the other three horsemen were not present! Secondly, there was a final seal that was needed to be broken for Horseman War to be summoned. It was intact! There was a serious mistake and you were framed for starting it all. War swore to bring justice upon those who framed him.
As you reached Earth and played through some of the chapters, You (playing War) came to realize that not all Angels are to be Good and not all Demons are Bad. War also finds that a demon called The Destroyer has actually led these demons to victory and finished the Human race completely.
The world of Darksiders basically draws upon an imagined mythology that features the Creator - The inventor, balancer and the destroyer of everything. Then there are the Angels and Demons who help maintain the balance. As much as the Creator has tried to bring balance to this universe, it has only ended in different worlds turning into war-torn battlefields of the Angels and Demons. There’s also a third entity called the Charred Council that came to existence after it promised to preserve balance to the rest of the surviving worlds – to prevent them from turning into ruins yet again. To create balance, they then create a third faction called the “Kingdom of Man.”
They then call upon the Angels and Demons to sign a truce that decrees that none of them can fight directly however, they can convince the Kingdom of Man to support them in their quests – This is an imagination that drawns upon the present philosophy in most religions. The Charred Council on the other hand doesn’t care who wins. They just want balance.
To ensure that the Angels and Demons maintain the decree, the Charred Council needed a lot of Power. A power that could sustain and maintain the balance between the Angels and Demons. They tamed 4 powerful people from the last of the superior race called the Nephilim and named them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Charred Council then go on to create the seven seals that once broken, will summon the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to witness the battle of the universe. The side that wins takes control of the entire universe.
While the rest of the story will basically spoil everything for people who haven’t played the first Darksiders, we can only tell you that Darksiders 2 happens during the same time that Darksiders happened. All we can tell you about the story is that there is much more to the story in Darksiders 2 than there was in the first Darksiders.
According to Vigil General Manager David Adams, “There is way more lore in Darksiders II. There are more NPCs talking and giving background. You visit a lot of secondary races, like the Makers. You get exposed to these other facets of the universe. It gives way more context on what’s going on.”
The World of Darksiders 2 and it’s Gameplay
While Darksiders featured more of the Earth lying in ruins in sort of an urban post-apocalyptic metropolis, Vigil and THQ have built upon the previous world to create a “stylized demon underworld,” featuring more fantastical locales for the sequel. Players are put in the shoes of “Death” - A more quicker and agile character than his brother horseman, War.
One of the most important elements of Darksiders 2 is that it is being built as an open-world, Role Playing game, a leap from it’s predecessor. You’ll have more NPCs talking, providing you with more background which then translates into more lore for you to piece together the full story.
Playing as Death, you’re on a quest to free War from imprisonment and clear his name after he was framed. To do this, he has to resurrect the new dead Human Race. Death is a more agile character than War and you will traverse a twisted landscape fighting swarms of demonic enemies. Climbing surfaces or jumping off one block to another, using your equipment like the Ghost Hook to traverse the world are just a few things among many that a nimbler, agile and “feral” character like Death is able to perform.
Darksiders 2 allows players to customize Death with the enhanced loot system that allows you to choose weapons and appearance. Armor, Gloves, Boots and weapons are not only cosmetic changes but also offer attributes that help Death in defeating his enemies and traversing the landscape.
Since it is being built keeping the Role-Playing archetypes in mind, Darksiders 2 going to feature a class system. With the new skill trees, you can choose to either train as a Warrior class titled “Harbringer” or get all nasty as a spell-casting “Necromancer.” According to Vigil and THQ, “not all skills can be gained and that no two characters could be the same.”
Combat stays pretty straight forward with Death featuring a great host of attack combos and deflections. While Death keeps progressing through killing enemies, he gains experience which can then be poured into one of the Harbringer or Necromancer skill trees to create your own personalized Death. Vigil has mentioned that whether you like slicing with your claws and scythes or whether you love to stand back and conjure destructive spells to smite your enemies, these skill trees are certain to help you mould Death according to your playstyle for your comfort.
There are also Primary and Secondary weapons which can be switched on the fly. These are classified again into Light and Heavy and will have varying attacks depending on their type.
A new addition to Darksiders 2 are it’s possessed weapons. By feeding these weapons with certain in-game items, you are able to increase it’s experience to level them up and make them even more powerful. This will allow you to choose the weapon stats and rename them.
Darksiders 2 will give you access to your ride – The Horse “Despair” and your guide crow “Dust.” early on in the game. While Despair lets you traverse massive open worlds, Dust is your guide to the world should you get lost in any part of it.
Since the world is designed to be open, Darksiders 2 allows side-quests for players to take a break from the main quest path. Exploring dungeons and new plotlines are helpful if you’re interested in the lore of the universe. Revisiting old areas with new equipment will also give you open gates to certain areas previously locked.
The game also features a fast-travel system that allows you to travel to areas that have been already explored. While the world is massive, there are many puzzles that you will still need to solve to move on in the game.
The most newest additions to the game is the Nightmare Mode difficulty setting which is built to live up to its name. There are no markers, checkpoints or respawns. Once you die, you’re dead forever. A new game mode called New Game+ is also available that will allow you to carry stats and gear over for another playthrough.
While the original Darksiders served as a grown-up and mature version of Zelda, Darksiders 2 is all set to find it’s own spirit among the massive-open world RPGs like Skyrim.
It is being developed for Windows, XBox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U. After THQ pushed back the release date, it is now slated to release on all of these platforms in NA on 14th August 2012. EU also gets the game in the same month however, we still don’t have a release date.