The second game featuring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Darksiders II sees Death seeking a way to clear his brother War s name in the depths of the hellish Underworld (if you remember, War was accused of starting the Apocalypse early, which we all know was a bit of a fib). To do this, our more nimble and athletic Horseman is on a quest to search for the Tree of Life - a magical landmark that can reverse the extinction of mankind and allow War to walk free.
Except things haven t exactly gone to plan for Death, either. His quest, running parallel to the events of the original Darksiders, takes a turn for the worse as a cursed sage known as the Crowfather plays a trick on him and sends him all the way to the dying land of the Underworld. The path to the Tree of Life is blocked by Corruption, and if Death wants to restore order he s going to have to get involved.
The Underworld that Death adventures through in Darksiders II is much more rich and vibrant than War s post-apocalyptic Overworld. From the second you load up the game and begin to explore the Crowfather s ice palace, it s obvious that Vigil is taking much more of an artistic liberty with respect to colours and level design. This continues as Death is tasked with continuing his open-world journey into fiery furnaces and watery reservoirs.
Dungeons are as meticulously designed as ever, with logistic puzzles that are likely to give you a good mental workout.
The combat controls have been tightened up and a few new HUD details have been added, but the big takeaway from these tweaks is just how much the game now feels like a full-blown action-RPG. Sure, you had unlockable weapons, hidden trinkets and character upgrades in the original Darksiders, but the improvements made here really help to complete the experience. There are now numbers and health bars galore for fans of traditional RPGs to sink their teeth into. But, if you re not a numbers guy and don t want to see all of these changes affect your classic Darksiders experience, you have the option to turn it all off. Attack numbers will stop appearing, Death will be auto-equipped with the best gear available, and you can even set the game to automatically pick up loot dropped on the ground.
This Deathinitive Edition on new generation consoles packs the added punch of all DLC released to date, as well as graphical polish and reworked and tuned game balancing and loot distribution.
All in all, Darksiders II builds on the strengths of its predecessor while adding heft and bulk to the experience.