Zelda for Those Who Might Not Like Zelda Anymore

Can Darksiders' interpretation of Nintendo's franchise continue carrying the load?

Much of the inspiration from the Legend of Zelda series found in the original Darksiders remains firmly intact in its sequel, at least if a mid-game (about six hours in, we're told) dungeon called The Foundry is any indication. This sprawling zone is home to rivers of lava, all manner of mechanical contraptions, and an assortment of stone golems, one of which is about the size of a six-story building. Despite the window dressing, Darksiders II still retains the same general structure of Nintendo's adventure series: find keys to get through locked doors and then solve some puzzles, which inevitably leads to the special item that also happens to unlock the way forward to the dungeon boss.

It should all be very familiar to fans of Link's adventures, and Darksiders II seemingly does them justice with the complexity of the puzzles found in The Foundry. In fact, there's a really nice mixture of puzzles that rely heavily on Death's own acrobatic abilities as well as his interaction with the stone golems (he can ride them) and sticky bombs found later in the same area. But there are also a fair share of brain busters where taking a step or two back from the situation goes a long way in presenting a solution. One of the more notable puzzles in The Foundry actually requires a fair bit of exploration, which played well into the sheer size of that particular environment.

There's no shortage of things to do in Darksiders II. When Death isn't solving slower-paced puzzles, he's usually battling foes with a combat system that bears more similarities to Capcom's Devil May Cry series than to The Legend of Zelda, and that serves as one of the first examples of how Darksiders II, much like its predecessor, separates itself from Nintendo's franchise. It's still a slick system complete with fairly complex combinations of moves that use the various tools at Death's disposal, including an assortment of equipable scythes and secondary weapons that are much slower but more punishing.

But perhaps even more telling of Darksiders' attempt to distance itself from Zelda is the addition of a new loot system that adds much more equipment to the ecosystem than in the previous game. It's one of the few times where the action in Darksiders seemingly comes to a halt, but the trade-off is more weapons and pieces of armor that have various effects on Death's base stats. Death is far more nimble than his horseman predecessor, so it's a little jarring to slow down and spend some time on the specifics of which item is better than another and whether or not Death can even equip a piece of gear. Truth be told, this might just be a side effect of being thrown into a later dungeon and not having a chance to experience what happens in between dungeons, presumably in the hub world that exists. Still, switching loot to auto-pickup as opposed to manual pickup or equip on pickup seems to make things a little smoother in that regard.

Things swung back around to the Zelda formula with the Foundry boss--a massive golem activated by collecting special heart stones from various parts of the dungeon. It's not so much the boss battle that's a reminder of what Zelda has done before it, but rather Vigil's focus on making boss battles that not only are memorable, but also serve as a satisfying conclusion to a slog through a large dungeon. It's at that point that it seems Vigil wants to take the core characteristics of the Zelda series and improve the parts of it that some people may not find as appealing or change them to reflect a more contemporary aesthetic. It remains to be seen if the team has succeeded.

Want the latest news about Darksiders II?

Darksiders II

Darksiders II

Discussion

61 comments
mViRuSz
mViRuSz

This game is good but not worth it cause, its those type of games that you play for a month the max and get bored of it. Its a great game and all but I rather play something that will last longer

master19148
master19148

i love this game been playin non-stop they need to make more games like this now days all they make is shooters im sick of playing shooter games 

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Oh yeah I wonder how Link would like with Death's body and armor?.....Passes out with a huge smile!!

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

A dark game is always a challenge, but only when it's done right :)

AtariKidX
AtariKidX

Can't wait for this.Finaly a dark Zelda game.

rigzzsy
rigzzsy

please don't get delayed anymore

DexterDarkly
DexterDarkly

To echo the sentiments of others, Zelda is Zelda. The series is a legend and always will be. Darksiders was a fun game but to make any suggestion that it will replace or carry on the Zelda experience, isn't really realistic. Zelda is its own phenomenon, and for those of us who grew up playing them, nothing at the time held a candle to them.

Bhemont
Bhemont

@xitsjustluck Thank you for letting me know by the way, a bit random comment though, seeing as I never said it was an rpg, simply that it had rpg elements. But yeah, it's good to know these things, keep up the good work. :)

xitsjustluck
xitsjustluck

@Bhemont well that's great, I said nothing about the gaming experience, I was simply letting you know that zelda is not an RPG.

Bhemont
Bhemont

@xitsjustluck Just an fyi, the leveling and experience is not what makes RPG fun imo, it is the dialog, free roaming, side quests and character development that make a RPG good.

xitsjustluck
xitsjustluck

@bhemont Just an fyi, The zelda franchise is considered action-adventure. There really aren't many rpg elements in it at all if you truly know what an rpg is.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

Zelda for Those Who Might Not Like Zelda Anymore.... Hmm, that was the way I viewed the first two Fable games. Darksiders never did anything for me, the story just seemed pointless bit IDK..... Compared to games like Dante's Inferno Darksiders looked a ton better and played a ton better so maybe Vigil is on to something......

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

I really liked Darksiders but I think presenting it as an alternative to Zelda or as some more core focused version of Zelda is selling the Zelda series short or giving Darksiders too much credit, take your pick. The main factor are the puzzles and overall level design which I still think Nintendo does far better than Vigil did in Darksiders. That said, Darksiders had really fun combat, awesome boss fights, and it looks great so I am really looking forward to getting my hands on Darksiders 2 when the Wii-U comes out.

wowwow27
wowwow27

doubtful darksiders will be comparable to zelda at all upon its release. looks like a button masher.

p33pingt0m
p33pingt0m

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Gurzociurlo
Gurzociurlo

I've actually played every single Zelda out there except from the cdi ones, but never got into darksiders... mmmh... Time for me to start!

superxtreme101
superxtreme101

Nah I don't think I'll ever match up to Zelda, not saying it's a bad game, I think it gonna be awesome, it's just that Zelda is ... well ... a masterpiece of a game. Still waiting on Darksiders II, plus I think it's more similar to Prince of Persia and DMC

Crisis_Ten
Crisis_Ten

Like the first Darksiders I still think it shows bits and parts of elements like god of war, zelda, prince of persia, and soul reaver but tries to be hard to be something of each it doesn't really excel in either. Not saying it will be a bad game by any means but categorizing it as the 'new zelda' isn't appropriate I believe.

ahpuck
ahpuck

Really looking forwards to it. I enjoyed the first one more than I thought I was going to, bland graphics and all.

Bhemont
Bhemont

@Aut0cr0nix Thanks, maybe I'll check it out. :)

winshot
winshot

Nothing can beat "Death!" ... Darksiders is the greatest game series ever made. Period.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Darksiders = Mature Zelda? No, just no. I can't acknowledge that game as a Zelda clone at all (I can for the likes of Beyond Good and Evil, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, and Okami though)

Aut0cr0nix
Aut0cr0nix

@Bhemont The first game was very light on rpg elements, however I felt like it had more rpg elements than Zelda does. Darksiders 2 will have leveling, skill trees, equipment, loot, and side quests, so you'll probably like it.

Bhemont
Bhemont

Does it have the same rpg elements that Zelda has, if not, it's not for me. Not a big fan of mindless hack and slach/adventure/action games :/

Longhorns62
Longhorns62

DS1 was good, a lot like God of War series. I will wait for the reviews before I buy it. I will keep saving my pennies.

Noclippin
Noclippin

@Phazevariance This has nothing to do with dungeon siege.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

DS1 was pretty good, had some weak spots, but overall well done. DS2 should blow that out of the water.

claudelruff
claudelruff

Cool, I wonder if it will have Portals like say Portal again.

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

As long as Darksiders 2 is free of bugs, I am willing to play it. My copy of Darksiders freeze every few minutes, I am still stuck on the angelic beast section, because I couldn't go through the whole section of gameplay without game freeze on me.

svbandanaman
svbandanaman

I'm surprised that so many people don't seem to be able to see the similarities between these games and Zelda. The dungeon structures/puzzles/item finding were almost identical. Not that I'm complaining, I loved the mix of more God of War style combat with Zelda esque puzzles, can't wait for this to come out!

marvel456
marvel456

How can you get tired of Zelda?

KPAC77
KPAC77

@klasco reminds me of Skeletor

klasco
klasco

The main character reminds me of a duck :S

Garygok
Garygok

Not once did I think about Zelda when I played through the first game which was great. I find the comparison somewhat annoying and I hope the game stays as little like Zelda as the first one was.

fend_oblivion
fend_oblivion

Darksiders 2 is a huge leap from the first game. The game looks faster and fluid and that art styIe is just fantastic! Can't wait to get this game :D

Frost259
Frost259

Zelda fan or not Darksiders was a surprise hit for me, and Darksiders 2 looks just as good. And if they ever do go the way I feel they will after the ending in the first Darksiders the sky is the limit.

wowwow27
wowwow27

it would be nice to see more Zelda killers or at least Zelda wannabe's

mat989
mat989

Looks like Zelda? Just because the War has a horse and has treasure hunting? I shall end my comment here.

WR_Platinum
WR_Platinum

Its already an insult to put Darksiders next to a prestigeous franchise like The Legend of Zelda. Not a good article to publish.

TKandPBC
TKandPBC

I'm truly curious as to how Zelda appears to be dwindling in the face a franchise like Super Mario, despite having a premise that seems more suitable to the modern era.

fighterguard
fighterguard

@apolloooo I'm almost 30, and I've been playing Zelda for almost 20 years now, and it's still my favorite videogame saga. I loved Ocarina of Time 3D and Skyward Sword. I don't think I'll ever stop revering Zelda. Now, while it's true that Darksiders borrows some elements from Zelda games, I agree with @Crypt1978 in that it's more similar to Soul Reaver than to Zelda (and of course, both Soul Reavers are also similar to Zelda in their own way). At any rate, Zelda is Zelda, and it's always unique, but Darksiders is great and fun in its own merit.

urayanya
urayanya

His mask reminds me so much of the "Mighty Ducks".

apolloooo
apolloooo

not like zelda anymore? well videogames are ageless. i'm 18 and proud zelda player. darksiders really recreated zelda games with their own story and environment. the puzzle and battle is similiar yet different, that's why i love this series.

Crypt1978
Crypt1978

It feels more like Soul reaver than Zelda, but what ever. Not even sure why this article was written.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

Darksiders was far more focused upon defeating enemies than any Zelda game. For the most part, you can ignore the enemies in a Zelda game, with the only notable exceptions being that some drops keys and/or unlock doors upon their defeat. As a matter of fact, the only area in Darksiders that really felt like a Zelda dungeon was the Dark Throne, but that was only because you had a "reflecting mirror" puzzle theme running throughout the area. Darksiders doesn't need to be like Zelda. The subject material and story alone set it apart from Nintendo's franchise. Zelda happens to be the main reason I still invest in Nintendo consoles, but there's no denying that the series is largely unchanged from its NES origin; they simply add a different "theme" or gimmick in each installment (time travel, masks, sailing, etc). They still manage to keep me entertained, however. I always go into a Zelda game expecting to enjoy it, and I've never been disappointed (those awful Philips CD-i games excluded). June can't come soon enough. Surprising, there seem to be a few good games coming out in the summer (Darksiders II, Lollipop Chainsaw, The Last Story) which is nice given that the summer usually brings a drought of game releases.

ssorrekrab
ssorrekrab

Fight enemies, find keys, solve puzzles, fight boss, move to next area. Nearly every adventure game ever made is like this. People have been making them for years and we have been loving them for years. Loved DS1 and want to see how Death fits into the picture. Nuff said

slonekb05
slonekb05

dont see how darksider's was like zelda at all.. . Think the only reason this was even said was to maybe get some more ppl to look at game.

AceCometh
AceCometh

 @DexterDarkly

 It never mentions that it's an attempt to replace or carry on the Zelda tradition. We still have more Zelda games on the way to do that just fine. It's just a darkly themed action/adventure game borrowing elements from a legendary series for those of us that don't have a Nintendo system. Imitation is, after all, the highest form of flattery.

AceCometh
AceCometh

 @nintendoboy16

 If you've played it or it's predecessor, you'd know that this isn't a Zelda clone. It has simply borrowed some of the better game mechanics from the legendary series we all know and love.