Apocalyptic Themed Story Steals Thunder from Other Better Games
This game bridges the gap that was left by God of War and Devil May Cry, but what those games possess it lacks: a great story. The story starts out slowly, with the player taking control of War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. He strides into battle, fighting a massive boss that takes up an entire city block. War is defeated and imprisoned for one hundred years. In those hundred years, the world goes to ruin and War is charged with insubordination. He is able to try to redeem himself and the Council send him back to Earth to correct his previous mistakes. What follows is a rather long and turned around plot and game that surprised me, but also bored me at times.
There is a lot of good to be said about this game, but I'll start on the things that slowed me down. The script and story were weak, to say the least. The gravity of the story line seemed immense, but listening to the voice acting made it seem laughable. While God of War has superb voice acting, the lack of it in this game made it all the more noticeable. The stories of both games share a lot of similarities, but where Darksiders falls short is the delivery of the story. The frame rate issue cropped up again and again; there were no lack of visual inconsistencies. This was made all the more obvious given the bold direction the graphics went in. When riding the horse Ruin, the issue seemed most notable, as well as wearing a mask that adjusted how War saw the world. Having a weak story is nothing new to any game, but it had promise when it began. There was a lot of looking for things and completing tasks, at points, it was tiresome and at its worst, utterly ridiculous.
Despite all those shortcomings, I found the overall game to be a lot of fun. Without any new entries in the God of War or Devil May Cry series, the ideas in this game were actually well executed. The story had holes in it, but more than made up for it with amazing weapons to use, each with its own unique use and once you acquire all of them, you can go back to all of the previous locations and find all new areas to explore. The AI wasn't the best, but the enemies all had a wide array of attacks that made each and every encounter a challenge. The upgrades on the items were fun, but at times, I felt like the only option was the main sword, whereas there should have been an easier way to rotate secondary items in other than pressing one single button. The story lagged at times, but by the time the ending came, things were tied up in a somewhat neat ending. There was a clear opening for a sequel, but given that the second Darksiders game is coming out in June, this should come as little surprise.
Overall, I have to give this game a decently high score, but still felt it could have been better in some areas. I hope those issues are looked at in the sequel, but if history is any indication, instead of fixing things, they'll just add more features. I think this is a safe bet for a game, but I did expect it to be better. I think if you get this game, you won't be disappointed, but be prepared for some frustrating controls and game play at times.