The Influences of Darksiders II

Learn about the movies, TV shows, and music the influenced Vigil's upcoming sequel.


With Darksiders II's impending release on August 14, we thought it would be fun to see what's been on the minds of the development team as work has progressed on Death's debut. Team members Ryan Stefanelli (principal designer), Haydn Dalton (lead designer), Matt Guzenda (executive producer), Marvin Donald (director), Tim Donley (development director), David Adams (general manager) and Tony Bennett (senior programmer) all contributed to this article.

The Movies

No Caption Provided Raiders of the Lost Ark
At first glance, many people read Darksiders as a game of action and intensity. In truth, the core of the game is adventure, and no one does that better than Indiana Jones.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
One of many Westerns we often cite here at Vigil. Death isn’t unlike many Eastwood heroes: calm, cool, and deadly with a hint of brooding. I think many of us would secretly (or not-so-secretly) love to work on a Western game.

The Dark Knight Trilogy
There are a lot of textural and thematic inspirations to be taken from Nolan’s Batman series. Dark and intense, much like Darksiders.

Come on, have you seen Samael from Darksiders?!

Because we never save anything for the swim back.

The Books

No Caption Provided Song of Ice and Fire
What fantasy adventure game isn’t influenced by this right now? While there might not be direct inspirations from Martin’s epic, it’s a series nearly everyone on the team has been reading lately, so it has undoubtedly shaped some of our thought processes. And it’s just awesome.

The Night Angel Trilogy
Another commonly read series by some of the leads here. The relationship between Azoth and Durzo Blint is one of the most compelling in recent fantasy novels.

The Road
Hopeless and oppressive, but an enthralling depiction of post-apocalyptic hell.

Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian
Hilariously epic depictions of heroism and possibly the most flatly entertaining fantasy you can read, despite the era in which it was written. Robert Jordan’s excellent Conan books are also a well-kept secret.

The Stand
A gripping depiction of how an apocalyptic scenario might play out.

The Music

No Caption Provided Basil Poledouris
His sweeping arrangements could easily be set behind any Darksiders game. Whenever someone fires the Conan soundtrack up, we feel the sudden urge to see our enemies crushed and driven before us, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

Ennio Morricone
We love Westerns here. They personify adventure, survival, heroism, and grit. Morricone is the de facto musical representation of those same things.

Johnny Cash
If our General Manager David Adams isn’t singing it at his desk, someone should probably check his pulse. “The Man Comes Around” could be Death’s theme song.

It’s not a typical Vigil Friday night if you don’t hear "The Final Countdown" being blasted at someone’s desk.

Jesper Kyd
There’s a reason we sought this guy out for Darksiders II!

The Television Shows

No Caption Provided JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
When it comes to ridiculous combat and over-the-top character portrayals, it’s hard to look past JoJo’s.

Some of the most radically insane and straight-up ridiculous combat ever put to motion.

Young Justice
You’ll notice a theme among TV shows--cartoons filled with kick-assery. Here’s another.

Family Guy
Nothing in this office is quoted more than Family Guy. Also, the fight between Peter and the chicken was the entire basis for our combat system in Darksiders II.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are no comments about this story