Monday, August 22, 2011

Blindsided by Darksiders

I've just finished Darksiders. I don't think I've ever been as pleasantly surprised by a game as I was playing this. I bought because I'd heard positive reviews and from screencaps I found the style interesting. But I never thought it would be a game of such diversity and depth as it turned out to be. When I started I thought it'd be an ordinary console hack-n'-slasher. But at almost every turn there's a refreshing twist: another puzzle element, another type of weapon or spell, an interesting character. It was really a joy throughout. The checkpoint system is probably the most agitating part of it. Checkpoints are always annoying. But for the most part they're not too badly located and cinematics are thankfully skippable, so that you're never forced to watch the same 5-minute cutscene every time a boss kills you.

I played the whole thing with a xbox360 pad. It was fluid and hardly any trouble at all. I still think how much better the gameplay would be if the entire game had been designed around a control scheme of mouse and keyboard. There could be more precision based puzzles that didn't have to rely on the lock-on mechanism. But of course the game is designed primarily for consoles, so it really wouldn't work out that way. Regardless of that, the game is a real joy. I even enjoyed the story because I'm a sucker for all these apocalypse narratives. Especially biblical ones. The game does seem to have a ball with the book of Revelations and its colorful imagery but the story itself is fun and suspenseful, about a conspiracy, betrayal, vengeance; it's classic stuff.

I am very happy that I got and played it and now I can't wait for Darksiders 2, which hopefully is as good as its predecessor.