Hello all! Last week, I replayed a visual novel that is a big influence on my own (hopefully upcoming) game!
This week, I checked out a game I found derivative, but okay, back in the day. I've been playing it again, and...well, it's still derivative and okay.
Darksiders, sadly, isn't a Star Wars title. Published by the now-defunct THQ and developed by the also-now-defunct Vigil Games, Darksiders cast players as War, the first Horseman of the Apocalypse. Said Apocalypse has been triggered earlier than originally planned, and War is blamed for it. So naturally, as War, you need to set things right and find out who framed you. Basically. The plot is a lot of fun; it's pretty standard dark fantasy stuff, but if you're a fan of the genre, like me, you won't have anything to complain about.
The game plays like a standard action-adventure game. War has a healthy set of moves available at the start, and you end up with a decent variety of weapons and techniques by the end of the game. You can get War's horse, Ruin, though his overall use is bafflingly limited. I mean...you're a Horseman. Still kinda fun riding around, though. And there's some pretty good Zelda-style boss fights abound.
Also, things like this happen. That's War on top of the...thing.
That last sentenceis where the key word is. Zelda-style. Now, ultimately, you'll probably walk away from this article thinking I strongly disliked Darksiders. Not true; I just think it's okay! But. Even the most die-hard fans have to agree the game is mostly Frankenstein-ed together from various other, more successful games. Particularly The Legend of Zelda; just watch this boss fight, complete with Hookshot:
Although, the combat is much more Devil May Cry or God of War influenced. (And there, I've repeated the title of this article) Still, you generally find these items in treasure chests a'la Zelda. Even the map, which made me shout the Zelda item music when I found it. (DA DA DA DAAAAAAAAAA!) There's the aforementioned Hookshot, and a Boomerang, although they're of course named differently (Abyssal Chain and Crossblade, respectively). There's War's Chaos Form, i.e. Devil Trigger, where he transforms into a more powerful form.
I mean...again, it sounds like I'm complaining. And I am a bit, in that Darksiders can be fun, but it's something I've done already time and again. I love The Legend of Zelda; anyone who knows me knows it's my favorite game franchise of all time. So Darksiders is a king of baffling game for me; it's 70% Zelda, 20% Devil May Cry, and 10% God of War all rolled into one product. It's fun, but it doesn't really expand on any of the concepts or ideas any of those franchises originated.
But I'll be damned if this isn't awesome. AMERICAAAAAA!
So is it possible for a game cobbled together from other games to be fun? In this case...kind of. I still finished Darksiders the first time I played it, and that's saying something, considering the overcrowded game market combined with the increasing responsibilities of being some kind of adult. The game was certainly engaging, it was fun in spots despite the incredibly lame controls (to throw a car at someone on Xbox 360: B to pick up the car-click RS to aim-RT to throw. What.), but it's not at all original or innovative.
Even the art, really, which I enjoyed, despite veering very closely into 90's Rob Liefeld Image Comics territory. (It's decidedly better, however.) There's some cool designs, but it feels like we've seen it all before. It's all subjective; it depends on how you feel about this particular art style and setting. Fans of the design will have little to complain about, but, on the other hand, the game doesn't go out of it's way to entice those who don't like this style.
Mark Hamill is in the game, though, doing his Joker voice. That is a big plus.
Should you replay Darksiders (or play it for the first time)? I really can't say. It's shamelessly derivative, but I generally enjoyed my time with it. It's further proof of the point I always make: some games are just completely, fully, wholly "okay." And that's fine. There's fun to be had, but there's little here that's new. Still, it's gotta be cheap these days, so maybe pick it up! It's certainly one of the most subjective games I've played; some love it, others don't, still others think it's just okay. It's just not very original.
So, yeah. Mixed feelings this week.
Thanks for reading! As always, leave comments, suggest future games to be featured as Game of the Week, and find me on Twitter! Also, catch up with my other article series here, and consider subscribing to my Patreon if you like my stuff!
Next week-there's this other, little known dark fantasy title for PS3 I just spotted on my shelf. It's an action RPG with a gotta-catch-'em-all hook. One million points to anyone who guesses it!