Darksiders II PC Review

The Good: Gorgeous art style, smooth and fluid combat, fun platforming,
clever level and puzzle design, lots of abilities and moves to unlock,
tons of loot to find, plenty of collectibles, lengthy adventure, fun
boss fights

The Bad: Disappointing end boss, camera issues,
repeated enemies, repetitive level layout, extremely difficult after
first level, no PC specific graphics options

THQ and Vigil return
with a new protagonist and tons of improvements over the first game.
This time you play as Death, War’s brother, who is trying to redeem War
from the Charred Council’s wrath for destroying humanity. On your
adventure you meet new and old faces, as well as a ton of puzzles,
bosses, and combat, as well as new abilities.

The first thing I
have to mention is that this game isn’t nearly as confusing to play as
the first game. I was always lost and had no idea what to do. Even
finding hidden chests was a pain. This time around there are lots of
collectibles and chests, as well as some free roaming, but in a more
organized fashion. You wind up traveling through three different realms
that each have their own secrets. The Forge Land is where you start, and
you can buy armor and weapons, so Vulgrim plays a small part this time
around. By finding Book of the Dead pages and Boatman coins you can
trade them in for special keys as well as random boxes with a piece of
armor or weapon with Vulgrim. There are lots of different items to
collect and find, so loot is abundant here.

My favorite part
about the game is the platforming. It’s just so fun and fluid as well as
fast paced. The level design is ingenious here, because it seems
labyrinthine at first, but I rarely had to go to a walkthrough to figure
out where to go or what to do. Death even gets to acquire some
abilities that are just for puzzle solving like the Soulsplitter which
allows him to split into two and the Voidwalker, which makes a return
from the last game. I found the puzzles to be really fun, and they were
just challenging enough to where you only had to think for a bit then it
all clicked. The satisfaction reminded me of how I felt when solving
puzzles in Portal.

Secondly, the combat is a lot better than the
last game. Death feels fast, fluid, and has a lot more moves at his
disposal than War did. You can buy over 20 new moves throughout the
game, as well as upgrading your skills. You will need to play the game
twice to be able to upgrade all the skills, but what I did unlock were
fun. Eventually certain moves leached health from enemies, gave me more
Wrath (needed to do these moves), and stunned enemies. You can turn into
Reaper from for a while which does a lot of damage and you take very
little damage. Overall, the combat was just fine, but the camera had
issues. Every so often when I was in a tight corner the camera didn’t
know what to do. It didn’t happen often, but when it does you can’t
really see what’s going on and will take hits. After the Forge Lands the
game gets extremely difficult. I died multiple times during certain
fights because they were so hard. You also get less health potions later
on which can lead to frustrating deaths.

The boss fights are
some of the best things the game has to offer. There are plenty of them
and they are fun, but challenging. You have to be quick and dodge and
learn the enemies moves. There isn’t a block button here so the game can
get really tough. I did find the final boss disappointing because I
beat him in one try in just a few short minutes. Besides these issues,
the combat is fun, solid, and well done.

I did find the game a
bit repetitive after a while. It was the same thing over again just in
different orders. Fight these enemies, solve this puzzle, do this
platforming bit. Most action adventure games are like that, but
Darksiders II doesn’t offer much variety. Even the enemies repeat
constantly to the point to where you just get sick of killing them. The
only time I felt excited about combat after the mid-way point were the
boss fights. Thankfully the game is just overall fun, so even when you
feel the game is getting old you will want to press on.

The game
looks pretty good with a gorgeous art style. The textures can look a bit
ugly up close, and I was disappointed that Vigil didn’t include any PC
specific features. In fact, the graphics options only allow you to
change the resolution and V-Sync doesn’t even work. The keyboard and
mouse controls are clunky, so stick with the Games for Windows
controller if you have it. There are plenty of collectibles in the world
so people who are dedicated to that will stay busy. This is one long
game ranging at about 15-20 hours if you just go through the story and
most side quests. If you complete it 100% you are looking at close to 40
hours of gameplay here. I just couldn’t find the motivation to collect
everything like in games such as the new Batman games and Assassin’s
Creed. After I got towards the end of the game I just wanted to finish
it and be done.

Overall, Darksiders II is a solid action
adventure game with some minor issues. There are no PC specific graphics
options, there are camera issues during combat, and the final boss
fight is a disappointment. Enemies repeat often, and the same puzzle,
platform, combat formula follows throughout with not much variety, but
the game is fun. There are a lot of the collectibles and a few side
quests, and the boss fights are a blast. If you loved the first game you
will love this even more.

Verdict: 80/100



Third-Person 3D Action
Release Date

August 14, 2012

Vigil Games

THQ, Inc.

Keyboard, Mouse

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