Darksiders was initially released seven years ago, back in January of 2010. It wasn’t until a year after the release of the Darksiders 2: Deathfinitive Edition that the original Darksiders game saw its remaster for the new generation of consoles with Darksiders: Warmastered Edition. This release gave fans of the series a chance to revisit the Darksiders franchise with its shiny, new and improved graphics and controls.
Game Name: Darksiders: Warmastered Edition
Platform: PS4 (also available on PC, Xbox One, Wii U)
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Vigil Games
Release Date: November 22, 2016
In Darksiders: Warmastered Edition, you will play the game as War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, who has been summoned to Earth during a conflict between the armies of Heaven and Hell. However there was a very big issue. The remaining three horsemen, for some reason, were not summoned alongside him. This meant that the Seven Seals, something made to be broken only when the apocalypse is near, was not broken. Because of this tragic event, War has been accused of bringing about the apocalypse earlier than it should and must clear his name to discover the truth.
Throughout this journey you take with War in seeking the truth, you will indeed find the answer to this mystery as well as the answer to other questions that arise. Which brings me onto the story of this game. The fun part is that you believe you are on one mission when in fact you are on many, which leads you into a story filled with many characters and problems to face. War’s initial end-goal becomes a mere piece of the puzzle having to be solved, which adds more depth to this redemption story as a whole. This game features a variety of different characters that are both helpful and just plain evil! Nonetheless, cutscenes throughout the game and before and after epic battles help you to piece together everything that is happening.
One very important character in this game is Vulgrim. This demon merchant is extremely helpful when you need to fast travel to different areas located on the map, obtain new items for health, and provide War with improved combos to use with his weapons. In order to barter with him, you will just have to exchange the souls you have collected from chests, items, and enemies throughout the game. They often add up very quickly when killing off waves of that you approach in each level.
Darksiders falls into the action role-playing and hack and slash video game genres. You will face waves upon waves of enemies that you are forced to face in attempts to move on to the next stage in the game. Every stage features a variety of enemies that all vary in strength. Some are weak and require very little effort to defeat. For example, they can be stabbed, squashed, or even torn apart using the action button which appears as soon as you approach them. Now, when it comes to stronger enemies, this is where your combos come into the picture.
What I enjoyed most in this game was the intense button mashing. As War, the goal is to single handedly defeat not one, not two, but often five or more enemies at once! So knowing the best combos to use while in the air or on the ground while surrounded by these monsters is essential to getting past them. The good thing is that you won’t have to figure all of that out on your own. Through passing and completing certain stages, new weapons will be acquired, and during the first three chapters of this game there are portals that War must enter in order to train. This training gives players the chance to test their timing, skills, and weapons with challenging, yet achievable objectives.
I will admit, there were several times where I had to restart at my last waypoint because I ended up being defeated by enemies or the big boss. I would often think to myself, “If I’m having this much trouble getting through on easy mode, what in the world does the apocalyptic mode play like?!”. That said, no matter which difficulty you chose, be prepared for a challenge! Regardless, trying a different approach after each failed attempt to finally defeat the massive bosses is extremely fun and rewarding once accomplished.
Speaking of accomplishing boss fights, that final move you get to do once they have weakened is epic to say the least! War will spend the entire battle slowly getting that enemy to their weakest point and then… WAM! He slices off a limb with his sword or crushes them with their own weapon in the goriest, most gruesome way possible resulting in massive amounts blood gushing from the now deceased monster. Yes, it really goes there, meaning the ESRB rating of “M” for mature audiences is quite fitting. Though I have not played the original Darksiders game, the graphics in the updated Warmastered Edition were great when War released his final blow!
While playing this game, I found that the controls used to direct War were easy, and comfortable. I played Darksiders: Warmastered Edition on the PlayStation 4, and the use of the touchpad to bring up the map was something that I found very natural when trying to find an exit or entrance in a stage. Using the directional pad in order to change weapons in the middle of a fight was seamless and made it easy for me to switch between a number of weapons and tools to take down my enemies.
I must mention that the music in Darksiders really sets the tone for the entire game and adding headphones to the experience will really immerse you into the battles. When those dark orchestral sounds begin you know it’s about to go down! The Darksiders: Warmastered Edition soundtrack is beautiful when paired with the puzzling gameplay and intense boss fights. It simply sounds great without having to purposefully listening out for it.
Overall, the challenging puzzles, waves of enemies, and boss fights all came together wonderfully and I enjoyed every minute of it. Though sometimes I felt like giving up in certain areas, taking a break often helped me to get passed difficult stages. I really came to appreciate the level design in the game throughout all of Darksiders: Warmastered Edition, where backtracking is key to passing almost every stage. For the completionists out there, the chance to locate more artifacts and chests from previous levels by using the special items you have acquired throughout game, is in itself a great reason to play the game over. Personally, knowing that there is a remastered sequel out there makes me excited to move on to the the next story and later anticipate the third installment which is set to release next year in 2018.
*A copy of Darksiders: Warmastered Edition was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
Darksiders: Warmastered Edition gives fans of the franchise a beautifully remastered version of the already great game. War gradually becomes more powerful through attained skills and weapons, making the games progression very solid. With the wide range of enemies and tough boss battles this game is quite challenging regardless of difficulty chosen. Fans of the hack and slash genre will definitely enjoy this game alongside its heavy storyline and should look forward to the next Darksiders project.