Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

Darksiders! Buy it! Kinda!

Posted by nfinit on February 20, 2010

Kids, do you like the videogames?

Do you like it when there’s one enormous armored guy who charges at you so you can dodge behind him and hit his exposed flank like a big glowing orange Hit Me button?  Do you like it when you can juggle guys up in the air for half a minute and land on their chest with your sword improbably lodged in their skull?  Do you like breaking random objects and earning experience points for doing so?  Do you like giant glowing treasure chests filled with orbs?  Do you like playing Zelda games but are afraid all the guys on your Modern Warfare clan will call you a pussy if you own a Wii?

Then brother, do I have a videogame for you!


Darksiders!  It’s what I’m playing, and maybe you should be playing it too (provided you can still find it for forty bucks because man this game’s got issues for a $60 game)!

It’s one of those vanishingly few videogames that’s unabashedly videgame-y in every aspect of it’s being.  There’s sword fighting, there’s overwrought dialog, there’s CGI full motion video like it’s 2002, there’s upgrades, there’s collecting heart skull pieces– it’s very much a giant walking videogame trope library, and god bless Vigil Games for making a videogame that makes no pretensions about being anything more than a videogame.

There’s no real story here;  no high-minded concepts like MW2’s infamous “No Russian” level.   There’s no attempt at, doing anything at all new, really.  It doesn’t even attempt to do as much in its own space as Bayonetta does within the realm of 3d brawlers– there’s no attempt at creating a pixel-precise combat mechanic.  It’s very button-mashy, and most of the combat involves throwing people in midair and wailing away on X until everyone involved touches the ground.  There’s just you, your sword, a zelda-like hub world and an absolute shitload of glowing orbs.

untitled-24.jpg picture by bigredcoat

Orbgy: The process of being overwhelmed with glowing orbs

As I touched on earlier though, it’s not perfect.  If you pay full MSRP for Darksiders, you’re probably going to feel a little cheatd.  Because it tries to do so many things at once, it can’t begin to do any one thing very well.  For the same amount of money you can buy something likAssassin’s Creed 2 and get a much deeper experience, if not nearly as broad an experience.  That said, for the price Gamestop was recently asking for it ($40 brand new last week, sadly $60 again this week, although used copies can be found for less than $35), it’s nearly a perfect gaming experience.

Of course, I’m saying this when I’ve only put in maybe four hours into the game, but I’ve already encountered the game directly stealing from paying homage to Devil May Cry, Shadow of the Colossus, Panzer Dragoon Saga and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.  And all this is wrapped around the fact that you’re basically playing Ocarina of Time in a Warhammer 40k skin.

Which is to say, I’m not sure how well this going to hold up.  Right now I can’t tell if Darksiders is a quality videogame, or if it’s like your junkie uncle who always manages to get himself cleaned up just enough to give a good interview and starts hitting the JD and meth while he’s coming down in the company parking lot.  What I’m saying is, Darksiders feels like it’s barely holding itself together at the best of times, and you’re constantly waiting for that one minor disaster be befall the game and everything starts to unravel.

No man, it's cool; the security guy knows me here

In other news I’m done with Mass Effect 2.   I’m roughly 1/4th of the way through my second play through and that’s probably the quickest I’ve ever been done with a Bioware game since the first hour of Baldur’s Gate. Mass Effect 2 is just plain fucking broken, and in retrospect I’m pretty sure the only reason I put up with it for as long as I did was because I felt some sort of insane loyalty toward the developers and their previous efforts.  If Mass Effect 2 were the first Mass Effect game the series would be as fondly remembered as Advent Rising.


3 Responses to “Darksiders! Buy it! Kinda!”

  1. Brian said

    How many orbs total would you say you collect overall in Darksiders. This is a deal breaker for me.

    I super-remember Advent Rising.


  2. nfinit said

    Darksiders crushes all competition in the magic floating orb space by providing respawining enemies– thus INFINITE ORBS.

  3. nanda said

    wait . . first , you were knockin this game , saying that its ”all about bayonetta ”
    here you saying it kicks ass . . and later you start bitching about it again ???

    For someone who uses alot of sentences criticizing people . ..
    shouldent you be more consistent ??

    Im just trowing it out there . . .

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