I’ve always been enthralled by mythology. I’m into Roman, Greek and Norse to name a few. Given that I’ve always been drawn to the Darksiders game franchise but never got a chance to play any of them. To add insult to injury I’m a big comic book fan of both Marvel, DC, and Independents. I’ve always loved Joe Madureira’s art. Joe is a comic book writer/artist and game developer. Joe is best known for his work on Marvel Comics’ Uncanny X-Men and his own comic book, gone game, in Battle Chasers. Also, Joe does the artwork for the Darksiders franchise. So why haven’t I tried these games sooner? Welcome to our Nintendo Switch review of THQ Nordic‘s Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition!
All In The Family
Darksiders II is obviously the second entry in the Darksiders game series. A third has already been released and an ARPG version (Darksiders Genesis) currently in development. The Darksiders series revolves around the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first Darksiders featured War as a playable character who pissed off some powerful “people”. In this sequel, you’ll find yourself taking on the mantle of Death who’s trying to redeem his brother, War, the horseman blamed for prematurely starting the Apocalypse in Darksiders I.
Darksiders II is through and through an action platformer RPG. Death is an agile and nimble character who is able to scale walls, jump from one wall to another, hang on poles, and all sorts of other acrobatic stuff. A lot of the action is based around environment puzzles, meaning how to get from one area to another. Thankfully controls and animations are responsive, the trick is figuring out where the next hotspot is that Death can grab or scale onto.
Death has a lot of flexibility in what kind of weapons he can use. You can equip faster dual wield type of weapons and use those with the Y button. And slower two-handed weapons can be used with the X button. Each type of weapon also has its own combos for devastating attacks. Each has some cool animations and combos. There is a lock on enemy button as well along with a dodge button for timely evasion. Combat feels crisp whether with the joy-cons or a separate controller. In battles, you’ll use the joysticks to pivot the camera around and to get the best kiting position.
A True RPG
At it’s core Darksiders II is a full-fledged RPG. You’ll level up and be able to assign skill points as well as buy/learn new moves. New skills can be used directly from a radial menu or be assigned to hotkeys, mostly L + A, L + B, etc.
There are plenty of loot drops, buffs, an occasional chest and changing armor actually affects your look. Boss battles are epic and a lot of them are encased in some nice cutscenes with professional voice-overs. Several weapons can be dual-wielded and there’s access to upgradable armor that is attainable. You’ll also be granted a mount, Despair, right away that’s a cool looking nightmarish horse.
As far as traditional questing, the game is less about traditional RPG quests and more about real-time objectives.
Challenging But Not Frustrating
I’d always heard the difficulty level of Darksiders compared to Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Never having played those games yet I can’t say if that’s true. I did find Darksiders II challenging as an action RPG but not to the point of being frustrated. A lot of the challenge for me was determining which environmental path to take and how. Especially with a camera that won’t always swing the way I’d like it to. Of course, boss battles are challenging as there are a lot of button combos that could help you end a battle sooner. In that regard, the game seemed to be somewhat forgiving. But of course, I was playing on Normal difficulty mode. Given the nature of the Nintendo Switch achievements are sadly missed.
There’s also the gut reaction to do some exploring. Why these aren’t overwhelming abundant there are some things like coins and such that can be found by going off the beaten path.
Diving into this game has certainly stoked my desire to jump into the first Darksiders and get War’s point of view. After that, it’s a question of when Darksiders III will hit the Nintendo Switch!
Nintendo Switch Specific:
- Handheld: Dynamic – Max: 1280×720, Min: 832×468 – 30 FPS,
- Docked: Dynamic – Max: 1600×900, Min: 832×468 – 30 FPS
Note: Our review of this Nintendo Switch game was done using a download code from PR.