Darksiders lets you don the garbs of War, one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Caught in the war between angels and demons (humanity is all but extinct), War is set on a vengeful path to clear his name. Armed with his trusted giant sword Chaoseater, War is equally adept at wielding big scythe and enormous gun. Nothing will stand against War’s wrath and sooner than later, those who framed him will take a serious hacking and slashing.
Playability: Two fisted button mashing
Darksiders was developed for gaming consoles. It is playable with keyboard and mouse, but a controller will avoid fits of wrath where you’ll itch to slam your PC keys with both hands. WASD quickly followed by left Alt, pause, then reverse might yield surprising combination moves that will draw ooohs and aaaahs from onlookers. But the arthritis plagued old video gamer will find it hard to keep up. Fortunately, at easy level it is possible to complete the game with some patience and more straightforward scything.
Annoyance: Numbing hordes of foes and platforming puzzles
As the hundredth zombie blood sucking bat spawn explodes under War’s mighty claws, and as a thousand more line up on the crepuscule, Darksiders does get a little tiresome. There is a fair amount of repetitive grinding loot and opening chests to upgrade weapons and skills. Secret passages, hidden eggs and labyrinthine cityscapes will try out your patience as you await the next gorgeous cutscene of the main quest.
Beauty: Ugly and mean
Darksiders revels in epic proportions: everything is big, majestic and dramatic. The engrossing plot shirks pomposity to focus on the tale of the lone warrior out for revenge against overwhelming odds. Superb voice acting lends appropriate gusto to the unfolding of events. Enemies are real ugly and real mean. The graphics are polished but a few more good looking characters would have provided respite from a nasty bestiary of monsters that will make you want to throw up lunch.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Slashing hyperbolic epic 8/10
Darksiders is an intense action packed odyssey with a powerful plot and the usual accoutrements of personal revenge, honour, loot and monsters. It is emotionally tiring and physically demanding of a gamer’s fingers. Skirmishes turn into countless waves of ugly minions supervised by gigantic overlords. In addition to brawling prowess, deft platforming and dogged patience with riddles will be required to fully explore the world of Darksiders. Darksiders is a hyperbolic production that packs a heavy punch but doesn’t lack finesse either. Too bad it won’t let you sit back to enjoy popcorn.