Darksiders Hands-On PreviewBy Brian Leahy - Posted Dec 11, 2009
Yesterday, I was invited to go get some hands-on time with Darksiders, the upcoming action/adventure from Vigil Games and THQ. After a few hours of play, I’m looking forward to jumping back into the game when it’s released early next year. War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the game’s playable lead, makes an interesting protagonist. In Darksiders, the age of mankind has come to an end with the game literally opening on the Apocalypse. War has been framed for setting the End of Days in motion and must travel the ruined Earth to find the true Destroyer.
The easiest way I can summarize Darksiders is that this a Zelda-like game that has grown up with you. If you have maybe found the recent Zelda games like Wind Waker and Twilight Princess skewing a little young, you should be paying attention to Darksiders. The game features the same gradual item-unlocking and dungeon running that are the hallmarks of the Zelda series, along with combat in the vein of God of War or Devil May Cry.
What surprised me the most was how fulfilling and responsive the combat is, even at the early levels. As War, you wield Chaoseater, a giant sword that grows stronger throughout the game through purchased upgrades and gear that can be attached to the ancient blade. War’s attacks will swing in wide arcs, hitting enemies all around him and chaining combos together. Of special note is the game’s targeting system, which allows the player to change targets on the fly even during attacks.
Even in my short hands-on time, the game is paced incredibly well. You always have your next objective lined up your next destination is clearly marked on your map. That isn’t to say that this is a linear game. The path to your destination will require additional items or battles to progress, but it all moves along at a great pace.
Darksiders releases on January 5, 2010, and is a game to watch for fans of Zelda or Metroid that are looking for a new, mature adventure.