Darksiders 2 is so close now that you can almost feel the spectre of Death looming over your shoulder, but THQ proved that there are still some surprises in store with the reveal of two previously unmentioned features for the sequel. First up is a New Game+ mode, "which will allow players to carry over their Death for a new game retaining all of their skills and equipment," according to a post on the game's official forums.
Then there's The Crucible, an arena-based survival mode with a neat twist. A subsequent forum post reveals that the mode opens up after players complete the game's starting area, The Forge Lands, though only one quarter of the arena's 100 waves will be available initially. You'll unlock additional chunks of 25 by finding three Tarot Cards that are hidden around the world in later parts of the game. Then there's that twist I mentioned.
For every five levels you complete in The Crucible, you'll be offered an award. You then have the option of quitting and taking that reward or continuing on for a better one. Die before you reach the next award level, and you lose out on anything you might have earned.
The Crucible offers special rewards that you won't otherwise be able to find in the main game, such as Legendary items like "Death's ultimate armor." There are unlocks for getting through certain stages, for completing all 100 levels, and for wiping out every level in a single sitting (a reward which also includes XBL/PSN-specific out-of-game content).
Darksiders 2 was already shaping up to be a huge game, but the one-two punch of New Game+ and The Crucible promise to add a lot of replay value to the experience, especially with mission-based DLC planned for after the game's release.