Darksiders II – Deathinitive Edition review (PS4)

Darksiders is one of those franchises that went into limbo when THQ went belly-up a few years ago. The franchise has now been bought by Nordic games, but they haven’t announced any new games in the series yet. The original development studio (Vigil Games) no longer exists, and its employees have scattered across the gaming industry. Funnily enough, we actually just interviewed Darksiders’ art director John Mueller about his new game Skyshine’s Bedlam.

We bring this up for a reason, and that’s that it is shame that we haven’t seen more of this series in recent years. The original two games were well received and also showed lots of potential, making the series feel unfinished (each game featured a horseman of the apocalypse as its main protagonist, so we’re at least two games short). At least there’s the Deathinitive Edition for PS4 and Xbox One now.

darksiders

The Deathinitive Edition features Darksiders II as well as its DLC content, but doesn’t feature the first Darksiders game. This is too bad, because after the recent success of compilations like the Uncharted series, the potential for PS4 remasters is clear – especially when there is value on offer. At least with Darksiders II, you still get an excellent game – the combat, platforming and puzzling are all still there and unchanged, giving you a well-designed action adventure with a dark and unique setting. As a consolation for missing out on the first game, it’s priced at just under 30 euros/dollars – half of what the Uncharted collection goes for.

For those who never played the original games (through to the end), it’s also worth pointing out that the game offers a fairly lengthy campaign mode and a nice sense of diversity throughout. Darksiders II has a different protagonist than the first game did – which already changes things up a bit – but also has you developing your character over the course of your quest. As special attacks unlock (or get upgraded), you gain new abilities to solve puzzles with as well. In between the plentiful combat, these sequences are a nice change of pace and don’t repeat themselves too much because of the aforementioned changes.

darksiders

So what’s “Deathinitive” about this edition? Aside from the inclusion of DLC (which you’ll have to unlock in-game first), you also get a graphical upgrade – though it’s relatively minor compared to some of the remasters we’ve seen recently. Though a decent-looking game on the PS3, Darksiders never quite pushed the envelope like The Last of Us or the most recent Uncharted games did – and a reason this looks more like a last-gen game than those remasters did.

Still, if you never had the chance to play the original game then this is well worth grabbing. It’s a shame that you’ll have to access the first game elsewhere though, since the game is best enjoyed as part of the anthology it will hopefully one day become.

Score: 7.6/10

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