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So... is "Darksider" a code word for "will make you love a game, then tear your heart out when it doesn't work?" By The Maker, Darksiders II is beautiful on the Wii U! The last time I saw the game was for a preview build earlier this year, and the game had had much more of a World of Warcraft look to it, lacking the desaturated tones and cool hues that now dominate it. Everything feels painted, like an illuminated storybook; it augments and enhances everything about the game, from the worldbuilding and character design to the icons on the weapon and wrath UI. Owing to my recent playthrough of Ninja Gaiden 3 on the Wii U, I curiously set the difficulty on Darksiders II to the high setting, Apocalyptic, to find it it had a nice challenge but nothing too drastic. The gameplay is a mix of quick attacks and dashes away from telegraphed enemy strikes and puzzle-solving sections that never feel too hard or too easy. The game, when it works, is actually amazingly well-balanced and really fun. The story, if you're not familiar, is a comic-book take on the apocalypse that has you following the horseman Death on a quest to redeem his brother, War, the protagonist of the first game set during the same timeframe.
Darksiders II gives you Death.Darksiders II is four times bigger than its 8/10 scoring predecessor. The overworld is split into a quartet of main zones, each built around a town-based hub. Branching off from these hubs are dungeons - it's still very similar to the established template used in Zelda games. "All the dungeons in the first zone of Darksiders II" explains Vigil Games' Studio Marketing Manager Jay Fitzloff, "are already larger than Darksiders 1." In just one zone, there's more game content - more combat, puzzles and exploration - than the whole of the first game combined. Darksiders II is different to many sequels in that it doesn't follow on from the original; no, Darksiders II happens in parallel to it. Suspecting foul play that War, one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, has banished to Earth at the start of the original Darksiders, his brother (and new protagonist) Death decides to go off and sniff out the truth in the sequel. Making his way to the Nether Realms, a strange void somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Death decides to call in a few favours from the powerful beings that rule the land. In the 30 minute demo I saw, Death is off on a journey to find the Lord of Bones, who, he hopes, can help prove War's innocence.
|Darksiders II||$39.22||See it|
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|Darksiders II: Limited Edition||$59.95||See it|
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