REVIEW – If I had to describe the current-gen re-release of Darksiders II (which, for some reason, was also made for the PC too a la Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition), then it would be something like „This is much more of a problem than the original version was.” Sadly…
Now let’s not even get into the obvious pun used to differentiate the PS4 release from the PS3 one, so let’s quickly get into the game itself. Initially, Darksiders II was launched roughly around three years ago on the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 and the PC (and there was also a Wii U port), and this title was the final nail in THQ’s coffin. The publisher, as well as the developer Sigil Games, has both disappeared in 2013. This game was focusing only on the second of the four Horsemen of Apocalypse, so there’s still room for sequels in the future.
Death 2… or more like 1.5
Death is back again and thankfully, it’s still quite easy to control him and his attacks – Gunfire Games did not mess this up. Running on walls, climbing, the attacks are still fine to pull off, and if you are capable of enjoying some of the older Nintendo titles, you might sense some of the inspiration from The Legend of Zelda somewhere.
There isn’t that much of focus on the RPG genre though. Still, at a few points in the game, you might encounter some problems, because there will be a small amount of time (I did not have a stopwatch nearby, but I think a few tenths definitely) of input lag, causing some issues. Hm…
And still, I do not consider this version of the game definitive at all. Because of this, I have to point out that my score at the end of the review ISN’T for the game itself, but instead, this is for the current-gen port. The base game is still a fine piece, but the Deathinitive Edition falls behind expectations. While it has the 1080p resolution, the visuals – one of the aspects, where a re-release can improve a lot – can still remind you of a PS3 title. Did the framerate improve then? Nope, the game still runs on thirty frames per second. Good job! Others have also pulled this off (Dishonored, anyone?) – please, don’t be so lazy with these ports!
This game won’t have DLCs – patches, yes, at least the shoddy PC version got one already… -, so I have to ask whether it’s a good thing to put the DLC weapons and items into the loot or not. It might be confusing at first sight, and you have to know that you won’t get them extra weapons right from the start.
You will have to play and eventually find them and maybe use them later on. The game itself really mixes the hack ‘n’ slash, action, platformer, puzzle and RPG elements: the combat system is basic (perhaps a bit too basic?), but enjoyable. It’s also having a great ambience to it, thanks to the still nicely done music, which can make the march of Death (who can still ride his trusty horse) epic to a point. You need some decent background music for a game like this, and Darksiders 2 still delivers on this front.
20 hours of gaming
Although you can complete the game in around 19-20 hours, Death’s adventures can still give you some memorable moments. Replayability can be present, if you go for the other segments on your skilltree, and there are also several sidemissions to spend a few extra hours with Death. Leveling up, making our hero (?) a killing machine can be a pleasure, especially if you can find the secret bosses, racking up even more experience points!
Only if you’ve missed out on it so far
I haven’t been really positive towards the Deathinitive Edition, and because of that, I really can’t recommend this re-release to you. Technically it would be mostly fine, but I don’t understand how it’s only thirty frames per second. Don’t even get me started on the inbox, because that menu can pretty much slow the game down to the mere 10s or even less in terms of frames! What the hell?
So I can only recommend this version to you, if you have skipped out on Darksiders 2 altogether – if you have a dual core PC with a 5-6 year old GPU at home, hell, go for the PC version. With this, we can have less sales and maybe, just maybe publishers will stop with this trend. Work on the third game instead, although there are rumours about that happening. This series needs to continue.
(The rating went for slightly different aspects: the ambience got replaced by the technical design, because I believe a port should be reviewed slightly differently.)
+ Still quite enjoyable
+ Ambience is spot on
+ Maybe this is a build-up to the third game
– Technically outdated, still runs on 30 frames
– If you own it on PS3, no point of getting it again
– Some input delay at a few points
Publisher: Gunfire Games
Developer: Nordic Games
Genre: Action, hack ‘n’ slash, puzzle, RPG
Relase date: 2015.10.27.