The bigger they are, the harder they fall...

Darksiders II (PC) Review

Platforms: PC (Reviewed), PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Platformer, RPG
Publisher(s): THQ
Developer: Vigil Games
Rating: Mature
Our Score
8.5
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
User Score:
1 vote
5.0

Darksiders II (PC) Review

There are times when I feel that Darksiders II is a more enjoyable Diablo-style game than Diablo III…

The original Darksiders was a surprisingly awesome game. I liken it to one of those moments where you go out and try a new restaurant on a whim, expecting to have the standard fare in a different atmosphere, but the experience is so amazing that it immediately becomes your go-to joint. Darksiders is the kind of game you can pride yourself if you happened to have played it before everybody else, or if you’re late to the party, you’ll amazed that it took you so long to discover its greatness.

Darksiders II is, frankly, the perfect example of a sequel. It’s faithful to the original, but is progressive enough and expands and improves upon just about every aspect.

The original game found inspiration in games like The Legend of Zelda and God of War. Darksiders II expands up on the original by including larger, open-world environments. When enemies are defeated, they will sometimes drop loot, like weapons and armor, an addicting element found in popular games like Diablo, Borderlands, and Torchlight. New items not only makes your character look more bad-ass, but it makes him more powerful and harder to kill.

Gap too wide? Wallrun to the rescue!

In Darksiders II you’ll again be playing as a Horsemen of the Apocalypse, this time it’s Death. I think Death is more of a cooler protagnoist than Darksiders’ first Horseman: War. How can you not love a massive, beast-man who is wearing a skull mask and wielding a wicked-looking scythe? Plus: it’s Death! C’mon!

As you’re pounding away and slashing at enemies, numbers will fly off the screen indicating the damage you’re doing. Even though the game often dips its foot into the role-playing genre and offers new aspects like items to equip via loot-drops, Darksiders II is still very much action-oriented, combo attack-driven game.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall...

It’s been awhile since I played a PC game, and it’s been an even longer time since I played a console-style game on a PC. Over the summer, I assembled a decent gaming rig, a 64-bit Windows 7 system with 8GB of RAM, and volunteered to review the PC version of Darksiders II.

I was a little skeptical about how enjoyable it’d be using a mouse and keyboard, but after the opening tutorial I found the PC setup to be acceptable and easy to adapt to. Comfort-wise, I still would rather sit on my couch and play Darksiders II with an Xbox or PS3 controller; I sit in at a computer for 8-9 hours a day, and because of that I can’t fully relax when sitting in front of one to play a game. This is not a knock against the game, rather a matter of preference in comfort.

Options? More like *Option*!

Visually, the PC version of Darksiders II is nice, but it’s not as impressive as I was hoping it’d be. It looks like a console game running at a slightly higher resolution than normal. The options to adjust video settings are basic and almost non-existent (see the image above). For PC gamers who have practically been breed to tweak and adjust, at very granular levels, various elements of a game — like the video settings — the choices to configure Darksiders II’s visuals is extremely limiting and are downright insulting.

Another issue I had with Darksiders II was the load times. They often crossed that “this is taking too long” line. I would be a little more lenient on this issue, or put the blame on an under-powered computer, but that wasn’t the case — I have a pretty nice rig with enough processing power and memory that load times shouldn’t be an issue. However, I often found myself becoming impatient when loading a game, especially when accessing the character inventory.

I will say that this about the game’s menus: I really liked the quick transition when loading a saved game. Death will be waiting for you at the load screen, and when you’re ready to start, the camera simply pulls away, circles around him, and you’re ready for action!

I played the Steam version of Darksiders II, trying it on both my hefty desktop and a less-powerful but still viable laptop. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my saved status resides in the cloud, and was able to pick up at my last spot no matter which computer I was playing on.

Darksiders II will provide hours of enjoyment! Most people seem to average between 20-25 hours between start and finish. That’s a lot of game!

Final Thoughts:

Darksiders II builds upon the first Darksiders, by introducing role-playing, character statistics, massive, open-world environments, and the ever popular loot-drops from Diablo and Borderlands. All the while, staying true to the original action-plaforming gameplay.

You don’t need to play the original to enjoy Darksiders II, but I recommend playing through Darksiders first for two reasons. The first reason is for the storyline. While this isn’t Shakespeare, the angels and demons storyline is much more interesting than other action games, and while you don’t to play the first, you’ll appreciate the story more. The second reason I recommend you wait to try Darksiders II until after playing through the first, is that once you try Darksiders II, it’s going to be tough going back. Darksiders is still awesome, but Darksiders II is better in every aspect. Plus, you’ll appreciate and notice the hard work that went into the game.

As a PC game, I didn’t enjoy playing Darksiders II on a computer, as much as I feel I would sitting on the couch and playing on a controller. The mouse and keyboard worked fine, but I just can’t fully relax sitting in front of a computer screen the same way I can with an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. This is a matter of opinion, and I’m not knocking the game for this.

Darksiders II is an awesome game, and I really recommend you pick it up!

Be sure to check our Darksiders II PS3 review for another take on the game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
User Score:
1 vote
5.0
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Darksiders II (PC) Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Troy is the Features Editor at Brutal Gamer. When he's not writing about or playing video games, he's enjoying life with his wife and children. He also loves coffee. And lots of it.
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Posted by Troy | 29 Aug 2012 | PC, PC Reviews, Reviews

News

darksiders 2 gi cover

Darksiders II Launches Mid-August In North America

Assuming THQ is still a company that is in business come this August, Darksiders II is a game we will be playing on August 14th. We already knew that Darksiders II had been pushed back from its original June release, but the company revealed last night during their non-earnings call…
Posted 16 May 2012 | News, PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360 | 0 Comments
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THQ Now Expecting To Lose Less Money, Darksiders II Pushed Back To August

THQ announced today that they have upped their fourth quarter financial forecast from $130-$150 million in non-GAAP net sales to $160-$170 million. This has the added benefit of reducing their non-GAAP net loss per share forecast from $0.35-$0.50 to a non-GAAP net loss of $0.10-$0.20. The publisher credited strong net…
Posted 18 Apr 2012 | industry, News, PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360 | 0 Comments
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Darksiders 2 Probably Just Got Delayed, Maybe

Just last month the launch date for Darksiders 2 was a firm June 26th but it seems like that date could be slipping after a recent interview with THQ’s EVP Danny Bilson revealed that the troubled publisher could no longer “confirm” the release date. In the RipTen interview Bilson was…
Posted 11 Apr 2012 | News, PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360 | 0 Comments
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Vigil Games Confirms Darksiders 2 Will Be A Wii U Launch Title

With the Wii U currently expected to launch towards the end of 2012, it seems pretty clear that the Wii U version of Darksiders 2 is not going to make the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360′s June 26th release date. Speaking to Digital Spy, Vigil Games’ lead designer Hayden Dalton…
Posted 26 Mar 2012 | News, Wii U | 0 Comments
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Pre-Order Darksiders II, Get The Limited Edition For Free

THQ announced this morning that all pre-orders for Darksiders II on the Xbox 360, PS3, or PC will be upgraded to the Limited Edition of the game at no additional cost. The Limited Edition of the game includes a copy of Darksiders II and a code to download the first…
Posted 05 Mar 2012 | News, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 | 0 Comments
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Jesper Kyd Composing Darksiders II Original Score

The right music can make or break a game. Whether it’s ominous tones implying impending doom, or a joyous symphony of triumph, the music helps gamers immerse themselves in a game. The upcoming Darksiders II from THQ is utilizing the talents of two great composers, Giles Lamb and Jesper Kyd….
Posted 03 Mar 2012 | News, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 | 0 Comments
darksiders 2 gi cover

Darksiders II Coming To Wii U

Revealed at Nintendo’s E3 press conference today, THQ has confirmed that Darksiders II will launch on the Wii U alongside the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC versions next year. THQ was not specific as to what we can expect out of the Wii U version, but did say that the…
Posted 07 Jun 2011 | E3, News, Wii U | 0 Comments
darksiders 2 death trailer

Darksiders II – Story Trailer

The Darksiders II announcement trailer gives us our first look at the story in the game. The Horseman War has been blamed for kicking off the Apocalypse too early and destroying the world. Death steps up to save the day and spare his brother from oblivion. Doesn’t all that brotherly…
Posted 04 Jun 2011 | News, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 | 0 Comments
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Darksiders II Is Coming Next Year, And Death Is Coming With It

THQ revealed today that Darksiders II will launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in 2012. Darksiders II will follow the horseman DEATH in a story that runs parallel to the events in the first Darksiders, as he tries to redeem his brother WAR who was blamed for…
Posted 02 Jun 2011 | News, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 | 0 Comments

Images

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