Yes, really. It looks like the rumored cancellation of the Wii U edition of Darksiders: Warmastered Edition was false.
And yes, it’s on the Wii U
Honestly –honestly- I had kind of figured that the cancellation of the Wii U’s Warmastered was a foregone conclusion. I mean, with the Nintendo Switch on the way, why not can the Wii U port and bring the game to the Switch instead? The rumors made total sense.
And yet here we are on April the 7th with THQ Nordic announcing that the Wii U version is still a go. In fact, it’s more than a go, it’ll be here next month. So, if you still have your Wii U out, well you might want to take a look cause it’s a pretty good game.
The puzzling nature of not hitting the Switch aside, Darksiders is terrific. It’s a kind of Zelda-like in gameplay, but way darker and more gruesome. Not that it’s over the top gory, but it’s more mature than any Zelda title with its biblical theme.
That’s part of what’s so frustrating about this announcement. The Wii U gets a port of it, but the Switch doesn’t? It can’t be that the game wouldn’t fit on the Switch’s carts. So was it that THQ Nordic wasn’t sold on Nintendo’s latest before launch? Maybe that they figured that the older audience Darksiders is aimed at wouldn’t be there? Or did they figure on the console being another Wii U, and that it would provide as harsh a climate to third-parties as Nintendo’s last-gen effort?
If either of the former were the case, then I can understand. There had to have been a fair bit of wait-and-see happening in more than one publishing house before the Switch arrived. To be fair, it’s been a hit for Nintendo so far, with some great numbers across the boards.
It’s the latter though, that worries me.
Nintendo’s platforms have built a reputation of being very limited in terms of third-party games over the Wii and Wii U eras. And as great as their first-party titles are, well that’s kind of all there was for fans to buy. With the Switch though, there was a palpable shift. Sure Nintendo talked up their own games above all others prior to launch, but there was plenty of coverage for non-Nintendo stuff too. There was an attitude floating around that maybe we might see a healthy third-party presence on their newest console.
Since the console has launched last month though, there’s been one killer app (BotW). But that’s not the only issue. We saw an anemic initial lineup and precious little on the horizon to look forward to from big publishers. Some fun indies aside, we’ve got LEGO City Undercover (which is no blockbuster), and that’s about it since the console hit the streets. And I’m no fan of ports, but it would have been nice to have seen a few recent releases brought over too.
I know it’s still ‘not cool’ to laud blockbusters either, but I have always maintained that a platform needs them to survive. Period. And blockbusters from one company (Nintendo) ain’t gonna cut it. Now, I also understand that a Darksiders remaster doesn’t exactly count as a “blockbuster”, but it poises that interesting question.
Make or break Holiday
In the end, it’ll be this coming Holiday season that tells the tale of the Switch. If E3 comes around, and a bunch of third-party title are announced for the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, then I’ll happily say that I was wrong to be worried.
Also if that happens? I’ll be shocked. I just can’t see it. In fact, I imagine that the E3 to come this June will hold a few “Nintendo games” for the Switch, probably some talk about what’s coming in 2018, and little else. But I hope I’m wrong.
Oh, and if you haven’t played Darksiders in its original form, or the first run of Warmastered from the PS4 and Xbox One, then it’s probably worth your time. It really is a good game. You can expect the Wii U version to arrive on May 23rd.