Vigil Games may not be around anymore but their 2 Darksiders games really raised the bar for 3D action adventure games. Let's take a look at both titles' gameplay and worlds and see which one emerges victorious.
Both Darksiders and Darksiders II feature very similar gameplay in that you solve puzzles and fight hordes of demonic creatures. However, the original Darksiders is bursting with variety as you're constantly presented with unique situations whether you're soaring on a dragon as if you're playing Panzer Dragoon or taking on hulking bosses that are supremely satisfying to battle. War's capabilities on the battlefield are impressive as he hacks and slashes while utilizing a clever array of gadgets and skills. Then, watching him brutally tear his foes apart with a devastating finishing move is the icing on the cake. The collection of bosses is fantastically varied, too.
Darksiders II's combat is fairly similar to the original game's although Death has a firearm called Redemption that he can blast enemies with. Where the 2 games differ mostly is in their structure. Darksiders is primarily an action-packed and varied adventure while Darksiders II is more focused on exploration and traversal. Death can scale large structures with acrobatic moves and climbing seemingly insurmountable environments just feels awesome. Additionally, the puzzles are much more elaborate and rewarding to master. There are also loads of RPG elements like levelling up and a comprehensive loot system which is fantastic. All of that being said, I much prefer the action-intense original Darksiders although I understand how some gamers can prefer Darksiders II's focus on RPG and adventure elements.
Besides gameplay, I find that the worlds in Darksiders and Darksiders II are very different. For starters, Darksiders is initially set in a warring Earth where demons and angels fight on city streets and it's quite a sight to behold. After that, you traverse the post-apocalyptic Earth and each environment is gorgeously detailed. It's almost as if you can imagine what everything was like before the end of mankind happened and it's very cool to battle demons within dilapidated buildings, especially the collection of boss fights as they usually take place in unforgettable arenas that make each encounter come to life. Just thinking about it makes me want to re-play it all over again.
On the other hand, Darksiders II takes place in a foreign continent known as the Forge Lands. This place feels like it's lifted straight from a fantasy comic book and the cast of enormous Makers that Death meets along the way only add to this aesthetic. Riding your horse Despair as you make your way between points of interest on the vast overworld map will fill you with wonder then traversing an intricate dungeon once you reach your destination is incredibly gratifying stuff. In the end, I prefer Darksiders II's cast of memorable characters but as an overall game world, I simply find Darksiders to be more captivating so it wins this category but not by much.
Both Darksiders action adventure titles from Vigil Games are excellent but I think the better game of the 2 is...
The original Darksiders got everything spot-on for a constantly exciting action adventure game and it remains one of my favourites in the entire genre. Although Darksiders II definitely tried a lot of new concepts within its expanded world, I still prefer the more action-packed original. That being said, both games are excellent and I highly recommend them to any gamer looking for their next captivating and challenging adventure. I'm still waiting for a similar game that can top these classics.
That's just my opinion. Agree? Disagree? Vote now!