The now defunct Vigil Games' epic hit from 2010 is finally available for Switch so get ready to tear up hordes of demons yet again.
Shortly after Darksiders debuted, I remember finding a used copy for PS3 and giving it a try without knowing what to expect. To my surprise, it ended up being one of my favourite games for the console and since then, an enhanced Warmastered Edition debuted that I gladly bought for PS4. Now that this awesome game is available for Switch, fans can play it portably which is fantastic, especially considering how well it runs while undocked. Darksiders never featured the most realistic visuals yet its apocalyptic depiction of Earth is awe-inspiring even to this day. When you factor in the memorable cast of sinister characters with the super-tough War as its lead, twisted story, and unforgettable world; you're left with quite an amazing adventure that you'll think back fondly on for years to come.
Darksiders is an intuitive game to play and doesn't differentiate itself much from the many other 3D action adventure games out there yet it accomplishes everything masterfully. Whether you're slashing up demons, traversing complex environments, solving puzzles, fighting a boss, or taking part in a unique scenario such as riding a dragon while you shoot down angels; it's hard not to have a great time playing as War. The combat involves hacking and slashing as well as using the odd ability or gadget whenever the situation calls for it and it's super-satisfying to knock your opponents' health down to a point where War can perform a devastating finishing move which usually involves tearing off limbs. Most of the boss fights require some outside the box thinking to defeat but once you do, it's rewarding stuff.
Aside from combat, Darksiders features a ton of variety. For starters, you'll gradually amass an assortment of gadgets and abilities as you progress. One of my favourites is the Crossblade which is a huge bladed weapon that acts like a homing boomerang and can be used in combat as well as in solving puzzles. Speaking of puzzles, you never know what Darksiders will throw at you next. One minute, you're battling an arena full of demons. The next, you'll find yourself trying to figure out how to explode some in-the-way crystals using carefully placed bombs. Needless to say, it's a thoroughly engaging campaign that'll keep you hooked. Plus, exploring to unlock additional Lifestones and Wrath Cores which increase your maximum health and energy feels great.
I haven't played the original Darksiders in quite a long time but this Warmastered Edition definitely has a few shortcomings. First of all, if you already own the Warmastered Edition on any of the 3 consoles that it was already released on then there's really no point in buying it again on Switch unless you love the ability to play it portably. Next, I found that both aiming and dodging were regularly irritating. Moving a cursor around the screen with the analog stick just feels slippery while dodging sometimes doesn't make War move far enough to avoid an attack even when you time it perfectly. Finally, you'll likely get stuck on more than one occasion. Considering this is the third time that I played through this game and I still got stuck and had to resort to using a guide, you can trust that it can be rather abstruse. Often, this was a result of having to think outside the box which should be for unlocking secrets, not basic progression.
The original Darksiders remains the best in the series and this Warmastered Edition is an incredible way to enjoy the timeless classic. If you still haven't played it yet then you owe it to yourself to unsheathe your Chaoseater and rip through some demons.
- + Incredibly rewarding campaign featuring tight action-intense gameplay
- + Epic story, characters, and world
- + Impressive amount of variety throughout
- - Unfortunately, not much has changed since the original 2010 release
- - Aiming and dodging could be finer tuned
- - It's sometimes difficult to know what to do