Graphics:
8.7
Gameplay:
9.1
Sound:
9.0
Control:
8.8
Replay Value:
9.3
Overall Rating:
9.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
THQ
Developer:
Vigil Games
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action/RPG


Usually, when you attempt to be a jack of all trades, you become a master of none and end up floundering in mediocrity. And while it may be true to say that Darksiders II isn’t the very best at any of its many gameplay facets (role-playing, action, platforming, puzzle-solving, etc.), it continues to excel throughout. In fact, the elements are blended so well together, and the final result is so solid and addictive, it’s hard to get annoyed at the little eccentricities. Basically, you’re looking at a very robust, extremely well designed package.

Those who appreciate art design should marvel at the game’s environments, character and enemy designs, special effects, and animations. Some might say the graphics are actually the weakest part of this sequel, but that’s only if you ignore the sheer amount of creativity…and why should we do that? It’s not the most polished or the most advanced in terms of realism. There are a few hitches and glitches here and there. But like the game itself, the overall presentation is what ultimately matters, and the amount of effort expended to create this engaging fantasy world is amazing.

Such effort never went unnoticed in my play time, and the same goes for the excellent soundtrack, voice performances, and crisp, invigorating effects. The music can be a bit repetitive, as many of the same tracks are recycled for different areas, but it’s just so well composed and implemented. Music should always be a great complement to the action and that’s exactly what we get in Darksiders II . I was also a little surprised to hear such fine voice acting, as most all the characters, from Death himself to the Makers with those heavy Scottish accents, are tremendously well voiced. The audio balancing is a big plus, too; everything works together in this category.

In some ways, it’s a crime to pigeonhole Darksiders II and say, “yes, it’s definitely a ‘insert genre name here.’” Technically, I suppose it’s an action/RPG, as it combines the real-time hack ‘n slash combat of a God of War with the fantastic depth of a Dragon Age . But there’s also platforming and puzzle-solving, traits that can be ascribed to various genres, including third-person shooters such as Uncharted . And let’s not forget the Zelda -esque elements, such as earning new tools and abilities that open up new sections of the map.

Death is out to clear the name of his brother, War, who is bound to be found guilty by the Council for condemning humanity. But Death is convinced that War is innocent and he must embark on a quest that involves the resurrection of humanity if he wants to free his comrade in arms. Death is a little smaller than his compatriot, but he’s also faster and more agile, and as this really is a full RPG in most every sense of the term, he will grow depending on the player’s preferences. There’s a skill tree (two, actually, one each for Harbinger and Necromancer), a ton of equipment ranging from boots to helms, and a primary and secondary weapon.