Ultimate, definitive, “deathinitive”, whatever you want to call it, remasters are the newest craze. Developers ramping up games of past trying their best to make them worthy of today’s competition is commonplace. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Only truly great games seem to qualify for this overhaul treatment, one of which is Vigil Games’ Darksiders 2.
Darksiders 2 Deathinitive Edition tells the story of Death; who is one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Death’s brother, War, is charged with eliminating humanity during the events of the first Darksiders game and is banished but Death thinks he is innocent so he embarks on a quest to free War and bring humanity back. It’s a silly plot. Death wanting to save the day and bring back life? It doesn’t ring true. Death is death for a reason, he takes life and what is worse is the characters you come across during your adventure. Abnormally large and overgrown Viking type humans that aid and assist. Although they are voiced well, their image doesn’t suit the aesthetic of the game.
Luckily, the gameplay saves the day. Arguably similar to the great God of War series, Darksiders 2 relies on fast combat and puzzle solving. Many elements in the game feel heavily inspired by God of War. After a flurry of blows from Death’s iconic scythe, or whatever his secondary weapon might be, a button prompt will float above heads of your enemies to trigger a flashy finishing move, sound familiar? It’s not a bad thing that Darksiders 2 borrows from Kratos. God of War is highly acclaimed in the PlayStation world gaining quite the following and I would say that Darksiders 2 is underrated. The unique world and lore and that artistic style more than makes up for its poor story and I couldn’t help but play to the end.
Getting around the fairly large sized world is made fun with the help of Deaths horse, Despair. At the press of two shoulder button, Despair manifests underneath you allowing you to mount and dismount without losing momentum. You don’t have to travel all of the time as fast travel is made available to any major location you visit which comes in handy and takes out that pesky backtracking.
Death is fully upgradable. There is a constant feeling of progress. With every enemy you defeat or dungeon you complete, experience points and loot is awarded to you. Experience helps Death level up which grants him skill points to spend on new abilities like a teleport strike or summon a small army to fight for you (wait!…Sound familiar again?). Loot is everywhere. Dropping from enemies, bosses or in crates or barrels, armour and weaponry are aplenty. Although they don’t make Death look amazing, new clothing and armour certainly gains you more of a chance of survival against more formidable foes.
Dungeons are challenging but are set out the same. Unlock a few doors, find some chests, solve a few puzzles and fight a boss and you’re on to the next. They increase in size and complexity as the game goes on. It kept me playing. There was a calling to them that made me see what was coming next and the rewards you gain from completing them were worth it. Bosses though, have a pattern to them. Introduced early on, most bosses just require you to dodge their attacks and thrown in a few blows of your own whereas others need a bit more of a smart approach.
Visually, Darksiders 2 Deathinitive edition looks fantastic and brightly colored. The upgrade in graphics are instantly recognizable cranked all the way up to super shiny 1080p and although the frame rate dips here and there, it does nothing to hinder the overall experience.
DLC like The Abyssal Forge and Argul’s Tomb is all here in a neat package too which adds extra hours of death dealing.