Darksiders 4-Years Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* -
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Darksiders follows the formulae of many classic action-adventure games before it by providing a straight path, but with many nooks and crannies along the way to find secrets. Some of these secrets can be accessed immediately, while others will require you return with some new tool. Among these secrets are pieces of Abyssal Armor. These are worth searching for as the complete set not only increases your damage resistance appreciably, but just looks cool, too.
The multiple dungeons feature a variety of puzzles, including classics such as pushing blocks to the right places to moving bombs around. Some puzzles require manipulating time to a degree and juggling portals to advance. All of them are approachable though, if not immediately obvious.
The meat of the game is its combat, and much of it will rely on your use of Chaoseater, War's sword. With each swing the massive blade will cleave through as many enemies as are in its way. This includes swings during execution moves, which may be worth keeping in mind. Another aspect of executions to consider is that when you are performing one, enemies will not interrupt you, and at times it appeared they will not damage you either. This may be useful as a way to manipulate the action of a battle.
Chaoseater can be improved in three ways. Attacking with it will eventually level the blade up, increasing its damage, and enchantments found throughout the world can also be applied to it. Finally special moves can be purchased, and these are worth the money for the tactical edge they can give you.
For especially large enemies though, when Chaoseater cannot deal enough damage to satisfy you or when you just want things done quickly, you can enter War's Chaos Form. This transforms him into a monstrous representation of his wrath, with fiery skin and a burning blade. You can only stay in this form for a short time, but it can make the difference in some battles, so do not neglect it.
There are also some secondary and special weapons you will receive or may purchase. Like Chaoseater they can be leveled up through use, enchanted, and have special moves unlocked for them. Along with your weapons are special abilities, such as one to increase your toughness and another that sends blades from the ground to strike your foes. These special abilities use wrath for power.
Outside of the different dungeons, the enemies you come across can be more-or-less ignored. Killing them will grant souls though, which are the currency; health; and wrath drops, and you will receive different souls depending on how you kill the enemy. For example, an execution may grant more health while a regular attack may give you more currency.
Within dungeons, doors are often sealed until you vanquish the enemies trapped in the arena with you. Being mindful of the enemies positions, attacks, and your own attacks can keep almost any of these fights from being too difficult, but do not expect them to be easy. War is not immortal and health is not always easy to come by, so guard yourself and take advantage of your enemies' weaknesses.
One enemy, however, is particularly frustrating, but at least it is contained to the end of the game. This enemy has the ability to become incorporeal, and thus dodge your attacks, including counters. It can also do a great deal of damage and has a substantial amount of health. Basically they felt unbalanced to me as they should be a glass cannon, but either need to be more glassy or less of a cannon. As I said though, there are not many in the game, so at least once you deal with them, you can move on from them.
One last thing I want to mention is that the lock-on system is not always going to be your friend. Yes it does help you keep track of an enemy, but the positioning of the camera can make it difficult to move and dodge properly. Which way is left when the camera is at such an angle? Tracking enemies this way does have its uses, but you may find it easier to just run around, manually moving the camera.
I can think of no better words to describe the gameplay of Darksiders than solid and fun. I know I enjoyed playing it quite a lot as it is very well attuned to satisfy the gamer, which helps keep you going for about 12 hours. This playthrough took me 12 hours and 16 minutes, which agrees with my first playthrough of the game. (I love it when that stat is recorded with save games.) I happily invested all of that time into the gameplay.