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The other side

If you think that Darksiders by newcomers Vigil Games is just another hack-n-slash action game, think again. It is in fact an action-adventure game that encompasses a large number of sub-genres.

tech reviews Updated: Feb 16, 2010 20:02 IST
Sameer Desai

If you think that Darksiders by newcomers Vigil Games is just another hack-n-slash action game, think again. It is in fact an action-adventure game that encompasses a large number of sub-genres.

Combat is only one of them.While it isn’t terribly original, all the elements collude to make Darksiders a great game.

Gameplay
You play as War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. After a simmering, long-running feud between heaven and hell erupts, wiping out the human race in the process, War comes to Earth to put an end to it.

He falls out of favour with the Charred Council that employed him, is stripped of all his powers and sent back to a deserted Earth to set things right.

While not combat-centric, the game does throw a fair amount of enemy grunts, mini bosses, and level-ending giant bosses your way. Aiding you through this is a competent, but simplistic, combat system.

Your primary weapon is a huge sword called the Chaoseater. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock other weapons and buy weapon combos. At certain points, you’ll even be able to pick up canon-sized guns and grenade launchers dropped by enemies, although you can’t keep those with you. The boss fights are memorable and varied, although they get progressively easier as you proceed.

Puzzles also form a major chunk of the gameplay, and they get bigger and tougher as you progress. What makes them fun is that all that’s needed to solve them is common sense and some out-of-the-box thinking.

The puzzles here are some of the best you will find in any action-adventure game.

Verdict
Darksiders is not a technical masterpiece. In fact, the framerates are a little wonky at times and unacceptably low during one particular bossfight. But the art direction is commendable and has a distinct World of Warcraft feel to it.

Load times are manageable as well, and it has an impressive background score by the same guys who did God of War. While the voice acting befits the game, it got a little annoying after a while.

But overall, Darksiders’ presentation is pretty impressive. Twenty-plus hours is a long time, especially for an action-oriented game. But Darksiders keeps feeding you new content at regular intervals so that even after countless hours, there’s always something new to do.

One downside is that there’s no replay value, unless you want to have another go at a higher difficulty. But besides that, thanks to some fluid combat and intriguing puzzles, Darksiders stands out as one of the best action-adventure games in quite some time.
http://tech2.com

Whatwe like
Great mix of combat, puzzle-solving, and exploration
Impressive art style

What we don’t
Uneven frame rates
No replay value