The release of Darksiders back in 2010 was one of my favorite games at that time. An apocalyptic adventure that combined franchises including The Legend of Zelda, God of War, and Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. All of this while starring as one of the legendary Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. War was an absolute badass in the first game as he took on the forces of Heaven and Hell on a quest to clear his name for the Apocalypse that wiped out the race of mankind. Now I get to enjoy more of the story, but this time I get to play as the Grim Reaper himself.

Darksiders 2, from THQ and Vigil Games, takes place alongside the events of the first game. This time I get to step into the role of Death who by the way looks like a combination of Casey Jones and Skeletor. The brother of War is on a mission to prove War’s innocence along with trying to restore the race of men. However, it looks like the forces of evil have other plans up their sleeves as they try to keep the remaining Horsemen out of the picture. Corruption runs deep within the roots of the Nether Realm, and Death believes that the Tree of Life has all the answers along with what could be the key to resurrecting humanity. Getting there however will be a challenge, but this Horseman is clearly up to the task.

The storyline in Darksiders 2 is enough to hook me in and not let go. It’s deep, engrossing, and made me want to see what happened next. When I had to stop playing due to work and sleep the game would start me back up where I left off last and give me a “Previously on Battlestar Galactica” moment to fill me in on the key events that took place before my last save. I like that. Of course there’s other features that made this sequel better than the original game yet stayed the course on it’s core mechanics which made the first Darksiders game successful.

The first thing about Darksiders 2 that amazed me is the sheer size of the world I traveled in. The Nether Realm is so much larger than the Apocalyptic Earth from the previous game. The realm is littered with towns, villages, and of course the treacherous dungeons all which stood between me and the Tree of Life. From the first moment I took off on my horse Despair I felt just like Link riding Epona in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. There’s so much to explore in the game which kept me busy for hours just riding around looking for secrets, killing random enemies, and collecting gold along with other loot.

Speaking of gold and loot, Darksiders 2 also improved on the action/adventure formula by adding some RPG elements. Side quests to detract from the main campaign, level ups, upgrading weapons, skill trees, gold instead of souls to collect for currency, constant loot from killed enemies that you can immediately equip, interacting with NPC characters including returning characters like Vulgrim and Samael. This game has it all and it’s awesome. As I was playing and picking up experience I became so impressed with the incredible amount of depth the game possesses. This is a huge step over what was presented in the original Darksiders which is a game that I still play even if the Portal gun moments near the end of the game drove me batshit crazy at times.

Now what do I like best about this game? Combat! With the ideal of if “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” this area is pretty much untouched from the original game. Hack and slash bloodletting with my scythes, axes, hammers, and more is awesome and fulfilling. Add in wrath attacks and the combos become sickening. Some may find this a little repetitive and boring, but I disagree. I find the God of War combo driven gameplay fun and exciting. Finishing moves are back again where with just the tap of a button will slice, dice, decapitate, and rip enemies into shreds. If not for the entertaining storyline, Darksiders 2 also substitutes as a great stress reliever when I have a tough day at work.

Darksiders 2 takes a huge leap over the original blockbuster hit and succeeds. It’s not a perfect game, but it really doesn’t need to be because it’s a lot of fun to play. The amazing storyline as well as the awesome combat and platforming elements make Darksiders 2 enjoyable and addicting enough to make me not want to put the controller down. Between both main characters I have to say that playing as Death is even more fun than playing as War. His appeal is astounding and with no Watcher to limit him makes Death a badass. With the main campaign, new game plus, the unlockable Crucible, and plenty of DLC on the way it’s safe to assume that Darksiders 2 will be around for a long time. Death lives, and it’s time for me to kick some more ass.

Developer: THQ, Vigil Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1
Price: $59.99

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