Posts Tagged ‘THQ’

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

Pros:
Seamless Ranged and Melee Combat Work Very Well
Endless Character Custimization In Multiplayer

Cons:
Not Enough Multiplayer Gameplay Modes

Call me a noob to the Warhammer universe. I never knew much about Warhammer other than it was catered more to the PC crowd. For some strange reason I connected Warhammer with World of Warcraft, but I’m sure that these are two completely different beasts. About a month ago, I got my first taste of the world that is Warhammer with Kill Team on Xbox Live Arcade. The game was awesome and helped introduce me to the series. Of course Kill Team was just a tease for what was to come with the release of Space Marine. After playing the game I feel like I’ve welcomed a whole new franchise to the mix.

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, from THQ and Relic, takes players into the heart of the battle. You’ll play as Captain Titus of the Ultramarines as you spill countless amounts of Ork blood all in the name of the Emperor. Sounds like a lot of fun right? Well it sure is. Captain Titus wields a variety of swords and guns to make sure that each Ork that invaded Forge World does not survive. Along for the ride in this action packed adventure is a pair of other Ultramarines to aid you in your bloody quest, but don’t expect much help because your mostly a one man army.

As you step foot on Forge World you’ll see that it’s a planet that has been ravaged by war. Buildings are destroyed and carnage lies everywhere. Even the NPC characters that you meet have the heartache of endless conflict on their minds. You can honestly tell that the developers at Relic got the whole vibe down to a tee. One thing that I can’t help but notice is how Warhammer’s battle hardened Space Marines have a style to them that is very familiar to another franchise. Gears of War perhaps? While I might have “Gears on the brain” due to the soon to be released Gears of War 3 let me assure you that this is the only similarity. Everything else is completely different.

If you like combat, let me tell you that you’ve come to the right place. Warhammer seamlessly blends both melee and ranged weapon combat into an artform. Captain Titus starts out with a basic Bolt Pistol which is good for taking out an enemy or two, but when the action really heats up then it’s time to wield the steel. The melee combat is fantastic as you control the hardcore Ultramarine in battle. Sword controls are handled with the X and Y buttons. X will swing away while the Y button is used for stun. Once you stun your Orks, then you’ll notice a caption to use the B button. This will allow you to kill with style with a gruesome execution filled with tons of blood. Executions are also used for gaining much needed health because there is no health packs or regenerative health here. There is armor regeneration though.

Other than the swords (I suggest the chainsword for some good fun), the guns also are fun to use as well. Ranged weapons include an assault rifle, sniper rifle, and even a grenade launcher with your own detonator which is great for when a herd of Orks are close together. Each weapon serves a purpose in the battle field. The Bolt Pistol and Assault rifle are good for taking out ground troops Sniper rifles are great for Orks who might just be a little out of range or a higher elevations. Finally, The grenade launcher is great for Orks who like to attack in herds. I must also direct your attention to all the red barrels that you’ll see in your quest. Everyone out there knows that red barrels equal explosives. Surprisingly, you’ll find a few of these well placed barrels right by a group of attacking Orks. I think we all know what must be done. Shoot them!

Other than the single player campaign, Warhammer also includes a multiplayer component that is pretty damn good. The first thing you get to do is create your own space marine. Here you’ll find a great blend of customization that is a lot of fun to use. There are trillions of combinations that in the end will make sure that your character will differ from everyone elses. As for the multiplayer game, there are only two game modes to choose from: Team Deathmatch and Domination. I wish there was more game modes to choose from because this is lacking. As you play you’ll earn experience for kills, completing objectives and challenges which allow you to rank up. Those familiar with Call of Duty will find things like perks to help balance your character as well. I will say that the multiplayer is fun, but with the multitude of other games soon to be released, Space Marine’s multiplayer could be short lived.

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine may not be on a lot of players radar, but it should be. In a season where there are a ton of great titles on the way, Space Marine could be one of the year’s biggest sleeper titles. If your on the shelf about this one then I strongly suggest downloading the demo. However, the demo surely doesn’t do the game justice because the man game is a thousand times better. The single player is fantastic! The multiplayer is so-so and may b e short lived, but Warhammer 40k: Space Marine is an action packed adventure that is definitely worth your gaming dollar.