It must be tough being Death. Everyone seems to be a bit scared of you and it must be oh so lonely. Even more so now that War has been taken away by the Council for his ‘crime’ of causing Armageddon and since then there’s been no-one left to reap, so it’s up to you to go and get him back. I know it all sounds a bit grim but actually Darksiders II is a very fluid action adventure game with more role-playing elements than the first game and some really creative fantasy worlds and creatures to shove the sharp end of your scythe up.
If you haven’t played the first game and you set eyes upon this, you may think it’s sort of like a cross between Legacy Of Kain, God of War and Prince of Persia. With dark and gothic tones you leap about the world, climb up vines, run along walls and bounce about all over the place when it comes to platforming and this on its own makes the game a joy to play. Even if you fall you’re resurrected right where you left off with a small amount of energy taken as punishment – my only complaint with movement being that it can be a bit sticky when pressing B to let go from a ledge and fall back to the ground.
Once you’re firmly planted on the ground there is of course plenty of combat as a host of weird and wonderful creatures try to stop you in your mission. Scythes form your primary attack but you can also pick up secondary weapons from fallen enemies and chests and pick up new toys to play with on your travels such as guns and claws. Progression follows at a steady pace so you’re never left just doing the same things over and over again as you enter the many worlds.
Death also has might and magic on his side and you can choose to upgrade him with two types of special powers under the banners of Harbinger and Necromancer. Here you can either choose new ways to physically attack your foes or choose to go all Gandalf on their asses and summon spectral beings to fight with you. You can spend new points as your level increases.
The game’s fairly linear but you are given extra missions to do from time to time when you head back to the hub where you can also buy extra talismans to give you an edge in combat or but potions to give you a boost when you’re in the thick of it.
What’s really cool though is that at any time mid-mission you can warp back to any safe area to stock up and then return where you left off without having to backtrack. Really useful if you find yourself in a tight spot and need something extra to get you through. Failing that you can always get there the long way on top of your trusty steed Despair you can call upon in open areas.
As well as fighting you’ll also have puzzles to solve. These are probably the weakest thing in the game and all play along similar themes of pushing stuff around with your big undead hands. They don’t ruin things by any stretch but some more imagination to get the grey matter working wouldn’t have hurt.
Darksiders II is a great sequel that surpasses the already enjoyable outing with War so it just about reaps the reward of 9 out of 10.
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