Darksiders III Review

Darksiders III Review
Developed by Gunfire Games
Published by THQ Nordic
Reviewed on PlayStation 4 (also available on Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)

 

Darksiders III has been a long time coming. Darksiders II was originally released during the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era. While the first two games were brought to modern consoles and PC, there was still a gap with many questions unanswered and the greater conflict not resolved. Thankfully for us waiting for the return of The Horsemen, we get another slice of this intriguing universe where Chaos and Order struggle in an apocalypse started too soon.

Darksiders III

Following the trail of the previous game, our current thread in this web of cosmic conspiracy takes place before the start of the first. War, one of The Charred Counsel’s Four Horsemen, arrives on Earth before he and his siblings were supposed to arrive. This causes a cosmic sequence to misfire and Earth to be wiped. Before War is given a chance to redeem himself, the counsel summons his sister Fury. She is charged to go to Earth, retrieve the Seven Deadly Sins, and return them to the Council. Out of sense of duty and boredom, she accepts and is brought to the now apocalypse torn Earth. Through her first encounters with The Sins, Fury begins to realize that in many ways she is guilty of each. Through these encounters and with the help from the Lord of Hollows, Fury grows as an individual. Fury as a character is not immediately likeable compared to War and Death.

Still, through her losses, triumphs, making and breaking alliances, she does have a gradual growth arc. I found myself liking her by story’s end. Many of the sins are also quite interesting if not short lived, especially Sloth and Lust. Some of the line delivery was a bit weak in places but are not enough to ruin the experience. While the overall yarn that unwound over this 30 hour adventure won’t win any major awards, players will be spurred on to see it through to the end. A major component of that spurring was Fury’s evolution through gameplay and the Zelda-esque approach to world design.

Darksiders III

The gameplay for previous games have some strong core differences. While both have lock on, dodge, and hack and slash elements, Death also had randomized loot and a skill tree to customize his playstyle to fit your own. Fury is closer to War in the sense that she doesn’t have specialized loot drops, but she gets something that’s pretty damn metal, the Hollows. Throughout the game fury attains Hollows that imbue her with a different element and a new sub weapon tied to that Hollow. Each weapon fleshes out her repertoire and her ability to access previously inaccessible areas. It’s simple, but well implemented and gives Darksiders III‘s combat a strong lift from being a simple button masher. Combined with some fairly tough boss fights and a need for item management to escape and heal, it’s quite a mix. If you do not find or purchase healing items then you are given a limited number of self-restoratives that return upon death or by getting green souls from enemies. These can be make or break as the health drops seem pretty low. Players will likely have long stretches without refills.

Darksiders III

Speaking of souls, collecting them will allow players to use them to either power Fury up or purchase items. The leveling up is a little on the too simple side but it does get the job done. It just would have been nice to have more attacks based on the way you level your weapons and attack abilities. A minor downside to the overall design is how linear everything ends up feeling towards the end. Looping back indeed feels satisfying the first time, but the second time you end up in the small hub that just feels…kind of empty? The back tracking is almost not worth it either as the only things you find of value are healing items and materials to help level up your weapons. There are also some performance issues here and there. Certain loading screens can take a while and may even cause crashes. There are also strange framerate drops in a few unexpected places. Despite the stated issues, it’s still a lot of fun playing through the game and beating boss fights after losing a couple of times really can feel very rewarding.

Darksiders III

Artistically the game is a mixed bag. Darksiders games always have unique art and design philosophy thanks to Joe Mad’s art direction. The same trend continues here, however I feel some parts of Fury’s design don’t quite work. For example, her gauntlets have a lot of detail to them, but they are small because of her slender build and look a little awkward. The game is also a bit bare bones in enemy variety. There could have been a lot done  with the different sin themes. The music is also sparse. There’s an occasional ambient piece but I’m not really sure if the silence was supposed to be intentional. The ambience of each location is quite stellar, however. The themes that play while the boss battles occur fit nicely and match the tempo of the battle.

Overall as a package, Darksiders III is a good return to a universe that still begs to be explored and hopefully the chronicles of the Four Horsemen will get the closure it needs.

clrblndmax

clrblndmax

A man of many words and many color related dilemmas. Based in Tucson, Arizona Maximillian is a total anime nerd, gamer and fighting game enthusist. He loves watching a good anime on a lazy saturday and is proud to be part of the CFG crew.

Graphics
16out of 5
Sound
12out of 5
Storyline
16out of 5
Gameplay
18out of 5

Overview

Darksiders III has returned us to a universe in dire need of balancing. In it's attempt to light the flame and tip it's scales some odd design choices do not squash this flawed but an enjoyable experience.

3.88

3.88 out of 5
Good

Tags assigned to this article:
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