Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: Nov 28, 2018
Edited by KnightAvenger
Darksiders III is the newest entry into the Darksiders series. While it isn’t Vigil games, a lot of the main developers from the series return to work on Darksiders III under the new studio Gunfire games.
Darksiders III still remains to be an action RPG of sorts but this time, once again, changing its sub genre of RPG. In Darksiders 1, we had RPG mechanics similar to that of Zelda combined with something you might find in games, such as Devil May Cry or God of War. Then, Darksiders 2 took the core of the puzzle style and adventuring from 1 and expanded on it but turned 2 into an ARPG. Where you had talent trees to specialize your character and thousands of loot possibilities similar to games, such as Diablo, Borderlands, or Hellgate London. So, with Darksiders III, we have yet another change in RPG style along with a new main character. This time around, we have a hardcore action RPG with similarities to games, such as Dark Souls, The Surge, or Lords of the Fallen.
In the original game, you played as War, who was tricked into starting the first ride… To start the apocalypse… Then, in Darksiders 2, you played as Death, trying to solve the mysteries and finding out what really happened with War. Now, in Darksiders 3, you play as Fury. It might catch you off-guard if you have followed the previous stories of the horsemen. You might have been expecting, maybe Famine or Pestilence. You might be thinking why Fury or… Who the fack is Fury anyway? Keep in mind, there are many books or comic books involving the Darksiders series, and if this is something you are curious about, I highly suggest checking it out.
From the very beginning of the game, you can tell Fury only really cares about being known as the best of the horsemen… She even aspires to be the leader of the horsemen. Being promised infamy, she is charged with seeking out and putting an end to the Seven Deadly Sins. As you play through the game, you find yourself meeting the Seven Deadly Sins just before facing off. Each of them portraying the sin they were based on was done quite well. Perhaps cryptically at first, but once the battle with the sins begins, you will find yourself going…”Oh, now I get it!” Throughout the game’s story, Fury finds herself changing more and more. Her aspirations change, her desires change. Of course, what is a horseman without her horse… Poor, poor Rampage…. The one thing that truly stands out most about the story in Darksiders 3 is that through all three games, they never truly reveal the big HOW and WHY of it all…until Darksiders III. That big cliffhanger, from game to game, leads to a major revelation in Darksiders III. One that a fan of the series shouldn’t miss.
Now, THQ Nordic and Gunfire games were pretty tightlipped on the style of game and some of the major features that make Darksiders III whole. I can see how a fan wanting a sequel to Death’s style of RPG would be pretty upset once getting their hands on Darksiders III. The game is…drastikally different…
There isn’t any real item loot in the game that changes your character’s armor, weapons, or combat style all that much. Instead, the game goes for a metroidvania style traversal and item progression. Meaning you get items in the game at exact story points or by exploring. Also, similar to that of other games in the “Soulsborne” genre or…hardcore RPG as well. In this game, you are limited to healing; you have to avoid taking damage as much as possible. If you do manage to die, you drop all your souls or lurchers onto the ground. If you make it back to that spot without dying again, you can get those lost souls back. In other games of the “sub-genre,” you have stamina, backstabs, and parry mechanics. You don’t get those in Darksiders III, as the game is a little more forgiving. At least until you get into choosing which difficulty you play on, which is something most other “soulsborne” games don’t do. You do get dodge, which you can spam all day long, and if you time it right, you can do a hard-hitting “assassinate” attack.
Killing mobs gives you a chance at refreshing your Nether Respite, which is your stock healing ability. As you explore, you can find invigoration cores and other types of cores that either give you more charges to heal with or increases the amount that you can heal by. Then, there are ways to buy or loot extra healing items, or other buffs called shards. There are many different types from healing, to attack speed buffs, defensive buffs, and even a shard that prevents you from dying, should you take fatal damage. Of course, I bought one immediately and I hadn’t died about 10 hours into the game. In fact, I would still have my undying shard buff if I hadn’t overthought a puzzle and fell horribly into a spiked grinder…
Which leads me to our next topic… As you reach certain parts in the story, you will be given a Hollow. There are 4 Hollows in the game: Fire, Storm, Force, and Stasis. You obtain them in that order. Each Hollow grants you a secondary weapon or attack. You use Y/Triangle/RMB to use this weapon. Each Hollow weapon comes with a charge attack as well. These help both in combat and with some of the puzzles in the game. You also get a special spell or ability with each Hollow. Then, with each Hollow, you also get a unique traversal ability. With Fire, you get a vertical air dash. So you could double jump and then hold jump for a huge dash further into the air. It lets you reach higher-up ledges. It also sets fire to things if you touch them. Then, the storm traversal lets you levitate downwards and use tornadoes or air drafts to boost high into the sky. The Force Hollow turns you into a ball that magnetizes to crystal rock walls and follow paths. Then, with Stasis, you can walk on water, as it freezes the water. You can also freeze machines or objects in place to stop them from moving. AND you can wall jump on the watery or frozen walls, jumping from one side to the next. Of course, once you get all of the Hollows, the puzzles begin to get elaborate, as you often use more than one to progress through the levels. Not to mention that as you unlock each Hollow, you can backtrack to previously visited areas and get some of the enhancements or material loot you need to improve your weapons!
The voice acting is amazing as always, and the soundtrack is just like any other Darksiders game. It isn’t awful, but it isn’t something to write home about. However, the ambiance and the voice acting are superb. They do a great job at adding detail to the apocalyptic world you are traversing.
Still, what stands out most above the great gameplay, incredible level design, and voice acting…is the art style. Sure, it isn’t a hyper realistic game like some of the titles released this year, but Darksiders is a very over-the-top, extremely detailed, comic-inspired art style. From the beautiful particle effects to the details in the characters’ hair. The game is incredible to look at. Even more so as Fury obtains the Hollows and seeing how her weapons, hair, and eyes change. Even the “Heart of Thundera”… No, it isn’t called that but it brings back memories! The Hollow elements affect the look of the character and her flowing elemental hair is breath-taking. Doing the many types of combos and special abilities just adds to that. The bosses look amazing, and they work the boss’ name or Sin into their appearance AND their persona.
Now, with that said and done, Darksiders III still isn’t a perfect game. I’ve had many crashes and a few bugs, such as the time I did manage to die from an environmental hazard… When I respawned, I was no-clipped and my character invisible. I could fly through the world clipping through objects. It was kind of neat but, alas, still a bug. Eventually, it snapped back to my character and the bug fixed itself. I did have several untimely crashes that brought a halt to my gameplay for the day each time it happened. Then, of course, there is the lock-on camera. Straight up… It sucks. When it does lock-on, it does it in a horrid position. I, eventually, just stopped using the lock-on camera. The game’s controls on mouse and keyboard aren’t that bad. It works better than most other “hardcore RPGs.” They did still manage to leave out some details with the controls. Like if you happen to hit B, then your character walks. They never said that in a tutorial anywhere, so when I did hit B, I was panicking, trying to stop my character from walking. Then, they never mention a sprint. Of course, when playing with my XBox 1 controller, I found out some variations in controls, including that, hey.. I COULD SPRINT! However, when using controller over mouse and keyboard, the lock-on mechanic works a tad differently.
In all, Darksiders III has been the best gaming experience I had this year and the art style deserves high praise. Sure, they could have gone for the hyper realistic style, but then it wouldn’t be Darksiders nor would it fit the source material. So I am very thankful that they stuck with what has been a great staple of the series.
- Stunning art style
- Immersive ambiance
- Stellar voice acting
- Incredible story with a series long cliffhanger coming to fruition
- Extremely fun gameplay that is easy to pick up but difficult to master
Mileage May Vary:
- Soundtrack isn’t good or bad, just kind of meh
- Some bugs
- Some crashing
- Terrible lock-on camera mechanic
- Lack of talent trees and loot system from Darksiders 2
Draul gives Darksiders III a Drastik Measure of 9.2 out of 10 (92)
Darksiders III releases tomorrow (November 27th) on Steam and is a $59.99 (USD) game. It will have a season pass with some extra content, such as bringing back the crucible from Darksiders II. Sure, I would have loved if the game had talent trees and the loot system from Darksiders II, but it doesn’t. Darksiders III could be considered a SoulsLITE, if you really need to label it. However, with the many mechanics that you won’t find in other similar games, Darksiders III stands out on its own. It is worth the $59.99 full price for sure. Of course, my experience is PC only, so I can’t speak for the console editions of the game. I was running the game at 120 fps with some tweaks I made and got to experience it on this badass brand new Viotek 32-inch gaming monitor that just further enhanced my experience by letting all the amazing colors pop! Get the game. Enjoy it. It’s worth ever dang penny! Plus, who knows, maybe we can get a Darksiders IV where we get 4-player co-op and can choose which Horseman we play as! Combine the style of all the previous games together… I CAN DREAM!