So Darksiders is one of the best Zelda games ever made. I know that either sounds stupid or obvious (a LOT of people really liked that game), but it truly was a delicious casserole of not only some of the best ingredients from the Zelda series (dungeons, catchy jingles to indicate you did something right, boomerangs, heart containers, horse-riding complete with analog for the carrots you’d give Epona, etc), but it also threw stuff from other enjoyable games in there as well, including the simple but fun combat from God of War and the portal gun from, well, Portal. And it seems more or less all of that stuff is returning PLUS the platforming from Prince of Persia and the loot collecting and RPG elements one might find in say, oh I don’t know, Diablo.
Yeah, you slice guys and numbers come off of ‘em! And then they drop and sick new battleaxe! And then you equip it and DUDE, Death (oh yeah, you play as a different horseman this time, but more on that later) has a giant battleaxe on his back! But then you reach the next area and you kill a guy with your swanky new axe and whoa, hold the phone, a new pair of boots AND a massive hammer! And whaddya know, it’s better than that silly old axe you thought was so cool three minutes ago. So you put on those boots, equip that hammer and…yeah, you know what I’m saying. But they have effectively added loot lust to the list of fun things about Darksiders and I’m definitely feeling that. And you can trade items with your friends via some manner of mailing system, so there is a light “yo, check out this awesome new sickle I got!” (there are also sickles…his name IS Death) element to the game as well.
So yeah, Death. Apparently this story happens more or less concurrently with that of War’s in the first game. I asked if that meant you may cross paths with that weird demon guy Mark Hamill voiced and it seems, no, you won’t. But don’t worry! His function as “Navi” has been replaced by a glowing crow named Dust. Not satisfied? Well, I got over it pretty quickly. I then asked if guns will be in it again and it sounds like that is a yes, so, happy times ahead. Oh, and you can’t block, you roll out of the way instead. That’s because Death is all crazy agile where War was thick and tank-like, which leads me to the next new ingredient in this very promising stew, all that there Prince of Persia-ness (first game was a casserole, this one is stew for those keeping track of my food analogies).
The Prince of Persia elements are VERY Prince of Persia, complete with wall-running, climbing on pillars, scampering up walls from hand-hold to hand-hold, jumping back and forth between two adjacent walls in order to ascend. As such, it was pretty easy to get into (though I did fail to notice I could jump from the bottom of a broken pillar to the top part as I’m used to the “nope, pillar’s broken” one sees in PoP). So yeah, it may be kind of stolen, but it is done right just like everything else I saw in the game so I’m pretty pleased with the experience I had.
In closing, apparently there are more dungeons, the world is way bigger (and you get your horse, Despair, right away so you can navigate it efficiently) and there are tons of bits of sweet, delicious loot you can find over the course of it, so, join me in looking forward to this one. August 2012, it gonna be good. And hey, it’s coming to the Wii-U, so Nintendo is more or less saying “yeah, go ahead and ape the Zelda formula”, so it’s okay to enjoy it and not call it a knockoff now.