Darksiders 3 Review – One Step Forward Two Steps Back

0
244

It’s been a long wait for Darksiders 3’s release and its finally here. Following the bankruptcy of THQ, many fans believed that we won’t see another entry in the franchise. But, here we are in 2018 and THQ Nordic has released Darksiders 3.

Darksiders franchise started in 2010 with the release of Darksiders focusing on 4 Horsemen and a premature apocalypse. Original Darksiders was a linear game with a tight focus in combat and story.

War was the first Horseman to be introduced with a unique personality and abilities. The game ended at a cliffhanger that is yet to be concluded. With Darksiders 2, the franchise saw its next step in evolution. The sequel was bigger and better in every way despite having flaws of its own.

This time we were introduced to Death, the second Horseman of the apocalypse. Darksiders 2 featured a vast open-world for players to explore, a new protagonist, revamped combat, and an addictive loot system.

It was clear that developer Vigil Games has started to realize their original scope of the Darksiders franchise. Both Darksiders and Darksiders 2 were a critical and commercial success. However, that couldn’t save THQ from bankruptcy.

After years of wait, Darksiders 3 has finally released. This time we are introduced to Fury, sister to the Horseman of the Apocalypse. She is the third horseman to be introduced.

Darksiders 3 Review

Despite Darksiders 2 showing a clear path for the franchise to move forward, Darksiders 3 is more in line with the original Darksiders in terms of its world and gameplay. This can be a good thing if done right and that is what we will be finding out in our Darksiders 3 review.

Like Darksiders 2, Darksiders 3 is also set in parallel to the first games during the 100 years of imprisonment of War following him being accused of triggering the apocalypse prematurely.

In Darksiders 2, Death was out to prove the innocence of his brother War and managed to do it by wiping out the sin when he resurrected the Humans. However, Fury has very different motivations which we will discuss further down.

Story

The story is simple, the Charred Council tasks Fury with eliminating the Seven Deadly Sins, who have escaped following the premature triggering of the Apocalypse. Fury gladly accepts it in hopes to impress the Council and become the one to the lead the Horseman.

As it is with many previous Darksiders games, this isn’t an easy task and things are not as simple as they seem. However, Darksiders 3 story is the weakest among the three Darksiders games.

Darksiders 3

Without going into spoilers each sin has a unique personality which obviously makes sense since all seven of these represent a different aspect of the Seven Sins. However, I did find Darksiders 3 story to be much more interesting than some recent AAA titles, so Gunfire Games has done a good job in the story department.

Graphics and The World

Given that Darksiders 3 is a generation ahead of Darksiders and Darksiders 2, one would expect a bigger and a better-looking world. However, developer Gunfire Games opted for a semi-linear world instead of a full open-world. This is probably due to the development team being significantly small.

However, you can’t help but notice that compared to Darksiders 2 and even Darksiders, Darksiders 3’s world is empty and void of life. Granted there are enemies sprawling around but, they don’t help much in world building.

Darksiders 3

The world itself feels really empty as there is very little to explore. Also, the game features a ton of backtracking to find and go places that were previously blocked due to Fury not having the required Hollow.

As I mentioned before, making a game linear can work if done right. However, Darksiders 3’s world is a mixed bag, you will either love it or hate it.

However, I found the linearity somewhat refreshing in an age when every other game is a big open-world title. Darksiders 3’s linearity makes for an interesting and engaging experience in an industry where publishers are pushing for bigger and bigger open-world games.

Visually, Darksiders 3 has taken a hit. Even compared to Darksiders 2, the latest entry sometimes looks bland. Overall the game looks average and the fact that due to some technical issues the game looks blurry on PC doesn’t help it either. Overall the graphics and the world are OK but, nothing to write home about.

Characters and Voice

Characters in the Darksiders franchise have always been over the top and Darksiders 3 is no exception. The game sees the return of many characters introduced in the first two games.

Gunfire Games has done an incredible job of making detailed character models for Darksiders 3 characters. Each character not only has a unique personality but also a unique visual style that sets them apart from the others.

Aside from the detailed character models, the game doesn’t do justice to all of the characters. Fury is the protagonist and hence the whole story is told through her perspective.

However, the game sometimes falters while explaining the motivations of the characters for their actions. But overall, Gunfire Games has done an excellent job of creating detailed character models and their unique personalities.

Darksiders 3

Fury as a character is very interesting. She isn’t out to prove War’s innocence or stopping the sins for the balance. She is doing it to prove her work to the council and replace Death as the leader of the Horseman.

The Voice acting is a mixed bag. Cissy Jones has done an incredible job of portraying Fury in Darksiders 3 even when she has to deliver a cheesy dialogue and what is a Darksiders game without a cheesy dialogue. Cissy Jones is incredible as Fury as she delivers a wide range of emotions just through her voice.

However, the same can’t be said for all the characters that are part of Darksiders 3. Interestingly, the Charred Council and Lord Of Hollows sound very similar. It’s like the voice actor put no effort into changing the voice slightly to differentiate between the two.

Given that the Charred Council won’t get much of a screen time, it won’t be noticeable for you. Other than that the voice acting is really good especially for the Seven Deadly sins.

Voice actors for the sins have done a perfect job portraying them. Overall the characters and voices are a good mix and it shows how much effort was put into this area.

Combat And Gameplay

Combat might be the only saving grace for Darksiders 3, however, it’s not without its flaws. This time around the developers have opted for a Dark Souls-like combat instead of a stylish hack-n-slash combat.

This could be attributed to Fury’s persona of high-risk, high-reward. Now, players just can’t rush into battle and just mash buttons to see Fury pulling off flashing combos like War and Death.

What players can do is strategically fight their enemies by carefully timing their attacks and dodge. This is a refreshing break from the over the top God of War-like combat and it works wonders and forces players to think before they attack.

However, Darksiders 3 Combat isn’t perfect and the elimination of the loot system featured in Darksiders 2 feels like a step back. The loot system was one of the most addicting aspects of Darksiders 2. As players progressed they would find better weapons and armor with unique stats. Other than that, Darksiders 3 combat is a good mix of risk and reward.

Darksiders 3 has a number of different enemies which keeps things interesting. Different enemies have their own visual cues notifying players of an incoming attack. However, when Fury is fighting two or more enemies, things can become a little frustrating.

Given that the Seven Deadly Sins are the antagonists, one would assume that Gunfire Games has made them really interesting. However, aside from one Sin, these boss battles are not as challenging as I want them to be.

Bosses have set patterns that they repeat again and again. Instead of being strategic, players just need to understand the pattern and time their attacks. Overall, Darksiders 3’s combat is its best aspect that needs a bit of improvement.

As for the puzzles, compared to Darksiders and Darksiders 2 these are as simple as they come. There is no thrill in solving them and there is no sense of accomplishment. That’s how bland the puzzles are.

Verdict

Gunfire Games took a risk by ditching the tried and tested combat system of the first two and going with Souls-like combat system for Darksiders 3. While it doesn’t really work as intended but, it is challenging and enjoyable. However, great voice acting, detailed and unique character models, a good story do not overshadow what the game does wrong like uninspired and the empty world and being visually unimpressive.