The Darksiders Journal: Day 1


After getting through normal mode and getting a little taste of hard mode in Bayonetta, I finally found some to time to give Darksiders a whirl.  Unlike Bayonetta – which is straight up, intense action throughout – Darksiders features exploration and a non-linear style of play. The game drew a lot of early comparisons to God of War, and although there are certainly some similarities, the game that Darksiders reminds me of most is actually Ocarina of Time, one of my favorite games of all time.  So, as you would suspect, I’ve really been enjoying Darksiders so far.


In Darksiders, you play was War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  The apocalypse has already occurred, but it wasn’t supposed to.  As War, it’s your job to figure out who or what caused the apocalypse, which means lots of exploration and lots of fighting.  There’s a bit more nuance to the story – part of which involves a being known as The Watcher shackled to War at all times – but generally, the point of the game is to track down the other horsemen and see who’s behind everything.  The Watcher serves as a guide throughout Darksiders, much like Navi in Ocarina of Time.  Thankfully, he doesn’t shriek, “Hey!  Listen!” every two minutes.

The game starts off with some combat and progresses pretty linearly, but that’s just to acquaint you with the controls and to get you familiar with the weapons and equipment systems.  It’s all pretty simply enough – you can equip a variety of weapons and upgrades, and a “wrath meter” gauges how much power you have for special attacks or defenses – and those attacks or defenses can be upgraded, too.  Upgrades can be purchased at shops, which are marked by a blue eye thingy on the world map.


The combat itself is sort of clunky, but not so much so that it isn’t fun.  I’ve leveled my Chaoseater sword (which is your default weapon) a little bit and added an accessory that increases my attacks power, and so far most enemies aren’t too tough.  Larger enemies require a bit more strategy than button-mashing, but nothing more than a few well-timed dodges.  I also bought a scythe, and I can have it equipped simultaneously with my sword.  The scythe doesn’t do as much damage as my sword, but it has a longer range, making it effective when I’m surrounded by a lot of enemies.  So far, my only wrath ability is an attack that causes giant blades to pop up from the ground around me.  I use it so seldom that I often forget I have it in the first place.  Still, I have a feeling that powered-up wrath abilities are going to be lifesavers later on.

After about an hour or so of playing, Darksiders really opened up and became a much richer experience.  I can pretty much explore the giant outer world and gain souls (used for cash, of course) by fighting enemies that cross my path.  There are shops along the way, as well as barricades for which I’m sure I’ll need a yet-to-be-acquired item later on.  When I entered the first dungeon, though, is when Darksiders really, really started to feel like Ocarina of Time.

Some rooms contain lots of enemies that need to be defeated before I can move on, but most involve solving some sort of puzzle.  The puzzles themselves involve dragging objects, placing bombs in the right places, or hitting object with my boomerang in a certain order.  Oh yeah, I found a pretty bad ass bladed boomerang in the first dungeon, and it’s pretty awesome against the giant bats that are constantly annoying me.


I managed to reach the level one boss, a giant bat creature called Tiamat, and I was pleased to see that it is actually pretty difficult.  Actually, I haven’t yet beaten the boss – I quit after dying three times – but I’m confident I’ll do it the next time I play.  I know that I have to use the boomerang, and in true Ocarina fashion, the item or weapon found in a dungeon is often the one that must be used to complete that dungeon.  I know I keep comparing this game to Ocarina, but for me, that’s a good thing. Darksiders is original enough in its story and character design that other derivative aspects of the game seem more like an homage than a ripoff.

There is a slight problem of screen tearing, but it’s not so egregious as to really have a negative impact on the gameplay.  Hopefully THQ will make a patch available soon.

I’m definitely enjoying my time so far, and I have a strong suspicion that I haven’t even scratched the surface of what Darksiders has to offer.  I see dozens of empty slots for equipment and upgrades, so I’m really looking forward to strengthening War.  And I’m really looking forward to getting on that damn horse.

Still, so far, so good for Darksiders.

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  1. @ Jason

    Visuals are pretty good overall, and you can really appreciate the scale of the world and the dungeons. The only problem is the screen-tearing that occurs from time to time, but it’s not a dealbreaker for me.

    Also, just from a stylistic standpoint, the characters (especially War) look a bit too WoW for some people. It’s a tad bit cartoony, but I do appreciate the use of color.

    Overall the visuals are adequate/average, but I haven’t seen anything yet to really blow me away.

    I’m also playing Bayonetta, which is a tough act to follow in terms of visuals, so that may skew my opinion.

  2. The screen tearing issue is going to get fixed in the next patch so that won’t be too much of an issue. I’ve been playing this game quite a bit, beaten the 4 Chosen dungeons on Apocalyptic so far. There are some really fun upgrades that you come across later like your trusty steed Ruin. Oh, and there’s also a portal gun upgrade that you get, but I have to experiment with it some.

    For me the game has definitely been worth the purchase, I’ve gotten a good way through it but there’s still a whole lot for me to explore and uncover.

  3. @ Venro

    That great to hear about the patch, and it’s encouraging that Darksiders is such a huge game. That’s probably what I like best about it – the scale.

  4. Glad to see some people talking about this game!

    I’m a bit farther than you, but not by much, and i am loving this game. It’s heavy on exploring and puzzle solving and you don’t see enough of that in games today. It’s a lot of fun.

    A lot of the first batches of them also came with a code that will unlock something they plan on announcing later this month. Not sure what it is yet.

  5. I finished Darksiders yesterday, it’s really a good game, you’ll be please with the ending, I’m guarantee.
    And about the code, It’s use to unlock a weapon in game, you can go to option menu, chose Enter code and then hit “The Hollow Lord” [case-sensitive and space] (yeah, the code is official, although it’s suppose to open for gamestop pre-orders only)
    after enter code, you’ll have a scythe call The Havester, an upgrade version of Scythe.

  6. Yes, that code was used for the Harvester, but i’m talking about another code that was supposedly put into initial releases only. I have no idea how many people got it, or if it only went with pre-orders.

    It was on another card in the box that said “Do not Discard” and to check the Darksiders website. Upon doing so you find out that whatever the code unlocks will not be announced until later this month, and that we will not be dissapointed with it….whatever it is.

  7. sound interesting, but I think that code have nothing to do with the game it self, cause when you enter The Hollow Lord code, the Enter Code option will disappear, and a DLC is unlikely, so I guess that I’ll have to wait.

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