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Xbox 360 Game Review

Darksiders II


Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £49.99
4 005209 166041
Age Restrictions: 16+
Available 21 August 2012

Awakened by the End of Days, Death, the most feared of the legendary Four Horsemen, embarks on a journey to redeem his brother's name. Become the terrifying force which everyone fears but nothing can escape...

Darksiders II is an action adventure role playing game that sees you playing as Death, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The game runs parallel to the events that unfolded in the first game - which means fans of the original will get additional satisfaction watching how this game's story develops. Your main goal is to prove that your brother horseman, War, is not responsible for kick-starting the Apocalypse.

What you have here is a hack 'n' slash adventure game that sees you wandering around the large environments talking to individuals that you meet, completing their quests and killing beasties. To traverse the wide open plains you can summon your horse - which allows you to get where you're going marginally quicker than on foot - you can also quickly jump to areas that you've already been to (by simply visiting the map and choosing where you want to go). This saves a lot of time later in the game as you zip back and fourth between different locations.

It feels a lot like a classic Zelda game, although with incredible graphics. There are also elements of the Prince of Persia series (the way you navigate hard to reach areas) and Tomb Raider (in the way some of the room puzzles are laid out). But while it borrows elements from elsewhere Darksiders II is very much its own game.

There are plenty of interesting enemies to tackle, and clever elements that, once you've figured them out, will help you in the future. For example, fairly early on in the game you come across an area with large flying bugs. No matter how many you kill, more appear. However, if you travel a little further you'll stumble across a living hive that you can destroy, and so stop the never ending swarm of bugs. There is also the odd boss that turns up to cause your life a misery. Once you know their moves it's simply a case of dodging their main attacks and then going in and getting a few good attacks in.

As you kill enemies they'll drop items (including weapons, clothing and other useful items) that can be carried or worn to help you in your quest. You can also rank up unlocking powers and new combat moves - and as you progress and the beasties get harder, you'll need to throw everything you have at them.

If I had one complaint it's that when jumping around the environment it's easy to tap the controller before Death is ready to move, but as it sometimes stores your intent to move you can find yourself jumping to your death. Death sequences are handled neatly too. As you can't actually die, wings grow out of your back, allowing you to fly straight back into the game.

That age old problem that the camera is fiddly when you are in the heat of combat has also been addressed. When in battle simply tap the left trigger to focus on your nearest enemy and position the camera behind your character.

It's big and bold, beautiful and immersive. Darksiders II will not only keep you entertained for days, but there are enough side quests to keep you coming back time and time again well after you've finished the main campaign.


Darren Rea

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