Version Played: Xbox 360
Current CEX Price: £1
I covered a pretty high profile – but now very cheap – game a few days ago, when I took a look at James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game, and here I am again dipping into the Bargain Bin, finding a highly regarded, relatively popular game that’s even been remastered recently to great effect. Not exactly a likely candidate for Bargain Bin status, but the current market value clearly disagrees.
Darksiders is a game that feels epic right from the opening. It’s a game that plays out on a massive scale, audaciously opening with the end of the world. It doesn’t mess around. Neither does War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, called forth to attend to Armageddon. Everything he does is overstated and melodramatic; his chunky look, his massive sword (CHAOSEATER!) and brooding voice are so OTT – it’s ridiculous, but also really cool.
Playing like a Devil May Cry/God of War-style third person action game with light RPG elements, there’s so much to like here, from vividly realised creatures and characters to the biblical apocalypse premise – which we don’t see much of in games. Though Darksiders borrows freely from bigger budget, incredibly well established franchises and doesn’t feel particularly original, there’s so much fun to be had here that it’s not hard to see why it got the remaster treatment – and, though the upgraded edition is a beautiful leap over the original in terms of graphical splendour, the last gen version still looks great even today, nine years after release.
On the subject of how well the game’s visuals have aged, this can largely be attributed to Joe Madureira – the cult comic book creator responsible for late 90s sensation Battle Chasers (which received a video game adaptation of its own in 2017) – who clearly has his fingerprints all over the visual design, giving Darksiders a truly appealing sense of style that was often missing from a lot of games in the same period, which were often filled with bland environments and enemies. Though the post apocalypse setting runs the risk at times of falling into this empty urban environment trap (albeit with some suitably spooky design at times), there’s still enough verve in the design of the characters, good and bad, to carry it through.
There’s great voice acting here too, with the prolific Troy Baker and Mark Hamill among the cast. The music is decent enough and suitably bombastic, but the themes aren’t especially memorable.
I think you can probably guess the answer to the usual ‘is it worth a shot’ bargain bin question. For the avoidance of doubt, the answer is – of course – yes. Darksiders is a game that completely passed me by originally, but I’m really glad I’ve discovered it now. The Remastered Edition (with a suitably OTT pun of a title – Darksiders: Warmastered Edition) is available on Game Pass too, so there’s a variety of ways to play Darksiders for next to nothing at this stage.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing Darksiders and do find a way to play (though quite a bit more expensive than the last gen versions, the remast- sorry, Warmastered Edition – is on PC, PS4 and even on Switch now!) you’re sure to have a blast, no matter which version you try.
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