Monday, November 5, 2012

Wrath Of... yawn... War

I recently finished up Darksiders the first. I wanted to like it more than I actually did.

People say that it's like a Zelda game, and in many ways that is true, but while I personally find it more interesting a world and mythology than Nintendo's franchise, it doesn't quite match their cohesion of design.

There is a lot of wasted potential in Darksiders' mechanics. Several of the items and abilities gained throughout the game seem to be in the game only to justify a progression-blocking barrier and divert the player on to the next dungeon of the eight-ish required in a game like this before the quest can be over. The pistol seems pretty useless. War's horse, Ruin, is used in a couple of combat encounters, and to my knowledge not able to be called upon in the majority of the game world's locales. The hookshot-alike is used sparingly, as are the floaty double-jump wings, and the portal gun is only for use where there are portal pads around the world, which is a small number of places.

Darksiders' combat system is better than Zelda's, but that doesn't mean it's great. It's pretty button-mashy, and anyone who's played a third-person action game in the last 10 years will know basically what to expect.

Let me take a moment here to just say that I hate the kind of puzzles you see in this type of game. They are completely pointless, and braindead in their conception. They do nothing but waste time. Who but a game designer would ever construct such places, with their levers and mirrors and disappearing floor tiles and such? Not the evilest being in all of history. They would be too busy doing evil things to create what amounts to a rat maze for the person coming to kill them, whom they are presumably unaware will ever exist! 

I came away from the game feeling like it was pretty average. I think this entire genre is just not really my type of thing. I do like the art a lot, but the plot was pretty poor, I thought, and did not make a lot of sense. I do own the sequel, though, and I am actually still looking forward to playing it, at some point. I've been told not to expect the "epic" events hinted at in this game's ending, but knowing what Darksiders II is viewing it, I wasn't under any illusion of that sort, anyway. What I am expecting to like is more in what I've heard of the sequel's world (more fantastical), loot, and platforming gameplay. 

No comments: