Darksiders: Genesis Review: 2 Guns
Kalvin Martinez / May 11th, 2020 No Comments
Darksiders is a series that possessed a lot of potential and tremendous upside after a solid initial outing. However, the sequels stemming from the original haven’t delivered on the promise of the series. Darksiders: Genesis is a sequel and a spin-off that changes up the format from 3rd person action to 2.5D dungeon crawler hack-n-slash.
Let’s avoid lengthy suspense, Darksiders: Genesis slaps. It is a great spiritual sequel to a series that lost its way since the first entry. The combat is fun with a good amount of depth, and the story has all the grandiose ideas tempered with a sense of humor making it more palatable.
Lucifer Gon’ Plot and Scheme
Lucifer has conspired with hell’s masters to infiltrate Eden. Strife and War are put into an alliance of convenience with Samael and Vulgrim. Acting as hit men for the demons, Strife and War must venture to the far corners of hell to kill its masters, gain their treasures and figure out how to stop Lucifer.
The secret sauce for Genesis’ story is the interplay and dynamic between Strife and War. War acts as the anchor for the story putting over the severity of the mission and stopping Lucifer. Strife is a pinch of salt in a dish highlighting the other flavors. His cavalier manner and penchant for jokes and sarcasm provide a delightful contrast to War’s dour and stern demeanor. It is like a buddy cop movie with an apocryphal twist.
Solo Bolo or Co-Op for Dolo
Darksiders: Genesis puts you in control of Strife and War of the Four Horsemen. You can either play co-op with friends or ad hoc with someone controlling Strife or War, or more likely go solo switching between Strife and War.
Unlike most co-op games, Genesis may benefit from playing solo. Moving between Strife and War is easy allowing you to build the switch into your combos and combat. Playing by yourself doesn’t put you at a disadvantage with an insanely steep difficulty making it a joy to go solo.
Combat for its part is very hack-n-slash-y, which works well for the 2.5D presentation as the camera doesn’t become an issue when dispatching enemies. A cool trick is the silhouette it displays when a character or enemy moves behind cover.
Strife and War play very differently with Strife being more nimble and dexterous with more ranged combat options. War for his part plays similar to the first a Darksiders as a more stoic, lumbering character favoring his giant broadsword and power to get rid of enemies.
Strife gains different ammo types and War gains different power attacks throughout the game. These can be switched during combat allowing you to change strategies mid-fight. Strife’s ammo is much more dynamic and useful as he builds up his special meter with consecutive attacks. War’s attacks are cool, but you will find your bread and butter attack and use it continuously.
A nice thing Genesis does is build the complexity of combat out slowly allowing players to engage more casually just mashing buttons or purchase move upgrades to play more skill based combat by executing stronger, more complex moves. It is cool to be able to play through the game simply hacking and slashing or pushing yourself to execute the more input heavy moves.
In terms of customization and upgrades, Genesis has a simple to grasp rune upgrade system. By defeating demos you gain their crystallized essence and you can slot those essences into different runes to activate upgrades for War and Strife. This includes stat improvements, passive bonuses, and more. How granular and complex you go is up to you, but slotting in these essences effectively will make Strife and War more fearsome in battle.
Darksiders has always balanced combat with puzzles and Genesis is no different. However, unlike the previous games, puzzles are more straightforward. You’ll use the tools you find like War’s glaive or Strife’s portals to crack the solutions. Despite not being crazy brain teasers, they help add variety to gameplay and break up combat in an effective manner.
Wait, isn’t this a hack-n-slashy, dungeon crawler-y deal, what about the loot? Good thing you asked! Genesis has a ton of loot hidden across each chapter. This loot includes keys to unlock secret doors, passive upgrades, and more important means to purchase upgrades or new moves. Tracking down loot is worthwhile and makes exploring in the game satisfying.
Darksiders: Genesis is a rebirth for the series. It takes the cores of what made the first Darksiders work and builds on it in smart ways, mostly importantly by changing to a 2.5D presentation with a dungeon-crawling/hack-n-slash style of gameplay. If you’ve given up on the series, try out Genesis. It’ll change your mind.
Darksiders: Genesis was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the publisher.
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