First released in 2010, Vigil Games’ hack and slash action game Darksiders set out to tell a unique story of War, his fall from glory as a horseman of the apocalypse, and his journey to clear his name. Acclaimed as a Legend of Zelda-style action adventure game, it was well received and even got the sequel treatment featuring brother Death. In 2014 Nordic games acquired some of now bankrupt publisher THQ’s properties and even took on their name, rebranding themselves to THQ Nordic. Along with several other titles, Darksiders was acquired, and a short two years later War rode again in the HD-updated title Darksiders: Warmastered Edition.
Darksiders was the first game developed by Vigil games, and the story is proof of that. Its original enough that it peaks your interest, but stays safe in tropes found in many revenge style dramas. The game starts with a war breaking out on earth between Heaven and Hell. War shows up to kick ass and take names, trying to restore the balance between Heaven, Hell, and Mankind. He is defeated by a demon and nearly killed. Saved right before his death, War is quickly charged by The Charred Council for starting the apocalypse early, and being sentenced to death anyway. He tries to tell them in brute fashion that the war was already started, he was actually late. Instead of pleading much more, he convinces them to let him go find out what happened, and if he should die then the council gets what they wanted. The story isnt very deep, but that’s ok. It kept me interested and playing. I did however find myself forgetting a lot of why I was doing things in game. Its not a bad narrative at all, in fact the story of War redeeming his name is quite good, but I felt it was better suited to a comic book than anything else.
Vigil games did a great job of putting out such an upfront, and genuine experience for their first game, and Nordic Games deserves a pat on the back as well for highlighting that. Darksiders had an original idea, incredible casting, and some amazing talent to back it up. There are some definite pitfalls in this game, but overall I didn’t regret spending time with it. I never put down the remote from a play session and thought that I would never come back to it. I wouldn’t put it in my must-haves list however. If you like Zelda-esque games, or brainless hack-and-slash, Darksiders needs to be in your collection. If those games dont interest you, you might want to wait until it goes down in price. Either way, it’s worth trying playing though at least once.