One of the biggest IPs to change hands during the fall of THQ was Darksiders. Purchased by Nordic Games, it was originally created by Vigil Games and was once planned to be a major new franchise with multiple entries and spinoffs. Darksiders did well enough to spawn a sequel as the story continued in Death’s quest in Darksiders II.
Even after two Remasters, the future of the series was still undetermined. To the surprise of many (including me!), Darksiders III was announced and here we are a year later reviewing it! Developed by Gunfire Games, a team comprised of some ex-members of Virgil Games, it continues the story of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as you take over as Fury. She is assigned with the mission to destroy the seven deadly sins. Should you accept this mission? Should the series have been brought back from the dead? The answer to these questions is somewhere in the middle.
Darksiders III takes a more linear approach than past entries in the series, which coming from someone who loves him some single-player story-driven games isn’t a problem until you begin to realize the game plays it a little too safe. Even though the gameplay has shifted to more Dark Souls-ish, it has since been updated to give longtime fans of the series the classic feel they might be desiring. The Darksiders franchise has always been known for is its great take on boss battles and that continues with Darksiders III. Fury certainly has more character than War and Death, as side-characters and enemies are also entertaining along with creative designs.
The graphics won’t blow you away but the game still carries the look and style that Joe Mad blessed it with years ago. The ruins of earth have never looked better as you traverse the environment. While the game does have you doing some backtracking to some locations this is most likely due to the limited budget. The team at Gunfire Games did the best with what they were given.
Early reviews of Darksiders III made mention of performance issues. Bugs. Slowdown. Choppiness. Crashes. Bizarre color saturation problems. Perhaps the game wasn’t quite ready at launch, but these issues have since been mostly squashed. So if you were worried about the gaming having the game give you a hard time, worry not as Gunfire Games has greatly improved the game’s performance since launch.
If you’re a fan of the series Darksiders III will deliver for you in spades. You get to continue the journey of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, learning exactly who did what, why they did it, and even a tease for a fourth game. New fans looking to take an interest in the series are best suited to start with the original two games, though they may ask why the gameplay in Darksiders III seems toned down compared the first two chapters.
Ultimately DSIII plays it safe, straddling the line between pleasing old school series of the fans and enticing new fans with intense hack and slash gameplay. DSIII does enough to ensure future potential sequels while holding back the series from taking the next step it needs.