Published Jan 20, 2010Darksiders makes much more story sense than other angel-killing hot title, Bayonetta, as it should, since it was created by comic book artist/writer Joe Madureira, who worked on Uncanny X-Men during the "Age of Apocalypse" arc. His first game, too, takes an apocalypse theme. Or rather, The Apocalypse.
Rooted in The Book Of Revelations, you play as War, of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, who has gotten into trouble for kick-starting the end-times too early. But it, like, totally wasn't your fault.
So you must head down to earth to battle both angels and demons, accompanied by a creature called "the Watcher," voiced by Mark Hamil, in full-on Joker mode, who provides hints and keeps you on task. That being to find who prematurely launched Armageddon so you can re-establish the truce between heaven and hell. This time, the religious cosmology works, story-wise, with appearances by angelic soldiers like Uriel and Azrael, as well as broken seals and other borrowed biblical allusions.
The art design of the game is far too similar to the send-up style of Brutal Legend. I realize it's Madureira's style to make War so thickly drawn and his weapons so ridiculously huge, but it just looks a little too familiar for a game that's nominally exploring new narrative territory.
The action-RPG game play itself is also familiar ― think God of War, with Christianity replacing Greek mythology, paired with quest-based explorations taken from the Zelda playbook. But that mash-up aesthetic makes it no less lovingly crafted. And besides, Darksiders gets better as it goes along. Just like the bible! (C'mon, Revelations is a rad epilogue.)
Though no matter their religious underpinnings, all that angel-killing means both titles are unlikely to convince the Christian Right that videogames are anything but the Devil's playthings. (THQ/Vigil Games)