While many thought the franchise would be left forgotten, Darksiders is back with a third entry in the series, over six years after players took control of Death, who wanted to redeem his brother War. Learn more in our Darksiders III review!
Darksiders III Trailer
The story of this entry folds out in the same time as the previous entries, with War on a quest to find out who triggered the apocalypse and Death on his quest to resurrect humanity and bring justice to his brother. Fury, the third Horseman (or Horsewoman) is asked by the Charred Council to hunt and capture the Seven Deadly Sins which have escaped captivity and now roam the Earth. Such a task had been done by the Four Horsemen before, but due to her arrogance, Fury insists on doing it by herself to prove her worth and be proclaimed as leader of the Horsemen. During her quest, she’ll meet with the Lord of the Hollows, who’ll help her by granting her powers without stating his true motive behind all the help, and will also try to inform her about the Charred Council’s motives behind her quest.
While the game is presented in the same third-person perspective as the previous entries, there are a lot of changes in how it performs. The first big difference is how Fury plays compared to her two brothers. She’s isn’t a tank like War, who could just hack and slash his way in pretty much anything, and she isn’t a weapon master like Death. Instead, Fury is a much more fragile character who can’t take as big of a beating as her brothers could, so she’ll rely on her ability to dodge attacks and strike back with her whip blade. Drawing obvious inspirations from Dark Souls, dodging will be crucial to your survival, even on the easiest of the four available difficulty settings, as a group of three enemies can quickly bring her down if you don’t study and dodge their attacks.
Speaking of attacks, Fury eventually gains a nice variety of weapons with the four hollows that are given to her (flame, force, statis, and storm). Each of them grants a secondary weapon, which you can switch on the fly with the L1 button and one of the face buttons, as well as some extra abilities. For example, the flame one will grant you a boosted double jump to allow reaching much higher places, while the storm one will let you glide in the air.
The upgrade system has been simplified a lot in comparison with the second game. As you gather souls from defeating enemies or finding them around the map, you’ll be able to spend them with Vulgrim, demonic merchant extraordinaire, to purchase consumables, enhancements that can be socketed into your weapons, or attribute points. You’ll be able to distribute those points in either Health, Strength or Arcane to make Fury stronger in those aspects.
As for the enhancements, equipping them on your weapons will grant a bonus to the weapon when you use it, as well as a passive one that affects Fury, like health point regeneration for example. Those enhancements will also be upgradable once you meet up with Ulthane, an Old One who we’ve seen in the first game. With the right crafting materials, enhancements can be upgraded in either the angelic or demonic path, which basically just favors one effect over the other.
Although not as visually stellar as some of the big titles we’ve been graced with this year, this game still provides some neat graphics with the same fantastic apocalyptic setup as the previous games. I did notice a couple of specific sections in the game where the game just froze with the loading symbol before continuing, but it still ran incredibly well and never crashed on me like the previous entries in the series did.
To this day, and I’m saying this because I truly hope we’ll eventually get a game with the Fourth Horseman, Fury has become my favorite of the three, just a bit above War. I feel as if the series has evolved from the simple hack and slashing it was before to something a bit more elaborate with some strategy involved if you want to survive (pretty much like God of War has done when you think about it). Sure it’s a bit scaled down compared to Death’s game, there’s not much side content to do, but what it does provide is fun and challenging.
The re-imagining of the Seven Deadly Sins in this game world was really interesting to see, and I think I even prefer this version than the one in the 2010s Dante’s Inferno. Each one of them had awesome character design and their voice acting fitted them perfectly.
As for the trophies, if you’ve played previous titles in the series before, the list shouldn’t surprise you. A lot of stuff will come naturally while playing the game, with a few things you’ll have to dig for in every corner of the world to make sure you find all the materials you need for your upgrades, as well as the humans that are to be saved. With the difficulty increase, beating the game on the hardest difficulty might prove to be a bigger challenge than in previous games and might prevent a few people from getting the platinum trophy.
It’s been a long time coming, but I’m really glad the Darksiders series is back. Gunfire Games have done an incredible job of bringing back the Horsemen with what I consider the best game in the series. All I’m hoping now is that this will reflect on an even more ambitious take for Strife, the final Horseman.
PSN Price: $59.99
This Darksiders III review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by THQ Nordic.