Darksiders Catch-all

That's pretty much what it is, and why it is on my shortlist for GOTY. Enjoy!

Finished this game on Friday. What a fun game. I actually enjoyed most of the combat more than I'm currently liking (or hating) God of War II, since GoWII seems to be implementing a few cheap infinite respawn moments and times when you have to fend off multiple unit types with one type having unblockable large range attacks.

Anyways, back to Darksiders. The final dungeon was great, but a bit light on the combat for my tastes and very light on it compared to the rest of the game. It favored a lot more puzzles, which was a nice for a change. As I mentioned in the pile thread, I really liked the way the story was driven / presented. All in all, a great game.

I wrapped up the Black Throne (except for Straga) last night. If the rest of the game had been like this dungeon and the Twilight Cathedral, I'd have loved this game a lot more. Unfortunately, the game's middle bits drag terribly, particularly in the Ashlands. The time-slowing blocks are fun, but they're never really used to great effect, and the Ashlands themselves are visually dull. It's sad that they abandoned their gothic, post-apocalyptic New York for a fairly generic desert landscape. I get the impression they wanted the wide open spaces for the mounted combat, but the mounted combat just isn't fun.

About that combat... I've been groping toward a better understanding of why it is that I don't like this game's combat. Partly, as I mentioned last week, it's a matter of the combat being a bit over-stuffed for my taste, but I'll admit that I've enjoyed it more as I've taken to ignoring most of the moves available and have stopped trying to tease any sort of depth out of it. One of my real issues is that the developers were a bit too fond of the locked arena but don't do much to mix up those encounters. I roll my eyes a bit whenever I go into a room and the doors glaze over with fire. It's starting to feel a bit like Alan Wake in that I know exactly what enemies I'll be facing and in which order: you get the big guy du jour, the big guy du jour plus minions, and then either the bigger guy du jour or two of the big guys du jour at the same time. Yay. Is this a God of War thing?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I wrapped up the Black Throne (except for Straga) last night. If the rest of the game had been like this dungeon and the Twilight Cathedral, I'd have loved this game a lot more. Unfortunately, the game's middle bits drag terribly, particularly in the Ashlands. The time-slowing blocks are fun, but they're never really used to great effect, and the Ashlands themselves are visually dull. It's sad that they abandoned their gothic, post-apocalyptic New York for a fairly generic desert landscape. I get the impression they wanted the wide open spaces for the mounted combat, but the mounted combat just isn't fun.

About that combat... I've been groping toward a better understanding of why it is that I don't like this game's combat. Partly, as I mentioned last week, it's a matter of the combat being a bit over-stuffed for my taste, but I'll admit that I've enjoyed it more as I've taken to ignoring most of the moves available and have stopped trying to tease any sort of depth out of it. One of my real issues is that the developers were a bit too fond of the locked arena but don't do much to mix up those encounters. I roll my eyes a bit whenever I go into a room and the doors glaze over with fire. It's starting to feel a bit like Alan Wake in that I know exactly what enemies I'll be facing and in which order: you get the big guy du jour, the big guy du jour plus minions, and then either the bigger guy du jour or two of the big guys du jour at the same time. Yay. Is this a God of War thing?

I actually enjoyed the mounted combat but didn't love it. Traveling on foot across anywhere in that area got annoying, especially the wooden drill thing platforms. I think that was because I was a bit lost and I felt trapped while the game let me see through to the areas that I could be in. Then I really liked the part where you got to pick up the big guns, as it was a great pace change and just fun to sadistically make things go boom. Does that part count as the ashlands?

Oh and the fire glazed doors always reminds me of Devil May Cry (God of War does it too) since that was the first 3D brawler type I can think of that did it. DMC was worse, though because if you stood near the door, the glazing would attack you, too. This has led me to be really conscious of not going near those things in subsequent games. Yeah, Zelda locks doors behind you sometimes, but in a lot of cases, you can run away where it's the opposite in Darksiders where you can only run away from a few encounters.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

I actually enjoyed the mounted combat but didn't love it. Traveling on foot across anywhere in that area got annoying, especially the wooden drill thing platforms. I think that was because I was a bit lost and I felt trapped while the game let me see through to the areas that I could be in. Then I really liked the part where you got to pick up the big guns, as it was a great pace change and just fun to sadistically make things go boom. Does that part count as the ashlands?

The part with the guns does count as the Ashlands, and I did enjoy it. I just don't think the pacing was very good through the Ashlands. It was dull to look at and it didn't have much of a mechanical hook to it (the way that the boomerang is the mechanical hook for the Twilight Cathedral or the Voidwalker is the hook [so to speak] for the spider den).

Oh and the fire glazed doors always reminds me of Devil May Cry (God of War does it too) since that was the first 3D brawler type I can think of that did it. DMC was worse, though because if you stood near the door, the glazing would attack you, too. This has led me to be really conscious of not going near those things in subsequent games. Yeah, Zelda locks doors behind you sometimes, but in a lot of cases, you can run away where it's the opposite in Darksiders where you can only run away from a few encounters.

Bayonetta did the glazed doors, too. It worked a bit better in that game because a.) it was the game, so it rarely felt like the combat was actively getting in the way of doing something more interesting, and b.) Bayonetta had a better balance to the enemies you faced. With Darksiders I feel like I'm constantly getting locked in a room to fight the same twenty guys I just killed in a locked room on the other side of this same damn bridge when what I'm really wanting to do is just get on to the next set of rooms.

^^^Those are spoilers. Thanks a lot.

CptGlanton wrote:

^^^Those are spoilers. Thanks a lot.

I figured it wouldn't matter on page eight of a thread for a year-old game. My sincere apologies.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

^^^Those are spoilers. Thanks a lot.

I figured it wouldn't matter on page eight of a thread for a year-old game. My sincere apologies.

The PC version was released mid-late September. Most of the recent posts have been us playing that version.

Yeah, it's only been out for about 2 months for the PC.

There's still time to edit in some spoiler tags.

Spoiler:

I finished this up last night. I'm still working through my impressions of it, but I was put off by how the story was resolved. You spend 80% of the game collecting the hearts of the Chosen. At first you're told that this is a vital step to weakening the Destroyer's tower so that you can access it, but it's later revealed that all you're doing is freeing Samael. He gives you access to the tower and was, by any indication, able to do so the entire time. A lot of dire warnings are thrown around about how terrible it would be for him to be free and how War is really taking a risk by doing so, and yet that entire adventure ends up being almost completely incidental to the plot and its resolution. Freeing Samael has absolutely nothing to do with the identity of the Destroyer, the machinations that kick-started the apocalypse, or the means needed to defeat the Destroyer. It makes the entire middle portion of the game, the part that's the actual mechanic meat of the experience, feel like padding.

Overall, I found that the storytelling through the final portion of the game (from Eden onward) was weak and disjointed. It took me awhile to sort out when Abaddon became the Destroyer, how Uriel was involved (I'm pretty sure they used the same voice actress for the mysterious temptress who lures Abaddon to the dark side), and so on. The game's storytelling wasn't great, but it took a serious dive in the last bit there.

Edited by request to include spoiler tags for the PC gamers.

SuperDave wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

^^^Those are spoilers. Thanks a lot.

I figured it wouldn't matter on page eight of a thread for a year-old game. My sincere apologies.

The PC version was released mid-late September. Most of the recent posts have been us playing that version.

The big exception being this HD console noob right here and probably also clockwork.

mrtomaytohead wrote:
SuperDave wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

^^^Those are spoilers. Thanks a lot.

I figured it wouldn't matter on page eight of a thread for a year-old game. My sincere apologies.

The PC version was released mid-late September. Most of the recent posts have been us playing that version.

The big exception being this HD console noob right here and probably also clockwork.

... and people who picked this up cheap in the Steam holiday sale.

As I said in the Steam sale thread: this game kicks ass. I'm a sucker for style and this game is dripping with it. If looks could kill... [size=8](ouch, that was a painfully repurposed cliche)[/size]

It sounds good, too. Great comic-booky voice acting and a music score that fits the visuals well.

For ten bucks, I feel like I just stole something.

BadKen wrote:
mrtomaytohead wrote:
SuperDave wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

^^^Those are spoilers. Thanks a lot.

I figured it wouldn't matter on page eight of a thread for a year-old game. My sincere apologies.

The PC version was released mid-late September. Most of the recent posts have been us playing that version.

The big exception being this HD console noob right here and probably also clockwork.

... and people who picked this up cheap in the Steam holiday sale.

As I said in the Steam sale thread: this game kicks ass. I'm a sucker for style and this game is dripping with it. If looks could kill... [size=8](ouch, that was a painfully repurposed cliche)[/size]

It sounds good, too. Great comic-booky voice acting and a music score that fits the visuals well.

For ten bucks, I feel like I just stole something.

I'm right there with you. Passed on it the first sale, but got it yesterday and I'm loving it.

Gumbie wrote:
BadKen wrote:

... and people who picked this up cheap in the Steam holiday sale.

As I said in the Steam sale thread: this game kicks ass. I'm a sucker for style and this game is dripping with it. If looks could kill... [size=8](ouch, that was a painfully repurposed cliche)[/size]

It sounds good, too. Great comic-booky voice acting and a music score that fits the visuals well.

For ten bucks, I feel like I just stole something.

I'm right there with you. Passed on it the first sale, but got it yesterday and I'm loving it.

I would have got this a while ago if they'd actually sold it in my country before the sale, and a demo would have sealed the deal. It's nice they actually got around to selling it here, but it would be nice if they got their bum in gear at the time of release rather than just throwing it out as some discarded scrap now the main sales are over. Activision's Singularity is another one that didn't get much of a UK release at all, including retail, and has now turned up on steam here.

New people, whenever you unlock the Scythe, I'd recommend immediately using the code to upgrade it to the Harvester as shown here (it gives you more souls per kill):

Level up time spent with it as the Scythe doesn't transfer to the Harvester.

Actually, I think if you input that code, it saves you the souls to buy the scythe, as that makes it free.

Not sure if it works on PC or not.

There's no code entry on PC.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Spoiler:

I finished this up last night. I'm still working through my impressions of it, but I was put off by how the story was resolved. You spend 80% of the game collecting the hearts of the Chosen. At first you're told that this is a vital step to weakening the Destroyer's tower so that you can access it, but it's later revealed that all you're doing is freeing Samael. He gives you access to the tower and was, by any indication, able to do so the entire time. A lot of dire warnings are thrown around about how terrible it would be for him to be free and how War is really taking a risk by doing so, and yet that entire adventure ends up being almost completely incidental to the plot and its resolution. Freeing Samael has absolutely nothing to do with the identity of the Destroyer, the machinations that kick-started the apocalypse, or the means needed to defeat the Destroyer. It makes the entire middle portion of the game, the part that's the actual mechanic meat of the experience, feel like padding.

Overall, I found that the storytelling through the final portion of the game (from Eden onward) was weak and disjointed. It took me awhile to sort out when Abaddon became the Destroyer, how Uriel was involved (I'm pretty sure they used the same voice actress for the mysterious temptress who lures Abaddon to the dark side), and so on. The game's storytelling wasn't great, but it took a serious dive in the last bit there.

I agree with your points but a big part of the storyline is

Spoiler:

War getting taken for a fool and used as a patsy for other folks machinations. Yes, Samael's release doesn't directly tie into the main story, but you have to help him before he helps you. (That's a pretty typical gaming trope: "Collect X amount of items before I'll let you pass".) I think one of his last bits of dialog is along the lines of "...but we'll meet again, Horseman!" which to me - at that point in the game - meant that he would be a boss later on in the game or there would be a sequel. Since a sequel has been confirmed...BOOM - there you go. Chances are he'll be some sort of frienemy in the sequel.

I also agree about the whole middle part, and that was my only major complaint about the game: it's one giant fetch quest after another. Collect souls to open up the first titan/door. Collect the hearts for Samael. Collect the pieces of the sword. War was effectively turned into the personal valet of the heavens.

Nel:

Spoiler:

I agree that Samael's storyline was largely a setup for a sequel. I still think it's dramatically unsatisfactory for the bulk of the gameplay to not tie into the plot except incidentally.

Well I very much enjoyed this game. The story and the dialogue are as hacky and hoary as possible but it's good jolly mindless fun.

The bit where it turns into Portal can piss right off. Doing the same boring bit in a reasonably dull environment three times each slightly more difficult than the last can piss off as well. I'm sure that segment has had me divide my playtime into more sanity preserving, bite sized pieces than any other.

That is all.

Scratched wrote:

The bit where it turns into Portal can piss right off. Doing the same boring bit in a reasonably dull environment three times each slightly more difficult than the last can piss off as well. I'm sure that segment has had me divide my playtime into more sanity preserving, bite sized pieces than any other.

That is all.

That's where I sold the game. I hated it. I was fed up by that point.

Yeah, I just started that part. Fortunately for me, I enjoy the combat, and there was quite a bit of combat in the first beamy section. I found the miniboss fight fun, too.

When they get into the puzzle swing, though, they really push it sometimes. I almost gave up the game at the start of the Ashlands, where there are 3 large wooden drill platforms that are unbelievably annoying due mostly to bad camera angles. Like...

Spoiler:

you can't look up at the place where you're going, and once you get up there you get knocked off by the big spinny thing you couldn't see.

Hated that.

Overall I still think the game is fun, but it does have quite a lot of "do the same thing multiple times to make progress" in it.

Thankfully I think I'm near the end of the portal bit. Overall it's good, but like you say there are bits (not just in Darksiders) where I wish developers would just cut stuff that's superfluous. If anything that's the strength of Portal. 3rd person cameras have been troublesome since the dawn of time.

Yeah, that's where I am. I got the Portal gun, and used it for that long sequence of puzzle solving. Then it threw me into a room with spinning portal windows, or something, and I said 'eh' and turned it off. Haven't gone back.

I got all three sections done and have a save just before the boss. Hopefully I maintain interest in the rest of the game to see it through to the end. £5 well spent.

It's discussions like these I'd love to bring up every time someone discusses playing time for a game. I love some long games where once you get to the top of one hill only to see a load more hills to climb, and find yourself grinning. There's something weird about a game giving you a massive challenge that you know will take a long long time, it's like being given a really good, well thought out present. It was like that for me at the end of the first, fairly long act of Divinity 2, they introduce you to a few more layers of complexity and game features, and give you another massive area to play in, it's overwhelming in a good way.

The alternative where you have a pile of work put in front of you.

The portal gun is far too fiddly to use, you probably wouldn't mind those puzzles if it were a lot more user friendly. Although if you've done the portal puzzles you may as well push through the last little bit of the game and check the ending.

DanB wrote:

Fine aiming on a gamepad is far too fiddly to use, you probably wouldn't mind those puzzles if it were a lot more user friendly.

FTFY. That also counts for any of the segments with a gun, although if the aiming was locked with the camera, Gears style, rather than a fee moving reticule and edge panning it would be better. Being on PC, it would have been nice if you could just instantly swap over to the mouse, but once the game detects a gamepad it holds onto it like a security blanket, disconnect the controller and it puts up a 'please reconnect the controller' message.

It wasn't so much the aiming itself as the way you have to toggle your alternative weapon/item on and off AND then toggle the first person aiming on/off too. Too many button presses just to get to aiming the damn thing.

I thought the final dungeon with the Portal gun was the best part of the game, outside of the mini-boss fights. That's where I felt like the game finally lived up to the whole "Zelda for grown-ups" moniker and stopped padding out the game time with dull, repetitive arena combat. I didn't have any problems with the aiming, though, so to each their own.

All these complaints I see from people don't register a whole lot with me. The only thing I stepped away with and thought was:

I wish the dungeons were shorter and there were more of them.

Please no more Ashlands.

Make the quick travel actually feel like quick travel and not an alternate route.

I enjoyed the flying combat sequence. It should have been shorter, and they should have done it at least a couple more times. Same goes for all the alternative types of combat like the big gun shooting down 'pigeons' and even the horse combat.

I also enjoyed the portal gun, the combat, the setting, Todd McFarlane inspired art direction, voices (even though they hit stereotypes nail on the head with Ulthane's hammer), etc.