Darksiders Genesis – Review
Follow Genre: Hack and Slash, Adventure
Developer: Airship Syndicate
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PC

Darksiders Genesis – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Co-op adventure, Smooth action, Presentation
Bad: Controls, Platforming segments feel dodgy and annoying at times
User Score
9.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

It has only been about a year since the third installment of the Darksiders franchise landed on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Darksiders III scored fairly well and also put an interesting leading lady in the limelight. The franchise once again put another of the Four Horsemen in the lead of Genesis, Strife, together with the protagonist of the first game, War. From the beginning, we already saw this would be a totally different Darksiders game, as it was designed with (local) co-op in mind, and the game went from a third-person perspective to a top-down view. This created a certain Diablo-esque vibe, which certainly suits the series thanks to its visual representation. We were curious to see how this ‘prequel’ to the series would fare with a buddy providing cover all the way through.

Story

The story in Genesis is a prequel to the events of the three mainstream games. Strife and War get sent on a mission by the council to stop Lucifer in his tracks. They leave with the information that Samael, one of the bigger demons in hell, is banding together with Lucifer to overthrow the human world and make it an extension of the hellish realm. The offset is simple and remains as such over the game, with enough dialogues between the two brothers to keep things interesting. The story progresses steadily as you’re sent on different quests to learn the truth.

Graphics

Darksiders Genesis remains true to the style of the other games, albeit from a top-down perspective. The game is done in the same comic book-like fashion as the first three installments and while some colors stand out, the rest is a bit bleak in contrast. The game is overall a bit dark, which suits the mood of roaming around the depths of hell to learn about the plans of Lucifer himself. Attack effects look fluent, and executions are impressive and don’t become too stale as the game progresses. The new moves you’ll learn all look unique and have a proper oomph to them. The game also utilizes different sceneries, making sure the environments don’t become bland or repetitive. This top-down formula works well for the series and we hope to see the developers create other games such as this for the Darksiders series.

It has to be said many of the fixed camera angles are somewhat horrible. More than often you won’t have a proper overview, and on some occasions your full vision will be blocked by parts of the décor, making it impossible to see what is going on.

Sound

The sound design is spot on. The music is of a cinematic proportion and the sound effects go hand in hand with the action onscreen. That being said, it’s the voice acting that steals the show, as all dialogues in the game are fully voiced. The banter between Strife and War never becomes too poetic, but it is amusing from start to finish. Strife is a more charismatic character, while War is strict, somewhat dreadful and doesn’t fully comprehend the intricacies of how emotions work, outside of being filled with rage.

Gameplay

Darksiders Genesis is a top-down hack and slash adventure game, with a few RPG elements thrown into the mix. Even when playing solo, you’ll have to take command of the two-man team of Strife and War. You cannot play with them at once, meaning you’ll have to toggle between both characters. When playing co-op, which can be done locally or online, you will each play with one of the characters. From start to finish, you’ll plow through different dungeons to clear them of their demons and spawn, while collecting upgrades and currency for new abilities. The game is pretty simple, but a bit of grinding is necessary if you wish to keep on top of the game.

The leveling and skill system depends on the crystals you collect from vanquished demons. These crystals can be equipped in a pseudo-skill tree, which will increase your passive skills and power level. This makes it so that you can survive longer and tackle harder levels. Other than that, you’ll collect tokens and experience from characters, which you can turn in for new abilities, new crystals, power-ups and so on. The system looks complex at the beginning, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

The only things weighing down on the gameplay of the game are the actual controls when having to climb on ledges and perform long jumps. The game itself is designed to overcome obstacles by platforming or climbing, but the camera angles often don’t make it clear on how to approach certain climbable ledges. More than often you’ll plummet to your death to retry different jumps. On other occasions you’ll have to jump off different ledges to reach solid ground, but the game doesn’t always allow you to jump from them from the proper angle, once again resulting in an annoying case of trial and error. That being said, you’ll be soaked in the blood of demons more than you’ll have to prance around like a unicorn, but this doesn’t mean that the developers shouldn’t have spent some more time perfecting these parts of the game. We also noticed some ‘game-breaking’ co-op bugs, which we hope will be fixed soon.

Conclusion

Darksiders Genesis is a fun prequel and spin-off to the series. The game presents itself as a co-op Diablo-like experience with two appealing characters, one of which we already know from the original game. The combat in the game is fluent, and everything is properly accessorized by a great graphical presentation and good sound design. The game might have some flaws in its control scheme, especially for climbing and platforming segments, it’s still a blast to play with a buddy, especially locally. We hope to see more entries in this format in the Darksiders series, with the rough edges smoothened out. Keep in mind, we noticed a few co-op errors, which still need to be patched.

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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Darksiders Genesis - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

  1. […] THQ Nordic and Airship Syndicate are proud to announce the release of the highly anticipated Darksiders Genesis. The game will be available on Valentine’s Day 2020, also known as February 14. If you still need a gift for your loved one, search no more. It will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Google Stadia. In Darksiders Genesis you’ll have to fight your way through Hell and back again, armed with guns and swords. It all depends on what your preferences are as a player, hacking though hordes of enemies or shooting them into oblivion. It also introduces the fourth and last horseman named Strife as well as a Co-op mode for the first time in the history of the franchise. So prepare yourself to embark on a quest alone or with one of your buddies. You can find our review of the PC version right here. […]

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