by Chris Davis
reviewed on X360
On A Pale Horse I Ride
The apocalypse is something that isn’t uncommon in the medium of entertainment. Be it movies, television, or games, the end of the world has always been a source of awe and wonder. Vigil Games knows this just as much as Bethesda or any other studio out there does but their vision of the end comes in the form of a relatively uncommon form: traditional religion. Darksiders, their inaugural title, brings us a world of demons and angels fighting on the war-torn battlegrounds of the Earth in the vision of comic book creator Joe Madureira. But does Darksiders stand tall in this freshman outing or is it simply another skeleton destined for the bargain bin?
When the Man Comes Around
The end of the world setting is familiar but Darksiders puts the story in a different light. From the beginning, Heaven and Hell fought one another endlessly in a war that has consumed the entire universe. To stop the endless cycle of violence the Charred Council stepped in as a mediator. Wielding their Four Horsemen, slaughter both demon and angel alike until a truce was formed that came to be known as the Balance. Around this time arrived the first humans and, foreseeing the potential in the mortals, the Charred Council hailed the creation of the third kingdom of man. However, knowing that the Balance would not last forever, the Charred Council laid the ground rules out for the battle of Armageddon. Before the battle is to begin between the three kingdoms however the Seven Seals that serve as the symbol of the Balance would be broken only when the kingdom of man is fully prepared for the divine war.
Unfortunately it seems that someone’s jumped the gun a little as man in modern times is little more prepared for the end of the world than James Cameron is for a poor box office showing. On modern day Earth the battle begins as angels and demons alike descend to Earth like meteors for the long-awaited conflict. As thousands die in the battle around them, War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, steps onto the scene and begins his duties. However, after approaching the archangel Abbadon and learning that the Seventh Seal was never broken and the battle has begun prematurely, War watches as he is killed by Stragos, one of the greater demons, before being killed himself. War awakens before the Charred Council and is accused of starting the war before man was ready, leading to the total destruction of humanity and the reignited war between Heaven and Hell. War, faced with eternal damnation, pleads to be sent back to Earth to discover the true culprit. The Council agrees but in doing so strips War of his powers and assigns the Watcher, a servant of the Council, to keep an eye on him and prevent War from opposing them. And thus our story begins.
One Hundred Million Angels Screaming
The story takes players around a principle city a century after the battle where the legions of Hell have taken over. Across the landscapes of the destroyed city War finds himself searching for the answers without any mercy for those in his path. It is definitely an enticing one to learn and keeps you coming back even as the credits roll. If you are looking at for a new series built around the concept of an intriguing story filled with brutality, Darksiders 2 (when it comes) is something to look into purchasing.
Enticing story, great Zelda feel without the Nintendo branding.
Repetitive battles, forced backtracking.