Developed By : Airship Syndicate
Published By : THQ Noridc
Category : Action, Adventure, RPG
Release Date : Feb 14, 2020
A decade ago, the Darksiders franchise was brought into this world, to tell the story of how it ends. Since then, we were given three games that all took place parallel to each other and letting you control three of the four horsemen in the Apocalypse; War, Death, and Fury. Now, with the release of Darksiders Genesis players not only get a new timeline, but they also get to step into the shoes of the fourth and final horseman, Strife.
Genesis brings us to a time before the other three games in the series, and puts you in control of both Strife and his brother, War. After a massive war broke out in Eden and the dust is still settling, War and Strife have been sent out on a mission by Lucifer himself. His goal? To upset the Balance that the Council has kept in order since the beginning of creation. Together, the brothers strike out to find the powerful demons Lucifer wishes to grant immense power too, but they may end up in a web of conspiracy that is far more than was initially revealed to them.
While this game is a prequel to the original games, it’s also considered more of a spin-off than a direct installment and introduces quite a few new things to the series as well. For starters, you’ll notice right away a complete change in perspective with a fixed isometric view. You’ll also play the game in the style of a twin-stick shooter. And, most importantly, for the first time in the franchise yo can play co-op. Through the game you’ll be given the ability to switch freely between Strife and War, or team up with someone and you can each control a character.
No matter which brother you’re in control of, War and Strife handle just about the same. You’ll move them with the left stick and aim with the right. The main difference between the two is in how they attack. Strife relies on his dual-wielded pistols, Mercy and Redemption, while War prefers to get in close with his sword Chaoseater (which players will be very familiar with that have played the original game). However they are not exclusive to attacking these ways, since Strife has his dual sabers if he needs to get close, and War can use his ghost fist to grab and pull others to him.
As you progress through the game, additional weapons will be unlocked that are exclusive to each character, as well as powers and special abilities. These, along with your main weapons can be used in and out of combat. Outside of combat, you’ll find things like switches that can only be hit with War’s Vorpal Blade, big orbs containing the games currency of souls that can be destroyed with slashes or shots, and many other elements.
In combat, that’s where the real fun with these toys comes out. You’ll be dealing with plenty of hellish demons, rising up from the ground at your feet ready to claw, charge, and hurl brimstone at you. These guys will be small, big, and gigantic and they will not stop unless you make them. Taking them down is going to be a matter of finding the perfect poetry in utilizing both War and Strife and their abilities near and afar to make it through alive.
The game is comprised of a little over a dozen chapters, but you’ll also visit some of the same locations more than once. One such location is the Void, where Vulgrim sits. Here you can interact with him for key points of your story, as well as using him as a shop to spend all of your souls at. With these souls, you can purchase upgrades to both of your characters health and powers, upgrading the power of your special abilities, or purchasing cores to upgrade powers of some of your weapons. There’s also a second such shop in the same area through a character named Dis, and through her you can buy special combos and attack variants to use with the two brothers.
During combat, your enemies will drop a bunch of different items. First off is your souls to purchase things back in the Void. They drop green orbs that give you back some of your health. Each character has their own health bar instead of a shared one, but picking these up will heal both if you’re playing the single player campaign. The other thing that will be dropped a lot are creature orbs. These are the same ones that can be purchased from Vulgrim and again will help you level up your current abilities and learn new ones.
As far as dealing damage in combat, each character has their own sort of attack boost. For War, once you’ve damaged an enemy enough, you’ll be prompted to press A which lets you finish them swiftly with a juicy sword move and a quippy one-liner. As Strife, when you land successful hits with your guns, a white bar at the bottom of the screen will begin to fill up. Once it does, you’ll get a short burst of time where your attacks will go faster and deal more damage.
While it’s a huge step away from the rest of the franchise, Darksiders Genesis is a great addition to the family. Visually, it gives off vibes of a Diabloesque game, but that’s where the similarity stops. In actuality, despite how different it looks this game feels like all the others in the franchise which is amazing. Going into playing this I had heard issues about docked and handheld modes having problems with frames and maintaining image quality, but I experienced none of these issues myself. It’s also worth noting that the games multiplayer works online as well as in split-screen mode, which is great because there can be some wonky issues with connectivity online, but it’s nothing to shy away from.
The one frustrating bit about the game was the map system. At any point you can bring up the map for your current chapter, but for the most part it won’t be all that helpful. While it does display just about the entirety of that chapter’s world, and the details in it if you’ve collected that levels map in-game, it won’t help you find your way if you’re lost. The closest this map does to revealing your location is highlighting the section of the map that you’re currently inhabiting. And as you can see from the map display, some of these areas can be a bit large.
In the end though, I loved this game a lot. Previously I had only done some minor dabbling with the rest of the franchise, and more watching than playing myself but after not being able to put this one down I’m really itching to go through the three main Darksiders games. Even if you’re not a fan of the series and just love a good twin-stick action RPG, this is absolutely a game to consider adding to your Switch library, whether physical or digital.