Darksiders - 360 - Preview 4

Whether it’s slicing and dicing enemies or hurdling death-defying heights to the next platform, Darksiders has a wide array of gameplay types mixed into a cleverly wrapped package for action-adventure fans.

After six and a half hours with the single-player campaign, it’s safe to say that THQ and Vigil Games have a brilliant game with which to kick start 2010. The influences from classic titles such as Metroid, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda and Devil May Cry are easily identifiable only after a few hours of gameplay.

Pitting gamers in the role of War, one of the fabled Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Darksiders is much more than just an action game – it’s a title that is presenting a dark-epic story of betrayal and redemption.

The dialogue, for the most part, never feels out of place or forced. Though, with the likes of Mark Hamill on the voice cast, no one should expect to come into Darksiders and have it grate their ears. Hamill is voicing The Watcher, a guardian of sorts for War, so gamers should expect to hear his diabolical voice all throughout their journey.

Darksiders Xbox 360 screenshots

Never short on longevity, Darksiders should have gamers itching to find every collectible and power-up hidden throughout the expansive levels. There are 20 soldier artifacts (items that reward gamers with 500 souls, the currency in Darksiders), six champion artifacts (1,000 souls rewarded), 10 abyssal armor pieces to increase War’s defense and much more.

Speaking of longevity, the average playthrough length is said to be about 20-25 hours for a casual gamer. The reported speed test run was said to be about eight hours long. With that said, there shouldn’t be any problems for gamers who are looking for a game that is worth more than a weekend rental – Darksiders is going to have enough replay value for action-adventure fans to keep coming back for more.

There was one aspect that didn’t sit well – and that was the first major boss that gamers encounter. The first two mini-bosses do not give gamers a good indication how hard Darksiders can be, even on the normal difficulty level. Fight against Tiamat, a bat demon whom War has to kill by ripping its heart out, and it becomes apparent that Darksiders provides not only thought-provoking puzzles, but the boss battles that will have gamers frustrated by how hard they are programmed.

Darksiders is clearly a title that needs to be on everyone’s radar. Look forward to GameZone’s full coverage of Darksiders beginning December 14.

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