Darksiders PC review
PC Gamers need not be jealous of the console action-adventure genre anymore, for War has arrived and is bringing forth the Apocalypse with him. Darksiders, the Zelda-like game about the end of the world, finally makes the long awaited jump to the PC. Keeping everything from the console game intact, it must be a sure winner right? Read on my friends.
Darksiders takes place after the Apocalypse happens, but slightly earlier than planned. Angels and demons are at war, the world is in ruin, and humanity is all but wiped out. This chain of events gets blamed on War, one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who just happens to be confused about the whole ordeal as everyone else. He is tasked with finding out who brought on this early calamity, and punished by being under constant scrutiny by the expertly voiced Watcher (Mark Hamill) to make sure War doesn't stray from his path.
It's amazing how the Zelda formula still holds up in games today. The game heavily, and I mean heavily, borrows mechanics from the Legend of Zelda series. A large world map filled with dungeons leading to massive bosses, which then reward you with items that help you access previously inaccessible areas; it's basically Zelda with a post-apocalyptic skin, and a main character that looks like the Lich King from World of Warcraft. The combat is far more action-based, and relies on finishers that thankfully require the press of single button, rather than a mindless quick-time event.
The graphics look gorgeous, if you have a decent gaming rig that is. The different locales all look exceptional, and the stylized and vibrant graphic style, opting for a wide color range, looks great as well. I experienced no dip in framerate whatsoever -- much better than the console versions. The cutscenes are what bring the overall quality down however. The video compression is extremely low, and makes everything look grainy and blurry, which starkly contrasts the crisp graphics during gameplay. Not sure whether they were trying to save space on the hard drive, but considering the 10 Gigabytes the game already takes up, I doubt that was the case.
The biggest difference between the console and PC counterpart is obviously the controls, and unfortunately they pale in comparison. While moving and platforming is fine, the special abilities and items are a nuisance to use. To use one, first you must hold Caps Lock (which was a first for me) and press a number corresponding with the desired skill. Match that up with Alt being your dash move, that's essential during each battle, and it's almost unplayable, not to mention your hand will get cramped.
Though before you call me out on being able to configure the keys, just know that no matter what configuration, there are just too many skills and abilities to map out, for it to truly feel comfortable. This problem is quite common with console games getting a PC port. Owners of PC gamepads, or 360 controllers can rest easy knowing that the game will recognize it, and let you play the game it was meant to be played.
The digital copies also come with a Darksiders comic book and soundtrack, which is a nice bonus considering the games already discounted price tag.
It's a shame there was no bonus content to justify the eight-month long wait, but the excellent core game is kept intact, and is sure to entertain PC gamers, assuming they have a gamepad to play the game comfortably.