Although Darksiders II has been
available on the PC, PS3 and XBox 360 since mid-August 2012, it is
actually the Wii U version that the developers have probably spent
the most time perfecting due to the innovative new gaming controls
in this action adventure game.
In essence, the story is almost
identical to the previous gaming platforms, however the Wii U
version includes the awesome new GamePad to give the player a few
new tricks up their sleeves. Another highlight of the Wii U is that
it contains an additional 5 hours of gameplay, more specifically
with the inclusion of Argul's Tomb that is a fun add-on.
If you don't know by now, this is
sequel to the original game and Darksiders II actually runs in
conjunction with this story so new players are not penalised.
However if you did play the original, the story does feel more
fleshed out and compelling. In the original game, War was wrongfully
accused of setting in motion the events that would lead to the
destruction of mankind.
As a result, War's brother Death has
vowed to clear his brothers name that leads him on an amazing
journey of violence and redemption into another world. The first
chapter of the game serves as a tutorial that teaches the gamer
combat, navigation (e.g. running up walls) and the RPG aspect of the
title. It's definitely a much needed tutorial, especially on the Wii
Reminiscent of game such as God of War
and the Devil May Cry but considerable more freedom such as The
Legend of Zelda, Darksiders II is an action packed journey that is
not only over the top in nature but actually fun to play on the Wii
U. Like the aforementioned game God of War, Death is a dual-wielding
warrior who has a primary and secondary weapon of different speeds.
As you cut and slash your way through
victory, there are plenty of puzzles to be found along the way,
including some truly epic boss battles. There are also heaps of
coins and chests to find in the game that at times makes the game
seem like a Mario game. However if you can pry yourself away from
collecting goodies, the game is quite in-depth and really engages
The original game was accused of being
quite linear and to an extent it was but in the sequel, the gaming
environment seems considerably larger that assists in the illusion
of freedom. Making your way from point A to B is assisted by your
trusty steed Despair which helps you navigate this gigantic world.
Unfortunately you can't ride him everywhere.
Combat in the game is a combination of
button mashing meets combo attacks and there is some skill involved.
As you progress, so do the skills and weapons of Death which is
definitely a highlight of the game. Death has access to some
impressive spells and morphing abilities plus a creature called Dust
that points the gamer in the right direction should you get stuck.
Gameplay is quite smooth.
The Wii U version of course boasts the
GamePad and it is a little bit disappointing that the developers
didn't implement this new control system better into the game. For
the majority the GamePad works just like a large DualShock or 360
controller and combat, movement and interaction with the gaming
environment works flawlessly.
Where the GamePad does shine is through
the touch screen on this controller which allows you to easily
access your skills and inventory. It is definitely far superior than
accessing the menus in the other versions. It actually streamlines
Graphically, Darksiders II on the Wii U look equally as impressive
as the other formats but unfortunately, the frame rate suffers as do
the lengthy loading times. Death and his horse Despair are animated
well with some awesome texture details as are the other characters
that you encounter.
The game animation is quite smooth and
some of the backgrounds are very impressive. Audio booms through
surround sound and the voice acting, although very very clichéd
suits the premise of this comic book inspired world. Music and sound
effects compliment the strong gameplay well.
For newcomers to the series, Darksiders
II provides a satisfying gaming experience on the Nintendo Wii U.
With fun gameplay and lots of challenges to be found along the way,
the only thing holding back the title is the frame rate and loading
times that can sometimes be an issue. However most of these can be
forgiven, especially when you are finding new weapons and powers as
you search the land for a way to vindicate your brother.