In No Way Affiliated With The Dark Side
Just when you had thought the Wii U was completely worthless, Darksiders 2 steps up to the lonely console, puts its arm around its freakishly wide shoulders and says “Hey! The Wii U is a decent platform and I’m going to prove it!” A valiant deed but does Darksiders 2 succeed?
Darksiders 2 is a direct sequel to Darksiders, a boring hack and slash that had an amazing setting and great ideas. Darksiders 2 thankfully ditches all the mistakes that marred the first and focuses instead on creating a smooth hack and slash that blends perfectly with Legend of Zelda style dungeon exploring and puzzle solving.
The story and setting in the Darksiders universe is a unique blend of pseudo-Christianity with a bit of Norse mythology with some original ideas thrown in. The story this time round involves Death (You) cleaning up War’s mess and clearing his good name before he is tried by the Charred Council On your journey to clean up War’s mess (I.E Resurrect humanity), you will face angels, demons and a plethora of creatures too stupid to fear the reaper.
Death isn’t as over powered as you would think, as many enemies pre-date the Pale Rider they seem to be immune to not only his harsh wit and quick tongue but to his deathly powers. As you’d expect, you have to restore natural order to these charlatans by reaping their souls in the best way possible: fast and brutal combat. As Death you have multiple combos that make use of your dual scythes (For twice the reaping action), heavy weapon and pistol (Borrowed from M.I.A rider, Strife, who appears to be stepping in for Pestilence). Additionally, Death has access to various abilities such as: summoning ghouls that can be upgraded to be on fire, explode and steal health or various damage boosting abilities. Then there’s the whole turning into a bat winged reaper with a huge scythe. The sheer possibilities for ass kicking are so numerous it’s sometimes saddening when you don’t get a chance to use every move available.
Death doesn’t just excel at taking lives, it turns out he is quite the free runner as well as every dungeon has hanging beams, walls of vines and other furnishings that he can run along with ease. This speed makes even a simple wall run look impressive, it flows so smoothly that it tightens the trousers. The developers took a lot of inspiration from titles such as Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider and it shows as the controls are as good as those it draws from.
When not dealing with Death’s day job of kicking ass, you will be travelling to or from a dungeon (And probably kicking ass along the way). Strangely, Death has many similarities with the Hero of Time; you both have a lovely and faithful horse, a light up companion that helps you find where to go and an uncanny ability to get the item you need for a dungeon just before you need to go through said dungeon. Albeit, your horse is covered in green fire and called Despair, your companion is a dead raven and the items you get aren’t of the stick and leaf variety. Travelling involves summoning Despair who rises from the ground beneath you in what is the coolest mounting method ever. While atop your trusty steed you can shoot, slash and, by flicking the gamepad upwards, charge forward.
The charging mechanic is one of a few Wii U orientated updates and is the only motion control update that is of any use though as swimming is downright awkward and the ball rolling is easier with the analogue sticks. These can be disabled which make the port seem a bit samey to other versions but the Wii U has one aspect that makes it stand above the rest. The inventory is always present on the touchpad, making for inventory management quick and easy and in a game where every third enemy drops new boots, it is a great feature to have.
Apart from the afore-mentioned always present inventory and motion controls, the Wii U port stays true to the original and is as good as any other version. If you have a Wii U and don’t already own Darksiders 2, pick it up lest it mysteriously vanish from the E-Shop once more.