Darksiders III returns for a new generation
Darksiders has been a popular franchise that was dormant for over six years thanks to the demise of the original THQ company. Now the franchise is back as the reinvigorated THQ Nordic brings us Darksiders III this year. With a different developer on board, is this new game in the series as good as its predecessors?
The first Darksiders game was enjoyable because it was action packed and fun much like the original God of War games. Darksiders II was even better as I reviewed that game back in 2012 and gave lots of praise to it. Darksiders II is still one of my favourite games of all time since it takes heavy inspiration from the excellent Legend of Zelda adventure games by Nintendo.
To cut a long story short, I’m sadly disappointed by Darksiders III because new developer Gunfire Games takes a different route for the series. The game no longer feels like a Legend of Zelda video game because it tries to be a clone of Dark Souls.
I usually hate comparing every video game to Dark Souls, but Darksiders III truly does borrow elements from that game. Not only are the mechanics and physics similar, but Darksiders III is also a very challenging game to play no matter what difficulty you play the game on!
Before I talk about what I don’t like about Darksiders III, let’s first discuss the few things that this game does well. For one thing, the new main character called Fury is a cool kickass female protagonist with awesome fighting skills. Aside from using whips as her main weapons, she also has other magical abilities to vary up the combat of this game.
For example one of her techniques is using fire where she can burn enemies or she can use fire in order to boost her up onto higher ledges. These new elemental powers are called Hollows and there are lots of other techniques that you can unlock as you further progress into the game.
The main story sees Fury trying to defeat all of the Seven Deadly Sins who are all big boss fights. The boss fights are pretty entertaining because all of them are different and you need to use Fury’s helpful dodging techniques to stay on top.
Now let’s discuss the many flaws of Darksiders III. For one thing, the combat does not feel very satisfying because Fury is unable to block attacks from enemies. Players are forced to spam the dodge button all of the time. It’s annoying how she cannot block because every enemy in the game can block Fury’s attacks so the combat feel cheap and unfair.
Targeting enemies with the lock-on system is also troublesome because the camera usually can’t see the surrounding enemies around you. Battling more than one enemy at once gets annoying because you are fighting with both the camera and also the clunky physics.
The awkward physics of the game gets even more frustrating when you have to do the dreaded platforming sections. These sections are a pain because Fury’s ability to jump on platforms feels stiff and unresponsive. She cannot even sprint that fast either so you will constantly fall down holes as you are fighting the clunky gameplay mechanics.
Another thing I don’t like about this game is the fact that Darksiders III does not include the many puzzles and beautiful open world environments of Darksiders II. Instead, the levels are quite small and linear as the game focuses heavily more on combat than anything else. I miss the elaborate dungeons and puzzle solving elements that the second game provided to players.
Combat can also be a nuisance because this game is very unfair and unkind. This is because the checkpoints are too few and far between so if you die, you will have to repeat a huge section of a level. You also need to farm lots of Soul Points if you want to improve Fury’s weapons and abilities. Soul Points are gained by killing enemies and you lose them all if you die. Thankfully, you can regain the Soul Points again if you return to your location of your previous death.
Even though Darksiders III came out in the year 2018, the graphics leave a lot to be desired. The visuals look like a game from the PS3/Xbox 360 generation as the graphics have barely improved since the release of 2012’s Darksiders II. Both games look the same which is disappointing because the PS4 Pro (version tested) and Xbox One X consoles are capable of much more than this.
Anyway, Darksiders III is not a very good game because it tries too hard to mimic the gameplay of Dark Souls and games similar to it. If the combat was smoother and the checkpoints were more plentiful, this would have been a much better game than it currently is.