Game: Darksiders Warmastered Edition
Developer: KAIKO, Vigil Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
In the real world, war is a divisive, deadly armed conflict with devastating repercussions. A poignant, shocking reminder of mortality. But Darksiders Warmastered rewrites the rules by transforming you into the very personification of War; You’re a member of the four horsemen, summoned to defend the earth during the apocalypse, and suddenly, death takes on a whole new meaning. Belinda Carlisle was right, heaven is a place on earth, but so is hell, and as War your job is to make sure justice is served.
The blood and guts of Darksiders rides on an impressive hack ‘n’ slash gameplay loop where you’re slashing demons and exploring a gritty, post-apocalyptic landscape in exchange for souls, a currency that ultimately lets you afford weapons, upgrades and bonuses. Darksiders Warmastered replicates the formula perfectly, gussying up the environments and protagonist for a more crisp, smoothly animated bloodfest that’s a total joy to behold. Considering this is a console port, it does run well with keyboard and mouse but I recommend an Xbox 360 controller for easier, more intuitive gameplay. Its epic storyline and bulked up protagonist aren’t just shallow aesthetic pieces designed to look pretty either; War comes with a wide range of attacks and techniques, and there’s a randomised slew of enemies demanding a mixture of tactical dodges and brute force to defeat.
In addition to the main campaign objectives there’s also a series of mini tasks on the side to keep you on your toes: Collect lifestone shards to boost your health, or legion artifacts for a different kind of prize, and dissect the environment for hidden secrets. Enemies scale up accordingly, so battles feel very well balanced and extremely rewarding when you avoid major damage. The only real critique I can offer here, apart from the occasional crash, is something that seems inescapable for RPGish games: It can be a bit of a grind. Despite that, there’s a wealth of variety. Tight, effortless controls and grand artwork create a believable world that players get to journey through as an unlikely protagonist whose conscience is plagued by thoughts more important than death. Earning the respect of NPC’s and inching closer to justice is remarkably satisfying.
Darksiders Warmastered Edition is a worthy rendition of the original title and earns the Gameranx stamp of approval. If you already own Darksiders, you should have received the Warmastered Edition automatically. Everyone else can grab it via Steam (PC), the Microsoft Store or the PlayStation Store for $19.99 USD.
A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.