a portfolio of videogame writings
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Vigil Games’ Darksiders series hands out an awful lot of compliments to its peers. It apes its structure from The Legend of Zelda’s mixture of overworld and dungeons, its combat from the sanguineous combo fuelled God of War and its platforming from the fluid ledge jumping and graceful wall running of Prince of Persia. And this second series instalment adds yet another inspiration to its increasingly cumbersome collage – Diablostyle loot and light RPG upgrading.
Darksiders was born as a patchwork elephant of inspirations, one held together by a singular note of originality – the lore of Vigil’s universe: Loosely based around the Book of Revelations’ four horsemen of the apocalypse, Darksiders occupies an enticing pulpy Warhammer-esq world in which thick set men are chiselled from rock, the muddled forces of heaven and hell battle on a shattered earth, and ghouls, stone goblins and demons roam mystical plains on ethereal floating worlds.
A parallel sequel, Darksiders 2 tells the story of Death on a quest to prove his fellow horseman War innocent of the originals’ events. Fuelled by Michael Wincott’s dry gristly tones, Death is a more loquacious and intriguing protagonist than War, even if his journey is a less interesting one.