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[Over the next few weeks the staff here at Gamerlimit will be sharing their personal favorite game of the past year with the community in build up to Gamer Limit’s Game of the Year Awards for 2010]

I played a lot of great games in 2010. I also played a lot of not-so great games in 2010. However, there’s one game that really resonated with me, even though I played it at the beginning of January. Hit the jump for my thoughts on the brand new IP and my GOTY pick: Darksiders.

Darksiders caught my eye right when it was first announced. People kept hyping the fact that the legendary comic book artist Joe Madureira was the game’s creative director, but that didn’t matter to me. Darksiders just looked “bold.” The distinctive character designs and the way they all seemed to mesh together drew me in.

Darksiders was both similar and unlike any other game I’d played before. The game lets you play as War, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, as you attempt to find out who tricked you into starting the end of the world too early. Sure the story’s a little overwrought, and the naming conventions  are a goofy (looking at you “Chaoseater”), but it didn’t matter. Darksiders took itself just seriously enough to not venture into the realm of self-parody. It wasn’t going to win awards for best storytelling, but it was fun.

As far as gameplay goes, Darksiders is a third person action adventure game with combat along the lines of God of War or Dante’s Inferno. However, some of the dungeons and the items you acquire within them are reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda series. Along with its enjoyable art style, the voice acting in Darksiders was consistently good, even though most of the characters are all gruff-voiced and angry. Still, Mark Hamil gives an enjoyable performance as the devious little demon, the Watcher.

When the game first came out, there were some that cried foul. “It’s just another God of War clone! Oh look, they’re stealing from Portal.” My response: “Who cares?” Yes it’s true that Darksiders owes a lot of its gameplay to games that came before it, but it pulled it off with swagger and aplomb. It’s incredibly rare to see a brand new IP have the balls to do that and do it well. Darksiders is more of an homage than outright theft. When people complain that it’s just “God of War meets Zelda,” I just look at them with a raised eyebrow as if to say, “Is that a bad thing?”

I rarely pre-order games because they’re too expensive, but I took the risk with Darksiders, and I have no regrets. I ended up finding my 2010 GOTY in January. I know that there are plenty of voices in the community singing the praises Red Dead Redemption as GOTY, and while I recognize RDR‘s polish and quality, it didn’t give me that little spark of excitement when I played it. Darksiders gives me that spark every time I put it in my PS3.

While the Black Tower dungeon lacks the same level of quality demonstrated in the rest of the game, the worst part about Darksiders is that I have to wait until 2013 for a sequel. Thankfully I can replay the game while Vigil Games works. Wielding a giant sword as one of the Four Horsemen while atop the back of a giant flaming horse never gets old.

  1. Darksiders was a cool game that had some really choppy combat, but was still pretty awesome overall.

    I think if they tweaked the Black Tower, took out the hokey on-rails part, and fine tuned the combat, it could be one of the best action games ever.

    • Dodging and blocking need some fine tuning. That’s for sure. I feel like War needs to go just a few feet farther. Then his dodge move would be useful. Sometimes you try to dodge and enemies hit you anyway.

    • Yea – whereas in Lords of Shadow, God of War, and Devil May Cry 3, I was dodging left and right, I don’t think I really ever dodged in Darksiders, except for the spider boss.

  2. Nice post Bobby! I’m actually playing through Darksiders at the moment, coming up to the Black Tower very shortly I believe.

    I’ve enjoyed it so far :]

    • Thanks! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it. If you take the time to get all the “heart pieces” (That’s basically what they are) it makes the game (at least on normal) not too difficult.

  3. Darksiders, eh? Madureira’s involvement actually piqued my interest in the game. I downloaded the demo and was mildly entertained. I said, “meh.” Your description, however, lets me know that there’s more to it than what I experienced. You’ve officially convinced me to pick it up.

  4. avatar Some Dude

    Darksiders was fun. Its gameplay was derivative of several or even a dozen different games and series but it was meshed together well enough that it ended up giving the game a unique feeling, proper pacing, and after an hour or two a new gameplay mechanic was always added to spice up the experience and keep it from becomming stale. The combat tiself though I felt was rather weak and overall the game could have used another layer of polish or two for triple A GOTY status but it was a stellar experience for a new IP.

  5. avatar Judy

    Nice review and well written, Bobby. Kudos to the man who correctly uses “aplomb” without a wince of embarrassment.

    • avatar Rabina

      Sorry mate. Its like if you see two different store names, but they’re owned by the same poelpe. They look different on the surface but have the same force controlling them. Many things we are think are separate are really owned in this way.Because of this lots of things are run in the same way towards the same goals. TV and newspapers are part of this. People aren’t told what they’re not supposed to know.

    • avatar Nutchanat

      Well, the reason why Darksiders 2 might get a lower score than 1 is, at the core, the very way you play this game. You wish to play by spzeialicing in one particular skill or tree, and do it well, while the game itself tries to do too much at once, and falling a little short all around. DS1 was pretty much? God of War meets Legend of Zelda, while so far this one is kind of like GoW meets LoZ meets WoW (Or any other RPG), and that is just what we’ve seen in the first hour.

  6. avatar Joel

    Did you guys see Did you guys see that Youtube Ad of the two cats flying in an X-wong and Tie Fighter? That was hiilarous stuff! I have a cat named Salem and i love dressing him sometimes, this gave me an idea. I digress in the world of youtube, and? i think this game is going to be beautiful. Me, Salem, and my GF Kate are pumped for the Collector’s Edition. Was this answer helpful?

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