Darksiders Genesis Review: “An Isometric Hack And Slash Powerhouse”
Darksiders Genesis brings a breath of fresh air to an already great franchise. The first three entries are known for their hack and slash gameplay that focuses on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and while the latest entry does provide more of that same great action, it does so in a new way. The isometric point of view provides players with an expansive view of any given area, including the bounty of enemies within said area. Developer Airship Syndicate has not only handled the apocalyptic torch with care, but they have also improved upon it in a fun and exciting way that is sure to please longtime fans.
From the intro video to the end credits, Darksiders Genesis is a beautiful experience. The hack and slash action is fluid with each playable character, the environments are created in a way that truly sells the dark and evil places players are sent to, and the enemies are as hellish as ever. With a mix of the comic book-esque cutscenes seen in entries past and the vividly dark dungeons, the title’s beauty takes no prisoners and offers up an immersive journey filled with a few laughs, a tear or two, and a whole lot of bloodshed.
Speaking of which, how does Darksiders Genesis play out? As stated above, it is an isometric point of view, which essentially takes the third-person pov of previous entries and adds a dash of top down perspective to produce a great result that does not disappoint. Whether you are shooting your way through everything that walks and crawls as Strife (yes, we finally get to play as Strife), or slashing your way through hordes of enemies as the blade-wielding War, the isometric view was a wonderful choice by the developers.
Players of the Darksiders series will already be well-acquainted with War, with Strife being the newcomer in terms of playability. For those who wish to get up close and personal with the enemies, War will be the best choice to accomplish such a task. Those looking to keep their distance while still being able to wreck house, Strife will be your guy, and he comes packing some serious heat. Each Horseman has several different abilities and various options when it comes to upgrading them through the use of Creature Cores, which can be found in-game or even purchased through Vulgrim.
If you decide on a solo playthrough, however, you won’t have to worry about picking either Horseman as you’ll get to play as both. This, of course, is if you choose not to share the fun with a friend, which is when each player will select their Horseman. Going it alone provides a challenge, but not one that is impossible, no matter how daunting some of the foes may be, especially in late game when powers are fully realized and an entire arsenal is at your disposal.
After you’ve completed the (roughly) 12-hour campaign, the Apocalyptic difficulty will unlock and give you the chance to run through it all over again, but have a harder time doing so. Luckily, Darksiders Genesis offers plenty when it comes to content. I felt that I had grabbed every extra soul, Boatman’s Coin, Creature Core, and more, but there is just so much to consume. Unless you are thorough in your first playthrough, a second is certainly recommended. Even if you’ve collected every last thing available, the hacking and slashing is too fun to refuse.
Plus, the progression system that is in place offers even more of a reason to break every crate and barrel to loot everything that isn’t tied down. This is very rewarding as the results are tangible in that you will easily notice a difference in how the Horsemen are able to dispose of the opposition. Thankfully, the enemies scale at a balanced rate that is nothing short of satisfying, whether it is taking down a horde of baddies or just one really big one… that is accompanied by several smaller ones. There is no shortage of enemies, but that only adds to the joy that is this game.
What ties everything together, however, is the story. As one might guess from the name of the game, the tale told in Darksiders Genesis comes from the beginning. The title serves as a prequel to the three entries released before it. Lucifer is looking to send the Balance spiraling following the events that transpired on Eden, but the Council has tasked Strife and War with ensuring he does not succeed. Hacking and slashing and shooting their way through demons and angels galore, the Horsemen must find all of the information possible to hunt down Lucifer and stop him at all costs.
Darksiders Genesis may not be perfect by any means, but it is fairly close. A few bugs did affect my gameplay experience, but none of them were game breaking in any way. The most common one was that my character would be able to move around, but their body would be completely still and hovering around not being able to interact with anything. A quick switch of character remedied this, thankfully.
In addition to this, the isometric view, while fantastic, did pose an issue. The Horsemen would become a silhouette if behind an object, which was great for visibility. The enemies, however, were not treated the same way, sometimes leading to a bit of frustration when running into a baddie behind a wall or other large object. As someone who placed a focus on Strife throughout my runthrough, this was a noticeable inconvenience often resulting in a bit of unwanted damage taken.
That being said, Darksiders Genesis is an isometric hack and slash powerhouse. The combat is fun, exploration is rewarded, the story is filled with plenty to enjoy, and it is all wrapped up in one hell of a package that’s filled to the brim with action. Paired with a soundtrack that beautifully accompanies all of the glorious action and this is not only one of the best hack and slashers in recent memory, but also one of the best entries in the Darksiders series. There may be a few stumbles along the way, but they are slight. Airship Syndicate absolutely crushed it, and I can only hope that this is just the beginning of this sort of Darksiders spin-off.
Darksiders Genesis is currently available on Google Stadia and PC. It will be releasing across all major consoles on February 14, 2020.
Eric Garrett2156 Posts
Eric is an editor and writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. When he is not staring at a computer screen filled with text, he is usually staring at a computer screen filled with controllable animations. Today's youth call this gaming. He also likes to shoot things. With a camera, of course.