This was one game that did not convince me the least when I first saw it in action. Darksiders, your usual DMC/GoW ripoff with little innovation hits the shelves, gets the good review scores, sells well enough. I wasn't very convinced. To tell the truth I only expected to buy this game much later (and much cheaper...) but then I came across what seemed to be a promotional case for the game that I had not seen before. So I picked it and when I got it I was quite surprised to find out it was actually a press kit.
Now, to admit my mistake as an experienced and advanced videogame collector and player (/Bullshit) when it comes to evaluate games from looking at screenshots, trailers and reviews before actually playing them, I have to admit that I was quite wrong this time and this game is actually good. Unlike many other failed attepts to copy elements from successfull videogames, this one actually does the job quite well in mixing all the elements together. Being an action/adventure game (the hack and slash sort), you will find way too many similarities with games like GoW, DMC, Soul Reaver and even bits of Zelda or Shadow of Collossus, all adapted in a good way.
And to apologize for understimating this game, I really felt like writing my personal review about this game.
-The gameplay is good, a little repetitive but still fun to play once you get used. The combat system is very simple, no tough strategies required, just fun to play. It may make the game easy, but honestly I found it fun this way.
- As the game develops, the scenarios keep getting more and more interesting and involving, with a great diversity of environments. There are forests, sewers, destroyed cities, deserts, underground areas, devilish dungeons, chathedrals and several different scenarios you can visit and explore, and they all connect close to each other quite well. The "snake holes" used to travel to certain points you visited already actually works well and allows you to go back to a previous location without needing to walk all the way back. You even get the horse later, which helps travelling faster in certain open areas.
- The map system can be quite confusing though, as it seems to work with layers that have different intensity (the highlighted rooms is the level where you are, whereas the faded rooms are either above or bellow and have their own highlighted map if you press up or down in the analog stick). To make it clear how confusing it can be, sometimes you look at the map, you can see where you are and the room you want to go to and there's no easy way to tell exactly how to go from one room to another in the same area because the map makes it look easy to acess the rooms but then you find out they are in different floors.
- The weapons, skills and abilities you gain throughout the game as you clear the tasks will make you to go back to previously visited areas and allow you to explore further to get to secret chests and items. This is nothing new, even games like Land of Illusion on SMS were great at allowing to revisit areas to find more stuff. Some of the abilities and weapons are not that original, such as the grappling hook) that allow you to swing using the shiny thingys in the air, but then there's the teleport ability that allows you to travel between portals that must be activated manually in pairs (haven't really seen anything similar before), or the one that allows you to see paths and chests that can't normally be seen. Although this doesn't add much replay value to the game, at least it makes tempting to go back and find stuff you couldn't access before. And there are plenty of secret areas and chests to explore.
So there you go. The game at first seems just another one, the "seen before, done that" type. But in the end it is a game that has its own way to develop and becomes quite interesting to play and to explore. The gameplay factor also helps a lot too. The fact that you can play little bits of other games, all in one, became a good thing. And unlike many other games that last half a dozen hours or litle more before the end, this one actually took me over 18 hours to beat. Not many recent action adventure games can take that long to beat, really. And that's something I consider very positive about this game.