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E3 Impressions - Darksiders II

10:33 PM, Jun 8, 2012   |    comments
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'Darksiders II' from THQ for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Vigil Games' 2010 release Darksiders was met with rather favorable reviews, achieving an overall Metacritic rating of 83 out of 100.  Later this year, the Texas-based game developer will be releasing its sequel, Darksiders II, with hopes for similar -- if not better -- results.

Like the original, Darksiders II follows the story of one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  This time, the player controlls Death.  Bothered that his brother War (the protagonist from the first game) is being held responsible for the elimination of all of mankind, Death not only wants to prove his brother's innocence, but also to bring humans back into being.

While the upcoming sequel looks to play very similar to the 2010 original, there are a handful of changes worth noting.

First off, Death is a somewhat different type of character.  Where War was content to charge in with blades drawn and allow himself to be in the middle of everything, Death seems to prefer to stay on the periphery.  Combat-wise, this second horseman is still of the melee variety, but the manner in which he tries to get things done keeps him out of the direct limelight that War seemed to relish.

Another notable change is in Darksiders II's level design.  One of the complaints some had with the original Darksiders was the amount of backtracking that had to be done in order to get things done.  In Darksiders II, that shouldn't be the case.  Levels are reportadly being developed in a more point-A-to-point-B manner, with backtracking only necessary should the player want to go back because he missed something; or there is a secret that he wants to explore.

In response to the fact that in Darksiders, the horseman War did not get his mount until mid-game, Vigil is starting Death off in Darksiders II on his horse literally at the very beginning of the game.

"Since we have all these overworld areas for you to explore, that helps because we want you to explore all this stuff we're creating," commented Associate Producer Jay Fitzloff.

Darksiders II, an M-rated game, is being published by THQ.  The game is expected to hit retailers on August 14th, 2012, for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.  A Wii U version is expected later in the year.

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