Expect a smaller, more focused world in Darksiders 3

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Not pictured, moar cowbell.

The upcoming sequel to the 2010 cult hit that was Darksiders, isn’t even out yet, and already plans are being made to expand the game series into a trilogy. Darksiders 2 is looking pretty ambitious so far, expanding and enlarging on the game world created by the first title. But don’t expect that bulge to remain constant, as the third game might just scale back instead.

Speaking to Videogamer, lead designer Haydn Dalton said that if Darksiders 2 could shift 4 million units, then a sequel was basically guaranteed, although THQ president Jason Rubin would want the studio to ease up on the massive world-building that they went through for the first two games.

“Maybe what he might do is turn around and say, ‘We’ll do another Darksiders game, but we’ll try and reduce the scope so that we can make it even higher polished,’” Dalton said. “Maybe he says, ‘Bring the scope down a little bit, we’ll still do another game but it’s a lot more focused’. That’s not such a bad thing to do either.”

Darksiders 2 has a “huge” scope so far, with a game world that is four times larger than the one in the first game. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and may be one of the reasons why the release date slipped for the sequel, although scaling back may not actually be a bad idea after all, according to Dalton.

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“Reducing the size of the world might be seen as a big impact from a player point of view, you know what, we might do a lot more interaction within the world if the world was smaller,” he said.

And there might be even more polish, there might be a lot more animated things in the environment and a lot more detail or destruction or whatever it might be in the world because of a reduce in size. Rather than doing sheer square-footage, it’s more like what can you do in less room by focusing on it, and depth [and] interaction within a smaller environment.

Initially it seems like if you make it smaller that’s not as good. Well, that’s not necessarily true. Quantity is not about quality. Just because you make something bigger doesn’t mean it’s better.

Dalton makes a good point. Far too often, open world games use massive landscapes for scenery, forgetting that they can play a vital role in enhancing a game. Arkham Asylum is one such example of quality beating quantity in a sandbox environment, while on the opposite end of the scale, not even zombies could make a massive city such as Crackdown 2 interesting.

Darksiders 2 is out the end of August, on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, so don’t fear the reaper.

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Last Updated: July 27, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

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