War! Good god y’all! What is it good for?
The early 2010s were a weird time. Just about every game wanted to convince you that multiplayer was the way to go, man. Proper single-player games that didn’t faff about with tacking on an unnecessary online function were rare and few and just about every title released sported a colour palette that ranged from brown to more brown.
And then there was Darksiders. It was brash, chunky and utterly derivative of other games. It very much played like the bastard child of The Legend of Zelda and Devil May Cry and there was nothing wrong with that at all. Because while certain gameplay mechanics may have had Nintendo’s copyright lawyers baying for blood, Darksiders was still a visually striking and brutally meaty game to experience.
It showed through the art style of comic book superstar Joe Madureira, an artist whose visuals boasted a signature on the same level as a guitar solo from Slash. Darksiders felt, looked and played great. It wasn’t perfect, but it was polished and ready to kickstart a franchise that starred the four Horsemen of the apocalypse and the end of days.
It was classic dungeon exploration wrapped up with action that fired on all cylinders, as players walked (And eventually got to ride) through the ruined kingdom of man, left to crumble after Armageddon knocked down the door and invited the hordes of hell to clash with the armies of heaven as the horseman known only as War found himself stuck between in the conflict between both sides and a conspiracy that left him exiled and stripped of his power.
Glorious world-building stuff that sadly ended with Darksiders II and the chapter 44 demise of publisher THQ. Developer Vigil Games wouldn’t be far behind sadly, closing its doors a few years later. Fortunately, THQ Nordic was there to pick up the pieces and franchises. Last year saw Darksiders II get a Deathinitive Edition that repackaged all the released game content into one updated experience.
This year, the first Darksiders game gets to roll on back to Xbox One and PS4 with the equally silly title of the Warmastered Edition. Much like the Deathinitive Edition. This version of Darksiders features a smoother frame-rate, higher textures and all manner of other slight tweaks and nudges to the engine. And that’s it really. There’s no other new content at all. Darksiders now just looks and runs better.
And that’s alright. Because even after almost seven years, an eternity in this industry, Darksiders is still an utterly solid game. The combat systems haven’t aged at all, mixing the attitude of Devil May Cry with the brutal QTE finishers of God of War and the inventory of a top-tier Zelda game. It’s honestly still thrilling stuff and easily able to satisfy the cravings of any power fantasy hunger.
Now I’m depressed that we’ll never ever see War and his brothers resolve their tale. And that’s just apocalyptically sad, but at least we’ll always have the Warmastered Edition. Maybe this time, Darksiders will get the love that it deserves. Its more than earned it.
Last Updated: November 25, 2016