Darksiders 2 – Can Death Bring New Life To A Dying Genre?

As ironical as the title might sound, it’s true. The Fantasy Action/Adventure genre is dying. While games like God of War might still be going strong, they’re really the last beacons of hope in an industry primarily dominated by shooters. Prince of Persia is a series which has been done to death and is now stagnant with monotony. So with Darksiders 2, there comes a plethora of expectations that it will perform, and perform outstandingly well. But can it?

darksider 2 still
A still from Darksiders 2

Darksiders 2 is the sequel to Darksiders, which tells a deep and intriguing tale about how the fight between heaven and hell came full circle to earth and destroyed the planet, and how War – one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse was caught in the middle of it. While the first game established the story and the setting, the second game expands upon it to a great degree. Care has been taken to ensure that handling Death feels different compared to handling War. The environments are more expansive, and have much more packed into them to make the game a complete package.

Having played the game to “Death”, I think one should really appreciate what Vigil games have created here. Gone are the days where action games would have long campaigns. Under the pretext of making a focused experience, developers these days get away with making 7 hour campaigns that feel severely underdone. So when a game almost 40 hour long graces us, it’s difficult not be thankful to the developers for it. While the main storyline can be completed in 20 hours, the many side-quests in the game can easily eat out another 20 hours of your life, giving you that satisfied feeling of having played a long game, something which is becoming increasingly rare.

In the end, the success of the game really depends on how popular it can become. Word of mouth does help, but these days people are only concerned about specific franchises, and are generally reluctant to give a chance to something new and unique. Even though the first game sold over a million copies, these days a million copies just doesn’t cut it. Production costs are on the rise, which makes game development a less lucrative proposition than what it was before. Hence, a single game can be a make or break affair for many companies, which is the reason why we’ve see many studios closing down in the recent past. In such times, it is necessary for games like Darksiders 2 to succeed. The game is great; no doubt about that. All it requires is the fan-base to appreciate it, and the sales that it deserves.