Darksiders Genesis released on PC late last year to some rather decent reviews. It’s set as a prequel to the main numbered games and follows two of the Horsemen: War and Strife.
Genesis changes it’s perspective as well, swapping out the traditional 3D action adventure game of the previous titles for an old-school Diablo-like isometric dungeon crawler game. It still keeps the combat and puzzles of the old games, and it works surprisingly well.
Strife and War
As mentioned, the game follows the exploits of Strife and War, two of the Horsemen sent to investigate Lucifer, who is conspiring to upset the balance, and set things right in the only way they know how, by killing everything in sight. War is still his stoic by the book soldier, while Strife is more of a gunslinging, shoot first, talk later kinda guy. The contrasts between the two work well, and it creates some interesting character moments between the two.
You do meet other characters along the way, some you have met before, and knowing what happens with the later on is kind of interesting to see how they get to that point. Overall, I liked the story, and seeing how things play out, especially knowing what happens later is something I quite enjoy.
A technical game for a console audience
Not having PC games for a while, we console players do get used to a lot of hand-holding. Genesis , for instance, is a rather technical game, with a lot of mechanics and systems you need to familiarise yourself. This is something that many PC games will be used to, but can be a bit intimidating for consoles players. That said, the game doesn’t throw these things at you straight off the bat, and by the time you realise there’s a Creature Core system, you will already be invested in the adventure and just go with it. It does mean the game explains things a little differently than other games, and unless you actually look at it, you wouldn’t know it is there.
It’s not really a bad thing, as learning as you go along is part of the fun and challenge of the game, not that Darksiders Genesis is a difficult game by any means, especially on the normal difficulty levels.
For some more detailed explanation on how the game works, I suggest you check out Garth’s original PC review
Some annoying fleas
Darksiders Genesis was released on PC first, and one cannot help but feel like this version is a port of that PC game. It seems like some of the biggest issues that Garth had when he reviewed the game back in December, has been resolved, but there are plenty of other issues worth mentioning.
I will start off that Darksiders Genesis is a really good looking game. As is the case with previous installments, the universe that’s presented to us is full of vibrant colours, interesting characters and gorgeous locations. The game for the most part runs incredibly well on console, but I did experience some frame rate drops playing the game on a PS4 Pro.
There are also a few bugs, I managed to clip myself into a wall a few times, only being able to get out by changing character. Jumping and platforming can sometimes feel a bit off, as the magnetising assists we somehow expect isn’t there, and it becomes very easy to miss your mark. The experience isn’t that bad, and it doesn’t break the game at all, but it does become apparent. There’s also a few other things I noticed while playing the game co-op.
Having my brother’s back
Darksiders Genesis is meant to play with a friend. I’ve had the opportunity to play it with a friend over the weekend, and I’m very pleased to report that it is top-notch. The co-op of this game is simply sublime and some of the best fun I’ve had in a while.
The horsemen have different abilities, some required for puzzle solving. While it is possible to do it alone, since you can freely switch between Strife and War at any time, but the game actually changes the puzzle a bit to accommodate two players. For instance, a portal plate might be missing while playing with a friend, or War will hit a pressure play to launch Strife into the air, rather than himself. It’s subtle differences, but something I really appreciated when I went back to join my friend in a level I’ve already cleared.
It’s not without it’s flaws though, as combat doesn’t seem to scale that well and enemies aren’t tougher, there just seems to be more. Also, fighting a boss, we found the enemy kept gunning for the host of the session, almost entirely ignoring the other player. Finally, an opt-in drop in drop out system would’ve been nice, being able to join a friend that allows it without an invite. But overall I enjoyed playing this game with my mate, even if it got some issues. the game has a Metroidvania thing going for it, so revisiting older mission with new abilities in co-op is definitely worth considering.
Restoring the Balance
Darksiders Genesis is a really good game, especially if you’re interested in playing it with a friend. It supports local co-op as well, so it score some points there. It does have some flaws and issues, but hopefully is can be sorted soon. The game offers a lot of replayability, and doing it with a friend is the best way to go. Overall, it is a very good experience, and I cannot wait to jump back in.