Darksiders – a nostalgic tribute

Ian Pruett-Jones, Staff-Reporter

Video games are like movies in that they adhere strongly to the age old saying “If it aint’ broke, don’t fix it.” When someone comes along and brings something new to the table, it will inevitably have cheap imitations cashing in on someone else’s creativity. Skeptical reviewers have called Darksiders: Path of war one such imitation. I disagree with that statement. To me, Darksiders is not a cheap knock-off, but rather a loving homage to some of the classics through the history of gaming. Darksiders takes all the great aspects of the best games and combines them into a fun and enjoyable game that should be given a try by anyone who appreciates a good adventure game.

In Darksiders, you play as War, one of the four horseman of the apocalypse who is unfairly accused of bringing about Armageddon prematurely. In consequence, War is sentenced to death by a higher entity than that of heaven and hell, the charred council.  War pleads innocence and demands to be sent back to earth to uncover the truth behind what happened and subsequently get revenge…nothing new here.

The main focus of Darksiders is that Vigil Games, the creators, combined many styles of games and brought them all together pretty well. Darksiders borrows most heavily from the “Legend of Zelda” series. Some examples of the similarities are that each boss is located in a dungeon, the only way to get through the dungeon and ultimately beat the boss is to use the gadget you receive while in the dungeon, and lastly, after defeating the boss, you get a “life container” of sorts that gives you an extra bar of health. Sound familiar yet? Darksiders also borrows from other gaming giants such as God of war and even portal.

While some might get turned off by such blatant use of other companies ideas, most people will be able to appreciate that it is a good game that includes almost all of the things you love about the games it gets its inspiration from and takes out some of the aspects you don’t like.

The story is nothing special and only really picks up towards the end, but you do end up wanting to find out exactly what caused the earth’s current predicament. None of the characters are really vibrant, but Mark Hamill does deliver a nice performance in the form of the watcher, the shifty entity that travels with War on his journey per command of the council. He offers snide comments at some parts and insightful advice at others.

While Darksiders does nothing to reinvent the genre, it certainly doesn’t drag it down. I would at least recommend a rental of this game, if for nothing other than the feeling of nostalgia it brings when playing moments that were clearly inspired by other games.