STAFF REVIEW of Darksiders 2 (Xbox 360)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012.
by Brent Roberts

Darksiders 2 Box art Would you sacrifice the souls of generations at a chance for redemption? When your soul awakens and finds nothing but darkness, fear not that you are alone for the reaper always walks with you. My past is filled with death, destruction, and holy wars, but my destiny has not yet been written, but I will hold my own council as to its outcome. I have been called many names in many languages but you will know me as Death, one of the four riders of the apocalypse. My brother War is innocent of the holy crimes for which he is accused of, yet the Charred Council remains blind to the truth. Many tales have been told by crooked tongues and it's time I cut the veil of shadow to expose the truth to the light. Therefore, since the Council refuses to act War's only hope of salvation rests within this tormented body of mine. It is time to answer the call that we all made when we became riders, but this time, I play by my own rules. It has been many years since the story of the Horseman War and there are many questions that have yet to be answered. My quest will take me too many lands but I will go through hell and back again to prove my brother's innocence and destroy the Corruption. To prove innocence though, I must erase the crime, I must bring back humanity. From Death, there will again be life. Come to my aid Dust and Despair, for now is the time for Death to ride.

In order to reach my goal I must venture into foreign lands of angel, demon and more to uncover the truth behind this deception and restore mankind. To do this I will need to draw upon the power of some of the most powerful celestial secrets that govern over the powers of life and death itself. I know that my adventure will take me to faraway lands, and places of both unimaginable beauty and horror. Worlds such as the Forge Lands will provide my soul with mixed areas ranging from tree, grass, and water, to rock, stone, and fire. My journey will also ride me deep into familiar territory as well. It has been a long time since I've ridden into the darkness. This quest is bound to be littered with traps, puzzles, enemies and more, for there is a reason to keep these secrets locked away in the first place. To accomplish this adventure it is time to stretch my legs and to bring upon the battlefield the full power of Death. I shall bring forth skills and abilities unlike any told in the scriptures. Various powers such as Deathgrip, will allow me to traverse wide gaps previously unavailable and to ascend to new heights, or the Phasewalker power, which will allow me to teleport between portals and when upgraded, even time itself. One power however, Soul Splitter, will allow my spirit to tear itself into two spiritual copies of my physical form to allow me to be in two places at the same time.

While these powers will aid me along my path, heaven and hell will both quake at the witnessing of the power of my upgradable skill trees. What the Charred Council doesn't know is that I possess skills that can shield me in battle, increase my strength, or even reveal my true reaper form and annihilate any surrounding onslaught. Throughout my tasks I will gain knowledge that was previously hidden to me, and through this sacred knowledge I will unlock new powers and abilities. Each of my many skills can be called upon in a flash and when I truly reach my full potential through the acquisition of experience, I will unleash a whirlwind of spiritual torment from which, Death will be the only salvation. My powers alone however, will not grant me passage onward in my quest. For that reason I must rely on the blades, armors, and treasures of the lands to provide me the equipment I seek to reach my goal. These items however are not mere trinkets and toys, but magical items that bestow different gifts to the bearer. Qualities such as fire damage, frost damage, and more can be found frequently on various weapons; while strength, health, defense and more can be commonly found in armor. One interesting piece of information, relating to the items I will find, is the existence of possessed weaponry. These are far rarer but can consume other pieces of equipment to adopt other magical properties. These can be turned into massive holy weapons against the oncoming darkness. I know that there are others who are going to share in my journey so therefore I will be able to aid them as they would me, and that is by sending weapons and armor to them directly via Serpent Tomes. This ensures that no matter what enemy I may face ahead, I will always have the weapon I need.

I wonder what beauty lies before me on this spiritual adventure. I have heard tales of moving mountains in the plains of the Forge Lands, desolate wastelands that blanket the Kingdom of the Dead, and beautiful waterfalls cascading from angelic towers. From what I gather, this adventure will allow me to explore vast areas while keeping me focused throughout the trying times. It has been so long since my eyes have seen such things both horrific and beautiful. I've been advised that I will face demons that are more ferocious than an erupting volcano, giants who can block out the sun, and lingering dark spirits of power whose anger and hatred has manifested itself into pure unbridled evil. I do recall War's recollection of his time on Earth and the tales he told are a sight I hope my eyes will see one day. Maybe there will come a time that this soul sees peace but there are so many twisted roots of evil that have taken hold over so many realms, thankfully the beauty of the adventure will never grow old to these eyes.

While my eyes long for the time when they behold the beauty of creation and life, my ears desire to hear a song so sweet that it's very melody will purify the most corrupted soul as its tones haunt your very spirit. Though my experiences in life may weigh heavy with battle, but that does not mean that the concept of music is lost to me. My ears have heard songs from the far-away lands and their harmonics sound like a choir of angels blessing mankind. When my soul weighs heavy with the celestial burden I must bear, these heavenly songs lift both my spirit and my blade. It has been said that trumpets will blow upon the End of Days, but until that time I could not think of a better thing to listen to, than the sounds that permeate every facet of my quest.

While the focus of my journey is to aid in my brother War's freedom, I have heard whispers of a land far away called the Crucible. This land is apparently where the best warriors from both heaven and hell go to prove their superiority in numerous rounds of combat. I believe if there is some time to spare, my blade shall enter this Crucible so that I may showcase my true power so that both angel and demon may fear this rider. As I progress on my path, I must gain all the knowledge I can and for that I must assist the creatures I meet along the way. I know by helping to earn their trust that they will entrust me with information that I require.

So now the time has come, a time where listening to falsehoods proclaimed by demons is at an end. Now is the time for my enemies to cower in fear. Now is the time that their blood is spilt in the name of truth. Now is the time that my wrath come crashing down upon this unholy mouth and silence its tongue. Now is the time not to cut off the head of the demon, but purge its very soul to judgment. I remember a tale that said: "When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come and see!" I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him." Now is the time. Time to ride.

Overall: 9.7 / 10
Gameplay: 9.3 / 10
Visuals: 9.5 / 10
Sound: 9.9 / 10


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