What They Say:
Darksiders Genesis is a top-down hack and slash action role-playing video game developed by American studio Airship Syndicate and published by THQ Nordic
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Someone is trying to disrupt the balance between worlds. So what do you do? You call in Strife and War and have them hack and slash your way through as many people as possible to get things done. That’s what Darksiders: Genesis asked you to do. Overall it makes for a fun albeit somewhat frustrating time.
The Council wants to maintain balance in the world. The problem is that someone wants to destroy that balance. The council was informed that Lucifer’s is trying to disrupt the balance. They now tasked both War and Strife to investigate Lucifer. As the duo go through their investigation, they soon find out that there is more to this story than they thought. Thus, they must hack and slash their way through multiple dungeons to discover the mystery and the plot behind Lucifer’s quest to destroy the balance.
What makes the story more compelling is the acting. The voice actors make the characters interesting and feel alive. Chris Jai Alex plays a phenomenal Strife making the great witty banter work seamlessly. War’s VA, Liam O’Brien plays a well as a more reserved and stoic character that has a sense of duty to The Council. The casts made the story compelling with their delivery and acting to make the story tie together.
The two main characters that you’ll be switching off between Strife and War. Strife is a long-range gunner who is able to shoot different opponents and enemies. War is more of a short-range buster type of character that’s able to deal heavy damage to whoever’s in his path. There are lots of upgrades throughout various levels through the creature core system (that gives upgrades) as well as items that make the experience better. These upgrades deal bigger damage and in some cases instant kills. These characters allow for different play styles in the game. For someone like me, I found it easier to main Strife. His long-range attacks, with a couple of his close-range attacks, allowed me the maneuverability to attack opponents while still plan on the defensive.
Crawling through the dungeons is interesting because you get to loot and shoot your way through various enemies. This leads to great replayability experiences with more exploration throughout the dungeons as you get more powerful. The puzzles for the various aspects of the dungeon makes it engaging with you gaining more abilities and thus being able to solve them in whatever way possible. It makes you want to explore further, and actually attempt the different puzzles to complete the dungeon overall. If you have that itch, you could always go back and replay the level to your heart’s content to collect everything.
However there weren’t certain things that clicked with the game. Wow the isometric one camera view allowed a lot more hacking and slashing, it also led towards various issues playing the game. Playing on Google Stadia, I would constantly find myself struggling to fight with the camera while dealing with these streaming issues that occurred with Stadia. This led towards frustrating events such as being stuck in various corners and spots in the game. I would have to jump and die to place me back at an accessible spot. In addition, because you dropped you get penalized with losing health. This type of sequence would happen constantly throughout levels. I played the Stadia version, which came with its own set of difficulties including controller disconnects as well as erratic gameplay behavior as well. An example would be where the care when the controller disconnects, the character would suddenly take a different path. It lead to either me dying or placed me in the path of danger.
Darksiders: Genesis is a good entry into hack and slash game. The variety of ways to play with good puzzle design makes for a good challenge on how to accomplish tasks. The VAs of the game help carry the story to good heights. However, the camera can break this fun with frustrating scenarios that impact the gaming experience. If players are willing to be patient with the flaws, it can lead to a good time with Darksiders: Genesis.
Platform: Google Stadia (reviewed), PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One,