Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Final THQ assets sold photo
Remaining THQ assets have been auctioned off
Rounding out the sale of THQ's assets, we heard earlier today that Gearbox was able to pick up the rights to Homeworld. Subject to court approval, the remaining groups of intellectual properties have gone to three different c...


Crytek USA plans to buy the Darksiders license

'The IP belongs in the hands of its creators'
Mar 28
// Jim Sterling
Word on the street is, while Crytek has no current interest in Darksiders 3, Crytek USA wants the brand anyway. Considering the new company boasts ex-Vigil staff, and is indeed headed by the studio's former boss, it's hardly ...
Humble Bundle photo
Humble Bundle

Humble Mobile Bundle has Metal Slug 3, Plants vs. Zombies

Separate weekly sale once again discounts THQ titles
Mar 26
// Jordan Devore
Humble Bundle has been busy this week with two different promotions. Up first is the Humble Mobile Bundle, which offers Contre Jour, Anomaly Korea, Plants vs. Zombies, and Bladeslinger for Android under the pay-what-you-want ...
THQ photo

THQ to auction off Homeworld, Red Faction, and other IPs

Darksiders, Costume Quest, MX series, Destroy All Humans, way more
Feb 27
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
THQ sold off a majority of their biggest gaming franchises last month, and now they're ready to continue the process with some of their other big titles. THQ intends to sell off their remaining IP in six specific lots: Darks...

Crytek not interested in Darksiders 3

Vigil buyout won't mean a continuation of Vigil's series
Feb 05
// Jim Sterling
Crytek has explained that, while it has indeed acquired Vigil Games' staff, it's not particularly interested in Vigil Games' ... games. Basically, don't go expecting Darksiders 3, because Crytek's simply not interested. The t...

Top ten best THQ games: Remembering a giant

Jan 31 // Allistair Pinsof
Anyone who knows me, knows that I loves me strategy games. I love StarCraft, Rise of Nations, Sins of a Solar Empire, Civilization -- you name it. Company of Heroes was probably the first one that got me really into WWII from a strategy perspective. It is also one of the first games that took advantage of advanced graphics -- namely, destructible environments -- that have a huge effect on gameplay. As tank shells create craters, for example, your infantry can use the modified terrain as cover. Subtle details like that keep gameplay fun and dynamic and also provide a refreshing twist on the classic RTS. - Daniel Starkey [Take a look back at our previous Company of Heroes coverage.] Licensed games, as a general rule, tend to be rather uninspired affairs. Relic Entertainment's acclaimed Warhammer 40,000 titles fly in the face of that trend. Space Marine and the Dawn of War series are genuinely entertaining titles that pay homage to Games Workshop's license rather than abuse it. Relic has delivered quality experiences time and again, developing games capable of standing on their own merits while still providing ample amounts of fan service for the already initiated. As someone who has spent more than a fair share of hours painting miniatures and rolling dice, it's clear Relic has a great deal of reverence for the source material. Captain Titus' battle with Ork and Chaos forces on Forge World Graia brought that universe to life for me. I wish Relic the best and hope that their new overlords at Sega allow them to keep making these games for a long, long time. - Kyle MacGregor [Take a look back at our Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine review.] While the game was initially buggy, a heroic modding community has managed to make S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl into something worth celebrating; despite its dreary setting and almost constant peril, the Zone was a place that oozed life. It is a brave game both mechanically and tonally, considering no FPS has come close to what S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl attempts is slightly sad; the singular highpoint of the whole Call of Duty franchise is when the series visits Pripyat in the irradiated zone. - Alasdair Duncan [Take a look back at our S.T.A.L.K.E.R. coverage.] It feels wrong to love Saints Row 2, but it feels even worse not to. The presentation lacks polish, the writing is tasteless, the focus is aimless ... but it's so fun!  Where Saints Row made a marked improvement on the GTA series' controls, Saints Row 2 makes a remarkable improvement on almost every other level. GTAIV offered flawless presentation but boring combat; Saints Row 2 is just the opposite. It's the sandbox game I've always wanted, where nothing matters but the player having fun. Want to surf on a car for no reason?  Hell ya!  Want to ride golf carts through a mall while doing a drive-by?  YES! Even the music is awesome in this game. GTA is great but nothing compares to firing infinite rockets at cop cars while driving to Hum's "Stars". If only I could merge Saints Row 2's gameplay with GTA4's presentation and story, I'd have the greatest game ever. For now, I'll take Saints Row 2 over GTAIV.  After all, I can watch The Wire if I want inner city drama.  - Allistair Pinsof [Take a look back at the only Saints Row 2 video that matters on the internet.] Lock's Quest is one of the most unique games released on the Nintendo DS. It spices up tower defense with direct character control and RPG elements.  Long before Iron Brigade and Starhawk, Lock's Quest had players building walls and constructing turrets to later fight among them. The ability to directly control Lock on the battlefield may seem trivial at first, but it adds an entirely different prioritization element to tower defense, where Lock's location, health, and special abilities all factor into the decision making process.  As a tower defense game, it really shines in that it's not unforgiving in its difficulty, but the later levels really feel like they push you to your limits. While it's satisfying to have a great base built that easily repels the hordes of robots, it doesn't get much better than feeling all is lost only to scrape by with a well timed electrical explosion that takes out the last of the advancing enemies. Lock's Quest is pure fun, whether you are a fan of tower defense or not. - Darren Nakamura [Take a look back at our Lock's Quest review.] 50 Cent: Bulletproof was an awful waste of time. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, on the other hand, stands as the greatest guilty pleasure for any person who was brave enough to try it back in 2009. 50 Cent and G-Unit are playing a venue somewhere in the Middle East where his payment is in the form of a diamond skull, because why the hell not? As luck would have it, that skull is stolen and 50 Cent goes on a bullet hose rampage, destroying the country and yelling "you fucked up!" at everyone until he finds it. Because no one takes Fiddy's skull. No one. - Brett Zeidler [Take a look back at our 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand review.] Red Faction: Guerrilla is initially interesting for its building destruction mechanics. It's quite a hoot to blow up a building's support beams and watch it tumble down into pieces on top of anyone around it. I might die in the process, but it hardly matters since I'll just get a new guy and have at it again. That's when it hit me: these thoughts and ideas have a lot, perhaps too much, in common with those of terrorists. After all, the goal is to drive these uninvited invaders off of the planet, since they're only there for economic reasons. Guerrilla explores terrorism in an almost uncomfortable way, by executing it perfectly. Throwing away a life in an explosive raid is okay to do within the game, though it does make me a bit uncomfortable. And I love that. - Patrick Hancock [Take a look back at our Red Faction: Guerrilla review.] Very few games have warmed my heart like Costume Quest. There's just something about it. Although many people were quick to point out it was a very basic RPG experience, for a downloadable title it was perfect. Subtle changes to RPG tropes, like candy as currency and trick-or-treating as quests, helped showcase that the game wasn't merely a homage, but a labor of love. Combat has elements reminiscent of Super Mario RPG and exploring the whimsical world never felt like a chore. Double Fine did a great job recapturing the spirit of every child's favorite evening, and THQ did the right thing by publishing it. - Chris Carter [Take a look back at our Costume Quest review.] Until the arrival of Darksiders 2, drawing comparisons to Zelda was used interchangeably as a slight and compliment. Whether shamelessly cribbing from God of War, Portal, and Panzer Dragoon made the game stronger or not was also a point of contention. Never before had a game attempted such blatant copying of contemporary, popular games. Though some resisted Darksiders -- and still do -- for me, it showed that there is no shame in copying others when quality and holistic design come before tribute. The variety of level design comes from copying other titles, but Vigil Games is what made all the disparate parts come together in a game that continues to surprise until its end. When stripped away from its idols, you get Darksiders 2, the equivalent of a dried-out sponge. - Allistair Pinsof [Take a look back at our Darksiders review.] Some people may say that its predecessor, Saints Row 2, was a funnier and better game. These people are afraid of change. The Third is the full realization of what the series had been working towards. It is utterly ridiculous and doesn't pretend to be anything but. By doing this, the actions of the player outside of cutscenes fall in line with the character's actions within them, unlike a certain other company's open world games.The http://deckers.die mission in particular is what skyrockets this game above any other. In a single mission you become a toilet, a sex doll, use the Mega Buster, participate in a text adventure, and fight a boss that simulates lag. I truly hope that when future generations talk about the best levels in video games, deckers.die is sitting alongside the classics. - Patrick Hancock [Take a look back at our Saints Row: The Third Dildo Baseball Bat review.]
Top Ten THQ Games photo
From wrestlers to panda-suit-wearing sociopaths
When assessing a publisher's impact on the industry, we tend to focus on the highs rather than consistency. THQ was anything but consistent, putting out Nintendo DS shovelware, rushed licensed games, and taking part in one of...


Boob Wars: Colonial Marines, HD Wind Waker & RIP THQ

The Destructoid Show gets weird on Fridays
Jan 25
// Max Scoville
Hey gang, here's the recording of today's live Destructoid Show! Nintendo Direct happened, so we talked about all of that, and SimCity has new curved roads in it, I hope you're ready for that. That new Aliens: Colonial ...
Darksiders IS Zelda photo
Darksiders IS Zelda

Darksiders IS Zelda, and here's the proof

Vigil Games' art team whipped up this nifty Zelda homage
Jan 25
// Tony Ponce
That the Darksiders games take more than a few cues from The Legend of Zelda -- and may possibly surpass it -- is a secret to nobody. What we were unaware of was that developer Vigil Games always had intentions of supplanting...

Vigil Games' lead combat designer says his goodbyes

Jan 23 // Tony Ponce
My name is Ben Cureton, and I was the Lead Combat Designer at Vigil Games. I'm sitting at my desk among... what appears to be a warzone. The walls look bare. It's quiet. The seats are empty. We've all been on edge for the past couple months... and more so, the last couple weeks. I mean, I'm sure you can imagine what it's like to wonder if you will have a job tomorrow. Most of us here joked about it just to keep the mood light, but we all knew what could happen. Now I look around and I realize... it did happen. Am I sad? Well yea. I've been in this industry for 20 years. Seriously. Two decades. I've been laid off more than once. It sucks every time. But am I sad I don't have a job? Not really... I'm sure I'll get another one eventually. I'm sad because it won't be THIS job. It won't be at Vigil. That's why I'm sad. The people I waged war with are no longer together. The people that I bled with, vented with, argued with (often times LOUDLY), and kicked back with... these people will never be together again in the same combination. Not that it was perfect. But what is perfect? Did I like coming to work? Yes. Was I proud of the work that I did? Yes. More importantly, was I proud of the work that WE did? Absolutely. I knew, without a shadow of the doubt, that the project we were working on (Codenamed: Crawler) was going to blow people away. In fact, it DID blow people away. We did, in TWO months, what many companies haven't done in a year. The pride of knowing that no one was doing anything like us was so satisfying, it kept us coming to work and giving 100% every single day, even through the dark times. ... so maybe you can imagine what it feels like when you read the list of who bought what only to discover your name is not on the list. Why? Did we do something wrong? Were we not good enough? Were we not worth 'anything?' Imagine that. Vigil was filled with people that I would put up against the best in the industry. People that made my work better, people that made me a better designer, and people that made me a better person. And now they are gone. Their seats are empty. It's OK, though. I guess this post makes it sound a bit melodramatic. Seriously... if you work in the video game industry you have to be resilient. Doing what you love often comes with a price - anyone who has been around for a while can tell you that. Today, that price has been paid. That being said, I'd still never dissuade anyone from following their dreams if their dream is to make video games. While it's not as romantic as it sounds, it's sure a hell of a lot of fun. So don't cry for the people at Vigil. We made games for game players. I have no Horror stories from working here... only Honor stories. Through both praise and critiques alike, our goal was always to make a product as if we, ourselves, were the end-user. We may have gotten pushed and pulled in certain directions by forces out of our control, we were always in it to make games for game players. And that's what we did. I can only hope that those spared from the other companies remain employed long into the future. There is not much worse than false hope, and these people deserve to continue making great games. You may not know their names, but they exist, and they bleed, sweat, and cry for your entertainment. I mean that honestly, with no negativity. They do it... no, WE do it... because we want you to have a good time. In closing, I can only say thank you to the fans of Vigil games. Your support means more than you can imagine. Your feedback (both positive and negative) gave us long-lasting insight that we will all take with us, wherever we may go. You are the reason we made Darksiders 1 &2... and you are the reason we will continue to make games. And with that... my seat is empty. Ben CuretonLead Combat DesignerVigil Games P.S. This is no place for a horse.
Farewell from Vigil photo
Posted farewell letter on NeoGAF
THQ has cleared its plate and sold off all its assets... well... not all of them. For some reason, not one company placed a bid for Darksiders developer Vigil Games, dooming the young studio. Vigil's lead combat designer Ben ...


$25 gets you the THQ Collection on Steam

20+ titles, including Warhammer, Saints Row, and Darksiders
Dec 22
// Jordan Devore
After the recent Humble THQ Bundle, I don't know how useful this deal will be, but the sheer absurdity of it all warrants a special mention. As part of the 2012 holiday Steam sale, there's a $24.99 collection which inclu...

This Darksiders II 'Death & Despair' statue is turbo-boss

I want this a lot!
Dec 06
// Jim Sterling
It seems the Darksiders series is fated to not get the recognition it deserves, but at least THQ still believes in it enough to pimp out some cool merchandise -- like this newly revealed "Death & Despair" statue from SOTA...

Third expansion for Darksiders II releasing tomorrow

The Demon Lord Belial releasing for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
Dec 03
// Conrad Zimmerman
More content is on the way tomorrow for fans of Darksiders II. The title's third downloadable expansion, The Demon Lord Belial will be available for consumption for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Folks who have purchase...
THQ bundle earns big photo
Huge shock as people buy things that are cheap!
Despite proving controversial, THQ's "Humble Bundle" has raked in $3.3 million since it launched last Thursday, as over 580,000 customers take the chance to snap up games for as little as $1.00. According to, share pri...


New Darksiders II DLC will arrive in time for Halloween

No pumpkins, though
Oct 24
// Alasdair Duncan
The Darksiders II DLC continues to arrive with a second installment entitled The Abyssal Forge arriving for Halloween. THQ haven't been slow with following up Darksiders II launch with DLC and this new chapter promises to be ...

Joe Mad leaves Vigil Games

Don't get mad
Oct 22
// Chris Carter
Joe Madureira, better known as "Joe Mad", creative director of the Darksiders franchise (among many other bodies of work), announced via Twitter last night that he's leaving Vigil Games. Joe goes into a bit more detail on his...

How to play Darksiders II on Wii U, in PICTURES!

Check out the gamepad interactions in Vigil's launch port
Sep 27
// Jim Sterling
Planning to play Darksiders II on the Wii U but terrified that you won't know how to play it, causing literally everybody to laugh at you? THQ has got you covered, my friend. The publisher sent along some helpful images that ...

Darksiders II 'Argul's Tomb' DLC detailed, dated

Sep 19
// Jordan Devore
More Darksiders II? I've hardly scratched the surface of this deceptively huge title! Vigil Games will be releasing Argul's Tomb as paid downloadable content on Tuesday, September 25 for Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 in Nor...

You can play Darksiders II entirely on the Wii U GamePad

Sep 17
// Chris Carter
It looks like you don't have to worry about Darksiders II and the ability to play it entirely on the GamePad, as developers have informed Polygon that the game is compatible with said feature. Evidently this feature was left ...

Darksiders II on Wii U will have extra content

Sep 13
// Chris Carter
Darksiders II no longer has a mystery release date: it is now confirmed as a Wii U launch title. The game will more or less be a port of the original game, with the added ability to use the Wii U GamePad as a map and ...

Weird Metacritic user reviews tear Darksiders II to bits

Sleeping Dogs and Dark Souls PC also attacked
Sep 01
// Jim Sterling
[Update 3: A Russian speaking friend of mine went through the site and believes it to be a highly detailed troll. The cult is dedicated to keeping alive the memory of an old Soviet actor from the 50s, who they openly ac...

Here are your Darksiders II contest winners!

Aug 21
// mrandydixon
As you may recall, Destructoid hosted a fantastic Darksiders II contest last week, courtesy of our friends at THQ. After much deliberation, we're ready to announce the winners! There were A TON of entries -- many of them absolutely wonderful! -- but sadly we could only award six of you with Darksiders swag. Hit the jump to find out who won!

Giving credit where credit is due: A developer's plea

Aug 21 // Andy Modrovich
And now here we are again, only this time the issue is the game industry's crediting practices. Seeing the heated reaction to Xander Davis' story convinced me it's not that no one cares about this issue, it's simply that few outside the industry really know much about it. Consider this my small attempt to help change that.I started in the industry as an entry-level programmer in 2000, straight out of college. Since then I've worked for several different studios and shipped a number of games. After a couple of cross-country moves, I eventually settled in Austin, Texas in the summer of 2005. I joined Vigil Games partway through development on the original Darksiders and ended up working there as a senior gameplay programmer for about three years. After helping ship Darksiders, I went on to work on Darksiders II for about 14 months before I left the company for a different studio. My time did not overlap with Xander's, and therefore I cannot speak to any of his allegations. In any case, I believe all the drama surrounding his account of his time there, and what did or did not happen, is a distraction. It only serves to obscure the larger issue, one where the facts are beyond dispute: that quite a lot of people worked for quite a long time on a game and were not credited. I am one of them.For what it's worth, this is hardly a problem that's unique to Vigil; in fact, it's depressingly common. The issue of crediting (or the lack thereof) is almost as old as the game industry itself. It was, famously, Atari's refusal to credit its developers that drove the creator of the landmark Atari 2600 game Adventure to write the first-ever video game Easter egg in 1979 -- a hidden room with "Created by Warren Robinett" displayed in the middle. Well, I guess that's one way to solve the problem: write your own credits. I wish I could say we've come a long way in the past 30 years, but it was just last year that some former members of Team Bondi felt strongly enough about their lack of proper crediting on L.A. Noire that they launched a website with their own version of the game's credits. Warren would be proud. After 12 years in the game industry, I've come to believe there are almost as many policies toward crediting as there are game studios. Since we have no trade union like Hollywood does, there are literally no rules whatsoever about who ends up in a credits file and who doesn't. Some companies have very liberal policies, where anyone who works on the project for even one day gets at least a special thanks.  At others, you do not make it into the credits at all unless you are there on the day the game ships, regardless of how long you worked on the game. Vigil's policy was more case-by-case.  From what I saw on Darksiders 1, if you left under unpleasant circumstances, you would likely be dropped from the credits, while if you parted on amicable terms, you might still be kept in. In what I consider to be the most disturbing part of his public statement, David Adams implies that it's perfectly okay to leave out anyone who left the company for any reason besides a mass layoff. I don't know how many rank-and-file game developers would agree with that.These types of policies, together with the growing tendency to include a huge number of people who had (at best) a tangential role in the making of the game, lead to situations where (and I'm not exaggerating here) the accountants, PR people, lawyers, and sales staff at the corporate office end up in the credits while key production employees do not.  I witnessed a situation at one company where one of our top artists was cut out of the credits for a game, despite having worked on it from the very beginning all the way to the end. After we had locked our content in preparation for submission (meaning the artists were literally forbidden from making any further changes to their work) he announced he was leaving the studio for another opportunity.  The day after his announcement, his title was stripped and his name was moved all the way to the Special Thanks section at the very end of the credits file. After the endless parade of corporate brand managers and marketing executives, after the HR people at the outsourcing studios, after the voice-over talent for the French localization. He did what you're supposed to do: he did quality work and saw the game through to completion. Yet because he left before the game discs were actually pressed, he was essentially erased from the credits. So what's behind all this? Why does a studio remove someone from a game's credits, and why do developers put up with it? Most importantly, why do credits matter?I don't have a good answer to the first question, considering it costs the studio nothing -- literally nothing -- to keep a name in the credits file. In light of the ad-hoc nature of so many companies' crediting policies, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that many of them simply haven't thought very hard about the why. Among those that can give a coherent explanation, I imagine they'd say that keeping departed employees in the credits isn't fair to the devs that stuck it out all the way through the (typically nightmarish) end of the project, with all its attendant late nights and stress. This might be a valid argument for crediting those employees differently (e.g., "Additional Design" instead of just "Design"), but not for removing them entirely.  Another reason, which studios are less likely to vocalize, is that de-crediting people the minute they leave provides a good incentive for them to stay through to the very end of the project. However, I suspect that at too many places, the real answer comes down to a simple desire to punish. It's really the only legal way studio executives have to get back at an employee they feel has "wronged" them or put the project in a tough spot by leaving early. Yes, it's petty and unprofessional, but human nature is what it is.As for why we all just suck it up and accept these minor injustices, to some extent it's the same reason we accept the major injustices of perpetual crunch and exploitative working conditions: fear of retaliation. No one wants to be branded a troublemaker or a malcontent. People are scared of losing their jobs.  They have children and mortgages. Even in the very best of times, the tremendous volatility of the game industry means that nobody's job is truly "safe" for any length of time. And brother, it ain't the best of times. So why risk complaining? Nor, it must be said, is it the case that all developers actually care about credits. There's a fair chunk of the workforce that doesn't see how it matters who makes it into the credits for a given game. After all, there are no residuals or royalties or copyrights tied to them as there are in other industries. They know they worked on that game, their friends and family know they worked on it, and most importantly, everybody else in the industry knows they worked on it. Or at least, can easily verify that they did. We all know that when it's time to look for another job, the recruiter we end up talking to is going to be able to call up a friend of a friend who worked with us at Defunct Company X and find out everything they need to know. The industry is small like that, a byproduct of the continual churn of hirings and layoffs and cross-country moves and re-hirings. When no one in the industry is more than two degrees of Kevin Bacon away from anyone else, who needs a credits file?But the fact is that credits do matter. Because while a game is still relatively recent, it may be easy to find somebody who remembers that you worked on it. But when the game becomes 10, 20, 30 years old? The studio itself may be long since dead and its records lost, and finding people who can reliably confirm your contribution may become difficult or impossible. And the converse situation may be even worse.  If there's no definitive way to tell if someone worked on a particular game, what's to stop an unscrupulous person from padding their resume with old games they never so much as touched? Modern game studios, especially the ones that produce AAA games, employ dozens or even hundreds of people. That plus the constant trickle of arrivals and departures means that before long, no one's memory will be reliable. Hell, I can't even remember the names of people I worked with just a few years ago. In a very real way, our history as game developers is slowly disappearing, one game at a time.But beyond any of the practical concerns, or the high-minded talk of posterity, the best reason to insist on proper crediting is simple human decency, respect, and love of the truth. There's been a lot of back-and-forth about what kind of a guy Xander Davis is and how good his work was, and whether he therefore "deserves" to be credited for Darksiders II. This debate misses the point entirely. Because it doesn't matter whether you're a nice guy or a jerk, or whether your work is good or bad, or whether you quit or got laid off or were fired for cause. You put in work on a game, you belong in the credits, period.  The credits file is not a record of who's a Swell Dude, or whose contributions were super awesome. It is a record of who worked on the game, and the management of a studio should not be in the business of deciding whether anyone's contribution was "good enough" to merit their inclusion, or whether they left the company for an "acceptable" reason. So where do we go from here? How do we make things better? Again, I wish I had a good answer for that. The only thing that will fix the crediting issue once and for all is unionization, but for reasons I don't fully understand a lot of folks in the game industry are hostile to the idea. Failing that, we may simply have to do our best to foster a consensus -- within the industry and without -- that arbitrarily denying people their recognition is unacceptable. Public awareness and social pressure can work wonders; just ask the employees now receiving overtime pay as a result of the EA Spouse incident.Whatever we decide to do and however we go about it, we owe it to ourselves not to let this issue get stuffed back in the closet with the other game industry skeletons. The Way Things Are is wrong, and the time for quietly accepting it is over. If you'd like to reach Andy, you can send him an email at [email protected]  [image]

Last week, a Darksiders II developer posted comments on Twitter about being left out of the credits despite working on the game. Some joined his side, some ridiculed his outburst, but most ignored the issue altogether. Does t...

The top demony demons to have done demon stuff in games

Aug 21 // Jim Sterling
Lucifer (Ghosts n' Goblins) The classic Capcom title Ghosts n' Goblins scores points by going straight to the top of the food chain. It doesn't get more demonic than Satan himself, and this isn't your post-modern, social commentary, Al Pacino take on the character -- this is proper Satan, sitting on a proper skull throne, being a proper demon.  As is an important requisite for being a real demon, Lucifer's skin is as red as the blistering fires that will melt the endlessly regenerating flesh from our bones for all eternity. However, he places last on the list due to the lack of horns, hooves, or other defining traits that would make him a truly demony demon. With the hair, pointy nose, and generally washed-out color of his skin, he looks more like a cross between a Super Saiyan, a witch, and that woman out of Hellraiser II: Hellbound.  Nevertheless, he is still a good demon.  Lucifer (Dante's Inferno) Like Capcom, Visceral Games decided to pick the big guy himself when creating an ultimate baddie for Dante's Inferno. He's a solid example of a demon done justice. The horn-to-head ratio is tilted firmly in favor of horns, which is always great to see in any demon. Speaking of horns, this particular Lucifer has a gigantic penis that flops around when he walks. This is often a cause of humor to some, but folk like me take our demon penises incredibly seriously. It is not mandatory that a demon have a penis, but if it's going to have one, it's got to be huge and massive and capable of hammering a nail into plywood. They did a great job on all counts with this particular penis, and I'm grateful that Visceral takes a good dick as seriously as I do.  Diablos (Final Fantasy series) Diablos is a pretty damn good demon. His face is basically made out of spikes, he's got a giant pair of wings that look more suited to putting holes in things as opposed to flight, and he's sporting a classy red and black color scheme that is both demonic and fashionable.  Square Enix did a great job with Diablos, giving him a modern look to make him appealing to the youth of today while still retaining a lot of classic demoniness that will never go out of style. Fans of the satanic, young and old, can come together and celebrate their love of the blasted wasteland that shall host their lives in oblivion, united by a shared appreciation of Diablos. The Dreadful Mother whispers her knowledge where no ears are there to hear them.  Eidolon (Hexen 2) Now we're really cooking (cooking like in Hell with fire ha ha). Eidolon has got it going on, with a dark red color pattern, black claws, and even a pair of hooves. We're getting into serious demon territory with these bad boys. Extra marks are had for the goat-like nature of its horns and beard. Since the dawn of time, goats have had an affinity with the damned, due to the fact that they can eat clothes, which humans use to hide their sinful boobs and anuses. This is where we get the term "scapegoat" from, "scape" being Latin for, "chewing my pants."  The snake-like face is a bit offputting and a reason why the Eidolon didn't rank higher, but any disturbance had from that feature is offset by the brass nipple ring located on the demon's left teet. This is a nice touch, and adds flavor to the design.  Flame Demon (Castlevania series) The Flame Demon has almost got it all. Fire, teeth, horns, wings, nearly every incarnation of the Flame Demon throughout the Castlevania series has been a fantastic look at what goes into making a truly demony demon.  That said, the Flame Demon from Symphony of the Night really lets the side down, and can eat balls as far as I'm concerned. First of all, it's green. Green! Demons aren't green, they are almost ALWAYS red, and maybe sometimes grey or black with some red on them somewhere. They're not red and green like they're made out of fucking Christmas! Those pathetic little points on its head do not look like horns. They're more like a snail's eye stalks. Frankly, the whole mess resembles some sort of stupid insect and I honestly hope whoever designed it is homeless now and can never improve his social standing -- also, the bastard can never die, so he is stuck homeless forever and really hungry and thirsty but waking up every morning so he can keep being poor and homeless and generally having a bad time.  That little issue aside, great work on the Flame Demons! Samael (Darksiders series) Despite a voice that makes him sound like he should be selling suspicious car stereos at a covered market in East London, Samael is an incredibly demonesque demon who demons really nicely. This guy wears horns so well that he's managed to fashion a bunch of them into a beard. Samael has a hornbeard! That's how you know you're hitting the grade-A hardcore demon shit.  Top marks also go toward a pair of wings that look like they're made out of steak, as well as armor that's pointy enough to be badass while small enough to showcase at least one tit. Demons are at their best when they're wearing only a slight amount of clothing, so we can see how red they are. Samael is pretty damn red, which makes him really good at being a demon.  They're coming for you, you fucking worm. They're scratching the inside of your skull with their barbs and they'll break free at night to drag you, bleeding, from your rancid little cot.  Horned Reaper (Dungeon Keeper series) Did you think we'd do this article without mentioning Dungeon Keeper? What's wrong with you, you pathetic little idiot!? It doesn't get much better than the Horned Reaper, that scythe-wielding nightmare from Bullfrog's short-lived series of simulation games. Tough to unlock, and tougher to keep satisfied, these devilish bastards bleed pure demon.  They're red. They're horny. They've got hooves. They are classic demon, through and through. I prefer the original design over the sequel's overhaul, due to it having better teeth and no pupils in the eyes, but both versions are pretty ace-potatoes. Abuse.  Diablo (Diablo series) After the thirteen black sacraments have been performed, the matriarch of spiders descends from an icy haze of withering deceit and the judgement of those that have wreaked their rusted vengeance upon their deniers. She will ask you a question, and you must answer this pressing inquisition with honesty in your heart, no matter the perversity of her accusation, for your secrets collect on her entangled web like dew drops in the spring morning, and she has grown fat on your life of lies and wicked deeds. Know now that she sees all, her eight unblinking eyes possessed of the spirit sight, and her words cut like jagged glass dragged upon the flesh of your soul. With a single query she can reduce a man to a gibbering, wretched thing, and only the steeliest of resolve can shield itself from her accusatory spite.  The first of the keys to the locks to the door are yours upon your completion of this task. Only when the door is open will you free yourself of the torment you have knowingly invited. You, who began your quest in pursuit of power, will end it in pursuit of peace. I warn you, beseech you, do not tread this path. Though I am bound by my own misdoing to instruct you, whoever you may be, I am free to tell you that you must not, cannot, do this.  What have I done?

If you're anything like me, you're a devil worshipper.  There's just something glorious about a truly demonic demon, one that embodies the spirit of the classics -- a big, red, horny, behooved, gleefully evil beast-man f...


Missing features might be added to Darksiders II on PC

Aug 17
// Jordan Devore
Last night, curiosity got the better of me and I nabbed Darksiders II on Steam. How is the PC version? Well, it ran, and I was able to change the resolution -- but that's about it, frankly. Sadly, it sounds like some players ...

[Update: Contest closed! Winners announced here.] Our friends at THQ have given us a TON of Darksiders II swag to hand out to lucky Dtoiders! Up for grabs are copies of the Darksiders II Collector's Edition, sets of Darksider...


Darksiders II crossing over with Metalocalypse on Friday

Aug 15
// Jim Sterling
The popular Adult Swim cartoon Metalocalypse will feature a crossover collaboration with Death from Darksiders II this coming Friday. Now that's totally #darksiders2. The spot will air during the Metalocalypse marathon this F...

Darksiders devs speak out on not being credited (Update)

Aug 15 // Allistair Pinsof
UPDATE 2: Here's an email I received from a game designer who worked at Vigil on Darksiders 1 & 2. He requested his name not be posted for the time being. My name's pretty obvious by my email - it's [redacted]. I am one of the uncredited folks (of which there are a lot) from Vigil Games that worked on Darksiders 2. In fact, you can find me in the credits of Darksiders 1. I worked on the sequel for over two years, and yes, it is disheartening to not be included in something that we worked so hard on. While Xander is rightfully upset, his anger is misguided. I worked directly with Herb on several occasions, and he's a great guy that would never have screwed over a fellow developer by swooping in & stealing someone's job. This is a small industry, and lets not taint the reputation of the individual because someone felt the need to lash out in anger. He was on contract by choice, and I dont' know what the circumstances are that led to him receiving the title & position that he did in the end - I left Vigil on my own accord in late November.  I just want to point out that singling out a fellow employee is wrong under any circumstances, especially when it was so obviously the work of the head of the studio (David Adams). I would appreciate not being named in any publications on this matter unless someone sends a list of all those affected by this decision. That person won't be me since I don't want to drag my friends into this mess unwittingly. There are things that needed to be cleared up though. UPDATE 1: We got in touch with Vigil Games general manager David Adams. Here's what he had to say about Xander Davis and his allegations [full email at bottom of post]: When we were forced to reduce staff due to the cancellation of a project, we worked hard to ensure every single person effected by the layoff received their credit in the game.  We did not include individuals whose employment terminated for any other reason, for example, being let go for documented poor performance.To reiterate, Vigil’s primary concern while doing Darksiders II credits was that we credited team members that were affected by the recent downsizing.   We were not focused on the issue of employees that voluntarily left or were fired from the company.  We find it alarming that a former employee would personally attack and lie about other team members while falsely inflating his contribution to the game. ORIGINAL STORY: "If I hadn't said anything, nobody would've even noticed.  Who reads credits anyway? No one. I know it probably doesn't even matter. But you know, what? I read them. It matters," Davis said. "After the hell that I went through, after giving Vigil everything and more, like so many others, after doing my job and doing it well and leading with no support, in record time... once I saw the credits, I simply couldn't stand to let that pass." After a couple years doing UI design for High Moon Studios' Transformers: War for Cybertron and working on Xaviant's Lichdom, Davis finally found a promising gig in Austin. "In October, I interviewed at Vigil. They wanted to get someone out there as fast as possible because their UI was in a state of emergency," Davis said. "I thought this was great! 'They really like me!' But no, they were just desperate to solve their problem and anyone would do." Before Davis started work, the Darksiders II's UI was led by one person who was barely managed by the studio, he said. The job lasted a lot shorter than he expected: four months. The hours were a lot longer too. Though he was working for a studio he respected with Joe Madureira, a comic book artist he admired, Davis was not thrilled. He was tasked with recreating the UI system in 30 days, which he did. He led a team of three people, redesigned 27 screens, and made a new HUD. This was all done in 30 days, after which the game had 30 days to ship (before delays). So the developer changed the focus to adding new features, according to Davis. He wasn't pleased with this decision. ["It's like -- how the fuck are you going to QA that & ensure it's good!?"] "Let's say it'd be pretty crazy with 30 days left to ship to revamp gameplay UI with a team of three people. That'd be crazy at any studio. Despite completely revamping the UI, that wasn't good enough," Davis said. "Vigil kept pushing harder." Davis worked until 2 AM every night in January. He was the only person left in the building. One night he fell asleep at his desk, woke up, and worked another 14-hour day on the weekend. Davis was fired. The UI work was passed to another guy who threatened to quit, until it eventually landed in the hands of a developer whose contract was going to expire in a month, Davis said. He expected this person to overhaul everything he did since he took Davis' title of UI lead. "Vigil had mass layoffs in March. Entire UI team was laid off. Credible source says they kept one on via retainer who was chummy w/ owners," Davis posted on Twitter. "I was let go a month after DMO changed, they merged the other UI team, & Herb Ellwood swooped in & stole my job. After all my hard work. Herb Ellwood only had a contract with THQ. He used the team merging (which we needed to make ship) to secure a salary. Mine." Upon seeing the retail product, Davis said that the UI is 90% derivative of his work. Yet, he has no title in the credits at all. "It's no surprise to anyone, especially people that work at Vigil. They'll tell you a lot of craziness went down," Davis said. "It's sometimes a nightmare. It's common that this happens a lot in the game industry." He added that the layoffs at Vigil continued as he looked for a job within and outside Austin. In response, Davis is focusing his efforts on building his own game studio, Astrogun, while he does UI work on End of Nations. He is using his newfound freedom to create a soon-to-be-announced Ouya title. "Triple-A studios have put me through some very dark times and I'm wondering why does triple-A talent have to put up with it now with UDK, Unity, and more platforms than ever. Why does anyone need to work in triple-A anymore?" Davis said. "I think as we go forward into the next generation, game dev talent will get sick of getting screwed over and being relocated from state to state. Why? When you can go do it yourself." Davis said several of his friends and ex-Vigil employees have posted on Facebook about not being in the credits as well. I have reached out to Vigil and THQ for response. If you too have worked on Darksiders II and have not received a credit, leave your story below or contact me at [email protected] Here's Vigil Games General Manager David Adams' response in its entirety: After ending yesterday with the successful launch of Darksiders II, we at Vigil Games woke up to get word of a former employee’s statements regarding how his contributions were not being accounted for in the credits of the game.  What was most disheartening about the statements was how misleading they were, and how they fly in the face of how Vigil, culturally, feels about and treats our teams.While employment and privacy laws preclude us from discussing the circumstances surrounding the departure of any individual no longer with the company, we can confirm that the employee in question worked for us a total of 90 days, whereas Darksiders II was more than 2 ½ years in development.  When we were forced to reduce staff due to the cancellation of a project, we worked hard to ensure every single person effected by the layoff received their credit in the game.  We did not include individuals whose employment terminated for any other reason, for example, being let go for documented poor performance.We believe we treat both current and former positive contributors to our studio like family, and any statements otherwise are highly inaccurate and can be verified as same.  We would ask any press who wish to report on this former employee's statements to check the accuracy of these erroneous claims, before printing them as factual. To reiterate, Vigil’s primary concern while doing Darksiders II credits was that we credited team members that were affected by the recent downsizing.   We were not focused on the issue of employees that voluntarily left or were fired from the company.  We find it alarming that a former employee would personally attack and lie about other team members while falsely inflating his contribution to the game.We thank, once again, all those who positively contributed to Darksiders II.

[Update: In addition to a response from Vigil Games' general manager, I received an email from an ex-Vigil employee who worked on game for 2+ years but did not receive credit. He says he's not the only one. Updates are after ...


We reviewed Darksiders II, Sleeping Dogs, and Last Story!

Aug 14
// Jim Sterling
With gamescom kicking off its onslaught of news, the Destructoid frontpage has been alight with posts today. In fact, it's been so busy that you might have managed to miss three pretty big reviews. We reviewed Sleeping Dogs, ...

Review: Darksiders II

Aug 14 // Jim Sterling
Darksiders II (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed], Wii U)Developer: Vigil GamesPublisher: THQReleased: August 14, 2012 (PC, PS3, 360) / Late 2012 (Wii U)MSRP: $59.99 Darksiders II puts players in the bony boots of Death, a Horseman of the Apocalypse on an ironic quest to bring the slain back to life. His journey starts just after War has been tricked into obliterating mankind, and Death believes that if he can resurrect humanity, he'll clear his brother's name. Along the way, he encounters Corruption, a malevolent force intent on obliterating all existence, and thus finds himself with more urgent matters than his own brother's fate -- not that he cares. Though Death is no less grim than his brother, he is an altogether more enjoyable protagonist, possessed as he is of a caustic wit and an affable disregard for anybody who isn't a member of his family. As always, the weird and wonderful world of Darksiders is brought to life with a host of eccentric and overzealous characters, a fantastical set of locations, and some gorgeous designs courtesy of artist Joe Madureira. Much of Darksiders II will be familiar to fans of War's bloody journey, but make no mistake, this is quite a different experience. While Darksiders was an action game with heavy Zelda influences, its sequel comes close to being a full-blown action role-playing game along the lines of Diablo or Torchlight. There are still many Zelda influences -- items that open up new paths, dungeons with tiered levels, key chests, and hidden maps -- but the package is altogether less shameless this time around, with a greater focus placed on environmental challenges and puzzles that make heavy use of acrobatics, levers, and even a little time travel. [embed]232695:44617[/embed] While none of these puzzles are especially fresh to the action genre -- we've all spent time standing on pressure pads to open gates -- the inventive level design helps them be among the best examples you could hope to see. There are some ingenious puzzles that make use of Death's growing array of gadgets, whether he's throwing bombs at crystallized rock, creating duplicates of himself, or jumping into Aperture Science-inspired portals. None of the mechanics are new, but the implementations are wholly refined. Dungeons are set out with a keen sense of logic, and the challenges within are taxing without ever coming off as contrived. Likewise, Death's movement around the world is full of the same wall-running, ledge clambering, hook-grappling acrobatics we've seen in titles like Uncharted or Prince of Persia, but the elegance and speed with which the Horseman navigates his surroundings creates a fluidity quite unlike that seen with other clambering heroes -- all while demanding quick wit on the part of the player. At times, this fluidity is a little overbearing, as Death's animations feel too "floaty" and unpredictable to cope with some of the more demanding, time-limited areas. A number of times, Death needs to move through a series of environmental obstacles at a pace too quick for his often laggy responses, as Vigil placed too much emphasis on animation over utility. However, these irregular occasions are more than made up for by the many moments the system works successfully -- and looks gorgeous doing so. Combat is where most similarities with the original Darksiders can be found, though Death's respective litheness makes him feel less meaty and far more agile than War ever was. Button-mashing combos, a heavy emphasis on dodging, and a range of increasingly brutal special skills make for a combat system that balances grace and brutality in equal measure. Death's weapon of choice is a pair of scythes, which will always serve as his primary armaments, though he can equip a secondary weapon from a range that includes maces, hammers, glaives, claws, and more. Scythes and secondary weapons can be used in conjunction to create more effective combos, and Death possesses a power gauge that, when full, allows him to assume the spectral form of the Grim Reaper himself, cutting into foes with deadly strength and enhanced resistance. As Death gains experience and rises in level, he can unlock and upgrade abilities from two skill trees. Such abilities include the power to close distances with a teleporting slash, summon demonic minions, or send a murder of crows to steal health. Each power starts off relatively weak, but adding and strengthening each one with subsequent skill points can lead to possession of some utterly vicious playthings. If one ever grows bored of them, the demonic merchant Vulgrim is on hand to reset your points and allow you to start over. Darksiders II's combat system works best in smaller engagements against a moderate selection of foes. Since it's based on counterattacks, being able to concentrate on opponents is paramount, but it has to be said that Vigil sometimes relies too much on undermining this to create a sense of challenge. A fair number of fights, particularly toward the latter portions of the game, swamp the screen with monsters, many of which can power through your attacks in order to break combos. Some of the best battles are one-on-one engagements where timing is of the essence, so these larger, chaotic fights really aren't needed and can be a little infuriating at times. Things are kept interesting with the all-new loot system. Enemies now dispense vast quantities of gold, as well as pauldrons, greaves, vambraces, and weapons. Darksiders II does a solid job of providing more powerful gear at the right intervals, offering enough incentive to keep one hunting for fresh loot. There are also a whole bunch of extra statistics alongside the regular damage/defense boosts, allowing Death to improve his special attacks, increase the chance to perform execution kills, and enjoy a health regen. Possessed weapons are manually upgraded by "feeding" other loot items to them, and each level gained provides a variety of upgrade choices, allowing for tailor-made and significantly powerful armaments. Naturally, merchants are peppered throughout the world, happy to sell new items and buy your unwanted trash. While not strictly open-world, the four realms that Death gradually uncovers can be freely traveled and are vast enough to provide secrets, hidden items, and side quests. Death traverses the game's realms by summoning his ethereal horse, Despair, though there are enough fast travel points to get around the map without much equestrian help. A number of the optional missions rely too heavily on tiresome collection quests, but there are some satisfyingly challenging tasks involving full-fledged dungeons and powerful boss creatures. All told, the main game should take around 20 hours to beat, with plenty of content left unfinished. There's also a "new game plus" mode, a survival-based challenge called the Crucible, and an unlockable "Nightmare" mode that features permanent death. For the hardcore Darksiders fan, there is a ton of stuff to uncover, ranging from the banal to the engrossing. The sheer wealth of content on offer makes the original Darksiders look like an appetizer -- still incredibly enjoyable in its own way, but a morsel in comparison to the main entree. Some of the optional quests feel like time wasters, but the main meat of the game features very little fluff -- even if the "perform three tasks to unlock the real objective" formula is played a few times too many. While predictably structured, the adventure is never boring, and as Death slices his way through progressively more aggressive and bizarre creatures, there's a tremendous sense of build. Sadly, the actual ending is a bit brief and unsatisfying, but it's a fantastic ride to that point. For a vast majority of the time, Darksiders II is a fantastic experience -- highly polished, tightly scripted, and boasting enough moments of exhilaration to make up for the frustrating points. While mostly a high quality experience, an entire section that takes place on apocalyptic Earth seems quite glitchy, with sounds not playing and dialog skipping. It's a comparatively small section of the game and will likely be patched, but it's worth noting that right now the Earth section is a little busted. Still, the rest of the experience is remarkably well put together, with none of the screen-tearing found in the previous game and no other bugs encountered during my playthrough. I wouldn't want to say that Darksiders II is better than Darksiders. Both games are different beasts and provide separate experiences. It's rare to see a sequel retain so much flavor while totally restructuring itself, but Vigil Games knocked it out of the park with aplomb. Neither game is superior, both are enjoyable in different ways, and together they weave one fantastic tale. Those new to the series certainly don't need to know too much to get into it, but existing fans will be able to enjoy the universe in a whole new perspective. As far as I'm concerned, Darksiders II is a great example of a sequel done absolutely right. There are certainly complaints to be had with the title. The latter half feels like it's over a bit too quickly, I'd have loved to have seen more exploration of Death as a protagonist, and I feel that the series' trademark macabre characters needed more of a spotlight. However, with a game that already provides so much, these things feel more like desired garnish rather than missing components. This is one of those games that you can really sink your teeth into, a game that feels full, making you want more without feeling like you need more. Darksiders II takes the best elements from many games and blends them into a seamless, wholly satisfying package. With a unique protagonist, killer art style, savvy level design, and ferocious combat, there's little left for an action fan to want, while the role-playing elements have been enhanced to such a degree that the overall experience feels deeper and more compelling than before. If this game is not a success, then truly the world doesn't know what's good for it.
a great example of a sequel done absolutely right
Every now and then, a game comes along that seems to have the right stuff -- it's got an unforgettable visual style, a quality studio, a respectable marketing budget, and the kind of gameplay that should go over damn well wit...


Darksiders II launch event to include prizes and Death

Aug 10
// Jason Cabral
Darksiders II will be releasing next week and to help welcome in this new post-apocalypse, THQ is going to bring fans what they have been waiting for: Death and neat prizes! If you happen to live near the West Hollywood ...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...