After being turned away from the booth of a publisher that shall remain unnamed, I bumped into a cadre of developers from Vigil Studios who were more than happy to shelter me for an hour. After making my way to THQ's super secret fortress in the offices of the convention center, I finally sat down and played me some Darksiders II.
As readers will know, I am a big fan of the last game, so I am pleased to report the core of the game remains intact. Once again, combat feels meaty as muscular entities slug it out with ridiculously huge weapons. As Death scales surfaces, runs on walls, and leaps from pillars, I can note that the fast-paced environmental exploration is just as conveniently gratifying as ever. The fundamentals are all in place, and unchanged.
The added depth that comes from the enhanced roleplaying elements, however, really adds a new level. Now armed with a full-on loot system, Darksiders II isn't shy about showering players with new greaves, gloves, and immense secondary weapons. A box of stat changes for each bit of new gear appears as Death stands near it, and you can pick it up or equip it at the touch of the button. The new equipment will also appear on Death's body as soon as it's worn, which is always an important flourish. The convenience of the system is great -- the loot hoarding of a dungeon-crawler, without the need to delve into menus and fiddle with statistics. A dungeon crawler for the gamer on the go.
Visually, the game is looking a little rough around the edges, with some screen tearing and jagged edges. Hopefully that's the drawback of an early build, because the art direction is as solid as ever and deserves to be presented well. In any case, I got a great first Jimpression from the game and can't wait for more!
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