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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 ...
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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.
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[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 ...

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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.
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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...

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THQ sends literal death threat to celebrate Darksiders II


Aug 09
// Jim Sterling
No sooner had I put the finishing touches on the upcoming review for Darksiders II than this ... thing arrived. I would like you all to serve as witnesses in the event of my disappearance, because I am fairly certain this can...
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Final Darksiders II trailer gets to know Death


Aug 07
// Jim Sterling
THQ has released the last gameplay trailer for Darksiders II before its launch next week. The video, titled "Know Death," is narrated by the skull-masked misery-guts himself, as Death provides his perspective on the latest D...
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Darksiders II has New Game Plus, survival mode


Aug 07
// Jim Sterling
Vigil Games is keen on keeping you playing Darksiders II beyond the main game, and has two tricks up its sleeve to extend your investment. Beating the game unlocks a New Game + mode, which allows you to carry over Death's equ...
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THQ cobbled together an extra Darksiders II Collector's Edition from bits and pieces of the dead, allowing Destructoid to show you what it looks like a little bit. I unbox it with a really inconvenient camera angle because t...

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Latest Darksiders II trailer is all emotional and stuff


Aug 03
// Brett Zeidler
The top YouTube comment for this video says, "Man, that girl from Dead Island ends up on all the worst vacations." That got me. The newest CG trailer for Darksiders II isn't exactly pulling a Dead Island, but its simila...
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Darksiders II gets its first full gameplay trailer


Jul 25
// Jim Sterling
After ten billion years of pre-rendered videos and developer diaries, Darksiders II gets its first all-gameplay trailer featuring nothing but footage from the software itself. It only took until less than a month before laun...
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Vigil discusses the near-limitless loot of Darksiders II


Jul 19
// Jim Sterling
I'm a sucker for loot. Who doesn't like loot? Bad people don't like loot. The addition of boundless gear in Darksiders II is one of the aspects I'm most excited about, and I love that Vigil's committed to putting a lot more ...
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Darksiders II: Death's Door digital comic now on sale


Jul 06
// Jim Sterling
Darksiders II: Death's Door is now available to purchase exclusively from Dark Horse's digital store. The first issue will set you back $0.99, and can be obtained for both iOS and Android devices.  "Death’s mission...
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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 se...

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Whoa hold the phone! War and Death fighting each other?! That would be a cool plot twist, but it's not as it seems. The War you see there is actually someone named Crowfather, disguised as War, and you come across him right a...

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Death strikes again in new Darksiders II trailer


May 17
// Jim Sterling
A while ago, THQ released a Darksiders II trailer in which Death jumps around and hits stuff. Here's part two, with Death jumping around even more and hitting even more stuff. He also turns into the Grim Reaper, which jumps around and hits stuff. Cool.  I'm pumped enough for the game and can't wait to get my salty digits on it. Looking forward to it indeedy-do!
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Darksiders II delayed to August


Apr 18
// Jim Sterling
THQ has announced that Darksiders II will be pushed back from June to August, allowing Vigil more time to polish the final product. A more solid release date will be revealed in the next few days.  The publisher has pree...
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Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium won't release as an MMO


Mar 29
// Jordan Devore
THQ has announced that Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online isn't going to release as a massively multiplayer online game as originally expected. The title has been "refocused" as an "immersive single player and online mu...

Preview: Darksiders II is inspired by the best there is

Mar 26 // Ryan Perez
Darksiders II (PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360 [previewed]) Developer: Vigil Games Publisher: THQ Release: June 26, 2012 Players take on the role of the Horseman Death, whose hobbies include ripping monsters to pieces, donning haggard armor, wielding unreasonably large scythes, and long walks on the souls of your ancestors. After his brother, the Horseman War, is accused of conspiring to start the Apocalypse before its due time, Death embarks on a disobedient quest to prove his brother's innocence any way he can. I suppose if you're a fan of the scary part of the Holy Bible, then DSII's narrative will probably appeal to you ... or it'll offend you, depending on how you look at it. I can't say I personally found the first game's story to be all that intriguing, but it does make the lore of the sequel a bit easier to absorb. I'll admit, it is nice to see developers utilizing tapping something other than Greek mythology for once. As for the levels, Darksiders II has a very dungeon-based style of progression. Players will make their way from room to elaborately designed room, defeating waves of monsters, solving slightly challenging puzzles, and attaining keys to unlock other areas. Like I said before, the game feels a lot like Zelda, as backtracking is a common occurrence and treasure chests are numerous. No flamboyant men cavorting around in green unitards, fortunately. I'll admit that some puzzles do throw you for a bit of a loop. Their solutions aren't always obvious (as they shouldn't be), and solving certain head-scratchers provides a real sense of accomplishment. At times, frustration might rear its fat, ugly head, but it's totally worth those moments when you slap your forehead and think, "Ah, of course!" I won't lie, though -- other moments may include your dropping the controller and saying to yourself, "Are you fuckin' serious? That's what I had to do?" Combat is of the fast hack-'n-slash variety, with numerous combos and special moves to clear out several enemies at once. One move I utilized frequently was Death's ability to send a scythe spinning into an area in front of him, stunning and dealing steady damage to enemies in its proximity (bigger monsters didn't budge, though). Death's scythes prove to be very versatile weapons and could easily rival Kratos' Blades of Chaos as some of the most kickass game weapons around. Also, much like during the fights in God of War, a button prompt, which triggers a finishing move, appears above the heads of nearly defeated enemies. Wait until you see him change into his traditional Grim Reaper form as a result -- one of the game's finer "holy shit" moments. For players who enjoy customization, Darksiders II features some pretty decent RPG elements. Monsters and treasure chests provide loot in the form of weapons, armor, and items, all which can be applied to Death for stat boosts. Every set of boots, greaves, or shoulder guards I slapped onto Death provided a different, more menacing look than the last. Even his scythes got a nice visual upgrade each time I found a better pair. By the end of the demo, my Death looked like something off of a heavy metal album cover -- how very appropriate that THQ decided to play Metallica during the event. In regard to how cool Death looks, my favorite aspect of the game is definitely the art. The locales have a very otherworldly feel to them, but not so much that they are completely void of any practicality. Giant wood and steel mechanisms decorate larger areas, providing a sense of age and primitiveness to the setting, as though some ancient, ethereal civilization built everything you see, only to leave it to the ages and let it all rot. At the end of the demo, I encountered one of the game's several bosses. I know I'm not the first to suggest this, but the giant, rock-like creature I battled (known as the "Guardian") reminded me a lot of Shadow of the Colossus. As I rode atop my mighty white steed, I was forced to time my hurdles and sprints in order to dodge its slow, powerful attacks. In order to defeat it, I had to target specific weak spots on its body after certain attacks. While the fight was certainly difficult -- I have horrible timing during these types of battles -- it was also very exhilarating, and a testament to the kind of variety that Darksiders II had. Overall, Darksiders II carries all the elements of a strong sequel to a decent action title. Even with its very blatant inspiration, the game does offer some intriguing and unique creativity, which gives the narrative and its world just enough believability to pull you in. The story and characters are somewhat interesting, the combat is fast and fun, the RPG elements provide some nice depth and variety, and the visuals are pleasurable to gawk at.
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Though I never brought myself to complete the first Darksiders, I did enjoy it for the length that I played. It was nothing phenomenal in its own right, but it was still a fun experience, due to retaining enough good ins...

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Death gets dramatic in this Darksiders II trailer


Mar 23
// Jim Sterling
Man, THQ sure loves those Darksiders II trailers. Here's another one, apparently the first of several cinematic videos in which Death jumps about and hits stuff with ludicrous oversized weaponry. Like you'd expect.  No ...
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Earlier this week, Hamza and I went to see Darksiders II. Because I have nicer hair than Hamza, I got to do a video interview with Dave Adams, the general manager of Vigil Games. He was nice enough to answer some of my dumb questions, and the folks at THQ emailed over some new gameplay footage. Go watch! #darksiders2

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Check out Death's world in this Darksiders II video


Mar 14
// Jim Sterling
Here's a video of Vigil Games chatting about the world it's created for Darksiders II. You'll get to learn a little bit about the concept for certain locations, as well hear a lot of boasting about how huge the environment is. Apparently if the first game was the Moon, this is Earth. Oooh! Still really looking forward to this sucker, so I've nothing to add. What about you lot?
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Darksiders II preorders upgraded to 'Limited Editions'


Mar 05
// Jim Sterling
If you've preordered Darksiders II, you'll be getting a bit more than you've expected, with THQ revealing that any copy reserved prior to release shall become a Limited Edition version at no extra charge.  The Limited Ed...
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Darksiders 2 launches June 26, pre-order stuff revealed


Feb 14
// Jim Sterling
THQ has revealed that Darksiders II is coming to Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on June 26. Huzzah! It's also revealed the various pre-order bonuses available at different retails. Huh ... zuuuhr.  Without further ado, here's the ...
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Darksiders prequel novel and lore bible incoming


Feb 01
// Jim Sterling
Videogames love prequel novels, and Darksiders is no exception. Random House is publishing Darksiders: The Abomination Vault in May, set to coincide with the release of Darksiders II. According to the PR machine, the book wil...
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Death is EVERYWHERE in this terrifying Darksiders II vid


Jan 25
// Jim Sterling
Yesterday, THQ released a new trailer for Darksiders II, showcasing Death's presence and influence throughout human history. A few people thought that the trailer was funny, since Death's mask had been stuck onto a bunch of ...
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Death is eternal in new Darksiders II trailer


Jan 24
// Jim Sterling
Here's a grim, brooding trailer for Darksiders II, bigging up its grim, brooding protagonist. I am so stoked for this game it's not even funny.  If you haven't already, check out Wesley's great preview of the game. He got to check it out in detail, and seemed suitably impressed. Can't argue with that!

Preview: Darksiders II

Jan 24 // Wesley Ruscher
Darksiders II (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U)Developer: Vigil GamesPublisher: THQRelease: Summer 2012It’s fairly uncommon for a franchise to drop their main protagonist, especially one that embodied the spirit of the game. Sure, Metal Gear Solid 2 had its infamous bait-and-switch and Bioshock’s sequel dropped players in the role of a Big Daddy (though I’d argue that game’s true main character was actually the underwater city of Rapture), but each of these game’s predecessors were blockbuster hits. Something Darksiders was not. “Typically when you get a sequel, you get the same guy with the same moves,” explains David Adams, Vigil Games general manager. “...We thought it would be cool to have a sequel with a whole new character that does different stuff. [As] a gamer, I can get a whole new experience. I’m not just getting the same one that has been retread with a different story.”As Death made his debut before my eyes, a feeling of familiarity overwhelmed me as I gazed up the more slender and sinister killer. Similar to his brother, this fearsome entity gives off the vibe that he’s not one to mess with. A fact made all but true, the moment Death ripped his first enemy apart with his vicious Reaper form. “In Darksiders, War had what we called Havoc form, where he turned into that big red demon,” says Adams. “Death has Reaper form, his version... but just because of his character, Death uses his power more casually than War would.” Like his more noble brother, Death isn’t alone on his quest. While War was plagued by the pestilent Watcher throughout his trials, Death finds guidance in his travels from a his own fellow companion -- a silent crow that perches on the shoulder of the dark hero whenever he enters one of Darksiders II's myriad mazes. “[He’s] called Dust,” explains Adams about Death’s Navi-like companion. “He’s kind of like a familiar who gives you little hints and clues as to what’s going on. He’ll fly over to an important area and be like, ‘Hey, look at this!’...but he’s more subtle. He doesn’t talk to you or overtly tell you anything. He’ll just conveniently fly around.” It’s with this explanation that I’m reminded about both the criticism and praise the original Darksiders received. At its core, the original followed the tried and true path of one of gaming’s most beloved classics, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. A fair comparison, something own Jim Sterling made in his review, but one I took with a grain of salt since I hadn’t played Miyamoto’s masterpiece at the time. As I watched Death run the gauntlet of hacking and slashing enemies to bits -- in the same combo-esque glory of its predecessor -- climb, run on walls, and jump with the finesse War lacked, and use the environment around him to proceed in his quest, there was definitely something both old and new with the parallel sequel. At first glance, it looks much like its predecessor, but underneath its darker facade lies a more fleshed out experience. “[Darksiders II’s] not so rigid,” Adams explains. “It has a lot of the same elements, like you get cool gear items that lets you do new stuff and there’s boss fights, but its not...go to a dungeon, get a gear item, fight a boss, leave, go to a dungeon, get a gear item. It’s not that formulaic. It’s a lot more free flowing.”While I can only imagine how much more of an open experience Darksiders II will be, the early demonstration was more about showing off the amount of depth the sequel has in store for players in the customization department. The surface was only scratched when it came to the upgrade and weapon system, but what was presented hinted at systems immensely deeper than the first game. “Without a specific number... There are a lot of different weapons in the game, different moves, combinations, [and] how they link together,” explains Adams.Dual scythes are Death’s primary tools of destruction, but he also has access to a multitude of secondary weapons such as pistols, claws, and powerful clubs that can be combined together easily. Magic also plays a bigger role in Death’s arsenal. Spells like Exume summon zombies to aid in battle, and Murder, which brings forth a relentless flock of deadly ravens that slowly pick apart enemies allow Death to be more strategic in his fights. And though these are but two spells, it’s really up to the player to chose how Death develops, whether it be in the skills he learns or the weapons he finds throughout his endeavors. “[Darksiders II] is still about adventure and exploring,” says Adams. “But there’s a lot more stuff to do. Your character grows, you get cool items, you can level up your skills, you go on side quests, you go to towns, you talk to NPC’s. The first one is much more straight forward. You’re a guy on a quest for revenge; kill, kill, kill, solve some puzzles, kill... [Darksiders II] is more of a world, where the first one was more of an action flick with cool puzzles in it.”Darksiders may have laid the foundation, but Vigil Games is set on making everything bigger and better in this pseudo sequel. With the best elements of action, adventure, and RPG thrown into the cold, murderous hands of Death, I for one can’t wait to shape my own dark destiny later this summer when Darksiders II arrives.
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At the end of Darksiders, War looked to the skies and saw his brothers, the remaining Horsemen, plummeting to Earth to reunite with the resurrected hero. It was a befitting ending, and one that built hope for where the ser...

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Diddling with a Darksiders II Death Mask


Jan 23
// Jim Sterling
An ominous package recently arrived, containing occult and forbidden artifacts from realms beyond our darkest imagination. Either that, or THQ popped a pretend mask in the mail and I filmed myself doing something dumb with it.  Either way, this is a video of some stuff that happened pertaining to Darksiders II. What fun!
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Death rises in this new Darksiders II video


Jan 20
// Jim Sterling
Here's a new trailer for Darksiders II, in which the lads at Vigil talk about creating a brand new horseman for the sequel. They discuss the differences between Death and War, detail his playstyle, and give us a look at his ...

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