Better late than never, as they say, Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition recently popped into our lives - a Zelda-esque, dungeon-exploring, overworld-adventuring treat for us to behold.
Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition is excellent from a design standpoint, but technical issues hold it back from being the classic it legitimately could have been.
As you lay waste to your enemies and gain experience, you’ll level up to receive upgrade points, which can be spent on numerous active abilities to incorporate into your arsenal. There’s a wide range to account for many playstyles, examples being a health-regenerating slash attack, a damage-absorbing shield, and the ability to summon necromantic minions to fight by your side. The combat’s at its most satisfying both when you find a loadout that works for you, and when it comes to boss fights.
Present in two forms, some of the hulking bosses require a Souls approach; locking-on, circle strafing and dodge rolling to uncover the perfect moment in which to launch your assault. Others pose more of a traditional, multi-staged and puzzle focused fight; the balance stricken once again ensures things never grow tiresome.
Whilst Darksiders II pulls its many systems off well, the kitchen sink style of design makes it somewhat a Jack of all trades, master of none. Numerous technical issues also hold the game back, particularly abundant and significant framerate drops which occur even in empty locations with little to render. There are also needlessly restrictive invisible walls, instances of items falling through the floor, missing sound effects, and even a glitched sidequest that forced a full game restart - whilst it didn’t impede progress, it did negate an achievement we had our eye on.
On the whole, Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition is excellent from a design standpoint, but technical issues hold it back from being the classic it legitimately could have been. It’s a gamer’s game that’s easy to like - a lot - but hard to love. It’s a game we recommend, but most of all, we recommend keeping a keen eye on the upcoming sequel - if it can reach its full potential, we'll have something very special on our hands!