Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition is the best way to play the game, but offers little reason for veteran players to revisit Death’s lengthy adventure.
The Darksiders franchise is what happens when the over-the-top action of God of War is combined with the puzzle-solving sensibilities of The Legend of Zelda. This winning formula has enjoyed modest success since the series debuted on last-generation consoles, but after the bankruptcy of THQ, Darksiders‘ future has been in doubt in recent years. While a 4-player co-op current-gen Darksiders 3 has been discussed, we have yet to see anything concrete, but in the meantime, Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition has been released to fill the void.
Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition retells the story of Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as he works to clear the name of his brother, War. The story runs parallel to the plot of the first game, so Darksiders 2 doesn’t always feel like a true sequel from a story perspective, at least until its later stages.
The story is one of the weakest aspects of Darksiders 2 for a couple reasons. Death’s narrative is just not as interesting as War’s was in the first Darksiders game. Secondly, Death meets a lot of characters on his journey, but none of them are particularly compelling, and it’s difficult to become invested in the central conflict as a result. Death himself doesn’t help matters, as he is a fairly dull character, making cringe-worthy quips and lacking charisma.
While the story stumbles, the gameplay is a perfect blend of the best bits of God of War and Zelda, with an addictive loot system added in for good measure. The combat is fast-paced and challenging, with new abilities constantly being introduced to Death’s repertoire that keep the encounters feeling fresh from the start of the game to the end. The dungeons are well-designed, filled with clever puzzles as well as plenty of hidden goodies for the especially adventurous players. All in all, Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition delivers the same great gameplay we loved from the last-gen version.
While the great gameplay from before transfers well to the Deathinitive Edition, unfortunately, this version of the game also inherits the original’s flaws. This includes a frame rate that, while usually relatively smooth, sometimes slows down to the point that the more hectic scenes chug.
Players can also expect to run into the occasional glitch, which can include animation lock-ups, falling through the ground, or being trapped on objects in the environment. In some games, problems like these would be a death knell, but the generous checkpoint system in Darksiders 2 makes these technical mishaps far less frustrating than they would be otherwise.
For all intents and purposes, Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition is a run of the mill remaster. It features slightly prettier graphics and collects all the DLC released for the original at a budget price. But boiled down, it’s the same Darksiders 2 experience as before. What this means is that players that have yet to experience Darksiders 2 will likely have a blast, but people that have already played through the last-gen version probably won’t find much reason to play the Deathinitive Edition.
That even goes for people that missed out on the DLC as well. For the unaware, Darksiders 2 had three separate expansion packs: Abyssal Forge, Argul’s Tomb, and The Demon Lord Belial, all of which are included in the Deathinitive Edition. While the expansions are fun enough, they only tack on a few additional hours of gameplay, so anyone wanting to experience them would be better off purchasing the DLC for the last-gen version instead of shelling out $30 for the Deathinitive Edition.
All told, Darksiders 2: Deathinitve Edition may not offer much for those that have already had their fill of Death’s adventure on last-generation consoles, but newcomers will find a quality game that offers plenty of entertainment and playtime – frame rate issues, glitches, and the weak story notwithstanding. Those looking to play Darksiders 2 now have to decide between the original version, the Wii U version, and the Deathinitive Edition. We can say with confidence that the Deathinitive Edition is the way to go.
Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Game Rant was an Xbox One code for this review.