In Darksiders II’s ongoing battle between angels and demons, ironically it’s Death who rises as humanity’s last hope. Death comes for all – but only to preserve life.

Beyond the basic premise, however, the nebulous nature of Death’s impending destiny, as well as the confirmed roles of Strife and Fury – the other two Horsemen of the Apocalypse – remains a large mystery in Darksiders II. THQ may decide to keep it that way until the game releases on August 14, but they’ve released a brand new trailer and the screens below to help better acquaint us with the unseemly savior.

Darksiders II was delayed until August after already providing a plethora of preview, development and gameplay footage. It’s safe to say that with the game set to ship in just a matter of weeks, the two minutes of otherworldly action and metaphysical mayhem shown above are a genuine rendering of the game’s final build. We’d bet our souls on it.

The game runs lockstep with the events of 2010’s Darksiders, as Death sets out to acquit his brother War of starting the Apocalypse; he knows there has to be a larger conspiracy at play. In the trailer, we once again get to gaze at the magnificent realms of light and dark that the Horseman rampages through – realms said inhabit twice the real estate of the original game. A large accompaniment of swordplay and boss battles won’t disappoint anyone anticipating more of the series’ hallmark creative combat, and the foreboding narration hints that a sacrifice might the only option for restoring mankind.

But as Death’s motive is one of rage and redemption, how is developer Vigil Games spurring gamers to stay focused for the entire ride? The gameplay of Darksiders II is endowed with an all-new loot and skill tree interface, as demonstrated in the trailer below which was also recently released.

Game director Marvin Donald believes loot is the “best new feature” in the game, as producer Ryan Stefanelli outlines the way possessed loot can be fed with items you choose not to use, further enhancing their power and the level of character customization. The skill tree, on the other hand, is divided into two distinct branches: Harbinger and Necromancer. Harbinger promotes weapon-based combat with swords, scyhtes, and melee attacks, while Necromancer rewards those with spellcasting proclivities. We’re not allowed to escape the irresistible pun potential: It’s your Death, your way – and who doesn’t want that?

Ranters, what mysteries of Death do you want Darksiders 2 to explore? Are you encouraged by the attempts of skill trees and loot systems to add another layer of customization to the game?

Darksiders 2 releases on August 14, 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, and should be out by year’s end as a Wii U launch title.

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