Many developers have been going darker with the tones of stories lately. It's time we stop asking definitively if this is a good or bad thing and consider the artistic value at hand.
Darksiders: What Happens To The Horsemen Now?
Darksiders was a breakout hit of 2010 developed by Vigil Games and published by THQ. The game was well received, prompting a sequel in 2012. Unfortunately, due to THQ’s recent bankruptcy and closure, Darksiders has fallen into new hands – those of Nordic Games. Now, while Nordic has seen relative success with their publishing efforts, they have not yet had to handle such a high-profile IP such as Darksiders. While they have confirmed that Darksiders will continue, I can only hope it stays in the same vein as its predecessors. I personally have a few ideas that could keep the feel of Darksiders while giving fans what they have been asking for:
Tell the stories of the other two Horsemen
Darksiders as a series follows the adventures of each of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In the first game, the Horseman War was the protagonist, while in the second it was Death, his brother. They each played differently, with War being a clone (albeit a very good clone) of Kratos from the God of War series. Death, however, was more agile, and Darksiders 2 also allowed for loot pickups and more RPG elements. So, following the trend of a slightly new genre with every installment, maybe Darksiders 3 can follow Strife, another Horseman of the Apocalypse who wields two pistols. The game could act as a third-person shooter in the vein of Dead Space or Gears of War, with elements from the previous two games carried over. From there, the last horseman would be Fury, who wields a whip as a weapon. The game play could be similar to that of Darksiders and Darksiders 2, but with a few added features, based on her personality. However, there is another option…
Four-Player Cooperative Play
Without spoiling anything for those of you who have not finished either of the games, (in which what are you waiting for? They are fantastic!), Darksiders 3 could plausibly feature all four Horseman as playable characters, each controllable by another person. This would open up the game to more people, as games that are co-op enabled seem to attract more attention than single-player only, simply because you get to experience the adventure with another friend and discuss the game right then and there. Plus, it would be unique in the way that each player has a different control scheme and genre altogether. One player may choose to play as War and have a more action-focused experience, while their friend plays as Strife and plays through the game as it was a third-person shooter. The balancing would need some effort, but it could definitely be worth it.
Use Darksiders 2 as a basis for game size
The second entry in the Darksiders series was an excellent game. The pacing, the story, the game play…everything was fantastic. I could not put the game down. It was also the perfect length, in my opinion. The game featured a Zelda-like structure where you did a few things, fought a crazy huge (literally) boss, and did more things. Now of course it is more interesting than I just described it, but you get the gist of it. It turns out that Zelda’s dungeon structure is heavily mimicked for a reason – it works. You ease into the gameplay, fighting progressively tougher enemies until you get to the mid-game boss, who then switches up your strategy, teaching you slightly more advance moves, and forcing you to react quicker than you were previously. After this, you enter the tougher dungeons, where all the skills you have learned are put to the test, as well as your own, personal skill. The concept and structure can be hard to master, but for the developers that do, they put out a fantastic experience as seen in Darksiders 2.
Darksiders 2 also featured a huge amount of collectibles and upgrades, as well as a New Game+ mode, allowing players to play the game over again with the same character as they ended the game with, level and all. The amount of time it takes to complete the story and collect all the item is diminished by the overall fun someone has from playing the game. I feel extremely confident in saying that Darksiders 2 is one of my favorite games of the generation.
Do not forget the horses
The protagonists of the first two games, War and Death, each had access to their horses, Ruin and Despair, respectively. War gained access to Ruin later in the game while Despair was available from the outset of Darksiders 2, and boy was he needed. As mentioned above, Darksiders 2 is a gigantic game, and without Despair to take you places, the game would have taken exponentially longer. Now, I don’t think Nordic would ever dream of removing the horses from a game revolving around horsemen, but if the four player co-op idea was implemented, it may seem easier to restrict the horses. Either way, the horses should never be removed, because what is a horseman without their horse?
Well, that’s mostly it. What does everyone else think? Any other fans of Darksiders who disagree or have other ideas as to where Nordic could take the franchise? If so, or if you just want to talk about games, sound off in the comments below!