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The Best Part of Darksiders II Has Nothing to do With Gameplay
I’m only a few hours in, but I am thoroughly enjoying my time with Darksiders II. It does a fantastic job of being a great sequel by bringing back the conventions that made the original Darksiders so great and building on them to create an even more well-realized game in II.
For those outside of the know, Darksiders II takes place directly after the events of Darksiders. War has been imprisoned by the Charred Council and is accused of wrongly bringing about the apocalypse, and his brother and fellow horseman Death has stepped in and seeks to clear his brother’s name by finding out who framed him.
The same fluid combat of the original Darksiders is back and better than ever, with multiple weapons that can be used and fluid combos to be chained together as Death juggles enemies in the air with twin scythe blades. It’s fast, it’s brutal, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
The story isn’t necessarily hard-hitting and emotional, but the voice acting is fantastic and some of the characters are genuinely interesting, including familiar and new ones introduced throughout the story campaign.
And yes, there is a fantastic loot system and skill tree upgrades that will help you develop Death into whatever character suits your fancy, be it fierce combatant or necromancer extraordinaire. And a new game plus option will allow you to import your fully-developed character into a new game after you beat it the first time through.
Everything blends well together to weave a great and satisfying gaming experience I can’t recommend enough to fans of both action games and the original Darksiders.
But despite all of the game’s highlights, there’s one feature that truly stands out among the rest, adding another dimension to the game only rivaled by gameplay itself: the soundtrack.
Darksiders II’s soundtrack was composed by Jesper Kyd, a danish composer whose work you’ll recognize from games such as Assassin’s Creed I, II, Brotherhood, and Revelations, Borderlands,and even Hitman: Blood Money. He’s no stranger to game score composition, and the soundtrack to Darksiders II proves this.
From the start of the game, it’s clear that the soundtrack is something special. It’s a robust, epic style of music that weaves together the action and exploration of the world seamlessly by portraying the mood through great musical composition. It’s calm and serene when you’re just out exploring, and it’s big and loud during large scale fights with enemies in the world. It conveys the power and subtle ability of Death, and there’s something to be said of how amazing it feels to reach a point overlooking the world and have the music convey the same grandeur you feel from looming over the world like a badass.
There’s something unique about a great gaming soundtrack. Games themselves give us the ability to empower ourselves in a virtual way, giving us access to power and abilities we could never possibly have in real life. When that gets coupled with a great soundtrack, the music does something to us on a deeper level that helps us connect with and take the experience to a new height. Darksiders II is no stranger to this, and that’s why I’d argue that the game’s soundtrack is not only its best feature, but also one of the best scores I’ve heard in a long, long time.