Back in 2010, Vigil Games - a development studio co-founded by comics legend, Joe Madureira - surprised gamers with its debut title, Darksiders. You can read GameGrin’s review of Darksiders’ initial release here, but if you’re finding yourself in a particularly TL;DR sort of mood, here’s the gist of it:
“All in all, Darksiders is an enjoyable action-adventure game that successfully merges two ideas - and basks in its appreciation of the Zelda series. The art style and NPCs of the game really draws it into its own, standing it aside from any comparisons between existing franchises. As fun as it is, however, it is ultimately not as good as the games it mirrors. Both Zelda and God of War have a quality that outshines Darksiders but, that aside, it'll be hard for anyone - diehard fan or the other two series or not - to not have a great time playing through Darksiders.”
Two sequels and almost a decade later, we have Darksiders: Warmastered Edition, a tarted-up remaster of the original game. Warmastered Edition has been available on multiple other consoles for some time now, but this latest release marks the series’ debut on Nintendo Switch. Having never touched the series prior to playing this remaster, I was happy to discover that Darksiders is a game that still holds up incredibly well nine years on.
Nothing has changed in Warmastered Edition in comparison to the original, content-wise. For the uninitiated, however, what you’re essentially looking at is an incredibly fun hack and slash action-adventure game, which successfully marries the over-the-top combat of God of War with puzzle solving and dungeon crawling akin to The Legend of Zelda. Playing as War - one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse - it’s up to you to uncover exactly who deceived you into prematurely triggering the cataclysmic destruction of the entire human race and why.
Over the course of the game, you’ll gain access to a variety of new weapons and pieces of equipment that are not only integral in furthering your overall objective but also allow you to open up previously inaccessible areas. Early on, you’ll stumble upon seemingly superfluous floating orbs or walls of crystal. Fast forward several hours and returning to these locations will either see you progressing through the main story or grant you access to additional notches on your health and Wrath meters or chests chock full of souls, which come in three flavours. Green souls refill your health, while blue souls serve as a currency for purchasing upgrades. Lastly, there are yellow souls that provide you with Wrath energy, which is used for performing special attacks and attaining buffs.
Essentially then, if you’ve ever played a Zelda game - prior to Breath of the Wild anyway - or any of the hundreds of Metroidvania titles released since their namesakes, you’ve already got a firm grasp of what Darksiders: Warmastered Edition is all about. Developer KAIKO has done a terrific job in porting the game over to the Switch and optimising it for the new hardware. There are two visual modes on offer, and regardless of your decision to play in either high quality or high performance, Warmastered Edition runs smoothly. The latter mode boasting a stable 60 frames per second whether you’re playing with the Switch docked or in handheld mode and serves to make the already satisfyingly punchy combat feel even better.
In short, if you had your fill of Darksiders back in 2010, Warmastered Edition won’t hold any surprises and is probably worth skipping. If, however, you’re eager to replay War’s quest for redemption or if, like me, you’ve never been near a Darksiders game before, this is an enjoyably over-the-top action-adventure title. Its combat, puzzles and exploration elements gel together into something that is far more than the sum of its parts and the original developer’s high regard for what inspired them is truly palpable. Fingers crossed that Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition and Darksiders III both follow suit and also make their way to the Switch.
Darksiders Warmastered (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
A good remaster of a great game. If you’re into hacking demons and/or angels to bits, Zelda-style puzzles or both, Darksiders: Warmastered Edition will no doubt satisfy you.