Unspeakable Title

Darksiders II

Written entirely in annoyance.

Justin Knight

By Justin Knight @OptimusJut

You may be wondering why this blog piece is titled as such; the reason being that when I found out the about the following, I swore rather a lot, and featuring a piece titled with some of those words would have resulted in my editor kicking my ass. Please bear in mind that this blog piece was, as pointed out above, written in severe annoyance so please think of that before laying into me.

HD re-releases have become something of a tired trend now. To some, they are a nice way of revisiting an old classic; to others they are a blatant cash grab. I struggle to decide which, when one is announced as a couple I have brought whilst others I have steered well clear of, simply because I have thought they were just not worth it. I bought the Metro re-releases as at the time there was not much out there to play. I bought the DMC re-release because I never managed to play it the first time around. The same with the State of Decay re-release, Resident Evil HD (because I loved the original so much) and I had the Gears of War re-release brought for me by a friend as a present. Now, writing news pieces for Metaleater is a cool job because I get to learn of new releases and so on, but I recently wrote up a news article for a release of a game that really PISSED. ME. OFF.

Darksiders II is getting the re-release treatment, with all its DLC bunged in, and its graphics and so on tweaked for the next gen consoles. I played the first Darksiders and loved it. The story was awesome and the gameplay matched it. It also boasted the voice acting talents of Liam O'Brien, Troy Baker, Fred Tatasciore, Moon Bloodgood, Phil LaMarr, Vernon Wells, J. B. Blanc, Keith Szarabajka and the one and only Mark Hamill himself. There was no DLC for the game, nor any multiplayer, but the game stood well on its own with a good amount of content, receiving positive reviews, and rightly so. I was pleased to hear that a sequel had been announced and I even pre-ordered the special edition so I could have the small art book and Death's mask that came with it. Usually on a Tuesday my wife would ask me to help her with shopping but the game arrived on one of those days. She left it on the table for me with a note, telling me to play the game and she would take care of shopping, knowing how much I had been looking forward to it. It's times like that I remember how much of an awesome wife I have.

The game started off well. Michael Wincott was a great choice to voice Death and he certainly did a great job. His fighting style was cool and when he would turn into his ultimate form during combat... very cool. As I got deeper into the game, the boredom crept in slowly. There was a lot of running around; plenty of enemies to fight but the game was dull. I would go as far as (pun intended) to say it was lifeless. I think the only reason I did most of the missions was because of the achievements, which I got all of, but I had stopped enjoying it long before I finished the game. Again, it was only down to the achievements that I finished it at all. The game even came with an online pass, which as we British say, "took the piss" because it was an offline game. A section of the game -- a horde combat section -- had been locked off and could only be played if the pass was installed, similar to what happened with Kingdoms of Amalur, and fans were not happy with it. I even invested in the season pass which was for three story DLCs and various weapon packs, but the dullness of the main game had sucked all enthusiasm from me before I got to play all of the story packs. I played one (Argul's Tomb) as part of the main game, but the final and more substantial two story packs -- The Abyssal Forge and The Demon Lord Belial -- I never bothered with at all, so I ended up wasting money on it. To this day I cannot look back on the game positively, so when its re-release was announced, I shook my head in disbelief as what I think is such a bad choice.

I could only wonder why they had not chosen the first one as it was clearly the better of the two, but then I look at the package... all that lovely DLC bundled in with it, and I think "cash grab." I cannot stress enough to anyone who reads this to not buy this re-release. To me it is simply not worth the money at all. One would have been such a better choice, as I am pretty sure there will be a third in the future. So why not release them in order for a chance of new fans to the series? If someone was to ask me which HD re-releases I would want to see happen, I would hope for the Dead Space collection and the Mass Effect trilogy. Those I would be able to look past as cash grabs and happily play again on next gen. As for my old copy of Darksiders II? I gave it away to my best friend's son. I still have the mask and the book near my desk as I think they are pretty cool... the best things in that whole package.

It's a shame I think that way.

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