We had many interesting games this year and it may be a close call to tell which one is the One for the year 2018. While Darksiders III is looking mighty, it’s still a little bit behind with the narrative which I didn’t mind that much. There is something satisfying in whipping Fury’s whip and causing havoc whenever you go that makes you simply forget that story is not so well developed or that the voice acting is a tiny bit lame. The game was developed by Gunfire Games and published by THQ Nordic for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and was launched on November 27 as the third entry in the series.
Darksiders III is not a bad game, just a less than you might have expected from the trailers. While it features a powerful character like Fury, there are certain aspects that could have been better thought through and developed. It uses a third-person view which is something that we rarely see these days in games but it was a standard a decade or so ago with Star Wars: KOTOR or Legacy of Kain games, just to name some.
In this installment, we continue to follow one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the only female of the bunch – Fury. Darksiders III takes places at the same time as other games as the Earth is plagued by war and destruction. Charred Council has ordered Fury to find and destroy Seven Deadly Sins each of which consequently turns out to be a boss you have to defeat. The story is not that simple although it could be more complex as well. In her path to hunt down the Seven Deadly Sins, Fury faces betrayal and manipulation which she also has to overcome in order to save Earth.
Enemies seem a little tougher here than in other installments which makes the game harder in times and less gratifying since you can’t always go up and personal into your enemies’ comfort zone and send them to their maker. Although War and Death were really cool to play, I have to say that Fury is the best of the three so far. That is also one of the reasons I feel as though this character has been let down with the narrative. The bladed whip she wields is truly a remarkable weapon and has quite the name – Barbs of Scorn. It’s a perfect weapon to keep some distance between her and an enemy while giving that highly satisfying feeling of watching the whip twirl and set the targets on fire.
But that is not the only weapon you will have. During the game, Fury will get some pretty interesting “toys” to play with like Mallet of Scorn which allows her to turn into a magnetic ball or Lance of Scorn which gives her ability to go over short distances. As you notice, Fury’s items are consistent with her name and have to be scorned. There is a reason while people like to quote William Congreve’s play The Mourning Bride with “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
When it comes to bosses, you will have your hands full. They are more than formidable and sometimes you require tactic and not just brute force to defeat them. Also, they look really great and impressive which only makes the gameplay much more exciting. Just don’t fall into a comfortable routine as I did after beating a couple of firsts rather easily. Each of the Deadly Sins has its tricks and won’t reveal them until you get deep into the battle with them. So stay sharp and focused even when it appears that you are winning.
However, there is one flaw in boss fights that was hugely annoying. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen with all of them, but with some, if you die, you may end up further back than necessary. This means that you will have to fight your way through an army of enemies and go over obstacles you hoped to have left behind in order to get to that specific boss. However, every time you defeat a Sin you will get a reward which is usually an upgrade for Fury and it brings new weapons and abilities. These transformations are called Hollow Forms and they will help you out during puzzles as well.
That said, it would be really cool to see an open world version of Darksiders III. For now, a single-player campaign is pretty straightforward with connected areas. I guess this is another thing that Darksiders III borrowed from the old action-adventure games, although some new ones still like to use this. When I said that everything is straightforward I really meant it. You go on to explore every nook and cranny, kill all the enemies on your path until you find the Big Bad thanks to the skull you follow and which stands for one of the Deadly Sins. There are some puzzles, but not a lot and they more serve as an intermezzo between fights than anything else.
All this means that there isn’t much chance to explore and see what’s going on with the world. Although Fury will get to do scavenging hunts for upgraded items which are literally all over the place. Just use Barbs of Scorn to destroy boxes and other junk lying around so you can easily find some of the items (and besides, using that weapon is really cool). But you will get to revisit some places and find things that you weren’t able before because you didn’t have the right ability yet. In moments this was tiring, but sometimes I really liked that the game was not all about fighting around and that you get to take some break from all the battles.
When it comes to its appearance, the game is looking really great and much better than the previous ones. Of course, there are better-looking games out there, just look at the Red Dead Redemption 2. But that doesn’t mean you will have any problem to play since it still looks amazing.
The overall feel is that the developer may have rushed the release of Darksiders III. I couldn’t help but feel that it was all almost there to be marvelous and extraordinary gaming experience instead of just satisfying one. After all, the general concept on which the game is based is strong enough to allow developers to create a compelling story with a little bit more complex play then just running around and killing off the enemy.