Title: Darksiders Warmastered Edition
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Genre: Action, Adventure
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: Mature 17+ Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes
Release Date: Out Now – 02/04/19
Price: £26.99 – Rapid Reviews UK were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Deceived by the forces of evil into prematurely bringing about the end of the world, War – the first Horseman of the Apocalypse – stands accused of breaking the sacred law by inciting a war between Heaven and Hell. In the slaughter that ensued, the demonic forces defeated the heavenly hosts and laid claim to the Earth.
Since its inception on consoles in 2010, the Darksiders series has gathered quite the cult following. With three titles to date, spanning a range of consoles, THQ Nordic (formally THQ) have worked hard to establish an IP that many a gamer can enjoy. Whilst there has been much debate over which of the games is considered the best, there is a lot of love for the original Darksiders title – so much so that it has been released, and subsequently re-released, on a number of different platforms.
No stranger to a good ol’ port, the Nintendo Switch is the latest to receive the Darksiders treatment, with the remastered (or warmastered, as it has been referred to) version from 2016 making its way onto the eShop. It has also received a controversial physical release with that ‘not-so-red’ box art. Read on to find out if Darksiders Warmastered Edition is worth the purchase, or if this is a case of one console too many for a hack and slash title from nine years ago.
Audio and Visual
It seems pertinent to start with the visuals of Darksiders Warmastered Edition, being as it is a remastered version. There is no denying that although the game has had a fresh lick of paint since its initial release in 2010, it is still showing signs of age. I was initially impressed by the opening cutscenes, with each serving to set the scene of this biblically-inspired story of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
It was unfortunate then, that the in-game visuals were not as stunning. They do hold up well enough, be it in handheld mode or docked, and provided a detailed and varied post-apocalyptic Earth to explore. From run-down buildings, burning cars and high-risers, to overgrown landscapes brimming with plant life, there is a lot to see and do. Although excellent on first viewing, Darksiders does have a way of making you feel as if you’ve been there before, with repetition setting in a little too often.
The audio offering is also well-executed, with voiceover in the early stages being used to full effect to develop the narrative. The sights and sounds during battle sequences are also deployed well, however it feels as if it could have done with a spot of polish once more here.
Gameplay and Replayability
Taking control of one of the Four Horsemen, known only as ‘War’, you work to ensure that order is restored between Heaven and Hell. As the battle wages, you respond to instruction and guidance from the Charred Council on your quest to keep the peace.
Along the journey, you have access to both hard-hitting weapons and magic, in the form of ‘Wrath’ powers. I was particularly impressed by the design of these, and in the combos that could be produced. Coupling this with dodging, blocking and the like, makes for quite the entertaining prospect as you approach and then leave, a variety of enemies in your wake.
What is just as impressive are the options that are available to you. You can purchase new weapons and upgrade them, and finding the right combination for you and for a particular fight is a joy. Research into the online Darksiders community forums demonstrates the discussions gamers can have about the best weapons for specific parts of the game, and is something I always like to see.
It isn’t all hack-and-slash however, as there are a number of puzzle elements which ensure nothing becomes too stale, and these were timed well – for the most part. The puzzles can be found both in moments of time where there are no enemies to pulverise and, equally, in times when you are fighting in hefty boss battles.
It was often described as an extremely faithful port of the original upon its initial re-release in 2016, and that is just as accurate a description here too. There are a few Switch specific inclusions which are very much welcome, with rumble on the joy-cons and simple performance modifications available. That being said, further enhancements would have been fantastic, and it seems like a missed opportunity not to do so.
Darksiders Warmastered Edition offers an enjoyable hack-and-slash romp through a rather large and elaborate battle for power. Although the graphical style doesn’t always lend itself to the atmospheric nature of the war, the early storytelling provides the stimulus which is just fitting. Whilst it can occasionally become too familiar, it does engage and delight sufficiently enough to warrant a purchase at its £26.99 price tag. For anyone who has played the game before elsewhere, the draw of handheld may be the only reason to double-dip.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Darksiders Warmastered Edition on the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/feather-switch/