BY DEAN MOSES
Platform: Nintendo Switch Remaster
Rating: M for Mature
The Nintendo Switch is swiftly becoming the console of ports, the act of transporting an older game—possibly slightly updating the graphics and gameplay—onto a newer platform. While only porting older games would soon seem like an inability to create fresh content, the Switch has both a steady stream of both updated titles and entirely original ones, so when remasters like Darksiders come along, we feel treated instead of cheated.
Hell to Pay
Darksiders is the first outing in what has quickly become a trilogy, and it hits the market at the budget price of $29.99, but what are we paying for? Well, we take the role of War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. After a brief prologue that explains the tale of an epic war between the forces of Heaven and Hell since the beginning of time, we find ourselves in present day amidst the fire and brimstone of the end times. Buildings and roads crack and crumble, fireballs containing monsters shoot from the sky, and angels and demons fight for supremacy as humans run in horror; true hell on earth. It is here we gain control of War and must fight both the forces of Hell and Heaven until we are almost killed by Straga—the demon commander—but are saved by the Charred Council, a group that maintains balance. War is accused of bringing about the apocalypse, so in order to prove his innocence he sets out back to earth to find the true culprits.
The Sword of Justice
As War you mostly explore the post-apocalyptic landscape; the gameplay is a mixture of hack ‘n slash action and Zelda-esque adventuring. Battles are easily controlled with simple button combinations that become somewhat more complex as the journey proceeds. You see, you not only gain new abilities by advancing, you also learn new skills upon defeating an enemy or finding a hidden chest, which grants you souls, the game’s currency that can be used to upgrade War with new moves, weapons, and even items. These new techniques are not only used to make gameplay more fun by dispatching opponents in fresh ways, it also adds supplementary gameplay mechanics, such as puzzles that require unlockable weapons to solve.
Demonic Faces, Famous Voices
The original version of Darksiders was first released in 2010, so don’t expect anything mind blowing in the graphical department here. With that being said, there does seem to be a slight visual improvement. A noticeable layer of shine is present, and the game looks great both in docked and handheld modes, which is good because there is plenty to see. We are exploring an earth ravaged by a divine war so expect to observe towering buildings that have be-come fossilized carcasses and splintered earth leading to pits of lava. Complementing all of this is the voice talent of some truly astounding actors who play some truly grotesque horrors, which include the likes of Star Wars star Mark Hamill and famed video game voice-over performer Troy Baker. Talent like this makes the narrative that much more enjoyable.
Despite being yet another port, Darksiders is still a great edition to the Nintendo Switch library of games, especially for those who have yet to experience it.