Riding Back Into The Apocalypse – Darksiders 3 (PS4 Review)

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The Apocalypse is back for the third time in THQ Nordic’s Darksiders 3.  Darksiders 3 takes gamers back to the end of days as the Horseman of the Apocalypse ride out into a broken world. This time around you play as Fury, the Black Rider, as she searches for the Seven Deadly Sins. The Darksiders Series has taken inspiration from games like Zelda, God Of War and Darksiders 3 in particular pays homage to Dark Souls (which is becoming a trend in modern gaming), bringing gamers a title full of fighting, puzzles, upgrades and more fighting. The Darksiders series has had some ups and downs over the years but where does it fit into the current marketplace?

The Darksiders franchise focuses on each of the Horsemen as they embark on their separate quests. The first focused on War as he rides into the Apocalypse, an Apocalypse that shouldn’t have begun yet. The second saw Death as he travelled between the worlds trying to save humanity and his brother from certain damnation. These events transpire alongside one another the same as the latest Instalment. Darksiders 3 starts at the beginning as Fury is asked to recapture the Seven Deadly Sins which were accidentally released when the Apocalypse began. This quest takes Fury on an adventure around Earth searching for the sins while uncovering the secrets that have put the world out of balance. 

Darksiders 3 gives players a revised combat experience that will test the average gamer. The combat is now more intense and feels more like Dark Souls than the original Darksiders. You must be more precise and choose your weapons and timings carefully. With this new combat comes the dodge system. This system, seen in games such as God Of War and Spider-Man, rewards gamers for their perfectly timed dodges. Fury is able to perform a devastating attack upon a successful dodge helping take down the countless enemy hordes.

This system replaces any defensive abilities and is something you must hone in order to survive. Enemies will be more difficult to take down until you can perform the perfect dodge. Sadly this dodge feels sluggish and at times, unresponsive. This can ruin the flow of battle or even lead to failed boss encounters. When successful you feel powerful but when unsuccessful you just feel frustrated. 

As Fury, you must navigate the harsh terrain of the post-apocalyptic earth and survive the horrors that have been left behind. To help in this effort, you are given unique boons. Unlike previous Darksiders rather than gathering equipment you are gifted ‘hollows’. These hollows give you elemental powers that help you interact with the world and boost your combat power.

For example, the flame hollow, allows you to fire yourself into the air to reach ledges that were previously too far to reach. This will be the same for each hollow you acquire, granting you access to areas that were previously unreachable. Along with this machinic, you are also given a secondary weapon for each hollow. All these weapons can be enhanced through enchantments and upgrades. The hollow system feels fresh and provides an interesting angle when it comes to combat and manoeuvring through the world. While this could’ve been taken further it does play a part in making Darksiders 3 feel more unique. 

Unfortunately for gamers, Darksiders 3 has its fair share of problems. To begin with, the game has a number of glitches. These can disrupt gameplay to the point of crashing the game at certain moments. This is known to be worse in different areas of the game. The other big issue comes in the game’s picture. While Darksiders has always had a distinctive look, the game never quite stays at its best. During cutscenes, textures can often become pixelated and disrupt the gamers experience this makes the game feel almost out of time, as if the graphics have not improved in seven years.  Luckily, developers are still working on these issues, making the game better for those who choose to dip into the game at a later date. 

Darksiders 3 has brought life back into this apocalyptic franchise. It has been years between titles which begs the question will THQ Nordic continue planning more titles in the future? This seems like a possibility with there still being a Horsemen left without a game but Darksiders might have had its day. While still trying to adapt to modern gaming this latest instalment shows off the highs and the lows of the series.

Giving gamers a more modern adventure that feels challenging at times and gives a unique perspective where the other games haven’t. Fury’s character is simple but has moments of grandeur. This is not a game for everyone but is one many gamers will love, a battle heavy puzzle adventure that takes you through the horrors of the biblical apocalypse. If you’re trying to find something to fill the God Of War or Dark Souls void this isn’t that but will fill your time at least. 

 

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