Welcome to the Kingdom of Man! Just don’t get comfy, because let me tell you that walking through a post- apocalyptic wasteland in the middle of a war isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Vigil Studios comes to us this time with a gorgeous replica of Darksiders, calling it the Warmasters Edition. Let’s ride on, shall we?
This is War!
Our main protagonist of the story is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, named War. By the law of the Charred Council, he comes to the Earth to maintain a balance between angels, demons, and humans. In this game, War is called early to the demon-infested earth only to find that his brothers were not summoned alongside him. Under the control of the Charred Council, they assign War a Watcher, who acts as a warden to ensure that War is doing everything the way the council wants it.
The Rider Cometh!
This game is visually stunning masterpiece from the detail in War’s armor to the vaulted ceilings of the Twilight Cathedral. Many of the remastered games that came out this year got a lot of extra gameplay and content, but here we don’t. But we do get to ride off into the sunset at 1080p/ and 60 frames per second. That’s a huge plus for us gamers who love to run everything at maximum graphics.
Since War is one of the horsemen of the book of Revelation, Ruin is his steed. Ruin comes to War about mid-way through the story and is a great asset for being able to travel to and from places. However, you won’t be able to summon him if you are within a building or standing on certain types of ground. Ruin has some abilities of his own included the ability to use what is called the Soul Bridge. This allows War and Ruin to travel through spell-bound pillars and across various canyons. One of the greatest things about being on horseback is that your attack increases while saddled. The third boss battle requires you to defeat it while riding Ruin, which is totally A-OK because who doesn’t want to ride around on a fire-blazing demon horse?
Now, in a lot of standard RPG games, you can really tell the difference between which enemies are your friends and which ones would like to have you for dinner. In Darksiders, even angels come to attack War. Not only because they believe he has done the most unfavorable deed ever, but because he stands in the middle. He is neither angel nor demon, and he does not favor one over the other. Instead, War follows and adheres to the balance. A system which allows the existence of all creatures but does not allow any creature to have more power than another. While most of the enemies you do face in the game are demons, the angels to make themselves known to you and personally are more challenging since you’ll have to use War’s finest moves.
Progressing through the story you will meet several creatures to engage with, one of them being your local merchant. Through him, the player is able to upgrade War’s greatsword, Chaoseater. By doing so you’ll also unlock upgrades to the attacks and types of weapons War will be able to use to progress the game. War uses an ability called Wrath, which allows him to enhance and unleash excruciatingly powerful sword skills. He also comes to collect various weapons, a few of them being from his own brothers in arms.
Everyone knows that demons are more easily bought than killed in some instances. In order to buy crucial information, these Demons require a currency called Souls. Before you even ask, yes, these are the souls of the long-dead human race. These souls also have the ability to heal you in times of need or restock your Wrath. You’re going to want to collect them over the course of the game. Speaking of collectibles, there is one thing on War that you get to look forward to changing, and that is the fabled Abyssal Armor. Players will have to search high and low for the chests that contain the 10 legendary pieces scattered across the game.
Most of the gameplay literally reflects the original controls we saw in the original Darksiders (seriously, like the only downside to this edition). Another thing—War doesn’t always jump when you tell him to and the results can be frustrating. Especially in areas when the ground is crumbling beneath you. The game also sports a very Devil May Cry battle system, so a lot of hack and slash so to speak. The only difference is we don’t get rated on how cool we can make things look while we are slashing the heads off of demons. Each enemy has its own special way of kill, but they do change according to the area you are in. In one area, the red spinning enemy might be tough, then you transfer to another area and find that the Blue spinning enemy now has electricity. Shocking.
If you are looking for a quick game to pick up and beat some puzzle within a few minutes, you’d better rethink that strategy. Warmasters’ puzzles are nothing to laugh. They require a lot of going-forward-to-go-backward mechanics. Overall, this game is one of those games you have to experience for yourself to believe. If you can get some time to spend doing the puzzles and can hold in your inner anger when War falls to his death, it will all be worth it. Although in this edition we didn’t get anything as far as new content, we can only hope that with this installment, Vigil is getting ready for the ever-anticipated Darksiders 3.
- Worthy story & setting
- Exceptional graphics & visuals
- Many options for weapon customization
- Time-consuming puzzles
- No additional content
- Aggravating controls