Review: Darksiders III

PS4 (reviewed) Xbox One PC

Developer: Gunfire Games

Publisher: THQ Nordic

Genre: RPG, Action, Adventure

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Rating: M for Mature

Price: $59.99

The developer of Darksiders III is Gunfire Games which was born  “from the bankruptcy of publisher THQ in 2012, and subsequent liquidation of that company’s assets, including Vigil Games.” After this, main members of Vigil and Crytek decided to open Gunfire Games, starting with seven developers and rising up to about sixty in 2017.

Sorry, this review is a few months late. Year 2018 ended rather harshly. It’s great to be back writing for Geeks Under Grace. I had a disabling stroke on December 23rd, 2018, and I’m now back to writing, typing and playing video games. I would appreciate prayers and encouragement during this continued time of recovery.

Content Guide

Spiritual Content: In one of the opening narration sequences, a voice asks or suggests that God is the creator of sin or evil, or that it is Divine, which isn’t true. In the creation account, God calls all things “good” repeatedly. Sin and evil exist due to man wanting to be like God and failure to repent at the Fall—not a creation from God.

Nephilim: Referenced in Genesis 6:1–6 and Numbers 13:30–33, Fury, War, and Death are a hybrid coming from the breeding of angels and humans—otherwise known as “Nephilim.” According to Genesis 6:

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,  the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came into the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

Exegetically speaking, we can observe Nephilim in a few ways. Primarily, we can view them as the angelic and human hybrid, although scripture speaks of angels not reproducing. All the angels God created were present during the fall of Satan, Adam and Eve, and the entire angelic host was in full ranks at the creation of heaven and earth. Jesus comments on the angels’ relationships in Matthew 22:30. He says, “For in the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” A marriage consists of mutual pleasure and enjoyment of spouse, reproduction, and support of husband and wife. Angels are spirits and genderless and do not reproduce. Therefore, I read Genesis 6 as referring to the intermarriage of Israelites and pagans of the land. This means that the Nephilim were indeed offspring, not from angels and humans, but of God’s people and Canaanite people.

Demons are present in the entire game; they are horrifying to look at. In many occasions, you’ll encounter fights between angels and demons throughout the campaign. In addition to demons are physical manifestations of the seven deadly sins. These enemies are terrifying to look at as well.

Violence: As a hack and slash game, violence is at the core of this post-human apocalyptic game. Enemies burn away or explode when they are defeated.

Blood: There were few occasions when a small amount of blood would surface during battles, but it wasn’t over the top or obscene.

Language: The foul language here may be an occasional curse word in dialogue, but, again, it’s not overtly offensive or thrown into the players face.

Review

The story of Darksiders revolves around the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Darksiders III takes place before Darksiders and runs parallel with its events The story focuses on the point of view of the mage Fury and her efforts to track down and defeat the seven deadly sins by command of the charred council and restore balance to Earth.

During the campaign, you play as the Nephilim Fury. As her name suggests, she has a short fuse and is honestly fun to play. However, I feel as if she tries to be too much of a Kratos copy because she’s always angry and looking for a fight; it can come across as forced. But there are moments when you pity her, mourn with her, cheer her on, and even chuckle at a sarcastic line from her monologues or conversation. She is accompanied by her horse Rampage as well as a watcher to remind Fury of her mission and commitment to the Charred Council. Darksiders III has an excellent cast of familiar faces, new foes and well-designed bosses. It’s never too much to keep track of.

In this slightly open world, 3D, Metroidvania-style game, combat is harsh and exploration is encouraged. One way this is aided is with abilities the player must learn to advance to new areas of the game.

Darksiders has often been compared to God of War meets Zelda. Darksiders III seems to be a combination of the hack n’ slash from God of War, the interconnected world of Metroid, and even a splash of the difficulty of Dark Souls.

Combat flow is addictive and I constantly found myself looking for the next fight. Enemies are fewer than previous installments, but pack a larger punch. For some reason, Fury is unable to block, which would greatly assist during intense combat moments. She’s able to dodge, but blocking is a skill unlearned. In similar Dark Souls fashion, whenever Fury is killed, she drops her souls and a recovery run is imitated. However, what’s missing is the penalty, because if you die, you can return and get your souls. Souls are the in-game currency to level up or purchase consumables.

One aspect I really enjoyed was the Havoc mode power-up. Fury would grow in size, attacks would be more powerful and she seemed to be invincible. I would save these power-ups for boss battles.

Visually speaking, the game had interesting and varied backgrounds, ranging from city streets to sewers to incandescent jungles. I also thought the sound design was good as all characters were voiced well and dialogue wasn’t repeated or redundant. Sound cues are vital for dodges and boss fights.

A few drawbacks included the Camera. It was hardly ever zoomed out properly enough to see all on-screen enemies, which would occasionally result in cheap deaths. Occasionally, I would experience game-stopping framerate issues with momentary freezing. I played on a PS4 pro which in my mind should have compensated for the performance clipping. But despite these minor drawbacks, I would recommend Darksiders III if you are a fan of the series, or if you are simply looking for an exciting action game.

The Bottom Line

 

I would recommend Darksiders III if you are a fan of the series, or if you are simply looking for an exciting action game.

 

8.5

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Lucas Miller

I'm a husband, father, and disabled pastor. Currently living in Nebraska and living the "Good Life." I love action-adventure games, RPGs, and platforming games. I'm also a fan of comic books, movies, and books. I'm happy to be a part of GUG. I'll probably talk about theology and accessibility.

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