The Darksiders franchise really has been through hell and back. After surviving the some difficult financial times at THQ, the third game is finally here, and thankfully, it realigns everything that made the original so great, while chopping away at some of the rougher edges introduced in the sequel.
That’s not to say Darksiders II isn’t a great game, but it’s hard to deny that its multilayered RPG elements detracted from the straightforward hack-‘n-slash approach of the first game. Darksiders 3 acknowledges this and puts the focus on fast and fluid combat front-and-centre, resulting in an incredibly satisfying romp through a hell-scorched Earth.
After playing with War and Death in previous games, this time you take control of the other Horsman (horsewoman?) of the Apocalypse, Fury. As her name suggests, Fury is brutal, sassy, and badass, utilising a whip as her primary weapon, which in terms of control, feels more in line with weapons you’d use in the likes of God of War or Castelvania, giving you rangier and wider attacks rather than straight-up power. This makes combat feel faster and snappier as opposed to Darksiders 3‘s predecessors, which is great as the concept of giving each Horseman a unique ‘feel’ and identity is realised during combat.
Story-wise, Darksiders has always been extremely strong, giving players a comic-book-like reimagining of the war between heaven and hell – the third game continues to succeed on this front. Fury has to take down the Seven Deadly Sins, but instead of simply being the flaws of mankind, these are monstrous, physical manifestations, essentially giving you your boss fights throughout the game, and they’re some of the best in the series. Things move at a good pace and the Fury’s adventure ties up with the whole over-arching narrative of the franchise, making it feel like an important piece of the Darksiders picture.
Darksiders 3 knows exactly what it is and its all the better for it. Prioritising combat and pace allows the game to be slick and enjoyable without being bogged down by layers upon layers of RPG systems. It has its hiccups here and there, but it’s nothing that detracts from a fun, focused, and direct hack-‘n-slash adventure.
Darksiders 3 is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.