Do you feel like playing an action/adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by demons and littered with zombies and the ruins of civilization? No? Well what if you wielded a big ass sword, a huge revolver, and rode around on a fiery horse while exploring the world and carving up demons in every possible way? Still not sure? Let's break it down then; Darksiders is the game that would result if God of War and Zelda had a baby and that baby became one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and destroyed the Earth. If that does not sound badass to you then nothing ever will.
In Darksiders you play as the horseman of the Apocalypse named War. You are tricked into destroying all life on Earth by a conspiracy between heaven and hell and to prove your innocence and find the guilty parties in the affair you have been stripped of your powers and must survive in ruined world patrolled by demons and the animated corpses of the dead.
I played through the E3 demo with lead designer Hayden Dalton and he pointed out many of Darksiders features as he kicked ass through the ruined city, the Ashland, and the Arena. Along the way he taught me how to slay demons in a stylish manner and pointed out some of the features he and his team are particularly proud of.
The two main focuses of gameplay are brutal gory combat and exploration of the blasted bizarre environment. Combat can be a simple affair of tapping the same button, or can be made to string multiple moves together to devastate your demon foes and take their souls to replenish your health and energy. The three main weapons are the sword, a great all around weapon, the tremor gauntlet for close combat and area of effect attacks, and the scythe for long reach attacks and dealing with ethereal enemies. The demonstration showcased both dramatic boss fights and combat versus groups of hellish minions.
The game had us climbing, swimming, jumping, blasting, and riding a horse around the maps to collect mission items or special items to improve our weapons and powers. Your weapons also improve the more you use them; in effect you gear levels up instead of your character. The game's currency of souls can be used to buy new weapons, powers, and attacks.
Creatures you can slay include fire spewing demons, giant bat creatures, mounted hell knights, and huge sand worms. Along the way your are both aided and annoyed by a spirit expertly voiced by Mark Hamill of Luke Skywalker and Joker fame.
The game in it's current state looks and plays great and is predicted to hit store shelves around January 2010.