I have returned to bring you the latest in my progression through the Darksiders trilogy. Last time I left you I was on my way to make my regal appointment with the Stygian King. What I didn’t know was that the Stygian King was a giant worm. Luckily for me, I have seen Tremors many times so I have been training for an encounter such as this my whole life. If watching Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon dodging Graboids on numerous occasions didn’t prepare me for the task that I was about to take on then I don’t know what more I could have done. So with all the experience that I have gained from my years of preparation, I headed out onto the Dry Road to begin my journey to the Ashlands to put myself to a Kingly test.
This is where the story of Darksiders begins to pick up pace massively, gone are the teething pains of the earlier chapters. In its place, you will find not only a more fluid story but also a more fluid fighting style. As you progress through Darksiders, you will have the chance to upgrade your combos and abilities, this adds a whole new layer to the games already excellent playability. Just like many other games in the hack and slash genre, Darksider’s true combat potential only becomes more evident around the halfway mark of the game. When you reach this point in Darksiders, you will have an apocalyptic arsenal at your disposal.
In my last article, I previously mentioned the weapons that War totes around with him but it is not just how deadly these weapons are that create such an immensely fun fight engine in Darksiders, it is the way they combine whilst in combat that makes the action feel so player-friendly and incredibly fluid. The combination of the almighty Chaoseater/Scythe with the revolver Mercy when timed correctly allows a player to go to war—pun intended—with multiple enemies simultaneously. This gives the player the chance to negate the A.I’s superior numbers, quickening the pace of the fight sequences, and it also helps nullify the repetitive nature of Darksider’s earlier chapters.
The journey through the Ashlands can be a little infuriating at times. The trek through the treacherous terrain is a time it right or you’ll get eaten by giant worms type deal. To aide in your travels through the Ashlands, you have been granted control over the Chronospheres; a device that grants you the ability to slow down-time. This makes for slow going at times but it also leads to a lot of celebration once you reach the safety zones within the barren landscape. This allows you a moment of reprieve from the giant worm dodging. It also hastens the pace of the narrative of the story from the frustratingly slow slog through the Ashlands desert regions.
After you reach the end of this section you will find some semblance of solitude in the caves of the Ashlands. Well, solitude from the giant worms but not the demonic enemies that are scattered throughout the otherwise lifeless hellscape. When you finally emerge from the caves you will head to the Gladiator Arena which will serve as somewhat of a warm-up for your later encounter with the Stygian. This is also the area that sees you reunited with War’s trusty stead Ruin. Finally, the horseman will ride again. When you are on horseback your attacks become more lethal, this also adds another dimension to the fighting in Darksiders.
When you finally take Ruin back you will leave the arena and begin your way along the road to your destiny, the road to the gargantuan Stygian. The King of worms is gigantic in stature but does not make for much of a challenge. Truth be told it is the easiest of all of the Chosen that you have been sent out to eliminate for Samael. The Stygian is cumbersome and its weak spots are insanely easy to hit with Mercy, and although it looks like a mighty foe it will not take you long to dispatch the monstrosity. Now that you have taken the Stygian’s heart the Iron Canopy lays just over the horizon, there you will find Silitha eagerly awaiting you in all her hideous glory.
But before you battle it out with Silitha you have to fight your way through the Iron Canopy. This is where you will get your hands on the Abyssal Chain which adds another layer to the gameplay. It operates like a grappling hook and gives you the chance to grab your enemies from a distance which opens up some cool combo opportunities in combat situations. This new weapon also gives you the ability to rip the Exo-skeleton from the smaller of arachnid foes you will face throughout the Iron Canopy. The Abyssal Chain itself actually becomes a very important tool for the remainder of the game, not just in terms of combat but also how it speeds up travel in certain areas of the game because you can kind of just zoom through them.
Next up after you obtain the chain you will begin The Hunt on your way to taking on the Broodmother. Just like in the previous chapter the Broodmother acts as a warm-up act for Silitha—the real big bad of this part of the game—and the secondary villain is not too hard to defeat. When you smash the icy crystals on her back then it is game on and she becomes an easy target for your attacks. At this stage, your range of weaponry is more than enough to get you out of most situations with not too much hassle. Usually, Darksiders tries to overwhelm you with numbers and quick attacks from multiple enemies at one time so after you get used to this the bigger singular villains can actually be less of a challenge that other sections of the game.
This sentiment rings true for most of Darksiders but when you face Silitha you will see that she is the exception that proves the rule. You will quickly discover that Silitha has the ability to teleport and this can make for some frustrating moments. Silitha’s attacks at first seem unpredictable and you will definitely have to respawn here a few times. Then after you suffer a good old fashioned humbling by the eight-legged freak you will begin to see that her attacks are more predictable than you originally thought. Then defeating the giant spider becomes a far more attainable goal. Once you figure out the pattern Silitha is finished off quickly. Then after you have slain Silitha you will have all the hearts of the Chosen. This will finally give you the currency you need to gain entry into the Black Throne, thus bringing War’s revenge just within your grasp.