I’d imagine the hardcore Darksiders fan is feeling incredibly grateful right now. Following the ballooning budget of Darksiders II and subsequent bankruptcy of its publisher, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the brand was dead and buried. Now, six years after the original release of Darksiders II, the franchise has been revived (miraculously) with Darksiders III. And much like the games before it, it borrows liberally from other great games to offer an experience that’s great but admittedly spotty at times.
Taking place yet again in parallel to the previous games, Darksiders III follows Fury this time around. Sister to the other horsemen, Fury is an unpredictable mage who wields her unique hilt called Scorn, which primarily acts as a whip, but can also change into other weapons as she masters her abilities. The main plot of Darksiders III follows Fury in her mission to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins, who have inhabited apocalyptic Earth after having broken out of the prison the Horsemen built for them.The story of Darksiders III is pretty good at elaborating even more of the events that were going on in the background of Darksiders and Darksiders II, though I personally wish they’d move the story forward already and several threads are left hanging. Still, it’s a great little story that has a nice little twist towards the end that I thoroughly enjoyed. Perhaps more importantly is that Fury is a fantastic lead here – a veritable bad-ass with a great development arc – and a joy to follow. Cissy Jones brings the character a gravitas that’s unmatched with her voice performance, and she’s easily my favourite Horseman.
Darksiders games have had a weird habit of borrowing liberally from conventions that are en vogue. The first game felt like a well-executed, macabre take on a classic Zelda game. The second kept the same structure but shifted things to a more loot-based equipment system. Darksiders III borrows more from action adventure games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne more than anything else, while still retaining the best bits from the first two games. The result is something that’s admittedly derivative, though that’s not necessarily a terrible fact.It’s an unforgivable faux pas to compare anything to Dark Souls these days, but the influence on Darksiders III is undeniable. Rather than push you from dungeon to dungeon, connected only by an overworld or a hub, Darksiders III instead throws Fury into a huge interconnected world without a map to explore as you see fit. Enemy encounters are much less numerous than in the previous games, but every encounter in Darksiders III feels challenging and slightly more meaningful as a result.