While being a fairly unacknowledged series in the gaming industry, Darksiders has been adored by fans of the comics and video games alike since the start of this decade. If Darksiders III – the newest title in the series – is anything to go by, it entirely makes sense why the franchise is becoming a cult classic.
When I say ‘entirely’, I mean it with absolute sincerity. From the view of a guy who’s been interested in gaming narrative since my early teens, Darksiders III recently struck me as one of the most thought-provoking yet entertaining games of last year. Set in a twisted, dark fantasy post-apocalyptic world, players take on the role of Fury, the third of the infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as she fights her way through demons and angels to achieve her goal: to defeat and capture the Seven Deadly Sins for the Charred Council. The two previous titles in series follow the stories of her brothers – War and Death – during the end the world, and while both of these characters have been very well-developed by the designers of Vigil Games and Gunfire Games in Darksiders and Darksiders II, Fury appears as one of the most intriguing and powerful playable characters I have ever seen – especially considering what she goes through and the changes she makes during the events of Darksiders III.
Armed with her deadly whip, and filled with relentless anger, Fury may be tough but soons learns through the enemies she faces the extent of her flaws and how toxic they have made her. Wrath, Pride and Lust prove to be particularly worthy foes for her as she battles them; not only physically, but mentally too. Greed, Sloth, Gluttony and Envy are just as bad, if not worse. Coming to Earth hating humanity and, moreover, hope, the Deadly Sins sicken Fury to the point where she progresses into a being that uses her anger for goodness, losing the nihilistic and somewhat evil approach to life that she once had. Considering the times we’re in now, with global issues such as political chaos and environmental havoc, the growth of her character is astoundingly poignant.
Enough of my ramblings about storytelling – because the gameplay itself is just as fantastic. One of the main features of this action-adventure game is Fury’s ability to transform into four different elemental forms: Flame, Force, Storm and Statis. These enhance her combat capabilities while also gifting her a range of brutal attacks, weapons and abilities. Darksiders III also takes place in a continuous open world environment, so exploration is a large role for the player. There’s puzzles to solve and platforming to overcome, many of which make use of Fury’s powers. The game also features a levelling and crafting system, where collecting souls from enemies and objects in the environment form of currency. Perhaps the coolest feature of the game is Fury’s Havoc Form, which transforms her into an indestructible, gigantic, demonic beast that destroys her enemies in minutes.
Pick. Up. This. Game. It’s worth it, and might teach you a lesson or two while you play. But do be warned: at times, it’s as manically difficult as Dark Souls. Darksiders III is definitely not for the faint-hearted.