After the release of the third part on the series, Darksiders look askance - flirting with the Souls-like format was unlikely to benefit her. And with the appearance of the first Genesis images and trailers, public doubts only exacerbated. Top view, fixed camera, smartphone entertainment-inspired graphics - is that Diablo IV we deserve? The new chapter of the Adventures of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse is really made without a grand scale, but at the same time it has many advantages.
Let no one be deceived by the appearance - the new Darksiders , of course, not numbered, but real. First, veterans of friv2online.com, who now work at the Texas studio Airship Syndicate , had a hand in the development. Secondly, the plot is related to the events of the main trilogy. Rather, it precedes them: the end of the world in the universe of the game has not yet come, but the balance between the forces of good and evil has already been shaken - and, of course, Lucifer is to blame for this. To fulfill the will of the Charred Council, to reason with the troublemaker and restore balance, two heroes - War and Strife - go to the depths of hell, where crowds of demons await them.
In short, the usual alignment: saving the world, breaking horns and hooves. And during intermissions, we watch screensavers designed as comics with actors' voices sounding off-screen. Made simple, but tasteful - and with regards to the work of Joe Madureira , known to fans of the series firsthand. To complete the picture, familiar characters have entered the story, including Samael and the demon merchant Vulgrim.
The battles do justice to the classics too. They are terribly driving, with an abundance of effects and bloody splashes. Although the production of the show does not require seven spans in the forehead - just press a couple of buttons, collect "healers", use a super attack from time to time and point the pistols of Discord in the right direction. When War throws away the opponents who have surrounded him with a wide gesture, he grabs the nimble devil by the tail and shouts "Nits!" smashes it on the ground, it happens as if by itself. And constantly - hardly anyone will complain about the lack of action. And when did Darksiders have a problem with that?
Unless this time you have to wield not one, but two heroes at once, controlling them in cooperative mode or in turn - if you go through the campaign alone. Both turned out with a twinkle: Discord is always joking, shoots enemies from afar and deftly escapes frontal attacks, and War, on the contrary, is extremely serious and straightforward - he butches monsters up close and hits the area. The lion's share of the game's charm rests on the contrast of characters. Companions between times then tease each other, then express an opinion about what is happening - it is clear that the soldier and the trickster have it differently.
Friendship is friendship, and pumping apart. If you imagine hunting for rare swords, collecting armor from dead enemies and searching caches with artifacts, forget it - from the notorious Diablo there are only external features. The rest is homemade: trophy cores of creatures must be invested in the development of partners, distributing them along the branches of skills. And in exchange for the souls knocked out of devils and chests, the already mentioned Vulgrim and his assistant Dit give out enhancements. For example, you can strengthen the health of Strife or increase the scale of the rage of the War, thanks to which he will increase the number of ultimatum attacks.
The salt of the role system is its unobtrusiveness. Too lazy to understand? Got a blunder with the distribution of bonuses? It doesn't matter, the game allows you to rebuild the leveling tree at any time or even to spit on fiddling with settings and reduce the difficulty at the beginning of the next chapter. Still, Genesis is not about filigree builds, but about hellish carnage and unwinding guts.
Now is the time to ask the question: is there anything else in the new Darksiders besides demon carving? But of course, the gameplay contains a lot. And all the mechanics are somehow familiar to fans of the series: here is parkour with rock climbing and jumping from one log to another, but platforming elements, when a miss past a tiny island leads to death in the abyss. The action is traditionally flavored with puzzles. It is necessary to use acrobatics to lower the levers that open the gate, then to light the brazier with a throwing weapon, then to explode an obstacle in a cunning way. Add secrets to the assortment - it takes iron patience to explore each one.
Getting to some of the caches can be more difficult than finishing off the next boss. And if the game was really hardcore, all this would be included in the mandatory program. But the developers were not denied a sense of proportion. Hunt to collect more resources - explore every nook and cranny. But no - no one pulls by the hand, you can go through the storyline campaign without any secrets at all. It is enough that victories in battles bring.
Of course, there are enough repetitions - you constantly encounter tasks with an already solved principle and repeatedly defeated opponents. The change of scenery and music does not give you boredom during attacks of déjà vu. Whether it's a rocky desert, a giant forge, snow-capped mountains or dark dungeons, each location has its own flavor. It may appear that the Airship Syndicate staffeven in hell they managed to create divine conditions, but everything has a price. Especially if financial constraints prevent the authors from expanding to their fullest.
The game suffers from a bunch of diseases that are more typical of indie creativity. They saved money here, they didn’t complete it there, but the beta testers didn’t make it here - meet enemies who have fallen into textures and cannot be killed, stumbling on level ground performed by heroes and barely living scripts. How do you, for example, refusal of the plot cut-scene to start? It seems that the location has been passed, but the path is closed further. You re-examine all the loopholes, jump on cliffs in search of something unknown, and after about half an hour you guess to restart Genesis. For such a trick in The Divine Comedy, there would probably be a couple of lines.
Along with bugs, controversial design decisions draw attention to themselves. Take the same camera: it is clear that its high flight masks the low level of graphics and allows two gamers to see their characters in co-op behind one screen. But the inability to rotate and scale the image creates problems. Sometimes War and Strife seem so small that you lose them in the thick of the battle - this is especially frustrating for people with low vision. The rest will be indignant because of the mountains and towers blocking the view - the silhouette of the hero is highlighted behind them, but the enemies are not visible. It remains to either run out into an open area, or beat in all directions at random. Fortunately, this is a very effective tactic here.
Admittedly, the Airship Syndicate team managed to surprise everyone: those who expected from the work "something like Diablo ", and those who predicted a radical departure from the canons, and people who believed in the release without a hitch. But the main thing is that the most correct Darksiders came out for many years - in terms of the feel of the gameplay and the surroundings, it is much closer to the original than the third part. So nostalgic players were not left without a Christmas present.
Darksiders Genesis is a brisk but low-budget action movie that requires some skill and love for the genre. It is unlikely that anyone will linger in it for a long time, but every fan of the series will not interfere with it once. After all, there is everything you like: fierce battles, parkour, dashingly hidden secrets, bosses the size of BelAZ and jokes for elementary school students.
Pros: there is a cooperative for two, the action keeps you in good shape, the change of tasks and the environment does not let you get bored, and thanks to the difference in characters and skills, it is interesting to play for both heroes; the developers honor the canons of the series; full Russian-language localization.
Cons: bugs and inconveniences spoil the impression; if you don't have a gamepad, acrobatics will get you crazy.