• Developer: Airship Syndicate
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Stadia
  • Price: $29.99
  • Release date: December 5, 2019 (PC, Stadia)
  • Reviewed on: December 13, 2019
  • Reviewed on: PC
  • Review copy provided: Yes, by THQ Nordic

Darksiders is a series I have always looked at as some sort of post-apocalyptic game with some puzzles and an Action-RPG system. I didn’t think it was for me. Until I played this. We knew this would be coming soon but when it was announced for Stadia, I was skeptical. This game series has been through the wringer and I just wanted it to succeed. And it sure tried.

Strife in the first trailer announced at Gamescom 2019

Darksiders Genesis is a top-down, hack and slash game, sort of like Diablo. Almost too closely compared to Diablo. I will make a few comparisons to Diablo 3 so be prepared. This game has no physical copy right now as it is only on Stadia and PC via Steam. The game is a pretty solid 9.7 GB on Steam but has one thing that bugs me heavily. No one can join your game if they are not your hand. It is only split-screen co-op or Online co-op with friends from your friend list. I played the game mostly single-player, switching from Strife to War with the V key. The system of combat is very seamless but sort of clunky. It feels as if the characters are trying to move right after eating a buffet at Golden Corral. They’re so slow and it kind of ruins the gameplay which is really fast and fulfilling.

The main characters, War (Left) and Strife (Right) in one of the cutscenes

You play as two characters: Strife, a fast-witted shooter with two pistols that shoot fast, low damage bullets and can also use charged shots that do a lot of damage but has limited ammo per chapter. The other is War, A melee character with a giant sword and some pretty powerful AOE attacks. Both have their flaws and their shining moments. Strife is better for fewer enemies or bosses who deal a ton of damage. He is better for long-range players. War is better at taking out multiple enemies at once and has the ability to defeat enemies with a single AOE attack. The gameplay mostly involves defeating a wave of enemies then pulling levers or switches to progress through the level. The levels are quite linear but the map does not help you at all. It does not show you where you are on the map, making it very hard to know where you haven’t explored.

The Hub of the game where you can buy upgrades with Souls you collect from enemies.

There are collectibles like Boatman Coins that help you upgrade skills and weapons, Creature Souls that give you small upgrades to your combat like giving you a small hellhound that can attack enemies with fire. Finally, there are shards that can upgrade your health and special attack usage. The collectibles are easy to find and are pretty plentiful. The most annoying thing is the hub where you can buy upgrades and other things like shards and special moves.

The game is mostly done in chapters, with every chapter having a specific dungeon for each. Each chapter ends with a boss battle and that’s it. There are a total of 16 chapters with each raising in difficulty and needed skill. You can go into previous chapters to get collectibles you missed, do side-quests, and fight harder bosses.

The voice acting is good as always with the Darksiders series, with Liam O’ Brian reprising his role as War, Troy Baker reprising his role as Abaddon, and Chris Jai Alex as the main man, Strife.

If you want to play a pretty good Diablo clone with a simplified control scheme and a prequel to the Darksiders series, you will enjoy Darksiders Genesis.

8/10

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