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Darksiders: Wrath of War (XBOX 360 & PS3 Preview)

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Old 05-07-2008
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Darksiders: Wrath of War (XBOX 360 & PS3 Preview)
  



Darksiders: Wrath of War is an impressive-looking new game from THQ and Vigil Games. You'll play as War, one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who is known for his fiery red horse named Ruin, excessive violence and a destructive great sword.



When the term “post-apocalyptic” is used to describe a game’s setting—which it maybe too often is—they usually mean post-nuclear war. Maybe it’s a remnant of our Cold War anxieties that we always envision the end of the world as a landscape of mushroom clouds, nuclear winter and radiation-addled zombies.

The Four Horsemen, including War, are sent to bring upon the Apocalypse, but they are tricked into unleashing chaos too soon. This brings an early end to humankind thus creating a rift between angels and devils that are left battling for the remaining earthling souls. For his wrongdoings, War is sent back to Earth by the Charred Council--regulators of Heaven and Hell--to figure out just what went wrong...sans his powers.

War is a killing machine of epic proportions. Just because Darksiders takes its inspiration from end times’ legends of the past, doesn’t mean the story hasn’t been updated for today. War may be a supernatural being—mostly—but he’s also a cybernetically enhanced one. He wields a huge sword as well as other melee weapons, plus he has the ability to generate ranged weapons, both energy-based and ballistic, as any true God of war should be able to. The open-world environment will also provide you with many opportunities to flex all of those muscles—literally and figuratively.



As in God of War, combat is based around repeated attacks and separate sequences requiring timed button presses. Whirling blade slices and a few ranged boomerang-type energy blasts are the extent of War's powers to start, although he will grow in power and change in appearance as the game progresses. The horseman does initially feature a few unique moves that set him apart, such as a teleport special that freely and instantly warps him several yards forward at any time. He can also use a sort of hookshot, which pulls items and weapons toward him. War's a big guy, so tossing these rusty cars like soccer balls and using giant discarded chainguns to spray a torrent of bullets are both easy ways of taking out foes from a distance.



Since he is supernatural, you’ll also have access to a host of powers and magical type attacks. As you progress through missions, you’ll acquire these powers as they become necessary. Certain powers will be integral to completing certain parts of the game, just as it should be in any good action/adventure game. The action is a seamless blend of melee-attack combos, intense shooting action and, of course, a little horseplay. Don’t forget, you are one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, so where would you be without your trusty steed, Ruin? He’s not just for transport either; you can use your weapons and special attacks while mounted on his fiery back, and he has some special moves and attacks of his own, as any supernatural horse of the apocalypse should. In addition to Ruin, you can hop on and ride certain large, beastly enemies, turning them against their own allies before performing a Kratos-approved finishing move to put them away. It seems like getting bored of the action will be a near impossibility.

The overall structure of the game is the open world, in the sandbox-style that has become as ubiquitous as of late, but does seem well suited to the subject matter here. There is a large city that has been ravaged by the war between the angels and demons, with destruction everywhere you look and humans turned into zombie-like husks. You’re free to roam the city, but you’ll find certain parts inaccessible until later in the game. There are also dungeons, which are basically interior levels you can play through to acquire items and new skills. Each dungeon is like a side quest that can take you an hour and a half or more to play through.



About This Game

Penned by legendary comic book artist Joe Madureira (X-Men, Battle Chasers, The Ultimates), Darksiders: Wrath of War is set in a Post-Apocalyptic demon-ravaged world where evil forces have prematurely brought about the end of the time. Originally sent to oversee the destruction of Earth, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been betrayed by their master, stripped of their powers and cast down to Earth. Players take on the role of WAR—the first of the Four Horsemen—as he embarks on a brutal quest of vengeance and revenge against the forces that betrayed him with the help of his phantom steed RUIN. Darksiders: Wrath of War features open-world exploration, a deep combat system and a huge arsenal of modern and mythical weapons.



General Features
  • Experience the Godlike Power of WAR – Combining brutal attacks, supernatural abilities and seamless traversal, delivering intense action combat and epic adventure, set in an immersive demon ravaged world.
  • Open World Exploration – Each open world hub offers players the freedom to explore and make their own game-experience.
  • Extreme Arsenal of Weapons – Unleash WAR’s fury with an expansive arsenal of weapons, from the fantasy oriented to the modern and the ability to use virtually anything within your environment as a weapon.
  • Increase or unlock new abilities – Customized to your gameplay style. Build up WARs Wrath powers and unleash them in spectacular attacks—or collect Soul Cores to increase or unlock new abilities.
  • Horseman of the Apocalypse – Gain the services of RUIN, WAR’s phantom steed, blazing a trail through enemies across devastated environments.
  • Graphic Novel Art Style – Joe Madureira’s (X-Men, Battle Chasers, The Ultimates) unique visual art style and original storyline.
  • Cinematic Gameplay Experience – Harnessing the power of next-generation console systems, Darksiders: Wrath of War will immerse players in a rich cinematic gameplay experience—featuring beautiful graphics, detailed special effects, cinematic lighting and an epic musical score that compliments the in-game action.

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