|Writer(s)||Man of Action|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 4|
|Release||November 27, 2018|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing, Hack and slash |
Darksiders III is a video game developed by Gunfire Games and published by THQ Nordic for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2018. It is a sequel to Darksiders II and the third entry in the Darksiders series.
Darksiders III is a departure from the previous games, borrowing structure and gameplay elements from Metroidvania and FromSoftware's Souls series  , the game is viewed as a mashup of elements of previous games and a new direction. Players take control of Fury, sister of War and Death, two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, from a third-person perspective. Fury, a mage who is described as the most unpredictable and enigmatic of the Four Horsemen, relies on whips, swords, flails, daggers and magic in combat. Fury can take on multiple different elemental forms in order to enhance her combat capabilities by granting her new weapons, attacks and traversal abilities.
The combat is described as more methodical  and straight forward not focusing on large crowds of enemies like the previous games and removing the hit counter. Enemies are stronger than in previous installments but appear in smaller numbers during encounters, so as to make battles feel more personal. Some enemies from previous games return, while other foes are new. Gated combat is not a feature, in an attempt to make everything within the setting contextualized and interconnected like the Souls series.
Darksiders III focuses on its leveling system in which Fury's damage, health, and arcane damage  can be upgraded. The threats of the game's world will grow stronger as the player progresses through the story. Similar to War, yet dissimilar to Death, Fury collects souls from enemies and from objects in the environment, as a form of currency or an expendable resource. The player can attach "Enhancement"s to Fury's weapons for different perks and damage boosts.
The game takes place in a continuous environment where exploration plays a large role in gathering more lurchers and materials to upgrade Fury herself and her arsenal. While exploring, Fury must solve simple puzzles and overcome platforming obstacles, some of which make use of her whip. Such puzzles include using bombs to blow up obstructed pathways or Fury's Forms to interact with the environment.
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Taking place parallel with Darksiders II and happening before the majority of Darksiders, Fury, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is summoned by the Charred Council and tasked in finding the Seven Deadly Sins; one of the Watchers accompanies her on her quest.
Upon arriving on a war-torn post-apocalyptic Earth, Fury encounters the first of the sins, Envy. Upon Envy's defeat, Fury steals a talisman and uses it as a prison to hold Envy alongside the other sins she would encounter. Not long after, she finds her way to a tree named Haven where she encounters Ulthane (a previous character from Darksiders) and some surviving humans of the apocalypse. Ulthane tasks Fury with sending any Humans she finds to Haven. She then leaves to find the next sin which is Wrath and Ulthane provides the location for him. Upon arriving to fight Wrath, he is engaged in fighting and killing angels. When she nearly kills Wrath, she summons her horse Rampage which gets killed by a mysterious, angelic weapon. Out of anger, Fury loses focus and Wrath stabs her while he taunts her. With her dying breath, she takes the blade in her gut and uses it to stab Wrath in the face but he does not die due to the fact that he was not imprisoned in the Talisman of sin. As Fury laid dying on the ground, a fiery portal takes her to the Lord of the Hollows. The Lord of the Hollows is a powerful entity within the Hollows that helps Fury in her quest to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins who wields the power that enables both weary Angels and Demons from the endless war, to a complete release from the cycle of life, death and rebirth of the Well of Souls. The Hollow Lord aids Fury but his own goals remain unknown. The Hollow Lord attempts to inform Fury that she is being manipulated by the Charred Council for their own scheme and call her ignorant and blind to their plans and lies. Though Fury denies it, the Lord of the Hollows nonetheless aids her by giving her the powers of elemental hollows (to enhance her combat abilities) and instructs her to hunt down the demon Abraxis and return to him with the demon's soul in tow.
As Fury takes on one sin after another, the Lord of Hollows continues to endow her with new hollows to aid in her mission. When she makes it to Abraxis' stronghold, Fury wants to know why the Lord of Hollows wants Abraxis dead. Abraxis tells Fury that a new dark lord is coming and he's only known as The Destroyer. The demon explains that the Lord of Hollows intends to hollow the mortal realm to install a new order. Since this is a choice in the story, if you choose to believe in Abraxis, the demon will thank and welcome you to his master's home anytime. Once you make it back to the Lord of Hollows, you'll still have the choice to face him in combat or choose to believe him. If you follow through for Abraxis, the Lord of Hollows will simply be killed. However, if you agree to believe the Lord of Hollows and face Abraxis, you'll kill him and take his soul as the prize. In which the former will reveal details of his own past and the council's corruption. Of how the Lord of Hollows was once a welcome delegate seated at their table, but he soon grew disillusioned with their obsessions and half-measures in enforcing the balance; only monitoring the first and second kingdoms while leaving the third to fend for itself. Culminating in pleading ignorance when in truth they let mankind be devastated by the premature apocalypse on their watch. Going onto explain his hollowing of souls and entrusting his will to Fury was his way of making amends for an eternity of inaction before ending his own life, all while leaving a new item behind for players to use in the future.
After Fury defeats Pride, who is the final sin, she references the Hollow Lord while bringing up a stunning revelation in the aftermath of their battle. That the council have been secretly betraying the Balance behind everyone's backs from the start, she asks Fury who unleashed the Seven Deadly upon the Earth or how it was that they came to possess their new powers in order to do away with the rider. The Watcher that has been trailing Fury the whole time reveals herself to be the game's true final sin, the real Envy. Having tricked Fury and the Council to help herself power-up by absorbing the rest of the sins into her amulet, Envy reveals the truth in Pride's words after taking the talisman in order to wield the powers of those trapped within. With that revelation unveiled, Envy took advantage of the debilitated Fury. Using the Talisman of Sin to absorb the Horsemen's strength, weakening her while she was immobilized.
The sin goes on to say that the Council, which Fury and her brothers served loyally till now, had betrayed them from the beginning, having intended heading the Horsemen and the Sins into battle planning for both sides to destroy each other, resulting in mutually assured annihilation directed towards the council's own benefit. However, Envy boasted of knowing better, all while gloating that jealousy could smell jealousy, having assumed the identity of a trusted servant with the intent of taking advantage of anything and everything available to her; from the horsemen's egotism to the Council's trickery to obtain supreme power for herself. Ultimately, Envy intends to face the Charred Council directly with her enhanced powers for ownership of the Earth and Fury takes a steep fall, but she survives her predicament with help from Humans that she had rescued and turned over to the Makers care, Ulthane aids her by presenting a means he'd spent the whole story working on. Revealing he knew more than was letting on, the Blackhammer constructed a Reflecting Pool to get her to the council's domain and confront Envy as well as her former lords. Recognizing the odd parting gift Fury presented to him after having obtained it from the Hollow Lord, the former later refusing it on the notion he had no right to judge whom his fellow Old One had chosen to wield it. With new resolve, Fury defeats Envy and binds the sin within her own talisman, but the Charred Council no longer values Fury and wants to kill her along with her brothers. If the player has the mysterious stone sigil, Fury will use it to block the Charred Council's attack, the latter halting out of fear of its power. Although she doesn't know the identity of the stone, she realizes the council abhors it and knows it to be a tool of great power.
Though prompted, Fury resists when they demand she give it to them and threw the talisman that held the sins at them instead, detonating it. Having beaten the Charred Council and leaving their citadel to crumble around them, she beats a hasty retreat by escaping back to Earth. Upon her return to Haven, where the makers guard the last human remnants. She finds it beset by Demons in the Destroyer's army. Having found epiphany on her journey, Fury now realizes this early end war was motivated by the celestial's fear of humanity. With hell's forces heading towards their location, the Makers utilize the same portal created to breach the council chamber as an exit strategy to save what remains of humanity. Fury vowed to protect the last surviving humans and prepares to depart. She requests that Ulthane aid her brother War in any way possible should they meet, now seeing he was innocent all along. As she watches the fight before departing, she realizes the lone human helping the Makers fend off the hellions is actually her brother and fellow horseman; Strife.
With the survivors now safe and hidden away in another realm, Lucifer knows what Fury has done and depending on the player's choices, is angered at Lilith for not silencing the Lord of Hollows when she had the chance, but still intends to carry out his own plans of destruction.
Development and release
A third entry in the Darksiders series was originally planned by Vigil Games, however, the fate of its franchise was threatened due to financial complications. Its parent company, THQ, filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The company's assets were sold at an auction, excluding Vigil Games, which was shut down along with the parent company, THQ. In April 2013, THQ began a process to auction off the remaining IP that it had not yet sold, including Darksiders. Several companies publicly expressed interest in bidding for the franchise, including the Japanese developer PlatinumGames, and Crytek USA, a new Crytek subsidiary led by former Vigil CEO David Adams, and primarily staffed by former Vigil employees. Adams had expressed interest in allowing Darksiders to come back "home" to its creators. On April 22, 2013, Darksiders, along with Red Faction and MX vs. ATV, were purchased by Nordic Games in the final transaction of THQ's assets. On June 14, 2013, Nordic Games has stated in an interview with Joystiq that fans "[should] not look for a Darksiders III before two years from now".
On May 2, 2017, a product listing for Darksiders III appeared on Amazon.com. The game was announced the same day by publisher THQ Nordic to be under development by Gunfire Games. The development team largely consists of former Vigil Games employees whose previous work includes development of the first two Darksiders games. The game was revealed to be released on November 27, 2018. Alongside it, THQ Nordic announced various editions for the game; a deluxe edition, which comes with the soundtrack and two future downloadable content packs, the Collector's Edition, which comes with a Fury figurine, and the Apocalypse edition, which comes with figurines of War, Death, Fury and Vulgrim.
On December 20, 2018, a patch was released for the game adding a "Classic" mode to make the game 'feel' more like its two predecessor games, such as allowing Fury to dodge, interrupt her attacks and use items instantly.
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Darksiders III received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.. The third game was widely criticized for the technical issues in both consoles and PC versions of the game. Eurogamer review criticized the "straight forward combat" saying it is a matter of "upgrade weapon damage" and that the few puzzles are too simple, and in concluding that it "has done better in the past". GameSpot review said that the game is "unfocused", that the "clear inspiration from Dark Souls" go against the rest of the series design, that the game has "rudimentary puzzles" and concludes by saying that "Darksiders 3 retrogrades on its predecessors with an unfocused approach that constantly clashes itself". PC Gamer review said that the game doesn't commit itself enough on the RPG department due to the game's lack of a loot system and weapons being earned as the plot goes on, "you're just bumping up damage output". He ends his review saying "It doesn't condemn Darksiders to oblivion, but it’s the lowlight of the series so far."
The game debuted at 32nd place in the UK's all-format sales charts. According to reports, the game managed to sell 71,000 copies on Steam alone in its first week. On February 18, 2019, in a financial quarter report, THQ Nordic has announced that the game has made its development and marketing budget back and reiterated its commitment to the franchise.
Prior to the game's release, with the CEO of THQ Nordic statement of Darksiders III reaching over 100,000 sales in copies. The company will put time and effort into making the fourth Darksiders installment. A spin-off game was announced on June 6, 2019 titled Darksiders: Genesis.
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