Darksiders III

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Darksiders III
Darksiders 3 Box Art.png
Developer(s)Gunfire Games
Publisher(s)THQ Nordic
Director(s)John Pearl
Producer(s)Reinhard Pollice
Writer(s)Man of Action
Composer(s)Cris Velasco
SeriesDarksiders
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
November 27, 2018
Nintendo Switch
September 30, 2021[1]
Genre(s)Action role-playing[2][3]
Mode(s)Single-player

Darksiders III is an action role-playing video game developed by Gunfire Games and published by THQ Nordic for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 27, 2018, with a Nintendo Switch version coming on September 30, 2021. It is a sequel to Darksiders II and the third entry in the Darksiders series.

The game departs from the gameplay of the previous entries and incorporates elements from Metroidvania games as well as the Souls series. Taking place before the first Darksiders game, the player controls Fury, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, in her quest to capture the Seven Deadly Sins which have taken corporeal form and escaped imprisonment. In their quest, players can use a variety of melee and magical weapons and gain experience points and currency to upgrade Fury's powers and weapons.

Darksiders III received mixed reviews upon release, with many critics highlighting the technical issues and bugs on both PC and console versions as well as the too simple combat and puzzle systems.

Gameplay[edit]

Darksiders III is a departure from the previous games, borrowing structure and gameplay elements from Metroidvania and FromSoftware's Souls series,[2][4][3] 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.[5][6] 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 [3] and straight forward[7] 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.[3]

Darksiders III focuses on its leveling system in which Fury's damage, health, and arcane damage can be upgraded.[3] 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.[8]

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[7] 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.

Plot[edit]

Taking place parallel to the events of Darksiders II and before the majority of Darksiders, Fury, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is summoned by the Charred Council, a group of mythical beings tasked with upholding the Balance in the universe. They task her with hunting down the Seven Deadly Sins, which have escaped imprisonment and assign her a Watcher to ensure she fulfills her task.

Upon arriving on the war-torn, post-apocalyptic Earth, Fury encounters and defeats the first of the Sins, Envy. She claims one of her talismans and uses it as a prison to hold Envy before venturing to a sanctuary named Haven, where she encounters Ulthane, a member of the Maker race, and some humans who survived the Apocalypse. Ulthane asks Fury to send any humans she finds to Haven. She then leaves to find the next Sin, Wrath, who mortally wounds her when she is distracted by the death of her horse, Rampage. A portal opens up below her and takes her to the Lord of the Hollows, a powerful entity with the ability to release other beings from the cycle of life, death and rebirth in the Well of Souls. He heals her and reveals that she is being manipulated by the Charred Council for their own schemes. He aids her by giving her the Fire Hollow, a mystical artifact that enhances her combat abilities and asks her to hunt down the demon Abraxis and return to him with the demon's soul.

As Fury continues to capture the Sins, the Lord of Hollows gifts her with new Hollows to aid in her mission which allow her to manipulate different elements. Fury confronts Abraxis in his stronghold who tells her that a new dark lord only known as "The Destroyer" is coming. Players can then choose to believe Abraxis or to kill Abraxis. Returning Abraxis' soul to the Lord makes him reveal that he was once part of the Charred Council but left over disagreements on how to enforce the Balance since the Kingdom of Man was ignored among the fights of Heaven and Hell. The Lord of Hollows will die regardless of the player's choice but siding with him grants Fury a Sigil with unknown properties.

Eventually Fury confronts and defeats the final Sin, Pride who reveals that the Council have been secretly betraying the Balance behind everyone's backs from the start. At this point, the Watcher reveals herself to be the real Envy. Having tricked Fury and the Council to strengthen herself by absorbing the rest of the sins into her amulet, gaining their powers. She uses her talisman to immobilize Fury and drain her powers, while informing her that the Council tried to pit Horsemen versus Sins in hopes they would annihilate each other.

Fury falls to Earth but is saved by humans she helped rescue. Ulthane then reveals that he constructed a Reflecting Pool, a gateway that allows Fury to confront both Envy and the Charred Council. She then reveals her acquisition of the Hollow Lord's gift to the maker whom is awestruck at the sight of it, but refuses when offered the relic out of shame for past misdeeds before Fury travels to the Council chamber and defeats Envy. Not long after the Council turns on her but the rider ultimately holds back her former handlers by detonating the Talisman of Sin and retreating back to Earth. If she obtained the Sigil from the Lord of Hollows, she will first use it to block the Council's attacks, revealing that the Council is afraid of the artifact.

Returning to Earth, Fury helps the Makers to defend the humans' escaping through the Reflecting Pool to another realm while demons attack Haven. Fury decides to follow the humans as their new protector, after asking Ulthane to help War if the two of them ever meet (a reference to the events of the first Darksiders). Before leaving, a human helping to defend the Makers from the attack is revealed to be a disguised Strife, one of the other Horseman. With the survivors now safe and hidden away in another realm, it is revealed that the demon lord Lucifer knows what Fury has done and, depending on the player's choices, is either pleased that the Sigil was not created and that everything is going according to plan, or irritated that the Sigil may threaten his plans, and angered at his compatriot Lilith for not silencing the Lord of Hollows when she had the chance.

Development and release[edit]

Promotion at the 2018 PAX West

A third entry in the Darksiders series was originally planned by Vigil Games, but 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.[9][10] Darksiders, along with Red Faction and MX vs. ATV, were purchased by Nordic Games in the final transaction of THQ's assets in April 22; Nordic Games expressed interest to develop the third installment due to its popularity with the fans.[11][5][12] The game was published by THQ Nordic and developed by Gunfire Games. The development team largely consists of former Vigil Games employees whose previous work includes development of the first two Darksiders games.[6] The game was released on November 27, 2018. Alongside it, THQ Nordic presented various editions for the game; a deluxe edition, which came with the soundtrack and two future downloadable content packs, the Collector's Edition, which came with a Fury figurine, and the Apocalypse edition, with figurines of War, Death, Fury and Vulgrim.

A month after the game's release, 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.[13]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Darksiders III received mixed reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[14][16][15] The third game was widely criticized for the technical issues in both consoles and PC versions of the game.[2][3] 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".[7] 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".[3] 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. He ends his review saying that "it doesn't condemn Darksiders to oblivion, but it’s the lowlight of the series so far".[8]

Sales[edit]

The game debuted at 32nd place in the UK's all-format sales charts.[29] According to reports, the game managed to sell 71,000 copies on Steam alone in its first week.[30] In a financial quarter report in February 2019, THQ Nordic said that the game has made its development and marketing budget back and reiterated its commitment to the franchise.[31]

Sequel[edit]

Prior to the game's release, the CEO of THQ Nordic said that if Darksiders III reached over 100,000 copies sold, the company would look into a sequel.[32] A spin-off game was released in 2019, titled Darksiders: Genesis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Darksiders coming to Nintendo Switch on September 30". Gematsu. August 9, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Lowry, Brendan (November 26, 2018). "Darksiders III review: Don't sleep on this relentlessly engaging, macabre action RPG". Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Wakeling, Richard (November 28, 2018). "Darksiders 3 Review - Soils-Like". Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  4. ^ Hatfield, Daemon (November 26, 2018). "Darksiders III Review". Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Pearce, Alanah (May 2, 2017). "Darksiders 3 Announced - IGN First". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "THQ Nordic Announces Darksiders® III". THQ Nordic. May 2, 2017. Archived from the original on May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Hetfeld, Malindy (November 29, 2018). "Darksiders III Review". Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Horti, Samuel (November 26, 2018). "DARKSIDERS 3 REVIEW". Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Crytek USA wants the Darksiders series to come home". Digital Trends. April 2013. Archived from the original on April 5, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  10. ^ "Crytek USA hope to wrestle back Darksiders series in auction". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on April 9, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  11. ^ "Nordic Games explains who the f they are, plans for THQ assets". Joystiq. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  12. ^ Romano, Sal (May 2, 2017). "Darksiders III reveal leaked for PS4, Xbox One, and PC". Gematsu.com. Gematsu. Archived from the original on May 2, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  13. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (December 21, 2018). "Darksiders 3 patch makes combat more like previous Darksiders games". Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Darksiders III for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Darksiders III for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Darksiders III for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  17. ^ Carter, Chris (December 2, 2018). "Review: Darksiders III". Destructoid. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  18. ^ Hatfield, Daemon (November 26, 2018). "Darksiders III Review". IGN. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  19. ^ Horti, Samuel (November 26, 2018). "Darksiders 3 review". PC Gamer. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  20. ^ Hilliard, Kyle (November 27, 2018). "Darksiders III - A Quality Experience From Another Age". Game Informer. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  21. ^ "Darksiders III Review (Switch)". Nintendo Life. September 30, 2021. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  22. ^ "Darksiders III Review (PS4)". Push Square. August 28, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  23. ^ "Darksiders III review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. December 3, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "Darksiders 3 Review: "Turning the series from Zelda clone to Dark Souls copycat has paid off"". GamesRadar. November 26, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  25. ^ Bell, Larryn (November 26, 2018). "Darksiders 3 review: Hell hath fury". Shacknews. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  26. ^ "Darksiders 3 Review – Dark Soulless". GameRevolution. November 26, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  27. ^ Dozsa, Preston (November 26, 2018). "Darksiders 3 (PlayStation 4) Review". Computer Games Magazine. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  28. ^ "Darksiders III Review". RPGamer. November 26, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  29. ^ Phillips, Tom (November 26, 2018). "Darksiders 3 UK physical launch sales a quarter of Farming Simulator 19's". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  30. ^ "Darksiders 4 All But Confirmed from Performance of DS3". Power Up Gaming. December 4, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Brown, Fraser (February 18, 2019). "Darksiders 3 made its money back and is still part of a 'key IP'". Pc Gamer. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  32. ^ "Darksiders 4 Likely After Darksiders 3 Sales". GameRevolution.com. December 7, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2019.

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