Level Up! We Review Darksiders II - Mania.com

Level Up! We Review Darksiders II

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Level Up! We Review Darksiders II

Playing Death has never been this much fun

By Tim Janson     August 23, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Konami announces Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Konami announced that it will release METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE in North America and South America on February 19th, 2013. Developed by Kojima Productions and PlatinumGames, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance takes the renowned Metal Gear franchise into exciting new territory by focusing on delivering an all-new action experience unlike anything that has come before. The title brings two of the world's most respected teams together with a common goal of providing players with a fresh synergetic experience that combines the best elements of pure action and epic storytelling, all within the expansive Metal Gear universe.  Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance introduces Raiden as the central character; a child soldier transformed into a cyborg ninja, equipped with a high-frequency katana blade and a soul fueled by revenge.
In the near future, cyborg technology has become commonplace throughout society.  Three years have passed since the collapse of the Patriots system that had been secretly controlling the global power balance from the shadows.  However, peace remains elusive.  The dissemination of cybernetic technology has triggered instability and conflict as those who control the trade gain increasing power.  Furthermore, large 'Private Military Companies', or PMCs, that had been supported and controlled by the Patriots have collapsed, spawning countless rogue entities with origins to larger criminal organizations.  These renegade PMCs employing cyborg technology have become increasingly more disruptive shifting policy and power at will.  As a member of the peace-keeping PMC 'Maverick Security', Raiden lives by the mantra of protecting and saving lives.  But as the world plunges further into asymmetric warfare, the only path that leads him forward is rooted in resolving his past, and carving through anything that stands in his way.
Konami Announces Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
Konami announced that the action adventure title Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate will be available in early 2013 exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS system.  "It's been two years since the enormous success of Castlevania Lords of Shadow, and with this next installment, we want to take the necessary time needed to give fans a handheld title unlike any other," said Dave Cox, Producer of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 and Head of Product Planning and Development for Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH. "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate will bridge the storyline to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, also planned to release in 2013.  Both titles will reveal the shocking fate of the Belmont Clan in a dramatic culmination of the Lords of Shadow saga."  
Developed by Mercury Steam, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate takes place 25 years after the events of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, and is a precursor to the highly anticipated and recently announced Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate reveals the story of Gabriel Belmont's descendants, Simon and Trevor Belmont, as they battle their own destiny only to discover their true, shocking fate. 
Aksys Games Announces Crazy Strike Bowling for the PS3
Aksys Games is proud to announce Crazy Strike Bowling - a wacky, multi-player, family-friendly title that will get everyone crazy for more!  Get ready to strike down pins, dodge obstacles, and battle your friends and so much more in this zany, PlayStation Move required game for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system available exclusively on PlayStation Network!
Play as one of six characters as you duke it out in a variety of crazy locations such as the ancient pyramids of Egypt, serene gardens of Japan or other amazing landscapes! Play by yourself or play with up to three other friends in this awesome party game! Use your character’s special ability, knock those pins like there’s no tomorrow, gain points, and unlock new outfits and costumes to give your character the best bowling fashion sense in all the land!    

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Launch Trailer 

WWE 13 Roster Trailer
Check out the roster trailer for WWE 13


Madden NFL 13 (EA Sports) Rated T  PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, PS Vita
Madden NFL 13 is the 2012 release in Electronic Arts' celebrated American football video game release. Developed around the powerful, all-new Infinity game engine, Madden NFL 13 delivers a more engrossing, complete and realistic gridiron experience than any game before it. Key game features include: graphical presentation reminiscent of national television broadcasts, gameplay improvements such as a new pass-ready system, improved play action, and the all-new read and react defensive AI system, Madden social/play functionality, multiplayer support online and offline, and the ability to build the ultimate franchise as a coach, an NFL superstar, or yourself. 
With a completely redesigned passing game, including a new pass-ready system, improved play action, and the all-new read and react defensive AI system that features the most intelligent pass defense to date, Madden NFL 13 achieves greater realism on the virtual gridiron on both sides of the ball. In addition, Madden NFL 13 delivers physics you can feel. Powered by the all-new Infinity game engine, true player impact and authentic momentum transfer ensure that no two plays ever look or feel the same. 
Ratchet & Clank Collection (Sony) Rated E  PS3
Experience the classic adventures of the universe's favorite Lombax, Ratchet and his robotic sidekick Clank in this classic PlayStation 2 Action-Adventure trilogy now fully remastered in high definition. Wield the original tools of destruction as you travel from planet to planet unraveling their original story and explosive adventures in this PlayStation 3 exclusive. 
Games Included:
Ratchet & Clank
It's time to rip the galaxy a new one. Ratchet & Clank contains over 36 weapons and gadgets to choose from. With all that hardware at hand, it's no wonder Ratchet, a wrench-wielding Lombax, and his robot buddy Clank, have itchy trigger fingers. Think about it. You can choose from burning, bombing, exploding or obliterating your enemies. So go ahead, blow it up. Blow it all up. It isn't the size of your weapons that count. It's how many you have and better yet... How you use 'em. 
Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
Ratchet and Clank are back, and they're going commando. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando features more than 50 of the coolest weapons and gadgets ever imagined. The more stuff you blow up, the stronger Ratchet gets and the bigger and badder the weapons you'll have. Plus, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando features all-new side challenges: destroy hordes of enemies in gladiator arenas, upgrade your ship and pick off enemies in space combat and leave competitors to eat your dust in hi-speed challenge...You up for it?! 
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
The third installment of the Ratchet & Clank franchise incorporates new elements of gameplay not seen previously in the series, including online and offline multiplayer capabilities that will appeal to a wide variety of players. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal returns gamers to Planet Veldin, the setting of the original Ratchet & Clank, where the duo set off on a gripping new adventure through a multitude of diverse planets to fight for galactic peace. Players will be able to earn up to 20 weapons (including online and offline) with up to four levels of upgrades for most weapons, plus new high-tech gadgets to help them through their journey. 
God of War Saga (Sony) Rated M PS3
Re-live the Most Epic Saga in Gaming.  Experience Five Legendary Adventures In Kratos' Quest For Vengeance Against The Gods Who Betrayed Him.
  • God of War, God of War II, God of War III, and God of War: Origins Collection which includes: God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ghost of Sparta 
  • Exclusive Bonus Content o Voucher For 1 Trial Month of PlayStation Plus 
  • Remastered for HD, DUALSHOCK Control, Full PlayStation Network Trophy Support and 3D (3D supported only in God of War III and God of War: Origins Collection)
Journey Collector’s Edition (Sony) Rated E PS3
The Journey Collector’s Edition features all three best-selling games from acclaimed indie developer thatgamecompany, Journey, Flower, and flOw, for one low price. The collection also includes a wealth of exclusive bonus content that fans are sure to love, making this the ultimate edition for collectors to cherish for years to come.
Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron WWII  Mad Catz  PS3, Xbox 360
Take to the skies in one of over 30 accurately represented aircraft and defend the Pacific Theatre from invading enemy forces. Fight your way through intense air-to-air, air-to-ship, and air-to-ground combat while piloting dive bombers, fighters, and torpedo bombers over visually striking, historically accurate locations.
From the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor to the fierce Battle of Iwo Jima, outmaneuver your foes through more than 20 multi-objective single-player and co-op missions, or engage in head-to-head dogfights on the PlayStation Network. Whether flying alone, alongside, or against your teammates, use your aerial arsenal to devastate the enemy and dominate the air.
Darksiders II (THQ) Rated M  Xbox 360, PS3
In Darksiders II it is Death, the brother of War, who takes center stage in this action-packed sequel which drips atmosphere.  War is found guilty by the Charred Council of starting the war that destroyed humanity.  Now Death takes up arms to prove his brother’s innocence, defying the Council as he journeys to the Nether Realms to restore humanity and clear his brother.  
The first part of the gameplay introduces you through a play-in tutorial to Death’s powers and abilities and also the basics of the gameplay.  The gameplay is essentially the same as in Darksiders with the action being typical hack-n-slash fare.  Death is armed with a pair of scythes as his primary weapons, and more powerful but slower secondary weapons like hammers, maces, and axes.  These moves can be strung together for combo-attacks.  Each one of your secondary weapons has a different power move that is can unleash upon the enemies.  The selection of secondary items lets you customize Death to suit your style of play.  You can be a whirling dervish of lightning fast destruction or wade in with the heavy stuff and pound the foes into dust.  In addition there are a variety of special attacks and abilities that Death can utilize such as summoning Demon Lords for aid.  There are also possessed items which can add even more special attacks to your arsenal.  You can accumulate Reaper energy to eventually transform yourself into a giant Grim Reaper where you’ll be a near invincible machine of destruction.
The major change in Darksiders II is the addition of some RPG elements that adds futher depth to the game beyond just the run of the mill hack-n-slash adventure.  Death’s quest will take him through several different realms, each with its own major plot and side quests featuring puzzles and dungeons to explore.  Completing the quests and engaging in combat nets you experience points.  When you level up you gain skill points that you can spend on Wrath skills.  There’s also a ton of loot to be found throughout your explorations.
As you travel about the dungeons, keen observers will note some similarities in how Death moves to the Prince of Persia games, particularly in its platforming elements like scaling walls and jumping.  The puzzles are fairly basic and generally consist of Death utilizing bombs and levers to move about the levels.  This is where the gameplay does take a hit as it can be repetitive and there’s not enough different stuff to see.  There’s simply not enough diversity in the challenges of each level.  You’re constantly running around trying to find items and this makes the pace of the game tend to drag.  The puzzles and standard enemies also don’t provide a strenuous test and you’ll find that some of the special skills and a attacks only are truly needed when you get to the boss characters.
Speaking of that, Darksiders II offers up some incredibly giant boss characters to battle that dwarf Death.  They provide the kind of challenge that the rest of the game lacks without becoming overly frustrating.  These are probably the things I take away from the game as the most memorable.  Another delight of the game is the voice acting.  Death…sounds like Death, and the type of character you don’t want to run into in a dark alley.  Beyond him all of the voice acting meshes well with the plot and draws you into the story.
Not so good are the characters models and environments.  The textures are really flat and uninspired, making the game look lifeless in many parts.  The animations have some choppiness and framerate problems which are extremely disappointing.  There are also numerous graphical and sound glitches and you have to wonder if the game simply didn’t go through a thorough QC process.  
Despite the numerous issues, Darksiders II is still a lot of fun to play and that’s the main thing.  The RPG elements go a long way in making up for some of the technical issues and at 30+ hours, it is a long ride.  Grade B


Tim Janson is a columnist and reviewer for Mania Entertainment. He writes Level Up, the weekly look at videogames, From the Vault a nostalgic look at genre films, and the horror dedicated column, Tuesday Terrors. Tim has written for Fangoria, Newsarama, City Slab Magazine, Twitch Film, and Cinefantastique. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Showing items 1 - 5 of 5
jedibanner 8/23/2012 4:04:34 AM

Nice to see lots of stuff just for the PS3.

goldeneyez 8/23/2012 7:39:10 AM

Anybody get Transformers TFoC?  I did & it seems pretty good so far.  Haven't tried multiplayer yet.

fatpantz 8/23/2012 8:29:39 AM

TFoC multiplayer is bugged waiting on patch. I found Darksiders 2 flat and boring and already shelfed it. Right now I am all about Sleeping Dogs...game is amazing!

Next week....Guild Wars 2

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Hmm I like mature women that can give me advice and listen when I am sad....maybe a Sugarmommy is what I need.  Sign me up cntioy!!  *snicker*



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