Darksiders III was released on the Nintendo Switch on September 29th, 2021. Thanks to the Terminals.io platform and Chris, a PR contact for THQ Nordic, I got a review code and spent the past few days playing Darksiders on my Switch non-stop. Now that I’m roughly halfway through the game ad have tested both The Crucible and the Keepers of the Void DLC, what do I think of the game as a whole? How about when I take my Xbox One experiences into account? Strap yourselves in, hackers. We’re about to find out.
Taking place sometime after Darksiders: Genesis, but before Darksiders and Darksiders II, Fury is tasked by the Charred Council to deal with the Seven Deadly Sins, who were freed from their prisons while War was chained up for causing the Apocalypse. Despite being reluctant and initially disgusted with regards to humanity, at the request of Ulthane with the promise of weapon and equipment enhancements, she does indeed help humanity.
Despite her initial attitude seeming cold and serious, she does help humans and is willing to hear one of them - who goes by the name of Jones -out even when he harshly criticizes Fury for her callousness towards humanity near the game’s beginning. He goes so far as to call her out as no better than the Angels, Demons, or the Seven Sins who all want them dead. That bluntness won me over and made Jones my favorite new character in the game. It also won Fury over, as she decides to spare him. His design screams mystery, which - along with him viewing humanity in the 3rd-person perspective, ad being voiced by the same voice actor that voice Strife in Lust’s clever illusion - clued me in that there’s more to him than what it seems.
Just like with the rest of the game, the revelation of the truth of Jones’ real identity surprised me as much as it did Fury. Well done, game. Also, I’m very impressed with Fury’s character development. She does learn humility and respect as the game goes on, both towards humanity and the balance in general. Ulthane is still as awesome as ever, and the locations of the story are all richly detailed (more on that soon).
Now, here’s something I learned while writing this review. According to an IGN review with Joe Madureira, while they discussed possible ideas for Darksiders III’s story. One idea (which SHOULD be in either Darksiders IV or Darksiders V if they ever make it) would’ve been to have the Four Horsemen go after Lucifer, or the “Dark Prince” as he’s referred to in-game. Please do that in the next game or two after Darksiders: Genesis, thanks!
With that said, How does the gameplay stack up? Let’s get into it
The combat is reliant on 4 mechanics: Fury’s Barbs of Scorn Whip -which doubles as a tool for swinging off metal chai pipes, Fury’s Secondary weapons that come with the next item on the agenda: the four Hollows, those being Force, Storm, Flame, and Stasis. The Flame Hollow’s counterattack burns enemies and inflicts burn damage. The Storm Hollow summons Electric tornadoes for Shock Damage. Force Hollow pulls all nearby enemies close to her, and then unleashes a circular burst of Force energy inflicting massive damage. The Stasis Hollow makes Fury invulnerable with a Stasis shield that slows all enemies it touches. The one downside to that is that you’re stuck in Stasis Hollow form until the shield and slow effects end.
These Hollows grant environmental effects for Fury, such as the Flame Hollow granting Fury a Triple Flame Jump. The Storm Hollow gives Fury the ability to glide up Tornadoes in the environment and glide down to get to further places. The Force Hollow allows Fury to hammer through purple rocks and roll on purple rock walls as well as allow Fury to deal with Gluttony under the water by allowing her to walk on the surface of the deep. There are three types of Souls: Green health souls that refill the Nephilim’s Respite charge, the Blue Currency souls, and the Yellow Wrath Souls.
This game also includes the Crucible and the Keepers of the Void DLCs. Considering I didn’t have enough to buy the game and its’ expansions on Xbox One, this package does addon some good extra content, though I’m bummed that the game wasn’t given the name Darksiders III: Furious Edition. It just would’ve fit, personally. Not a gameplay complaint, though.
With that said, however, I do have some complaints. The 30fps I can live with. However, some things in the last main location - The Scar - such as the Giant Tornado you need to quell before you’re able to rematch Wrath in battle and the rolling Spiked Girders are INSTAKILL obstacles that need to be dealt with by sprinting - not merely running - to the nearest tunnel, and using Stasis on them and blocks, respectively.
Next up is that Performance. My goodness. the Graphics took a hit (of course). The game slows when dealing with 6+ enemies on screen at once. And the most egregious complaint I have involves two things regarding souls. First, you can lose them by dying (like any Soulsborne-esque game). Second, as you level up Fury’s stats and beat the Seven Sins, the enemies will get stronger, kinda like in Lunar Silver Story Saga. In addition, Fury has NO invincibility Frames - or IFs in short - when dodging! I got used to it eventually, but still, that’s kinda messed up.
You know what else hurts? The cost of goods going up as you progress in the game and buy them. There are glitches that make progression and item farming much easier, but none of them worked when I tried them out for the review. It’s odd because they still worked according to various Youtube comments. I guess it made the whole experience more satisfying, but still. . . Lastly, if you level up to 50+ by the time you reach the Bonelands, every enemy and boss in that area will one-shot you… UGH!!
Fury’s adventure in Darksiders III is quite interesting. The game stutters in FPS performance. The freeze when loading a new area or saving progress is infuriating. The strengthening of enemies as you progress is annoying, and the glitches and puzzles make the game too repetitive at times, if not easy when executed correctly.
That said, I still loved the experience I had. The game’s music was incredible. The environments were as desolate as I’d expected on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The mix of old and new enemies was interesting and various. The bosses were all awesome (Yes, including the DLC ones), and that scene at the end with Jones and the Makers making their big stand… it makes everything worth the struggle.