Surprisingly effective, Darksiders Genesis is a game that looks like a Diablo but plays like a hack’n slash.
To get results you have to take risks. At some indeterminate moment in the history of Spanish gastronomy, someone, a gastronaut with nothing to lose, put the world of flavors as a montera and on a generous layer of cocoa cream he majestically placed a slice of chorizo. Such a culinary achievement transported him at incredible speeds against the immovable wall of common sense and after such an impact he returned, probably, to the cold reality of his incredible hangover. Fortunately, there are also path-breaking experiments that, over time, become totally familiar to us. So much so that we even wondered what the time they weren’t there must have been like.
Obviously, we have not yet reached – and may never reach – the point where we can say that Darksiders Genesis marks a before and after in the action RPG genre, but of what we can be sure at the moment. one hundred percent is that the Airship Syndicate title is a pretty risky game. And it is because it ties up game mechanics from previous installments, takes the perspective of a typical Diablo clone and some of its springs, puts it all in a shaker with a few ice cubes and shakes really hard to see what comes out. Analyzing the flavor, texture, color and strength of this ___tail is going to deal with what comes later, so put on the music that you like the most – that of the game would not be a bad option; it is very bombastic and epic, perfect to accompany a good adventure – and we are going to the trouble.
On the narrative level, Darksiders Genesis acts as a prequel to the previous installments and also introduces us to Lucha, the fourth Horseman in the service of the Council. This new Horseman will ride hand in hand with Guerra to stop the Machiavellian plans orchestrated by Lucifer along with the rest of the Barons of H**l and bring back the long-awaited balance. Come on, evil has been unleashed and we have to re-tie it. Nothing new under the Sun, although the fun relationship between these two characters deserves special mention. Where Guerra is taciturn, selfless and bombastic, Lucha is sly, rebellious and direct. The exchanges that they maintain throughout the game are entertaining and welcome in an oversaturated genre of epic, sword and witchcraft, and they fit like a glove to a title that tries to get away from those kinds of settings.
Because that setting is one of the strengths of the Airship Syndicate game. As I mentioned earlier, your camera is straight out of the genre that Blizzard North invented, so for skeleton and dungeon veterans, there is little to explain here. The now classic isometric perspective gives us a very broad view of the battlefield, which will make things easier for us in the playable plane – something that we will see later – but it is also perfect for recreating large scenarios and perfectly transmitting a feeling of brutal scale. The game of opposing characters, enemies, structures and landscapes is masterfully solved; the larger ones do not take up much space on the screen, but it is the execution of the whole that matters here and that is impeccable. So is the execution of the scenarios, which benefit from not being subjected to a procedural regime in order to focus on offering imaginative levels, full of color, contrasts and locations worth contemplating and exploring.
Although really what we are going to spend the most time contemplating are the hosts, which will be in 16 format: Devils but with a hack’n slash soul. And it is that Fight and War are Horsemen with the same motivation but with very different styles. The first is what has always been called “a fine stylist”: fast, evades with ease and prefers to engage at a distance with his two hand cannons. Guerra, for its part, is a manual tank, which overwhelms its enemies like a clean host, seeking close-range confrontations and which there is no god to shoot down. Both, however, share characteristics: they can evade enemy blows with a dash, they have meters that determine the availability of their special attacks and when their definitive bar is filled they become behemoths that destroy everything in their path.
When opting for the single player mode – because in the cooperative for two players each one will choose their Rider – on many occasions we will have to use the skills of both to progress in the adventure, so do not make them argue, what complementary, not exclusive. Another point that they will share, and that is halfway between the two playable systems that it tries to integrate, will be the table of improvements in which we will insert the cores that we start from our fallen enemies. This system is between these two waters for several reasons: the cores do not fall whenever we pass the stone to an enemy, so there is a certain factor of randomness that relates it to the loot so loved by fans of the devilish formula. However, the number of slots, synergies, abilities and cores that we can unlock are priced, so the randomness of drops from, say for example Torchlight, jump out the window.
Going deeper into the combat, our protagonists will drop their sticks, in essence, as in any other title in the saga. And although they have wide differences when facing the combats – Fight shoots like in a twin-stick shooter, War is more classic combat -, we can reduce them to crushing every living creature until it either dies horribly, or a warning appears on his head to execute it and to drop us orbs and souls to buy upgrades for one, the other or both. It is by looking closely at the dynamics of the fighting that we see that the mix of genres pays real fruits, and that dispatching horde after horde of enemies is damn fun. When we dodge a large group of demons, we unleash a particularly annoying ability and see how they cope with it as we continue to deliver elsewhere on the stage, we realize that the mix is worth it and that the feeling is much more satisfying than by pressing one or more buttons to crush the screen of enemies. The peak of all this comes with the final bosses, moments in which we will have to concentrate to the maximum and that they will throw minions, elemental attacks and other niceties that we will have to face, forming authentic pandemoniums where there will be times when we do not It will matter where we point that someone is sure to charge.
And so we will go, fight after fight, advancing to the end. Because ultimately, Darksiders Genesis is a game that takes a risky gamble and does well even if it stumbles a little at times. Its artistic section is commendable, with some vibrant locations that are worth exploring and that earn a lot of integers for not having to be generated randomly. But it also tends to repeat the design of some enemies, and in some animations it is perceived that a little more development time would not have been bad. The dialogues of the game, especially those of Lucha, are well written and make us curious to advance in a story that, plain and simple, fits on a folded napkin. And its mechanics incorporate a fun, fast and agile combat along with some simple but effective puzzles and a simple but effective system of improvements and looting, which make the development varied. Of course, in some technical sections it is somewhat crude and it shows.
As you may have observed, Darksiders Genesis is a game that for every two things it does well, one does a tad regular. But it is also a title that strives to make itself loved. Because when you become a giant with a gatling and you are strafing demons in some corner of h**l it is hard not to fall in love with this risky but effective experiment of mixing devilish perspective and Darksideresque gameplay.