|I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death.|
The biggest visual change to Darksiders 2 from its predecessor was the change in environments, moving from the wrecked and ruined post-apocalyptic Earth to other worlds like the Maker's Realm, the Kingdom of the Dead, and outposts for angels and demons. The art department got a chance to get very creative compared to the grey ash-covered Earth. The Maker's Realm looked much like a high fantasy world you might expect with lush green grass, stoney crags, and fairly bright color while the Kingdom of Dead obviously played up the skeleton motif with blasted stone, sharp edges, and a feeling of floating in a swirling netherworld. The big shine for art direction was the dungeons within the different worlds, having their own feeling and theme within their own world.
|Not a boss, just giant snake things that pulls the Eternal Throne of the Lord of Bones.|
The dungeons played to the typical puzzle and monster killing that you'd expect from the action-adventure genre but Darksiders 2 really amped up the exploration and interaction with the environment. The controls for running on walls, hopping from wall-to-wall, or leaping from wood pillars were simple and probably the easiest I've seen in a while, they could get to be a little finicky when you were trying to do things quickly. This shows the most in a couple of the 'climb out of the pit as it fills with lava' type puzzles; the puzzle is easy enough to figure out, follow the path up the wall and you'll be fine. Accidentally trying to scramble up a wall instead of running along to the side is basically going to kill you in one of those puzzles but if you slip up while just exploring Death turns into his Reaper Form for a moment, flashing back to the last safe place you were standing without a noticeable health penalty.
|Expect lots of wall-running. Just not from this camera angle.|
These dungeons are not required to complete the game but are hiding some different unique treasures or just a good old-fashioned treasure chest. The random-generated loot from chests are always generated based on your level so waiting toward the end of the game to do them still has some purpose as well. This loot is set up with the industry standard color scheme of green, blue, and purple quality items with some gold unique items and the super-rare red possessed weapons. While the green, blue, and purple items have randomly generated attributes, the gold ones have some kind of unique passive ability like the scythe with "Midas Touch" that gave you 'gilt' when you do damage. The possessed weapons, however, are the real prizes. You have the ability to upgrade them by sacrificing other magic items to the possessed one. When you reach a certain threshold on the item's 'experience' meter, it levels up and the stats increase and you can add an additional attribute (up to 3 or 4 when it's full leveled) based on the bonuses of the items that you fed the possessed weapon. Combine this mechanic with several different weapon skins, secondary weapon types, and the ability to also name the weapon, you can really make the weapon that you want, depending on how much planning you put into it.
|You won't level enough to max out all the abilities with your first playthrough|
|Numerous model types for armor can give you a very unique look.|