Darksiders III Xbox One X Review

Darksiders III requires you to endure a lot of monotony before you can enjoy the game's best parts.

By Grayshadow, Posted 27 Nov 2018

Darksiders has been a fickle franchise. The first game faced polarizing reviews due to the bland gameplay and mediocre puzzles but its sequel improved on many of the previous games issues thanks to incredible boss fights and more fluid combat. Darksiders III takes a different route, attempting to change the meta of the entire franchise by implementing modifications that make Fury's adventure distinct from the previous games. Making Darksiders III much harder and more linear than previous entries that can be seen either detrimental or beneficial to the overall gameplay.

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Darksiders III has players taking control of Fury, a horseman sent by the Charred Council to kill the Seven Deadly Sins. Fury lacks Death's unweaving confidence and cold demeanor or War single-tracked mindset. Instead, she's more uncertain and easily manipulated, blindly following objectives without thinking things through. The story is predictable with some dialogue options offering optional paths but those who played the original titles will easily figure out the future events. 

Voice acting is surprisingly well done. Cissy Jones does a fantastic job as Fury and the supporting cast each carries their performance well enough. Vulgrim, voiced by Phil LaMarr, still sounds like a deceitful merchant as he did in the first game.

Veterans of the franchise will instantly recognize that this installment plays differently from previous games. You'll still earn weapons and new items that unlock specific areas but gone is the open world and heavy RPG elements. Instead, the game focuses more on narrow corridors with branching paths with minor attribute upgrades. It's far less complex from the previous games, especially when compared to Darksiders II, with very little room to explore or customize. What cripples the sense of exploration is the lack of visual tells of what you can jump on. Unlike games like God of War or Shadow of the Tomb Raider players are given little indication of what can be gripped on.

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This is the hardest Darksiders game in the franchise, having the player focus more on dodging than force. Enemies remain a constant threat, even during the game's final moments basic foes can easily kill Fury. Dodging is paramount to success but it's not always accurate, as it provides a window of invulnerability that is inconsistent. Enemies are able to efficiently gang up and counteract this defense by attacking while Fury is dodging. It can lead to a lot of cheap deaths when enemies simply attack all at once.

Fury has a selection of weapons and magical abilities available to her that are plentiful and grow as Fury's adventure progresses. As with previous games, Fury starts off with her core weapon, here its a whip, before expanding her arsenal with a hammer, spear, and other magical abilities. Making contact with an enemies flesh is satisfying with a sense of impact but the combat lacks the same entertaining factor as in Darksiders II. Many of the fights were stressful encounters as you try to accurately dodge or lose much of your health.

Puzzles are plentiful but act more like roadblocks than challenges. Each area has a lot of puzzles that often require more trial and error than critical thinking. It can become fatiguing since none of the puzzles are truly hard, most of them just require proper timing or figuring out what item to use. The previous games usually had a theme for each of the puzzles but here the developers took similar concepts, redecorated them, and added more steps to them as you progress.

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The environments vary from beautiful or bland constructions. There are a mix of swamps, dark destroyed factories, and underwater segments but it's largely things we've all seen before in other games. The underwater segments do offer some exciting moments as enemies can now attack from all directions. The characters models on the other hand look outstanding. Fury especially looks beautiful with incredible detail to her armor and hair. Many of boss fights share this level of quality with incredibly designed models, with the Sins in specifically designed to reflect their wickedness.

Darksiders III's new combat system can be unfair and negates the idea of getting more powerful. This combined with the simple yet ample puzzles makes getting to the incredible bosses a giant chore. Fans of Darksiders may be able to excuse many of the faults but newcomers will instantly be turned off by the number of hurdles they'll need to jump before getting to the best parts of Fury's adventure. Darksiders III requires you to endure a lot of monotony before you can enjoy the game's best parts.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): THQ Nordic
Developer(s): Gunfire Games
Genres: Action
Themes: Open-World, Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 2018

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