Sunday, June 25, 2017

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition Review (Nintendo WiiU)

Written by: Patrick Orquia


Title: Darksiders: Warmastered Edition
Developer: Vigil Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Date of Release: 23 May 2017
Genre: Action-Adventure, Hack-and-Slash
Number of Players: 1
Price: $19.99 (NA)
Also Available On: PS4, XB1, Steam



Even months before the release of Nintendo’s new console, the Nintendo Switch, a lot of people has already been saying that the Wii U is dead. Sure, Nintendo has ceased production of the console late last year and the last 1st party game that they released on it is the super awesome The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was released alongside the Switch version on its launch day (the Wii U version of BotW is the original version, making the Switch one essentially a port). But even if the big N has stopped developing and releasing games on Wii U, other publishers are still doing so, albeit mostly from indie ones. But lo and behold, this game, Darksiders: Warhammered Edition, still got released on the Wii U, as its publisher promised last year. Many people was quite surprised that this game did not get canceled at all, like the Wii U version of Yooka Laylee, which is supposed to be released eventually on Switch.




Darksiders: Wamastered Edition is a remaster of the original 2010 game, released on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Its sequel, Darksiders II, got a Wii U release, with some console-exclusive contents and features, such as the gamepad displaying game options, item management, and the map, and of course, offering off-TV gameplay. This remaster of the first game offers no exclusive Wii U content, and was released more than 6 months after the versions that came on the other consoles and PC. Also, it only runs at 30fps instead 60fps on other versions. Not that I care about that. At least it’s displaying at 1080p, the same with the other versions. Or maybe theirs displays at 4K. Again, I don’t care. As long as the game looks and plays good, it’s fine with me. And this game does look and play good.




The game is about War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, prematurely started the end of days war on Earth, which resulted in the human race getting wiped out. A war between heaven and hell breaks loose, and the Charred Council, an ancient group tasked to mediate this war, puts War under its supervision and sends him on a mission to rectify his actions. Since War has also been labeled as traitor, he has to battle against angels and demons and travel across the scorched earth to obtain back his skills, gears, and powers for him put everything back to balance.




This game is heavily influenced by the 3D Zelda games in terms of how War has to explore many different areas in search for paths, treasures, and challenges, but also with more emphasis on hacking and slashing similar to the God of War series. The world is quite expansive but pretty much linear, with only a single path only available to War at the beginning but more open up as he acquires more gears and power ups to traverse them. This world is divided into smaller areas, each one with its own dungeon where most of the explorations take place, with a boss at the end. These bosses posses required materials needed to access the next area, and they can be defeated using gears and power ups obtained in that dungeon, or in combination with those obtained from previous ones. Fast travel points can also be unlocked per area, which also double as shops to buy more gears and skills. The battle mechanics are quite easy to understand: the player has to press a sequence buttons to execute acquired combos to defeat the enemies that gradually increase in power and variety as the game progresses. There are also a few optional collectibles scattered across the world that are usually hidden that can be collected to increase stats.




Darksiders: Warmastered Edition has not changed much from the original other than the aesthetics but is still as good as it has been. It is a very fun game to play and quite challenging even at the lowest difficulty setting. Despite a few frame rate drops here and there and some infrequent game crashes, I did enjoy playing the game like I did its sequel. It may not be a must buy for Wii U, but if you want a good, quality action-adventure game to add to your collection, this is a good game to buy. It doesn’t cost much either, so go on and meet War and let him battle against heaven and earth with you.



REPLAY VALUE: high



PROS:
  • Awesome visuals, gameplay, level design, and soundtrack
  • Easy to follow and play due to its linear nature, but with more than adequate challenge even at the lowest difficulty setting
  • Action and battle scenes are very well presented, with combos fairly easy to execute and the enemies having much variety
  • The boss fights are really good, with unique ways to beat them
  • Price is very good at $19.99 for either the physical or digital version

CONS:
  • Frequent frame rate drops, especially during scenes with many elements present on the screen
  • Encountered a few (at least 10) crashes throughout the game. I’m not sure if it’s because the Wii U simple can’t handle it as well as it should, but I have read some people also reporting the same on other consoles (probably to much lesser degree) so this could be a result of the programming not fully optimized, especially on the Wii U
  • No exclusive features for the Wii U gamepad. It only replicates everything shown on the TV screen, with no option to constantly show the map or item management, unlike in Darksiders II. All those months of delays and the developers couldn’t even make this happen


 RATING: 4/5 angels and demons