I have always been a fan of the Darksiders IP. I played the first two games, enjoying them enough but always felt the story and plot was so much bigger than the above average hacking n’ slashing. Being given the opportunity to keep enjoying the battle between heaven and hell in a different genre had me chomping at the bit to play.
Darksiders Genesis is set long before the first game, with the horseman still being the pawns of the Council. They are concerned about a plot by Lucifer and so the Council sends the previously unplayable Strife to sort it all out. He teams up with his brother War and they hack n’ slash their way to get to the bottom of this plot.
Like with the full series I enjoyed the plot, so don’t want to ruin it for anyone wanting to tackle the game, but if you have liked the stories to date, you should enjoy this one. The new horseman Strife has a different personality to his siblings, going for a quippy style not dissimilar to a lot of characters in the Marvel universe. I enjoyed his tone as a bit of a change to mix in with the super serious other characters.
The real question is how the gameplay stands up. Going for a more Diablo-esque style of dungeon crawling isometric hacking and slashing is a welcome change for the series. The gameplay itself is fun as you can Switch between Strife with his long-range shooting and War’s close combat hacking adding some variability to the fights. The gameplay in between bosses does get a little repetitive, but that’s a flaw common in the genre that I honestly didn’t mind as it was plenty of fun exploring the world.
The game has the same aesthetic that we have come to know in the series, but its biggest flaw is the size of the characters. Where Diablo worked well on the Switch, even on the go, Darksiders Genesis is more zoomed out which works fine on the TV, not so much on the little screen. I did find myself struggling a little to tell the difference between things to shoot and things to not shoot. This is a minor criticism though because I shot a lot of things unnecessarily which didn't detract from the game too much. It was more enemies I didn't notice until they were attacking me that was little annoying, but only a little.
Darksiders Genesis is a breath of fresh air for a series that should be a lot more successful than it is. Like its predecessors it pairs beautiful character and world design with an enjoyable plot that easily makes up for its gameplay which is more than competent, but a touch repetitive. I hope the series continues to dabble with ideas like this, and I want a lot more of Strife.