Darksiders Warmastered Edition (Review) Xbox One

Darksiders Warmastered Edition (Review) Xbox One
Review Score:

The Darksider series by developer THQ Nordic  has been ported to almost every platform imaginable, including Nintendo’s Wii U console. While a remastered version of Darksiders II did see a release on PC under the name ‘Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition’ back in 2015, this is the first time the series has appeared on next gen consoles.

Darksiders Warmastered Edition for Xbox One is essentially the first game, but with improved performance and visuals. As War — the fourth horseman of the apocalypse — the player must search a devestated Earth for the evil that prematurely brought about the end of the world and vanquish it forever.

Remastered Edition mimics the game mechanics from a number of games from the action adventure genre, including Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda. The player must traverse a multitude of linear dungeons laden with monsters,  semi-complex puzzles, and knuckle-whitening boss battles. Combat is of the average hack ‘n slash variety, as the player rapidly presses the X Button to execute combos on enemies. Dashing around the playfield is accomplished by holding the RB (Right Bumper) Button and moving the Left Analog stick in the desired direction.

Killing enemies with any of War’s main weapons (i.e. Scythe, Sword, Gauntlet, etc.) will earn XP. When a weapon levels, its damage output increases. The player can view their weapon’s current level by visiting the inventory screen. From there, a small bar next to the weapon shows how much XP has been earned.

Additionally, the player can acquire Life Stones to extend War’s health bar. The player is rewarded a Life Stone every time a boss is defeated.  It is possible to find additional life stones, but they are broken into shards and found inside chests. A new Life Stone is given every time four shards are collected. The game has sixteen shards in total. Once every shard is collected, War will be given nine additional health bars. The additional health comes in handy during boss battles, which are some of the hardest encounters in the game.

The player can use ‘Wrath Abilities’ to enhance War’s performance. These skills can be purchased from Vulgrim, who appears throughout the game. Using the souls collected from fallen enemies as currency, the player can purchase a variety of skills to enhance War’s active and passive abilities. For example: Blade Gyser is a powerful skill that causes a number of blades to rise from the ground in a circular shape around War. As the player levels up the ability, additional blades will appear on the ground, increasing the skill’s reach. Activating this skill will consume one segment of the Wrath bar.

Stoneskin is another useful skill. When used, it encompasses War in stone. This ability can increase weapon damage and War’s defense. When in use, this skill will slowly drain War’s Wrarth Bar until it empties. Immolation, as the name implies, allows War to protect himself with fire. Aside from increasing War’s damage, enemies that come in contact with War will also catch on fire. Affliction is another Wrath ability that can help aid War on his mission. When activated, a pair of snake-like dragons will attack any enemies that are within its range. This ability will slowly drain the Wrath bar until its either depleted or deactivated by the player. The damage output for this skill increases when its leveled up.

Graphically, Darksiders Warmastered Edition displays everything in 1080p at 60fps. The environments have also received a new lease on life, as they now contain high-resolution textures; improved shadow rendering; and post processing effects. These graphical improvements breath new life into the franchise.

While lacking in features, Darksiders Warmastered Edition for Xbox One is good enough to stand on its own. The game itself is well over seven years old, but this is hardly noticeable thanks to the improved graphics and action-based combat, which has aged well over the years. Veteran gamers may be hesitant to revisit Darksiders since it’s essentially the same game with improved graphics, but newcomers, on the other hand, will appreciate Warmastered Edition’s fast-paced gameplay and gorgeous HD visuals.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Xbox One
Developer: Vigil Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
ESRB: M (Mature)
Price: $19.99

Darksiders Warmastered Edition Official Website:
https://www.thqnordic.com/games/darksiders

Review Score
Graphics
The graphical improvements breath new life into the franchise.
Sound
Ear-pounding sound effects and a great sound track.
Gameplay
While still fun to play, Darksiders Warmastered Edition is severely lacking in new features.
Overall
Veteran gamers may be hesitant to revisit Darksiders, but newcomers will appreciate Darksiders Warmastered Edition's fast-paced gameplay and gorgeous HD visuals.
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