Apocalypse is closer than you think
Darksiders Warmastered Edition is not a “goty” version or a remake, but only a technically improved repetition of the same product in early 2010 was able to earn good marks by the critics and lots of love from the community, mainly thanks to the splendid and distinctive Joe Madureira’s artistic design.
Living legend among US cartoonists, although he has not yet reached forty years, Madureira shares with other great artists (Toriyama comes to mind, going from America to Japan) a gift that few have, which is to be able to always be interesting though repeating for years a character design that is basically the same as himself.
His works, and both Darksiders are no exception, are immediately recognizable, populated as they are of massive, heavy characters, with almost unreal proportions, yet the resemblance of the protagonists he created does not take away a shred of charisma: this Warmastered Edition is another example, given that we are talking about a seven-year-old product with no amazing enhancements (beyond a resolution increase that we will look at in the dedicated paragraph), but still makes its own dirty figure thanks to the artistic direction.
The story has not changed by a comma: War, one of the four riders of apocalypse, is unjustly accused of having sparked the catastrophic event before the time, breaking the pact signed millennia earlier by angels and demons, which now, if they are giving it a holy reason on Earth, with no regard for the thousands of human victims that their clash is causing.
The Arso Consiglio grants to War the benefit of the doubt, and allows him to return to Earth to find the true culprit and to make definitive light of how things really went.
Despite the many steps forward in terms of pure gameplay, we have always appreciated the compactness and linearity of this plot by strong Christian symbols, recalling, in many ways, that at the base of Diablo III: originally conceived to be the first four stories, the story, though devoid of big shots, is helped by well-dotted personalities and excellent dubbing work, both for the protagonist and for the main villain.
A shine and two years worn well
We had already played Darksiders in the winter of 2010 on the Xbox 360, and we remembered one of those titles that, though not inventing anything, and even flipping full hands from a pair of acclaimed masterpieces, returned a family game experience never monotonous, iterative but tremendously entertaining, weighed only by the technical limitations of the old generation consoles and some less successful sequences of others (wing section with the griffon we are looking at you).
Despite the past seven years and the myriad of similar titles played in the meantime, even in this Wii U version, Darksiders Warmastered Edition is able to offer the same kind of entertainment at the same time disengaged but enjoyable, leveraging some of the recent strengths, which mostly produce two productions, namely the Zelda saga (at least in three-dimensional chapters) and that of God of War.
From the first, the title of Vigil Games takes the dungeon structure (four for accuracy), the need to use the right objects to the right places and to go back on their footsteps once they have acquired a new skill to solve puzzle leave behind or open doors and passages that are unthinkable.
As with Zelda episodes before the sublime Breath of the Wild, it is not so much the breadth of the map as the distinctive brand, as a never-ending design level, giving space to the exploration and curiosity of the player, coupled with a a constant sense of progression, from weapons, which go up to level with use and multiply by progressing in the main quest, the additional skills to show off when you have to put your hands.