After the collapse of THQ in 2013, the fate of well-loved franchises like Darksiders was in peril. The company’s intellectual properties scattered to the winds, devs moved to other endeavors, and fans were heartbroken. But all these years later, Darksiders is back from the dead right alongside the name of its former publisher.
Vigil Games developed the first two Darksiders games under THQ, and much of that team ended up at Crytek after the bankruptcy. The rights to Darksiders went to Nordic Games though, so regardless of interest, the original devs couldn’t simply deliver a follow-up whenever they felt like it.
The Crytek situation went south about 18 months later, and some of the original team quickly reformed as Gunfire Games. Meanwhile, the folks at Nordic Games kept on acquiring talent and properties until it formed the mega-entity now known as THQ Nordic. With the rights situation fully squared away, and an enthusiastic team in place, a third Darksiders was finally greenlit in the mid-2010s. But after six long years, could a third installment be any good after all of the corporate shuffling?
Daemon Hatfield reviewed Darksiders III at our sister site IGN, and he gave it a Good score of 7/10. He was fairly pleased with the “throwback” nature of the game, but it would have been even better if Gunfire Games had been able to stretch their wings a bit more. Darksiders, as a franchise, deserves some fresh ideas.
With 46 reviews tracked on Metacritic, the PS4 version has been scrutinized the most. It has a 64/100 metascore on Sony’s console, but the other versions both score a bit higher (albeit with fewer points of data). That’s not indicative of a disastrous release, but it does show significant disappointment from many critics. Both of the previous installments earned a metascore of 83/100 on Xbox 360, so this is a large drop-off.
On the high end, Kyle Hilliard at Game Informer awarded Darksiders III an 8/10 – calling out the combat and puzzles as particularly compelling. The old school structure and buggy nature were a bit distracting, but it seems he very much enjoyed his time spent with Fury.
However, reviewer Richard Wakeling gave this game a 4/10 at GameSpot. In his view, the upgrade system is uninspired, the camera is poor, and the environments were far too bland. There are moments of enjoyable combat, and he praises the stylish character designs, but those high points weren’t enough to redeem his experience.
While we’ve yet to see a reliable breakdown of performance and resolution on each and every platform, THQ Nordic has confirmed that the game is targeting 30fps on consoles, and uses a dynamic resolution to maintain the frame rate. It seems as if 4K is the goal on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, but we need to dig in over the next few days to see exactly how well that’s achieved.