Thursday, February 14, 2013

Darksiders 2, THQ, and Arkham City

Today I'm blogging about a couple of platformers that have been keeping me busy.

Darksiders 2 (see also  )

This follows the first game's post-apocalyptic, demon-ravaged theme.  This time, you take on the role of the horseman Death.  Gameplay is very similar to the first, with a few different items and moves.  A leveling system with skill branches has been added, along with a looting mechanic and a significantly higher number of dungeons to crawl.

While a nice addition to the franchise, the plot gets muddied down to a dull slog about halfway through.  Controls are, again, meant for consoles, but well adapted to PC.

In any case, it doesn't look like there's going to be any more Darksiders games.  It didn't sell enough to break even, which brings me to the next topic.

So Long, THQ

THQ declared bankruptcy and recently was dissolved ( one lists of where assets went:  .  There may be more complete/recent  lists available).  Vigil Games (the THQ-owned studio behind Darksiders) was purchased by Crytek and remade to be Crytek US.  The license for Darksiders, however, was not bought.

Personally, I'm not too broken up by THQ's breakup.  I found their games to be split between average and, in polite terms, below average.  I was happy to see that publishers like Sega, Ubisoft, Koch Media (publishers of Dead Island) and Crytek stepped in, with EA totally out of the picture.

Batman: Arkham City GOTY

Here's a game where I liked the characters but not the gameplay.  You've got your cape, gadgets, and smokebombs.  Combat alternates between completely stealthy and large brawls.  I hate being forced to stealth, and the controls for the brawls were not adapted as smoothly to the PC as I have seen in other games.  In at least two points, simple puzzles required me to perform an act that the game simply never introduced.  A keyboard has lots of buttons, it's not like a controller when I'm going to press them all at the start of the game to see what they do.

So I wouldn't recommend it, at least not for PC.