Friday, 24 May 2024

Afterwords: Darksiders

Usually, when a new development house comes up with an ambitious new IP, it can be concerning. However, Vigil Games managed to create a unique and thrilling game with Darksiders. Drawing inspiration from games like Zelda, Fallout, and God of War, Darksiders combined various gameplay elements to offer players an innovative experience.

Crafting an Original Experience

When creating Darksiders, the team at Vigil Games focused on making a game that was fun to play. While they took inspiration from different sources, they combined these elements in a unique way. The synthesis of combat, exploration, puzzle-solving, third-person shooter sequences, character upgrading, and collection made Darksiders truly innovative. The game also introduced several unique ideas that set it apart from others in the genre.

Unveiling the Inspiration

Although Darksiders pays homage to games like Zelda and God of War, there were other sources of inspiration that might not be as obvious. The team at Vigil Games drew inspiration from the action/adventure games they grew up playing, such as Metroid and Castlevania. Their genuine love for video games drove them to create a captivating experience that resonated with players.

Shaping the Story

The story of Darksiders evolved organically from a basic premise – playing as one of the four horsemen. The team focused on how they wanted the game to play out and the experiences they wanted the players to have. They crafted a story that complemented the gameplay elements, creating a game-centric narrative. Working with Joe Madureira, known for his work in comic books, added a larger-than-life feel to the story.

Side Missions and Cut Content

While side missions are often a favorite among fans, Darksiders didn’t have as many distractions from the main quest. The team initially planned for more side-quest content, including additional NPCs and non-story related quests. However, due to time and resource constraints, these elements had to be cut from the final game.

The Fate of the Other Three Horsemen

In the initial stages of development, the team at Vigil Games had grand plans for all four horsemen to be playable in full four-player co-op mode. However, as a new studio with limited resources, they realized the scope of their ambitions was too big. Focusing on one horseman as an introduction to the franchise made more sense for their first game.

The Influence of Joe Madureira

Having Joe Madureira, a renowned comic book artist, on board was incredibly helpful in conceptualizing Darksiders. His unique style provided inspiration for the game’s bosses and added character and energy to the design. The team, including Joe, collaborated on the game’s design, contributing high-level ideas, dungeon concepts, boss designs, story hooks, and more.

Balancing Casual and Hardcore Gameplay

Recognizing that Darksiders was not just a pure action game, the team aimed to strike a balance between casual and hardcore gameplay. While combat was an important aspect, they also focused on puzzles, exploration, and character development. The combat system leaned slightly more towards casual gameplay but still included nuances that appealed to hardcore fans.

Addressing Concerns about Religious Themes

Darksiders draws upon religious themes without directly associating itself with any specific religious source. The game incorporates elements like angels, demons, and the four horsemen but presents them as unique fiction separate from any religious material. The team at Vigil Games did not anticipate any backlash from religious groups or the loss of interest from irreligious players.

Technical Issues and Future Updates

Some players noticed screen tearing in the Xbox 360 version of the game. This issue occurred because the Xbox 360 is not v-synced, resulting in frame rates exceeding 30 fps. The team acknowledged this problem and planned to release a patch to address the issue for an improved gaming experience.

The Repetition of Boss Fights

In the final dungeon, players encountered the same boss multiple times, which some players found repetitive. Originally, each fight against the tower guardian was meant to be unique, with new moves and weak points. However, due to time constraints, the team had to prioritize other aspects of the game, resulting in less variety in these encounters.

A Faith in the Future

Despite uncertainties, the team at Vigil Games had faith in the success of Darksiders and its potential for sequels. They always believed in the game’s potential, envisioning multiple sequels from the start. While it may not have been the most practical approach, their passion and dedication to creating a unique gaming experience drove them forward.

FAQs

  • Q: Will there be a sequel to Darksiders?

  • A: The team at Vigil Games always had faith in the game and envisioned multiple sequels. While not confirmed, the potential for future installments is there.

  • Q: How will the screen tearing issue in the Xbox 360 version be addressed?

  • A: The team is aware of the screen tearing issue and plans to release a patch to fix it, providing players with a smoother gameplay experience.

Conclusion

Darksiders offered players a unique and thrilling gaming experience by combining elements from various successful game franchises. Despite minor flaws and content limitations, the game showcased the creativity and passion of the team at Vigil Games. With its engaging gameplay, captivating story, and memorable characters, Darksiders left players eager to explore more of its universe in potential sequels to come.