GenGAME: Five Things in Darksiders II that are Missing from Zelda

DaveyDecember 27th, 2012 by Davey

Earlier this month, Alex over at GenGAME got his hands on a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Darksi- I mean, just Darksiders II. If you don’t know already, this THQ/Vigil created title is heavily inspired by the Zelda series, and Mases has even called it ”The best Zelda game since Majora’s Mask.” And like any great game, Darksiders II pulls the good parts out of Zelda and makes plenty of improvements that perhaps the Big N could learn from. Hit the jump to read Alex’s analysis!

As the title would suggest, Alex’s article is split into five distinct ways Darksiders II has improved on the repetitive Zelda formula: Optional Dungeons, Sidequests, Intimidating Combat, RPG Style Character Progression, and Concise Storytelling. All of these observations of the Darksiders II game mechanics could be implemented into future Zelda games, and if done properly, could find its way into the Zelda game formula (until we get tired of that, too).

I suggest before moving on you read the full article on GenGAME. I haven’t played either of the Darksiders titles, but I’ll try to offer my thoughts based on what Alex has said.

I get the idea that all of these mechanics would work well in a Zelda game after being interpreted by Zelda. Though Darksiders and Zelda are similar in gameplay, they still are different games. For example, though more difficult and intimidating combat could be added to a Zelda game, the way Nintendo utilizes the latest console’s materials more governs the gameplay than anything. I can’t imagine constant hordes of enemies throughout the entirety of Skyward Sword, all of our arms would get too tired!

My other main concern is the suggestion of RPG element additions. This is just my thought, but I think Zelda should maintain its very light implementation of RPG gameplay. I don’t always like focusing on that part of a game, and I think that in a Zelda game where I’m more immersed in the art and music than any other game, complicated character development is something that would detract from my experience. Perhaps if this was passed through some kind of magic Nintendo filter, RPG gameplay could be well implemented in a Zelda title, though.

This being said, I think that overall Alex’s ideas are on target. Zelda would benefit from some more heavy gameplay tweaks. Whether Darksiders II should be a source for inspiration, I’m not quite sure.

Should Zelda take some tips from Darksiders? If so, which ones? Tell us in the comments below!

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  • clovervidia

    Y’know what the Zelda series needs more of? Battletoads.

    • Zzen

      What???????????

      • clovervidia

        What, are all the visitors of ZeldaDungeon/ZeldaInformer lacking of a sense of humor?

        • Zzen

          what is a battletoad

          • FenderGuitars777

            Call your local Gamestop and ask for Battletoads.

          • clovervidia

            Thanks bro, at least someone gets the joke.

          • clovervidia

            Call GameStop or PawnStars and ask if they have a Battletoads cartridge.

        • diabloaura

          I know. It’s quite sad really. It’s like they can’t except that the cake isn’t the truth.

          • clovervidia

            They get so uptight about misspellings. And if Link or any character from the franchise appears in any game, even if it is a game in which they are featured, like the Smash Bros. series, they make a big deal out of it. Smash Bros Brawl. with a special guest appearance from LINK!!! …seriously guys? really?

    • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

      The heck is Battletoads?

      • clovervidia

        A “Battletoads” is a video game that you can obtain by calling your local GameStop or pawn store.

  • http://twitter.com/Arrohon Arrohon

    I think that adding an RPG element would be good. It just seems odd that Link’s strength wouldn’t grow as time progresses. In Skyward Sword, he became more skilled as you did as a player, but the strikes only did as much damage as in previous dungeons. Look at the “Rock” Johnson. He’s a big dude, and he’s gained more muscle than I even have… after he was already a really big dude. Link can and should grow stronger. That also means we need less 1-hit kill monsters. I also think it’d be cool if after using a bunch of ice arrows, they would now leave a patch of ice around their target. That ice would slow most enemies, but fast enemies would slip and fall.

    • Never

      I disagree with the first part, the Legend of Zelda already has a sufficient RPG element in the form of-

      Heart Containers.

      Why people severely underestimate their utter novel usefulness is beyond me (especially Nintendo, or rather Aonuma), it ensures that the enemies CAN get harder while the character grows “more skilled” ensuring there’s always a challenge when it comes to enemies.
      It was an amazing system originally. Though even at the beginning it was never fully used to its greatest extent, even brought down several notches with SS (which is a shame but with NSMB releases and the like I guess I couldn’t have not expected that to happen)
      Anyway, the Ice idea is neat.

  • toonlinkuser

    Davey, you should play play Darksiders first before writing an article about it. I would have agreed with you if I hadn’t played Darksiders first, but now that I have played it I realize that the Zelda series needs changes.

    • JuicieJ

      He has a point about the combat. Zelda’s not a hack and slash kind of series. It has more of stop gap kind of combat system, and it works extremely well. All Zelda needs to do with its combat is further refine what Skyward Sword has started. Things like massive hordes of enemies are only things that should happen late in the games.

      • Never

        Really when was Zelda about hordes of enemies to begin with?
        SS’s horde before the end was just tedious, especially considering you’re supposed to “guide your sword swings”, more often than not you’ll just end up doing spin attack after spin attack until you’re finally done.
        There are plenty of other games that anyone could go around stomping wimps in.
        Just stick to smart enemies and minibosses in Zelda. Please.

        • JuicieJ

          Well, the point of the Horde Battle was for it to be exhaustingly long. It was designed to wear you down both mentally and physically, that way Ghirahim and Demise would be that much tougher. That makes sense at the end of a game. But not at the beginning, which is what some people (*ahem* GenGAME*) are squabbling for, and I can’t understand why.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          “Really when was Zelda about hordes of enemies to begin with?”

          I remember first wandering into the Lost Woods and watching a pack of Moblins crawl in from all sides; or into the Eastern Forest before being surrounded by Octoroks; or into the Death Mountain range and being assaulted by Lynels. All of this was accessible from the very beginning of the game, with the main thing stopping you from traveling to any particular place being how weak you are at the start…or how unskilled you are in combat.

          The Legend of Zelda was originally a game that was not for the faint of heart, but in the more recent games this has not been so.

          • JuicieJ

            I think that works in a 2D Zelda setting, but with the way 3D Zelda’s combat is designed, having loads of enemies everywhere all the time would just be a hassle.

          • Never

            Haha I guess I should have clarified, I meant in the 3D Zelda’s I don’t mind it at all in the 2D games. I do agree with your final point though, for both 3D and 2D Zelda’s alike.

            @JuicieJ:disqus
            That makes a loads of sense, so you’re telling me they decided
            to annoy the player enough to make them lose their patience with the
            game by the time they finally get to the miniboss at the end? Wonderful.
            It would have been better if they had just gone the regular “It’s to show the characters developement! The enemies that were once STRONG are now WEAK!” bull used to pull off annoying stunts instead of actually being smart.
            it’s not like it’s anything new, anyone who ever wanted to play Zelda
            during one of the “Wars that are talked about” wanted what GenGAME did.

          • JuicieJ

            Part of it was also showing how much stronger Link had become, as well as showing of the power of the True Master Sword. No other game had shown it to be that powerful. It had been SAID to be strong, but never really demonstrated, which is one thing I have to give Skyward Sword props for.

            But, anyway, if you found the Horde Battle annoying, I can only imagine how you would feel about loads of enemies appearing like that throughout the whole game like Alex is suggesting. My guess is that you would be extremely frustrated at the decision. I think it would be pretty stupid myself.

          • Never

            It’s like you’re reading my mind, however did you manage to miss the point then I wonder. Might be my fault actually, oh well~

            And no, “Link” didn’t become stronger the Master Sword regained its original power and really should be thought of in no greater light than gaining an item in a dungeon. Not only that but Link is the player, the player getting stronger should rely more on skill than power ups. Fighting and beating an old boss much more quickly than before or with the help of an item you toiled through a dungeon to gain would have been sufficient in “showing how much “stronger” (the player) had become.” and would have been ridiculously better in terms of “player improvement”. Both cases are obvious and have been used in previous Zelda titles even done once before the Ghirahim battle, anyway the point of it as that BOTH the “Showing how much stronger” and “It was to exhaust the player!” reasonings are complete bull and they could have easily done something smarter or at least more interesting. Oh, and if you can distinguish between Link as a character and yourself in a 3D Zelda game then clearly either they did something wrong or you’re doing something wrong. Though with SS I highly doubt it’s the latter so I really can’t blame you.

            If they put in hordes everywhere I would simply call it The Legend of Dynasty Warrior and not think of it as a Zelda. If we both think it’s a horrible idea what’s the point of talking about it again? …you know this post wasn’t this big a minute ago. Huh. Oh well.

      • toonlinkuser

        I don’t think Zelda should be a hack and slash, but I think that enemies should be much smarter (like actually attacking together instead of one at a time) and minor RPG elements should be added to the game, like they did for the beetle in Skyward Sword (but they didn’t do it well for the other items)

    • asmith

      I completely agree. Zelda needs changes and any Zelda fan should be able to appreciate what Darksiders I and II can bring to Zelda.

  • Linkfan99

    First of all, I like this game a lot. But really, you should play the game before writing an article on it. I mean, you get the main idea of the game right, but you really can’t talk about its mechanics without playing it.

  • JuicieJ

    I’m actually a strong supporter of a heavy focus on RPG elements in Zelda. Things like a skill tree would be great for the series if you ask me.

    • gamer

      Yeah, I think RPG elements would give Zelda a good boost, and bring back some difficulty. I liked the upgrade idea from SS, but felt like we were missing out on costume selection, gloves, and armor upgrades that we’ve had in the past.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I still haven’t gotten to the halfway point (I think?). Or at least I’ve only just reached it.

      • JuicieJ

        Yeah, the story just dies. Thankfully the puzzle-solving actually picks up. The gameplay is really top-notch.

    • http://www.facebook.com/SpiritReika Scott Reika Ripberger

      Idk about a HEAVY focus, but I keep thinking about how amazing upgrading the goddess spells from Ocarina would have been……ok, mainly Din’s Fire. I’m not sure how the other two would have worked. Nonetheless, Zelda with a skill/equipment upgrade tree sounds extremely intriguing.

      Link having a level-up system is quite a bit too far, though…I’ll stick with Final Fantasy for that.

      • JuicieJ

        There doesn’t have to be a level up system. Skill points could jbe earned by defeating enemies and simply spent on abilities like a currency.

        • Christopher

          Don’t rupees already sort of serve that purpose? I mean, you don’t get them by just sitting around.

          • JuicieJ

            Yeah, but would spending rupees on skills really make that much sense?

          • http://www.facebook.com/SpiritReika Scott Reika Ripberger

            In short, no. See reply to Christopher. ^

          • http://www.facebook.com/SpiritReika Scott Reika Ripberger

            They serve as currency. I believe there MIGHT have been a title which had skills for sale, but they weren’t upgradable. We’re thinking more of a “workout” plan for Link. One can’t get in shape or learn new things solely by spending money. One must DO things. These skill points, whatever they’re called in-game, would be the results of DOING and not collecting/stealing/mowing the grass. :P

        • http://www.facebook.com/SpiritReika Scott Reika Ripberger

          I completely agree. We’d just say the former “spells” are skills now and include them in the skill tree. I’m just saying if Link had STATS (attack, defense, etc.), I’d be a little put off. If for no other reason than because this isn’t supposed to be that type of game. (for me, at least)

  • jollyroger919

    People complain about fetchquests, and I agree that some fetchquests have a tendency to go a little over board, but I feel like they’re generally there to provide a sense of connectivity between the player and NPCs. Whoever wrote that bit seems to just want a bunch of optional boss battles and isn’t looking into the deeper aspect of sidequests.

    • JuicieJ

      Optional boss battles would be awesome. I don’t mind fetchquets either (so long as they’re not tedious), but why would you be against having extra bosses?

  • Mseevers95

    Funny thing is the best case of character development in ANY Zelda game is actually Groose.

    • error

      I thought Midna was better.

  • zombie_eat_flesh

    Zelda needs to use a feature that returns you to the beginning of the game if you die?

    • Christopher

      They don’t have to do that. That’s a little extreme for a 3D world, though they ought to do SOMETHING different. SS was a joke. You could die with pretty much 0 consequence.

      • JuicieJ

        What do you mean 0 consequence? It returned you to the last statue you saved at, meaning if you ignored the statues, you were going to have to backtrack quite a bit. I’d call that a pretty big consequence.