GenGAME: “Darksiders II is Best Zelda Game in Years”

DaveyJanuary 5th, 2013 by Davey

If you’ve been reading Zelda Dungeon for the past few days, you’ll know that Alex at GenGAME has been playing through Darksiders II, which Mases has labeled as “the best Zelda game since Majora’s Mask.” And now that Alex has finished his play through, he seems to agree with that sentiment.

All of the details are in his review, so hit the jump to read!

First, you should probably check out Alex’s earlier article: 5 Things In Darksiders II That are Missing From Zelda. His mid-game thoughts set the foundation of his full review, and though not much has changed in Alex’s overall feelings about Darksiders II, this piece is a nice augmentation to the review.

The review is split into segregated sections which cover different aspects of the game. Each is focused on a judgement of the game directly, and a few times Darksiders II is directly compared to more popular games, especially the Zelda franchise. The sections are:

  • Prioritizing Dungeons, Exploration, and Combat
  • Outstanding Level Design
  • A Satisfying Cel-Shaded Style
  • Customization Galore
  • Descending into Glitch Hell

And of course there’s a final verdict with a score. If you’re interested, check out Alex’s review on GenGAME.

After reading the review, I more understood what Alex was trying to convey with his thoughts about Darksiders II. Though I was skeptical at first at comparing a hack-and-slash/RPG heavy game with the Zelda series, now I understand more how these mechanics were implemented. I can see how Nintendo could pick out the good things Darksiders II brought to the table, and hopefully Zelda will benefit in the long run.

I hope when I can get my hands on a Wii U, I’m able to pick up a copy of this game, and I can see for myself what exactly it is in Darksiders II that has Mases and Alex so excited. Until then, I’ll just have to trust their judgement; it hasn’t failed me before!


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  • Dob

    Only tried darksiders because I saw it compared to Zelda on this website. It was outstanding. Now I’m playing Darksiders II on the Wii U now and its even better. Very happy that Darksiders was introduced to me through ZD. Thanks!

    • JuicieJ

      I agree that Darksiders II is much better than the original, but I’ve never understood the buzz around the first one. It was better than The Wind Waker (and arguably Twilight Princess), I’ll give it that, but it constantly came across as if it was trying too hard to be a Zelda game, ultimately being overambitious. It’s a solid game, don’t get me wrong, but solid isn’t the same thing as great.

  • Fierce.Deity

    Darksiders isn’t a Zelda game!

    • MrNintendoCoke

      No f*****g shit, he was comparing them.

    • guest-Strong Bad’s assisant

      “Listen to the words of my mouth…” Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, read the article!

    • Linkfan99

      Stop taking everything so seriously.

      • lon lon cow

        Moo……Linkfan….Mooo…I’m sorry……moooooo…..lan lan and I fought…..moo…and I’ve lost a lot of milk…..don’t think…moo… I can make it….moooo………..just …wanted to say……good bleh…….

  • Root Cmd

    Sadly nintendo thinks that they “hit the spot” with the S.S graphics… also I have this felling that nintendo is gonna screw up again… =/

    • Lord Carlisle

      Are you kidding? I loved Skyward Sword’s graphics!

      • guest-Strong Bad’s assisant

        Me too. Although I never really play it, my Mom does

        • Cmaster

          SS graphics are pretty good, but I want to see more Zelda games with the graphics from TP. Now those were outstanding.

          • Red-tuniclnk

            Tps art style was not that good, I would like it if they did tps but with a bit more colour, or SS but darker.

      • Linkfan99

        I loved them too, but I don’t necessarily want to see them in the next Zelda game.

        • lan lan cow

          moooo.

    • LinkFan

      They didn’t screw up, I Loved SS, the scenery was so pretty

      • HunterP

        I liked the style, but not the ennemie design. Not a big fan of the giant heads

      • Sincere

        There’s a huge amount wrong with SS, but the graphics were great.
        I’ll give you fans of it that, at least.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bluebomberscfl Colin Unger

      The style in Skyward Sword was amazing.. Give me that with a engine that pushes the Wiiu and i’ll be really really excited.

    • Skyward Schlong

      Skyward Sword’s art style is far and away my favorite.

  • red-tuniclink

    Seriously why the hell is GENgame creating so many zelda articles?

    • Reverend

      Because it’s the same network.

    • Jono

      Because the main writer used to work for Zeldainformer.

  • zombie_eat_flesh

    It’s not as cel-shaded as WW, but who am I to complain?

    • ralphpotato

      You can’s say that a game is more cel shaded than others. The Wind Waker and Darksiders II just expressed different details, but they’re both the same amount of cel shading.

      It’s like saying one pot is more pottery than another.

      • JuicieJ

        Darksiders II doesn’t even use Cel-shade, which is a pretty big mistake on Alex’s part.

      • zombie_eat_flesh

        Good point.

      • Sincere

        That’s right. A pot that uses more metal IS less pottery than one that doesn’t by definition.
        And no, they’re aren’t both “the same amount of cel shading”. At all.

        • Sincere

          They aren’t*

  • JuicieJ

    It’s better than the GameCube games to be certain, but the best Zelda in years? Eh. Not really. I’d say it’s on par with the DS games, but it’s nowhere close to The Minish Cap and Skyward Sword. It has a lot of great features, some of which I do think Zelda should borrow back from and some that have been missing in Zelda as of late, but it’s plagued by glitches and has an utterly unfulfilling second half (both mentioned in the review). These issues weigh it down way too much despite its solid gameplay and level design.

    Do know that I love this game and consider it one of the best Action/Adventure titles of 2012. It’s just not Game of the Year quality, which both TMC and SS were.

    • IgosDuIkana

      WTH are you smoking the gamecube titles were much better than TMC and SS the DS games were down right insulting and Majoras Mask and everything before them including Zelda II (and really OOA and OOA even though they were released later) blew the gamecube games out of the water. I haven’t played Darksiders but I plan to on pc. It saddens me to see the series fall like it has, I’m no long time fan, but I’ve played every game 100% completed all of them except MC and have been a fan for only 4 years and I even see the overwhelming gap in quality recently. The first game I played was ALTTP and if they made a game like that again with the technology we have now it would do more than salvage the series. This is my opinion and I respect yours, I just wonder how many of the games you have finished. I’m sorry for my initial impression but seriously the DS games were horrid ST was much better than PH but still.

      • JuicieJ

        I’ve been with the series since 1999, starting with Ocarina of Time, and have played every Zelda game, although I haven’t played all the way through Four Swords. I used to think the GameCube games were amazing. Recently, however, I’ve realized that they had bland and empty overworlds (compared to their sizes), chidishly easy dungeons, lackluster combat, and bosses that were easier than normal enemies.

        Allow me to stress that these were NOT bad games — no Zelda game is bad — but they weren’t great, either.

        The DS games, on the other hand, had really good level design and were often pretty challenging. Especially Spirit Tracks. Darksiders II is right on par with them in those regards.

        Oddly enough, Twilight Princess is one of my favorite titles. Despite its enormous amount of flaws, there are a lot of things about it that I enjoy. But it’s still only a *good* Zelda game and not a *great* one. Same with The Wind Waker.

        • Jono

          We agree to disagree. Personally, Wind Waker is my favorite, but I’ll respect your opinion.

          • JuicieJ

            Well, sure, but… you’re not the one I responded to. :/

    • BlackRaven6695

      The Gamecube Zeldas are my favorites.

      • JuicieJ

        Oddly enough, Twilight Princess is one of my favorite titles. Despite its enormous amount of flaws, there are a lot of things about it that I enjoy. But it’s still only a *good* Zelda game and not a *great* one. Same with The Wind Waker.

        • OwnerofTriforce

          I don’t really find any flaws with in Twilight Princess. It’s at least in my top 3 Zelda games. It’s fantastic, and I loved pretty much everything about it. The one thing I disliked was the difficulty. Or rather…that there was no difficulty.

  • Nintendofreakcjm

    I’d actually say Skyward Sword, then the DS games, then Twilight Princess, then MC and FSA, then Wind Waker, then FS, and finally the oracle games are the best Zelda games since Majora’s Mask…but I guess I’m just weird for not finding any reason I can to hate recent Zelda games…:/

    • dip

      The Ds games were flawed heavily control wise.

      • JuicieJ

        No they weren’t. The stylus controls were completely accurate and perfectly responsive. They could take a bit to get used to, and they’re certainly not for everyone, but they were absolutely not flawed. No Zelda control scheme is.

        • dip

          May have just been my Ds then but I found they made the games unplayable. Although apart from that they should have at least offered a dpad alternative.

          • JuicieJ

            I agree with that. One thing I didn’t quite like was that we had to use the stylus to both move and attack, so it could be a bit awkward at times. I got the hang of it, though, so I thoroughly enjoy both DS games, especially Spirit Tracks. I wouldn’t say I want Nintendo to return to that kind of control scheme, though. It was a novel thing for the DS, but it was pretty polarizing, as well. Kind of like Other M’s control scheme (which I actually also enjoyed, lol).

  • Zeldalover93

    AMAZING game. Just beat it too myself on the Wii U and I’m going through it a second time. I’m ranking it as one of my favorite games ever, up there with OoT and Monster Hunter 3. :D

    • JuicieJ

      You doing the New Game+? That’s the only way to get every bit of content.

      • Zeldalover93

        Yup. Sucks that you can’t play it on Nightmare on your first New Game + but Apocalyptic is hard enough.

  • Skull Kid

    No no no no no! I admit that Darksiders II is comparable to Zelda, but saying that it is better fuels me with gamer rage. Zelda games are heavily put into thought and are bright, colorful, and far different in their own way than the rest of the series. From what I can tell, Darksiders II is not that different from the original, and the gameplay can’t even compare to any Zelda game. Yes, the Darksiders series can be compared to Zelda, but there is no way it is better.

    • Hero of Time

      So agreed!

    • Emma Mix

      Zelda. Is. Better.

      There’s really no way I can stress that more.

      • JuicieJ

        In some ways. Darksiders II actually trumps Zelda in RPG mechanics and customization.

        • Emma Mix

          No. No no no. I have played Zelda since I was a kindergartener, and NOTHING trumps Zelda in ANYTHING.

          Period.

          • Linkfan99

            I think the one thing that Darksiders 2 beats Zelda at is the overworld. The overworld is HUGE, with 3 separate “worlds” in it. Also, side quests. Not like small fetch quests, but entire optional dungeons with their own bosses. But other than that, I agree, Zelda is mostly better.

          • lan lan cow

            Three. Moo moo moo.

        • Skull Kid

          Yes there are something’s In Darksiders that are better, and the rpg aspects are better. This is mainly because Zelda isn’t made like your typical rpg. Darksiders just isn’t as appealing as Zelda games, such as Skyward Sword which has been anticipated for many years and was definitely worth the wait. From what I can tell, Darksiders II was just not as stellar and very much like the original. No, Darksiders is not a bad series and is definitely worth playing. However, even though some Zelda games lately are not as good as previous one, but I would definitely not say it is better. Maybe it’s just not my thing. I definitely a good game, but not as good as Zelda.

          • JuicieJ

            Like I said in another post, Darksiders II isn’t as good as Zelda’s elite titles. It’s still a great game, though, and outdoes its weaker titles like The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.

          • OwnerofTriforce

            “Weaker titles”? Both of them are incredible!

          • JuicieJ

            Weaker doesn’t mean bad. People seem to have a huge misconception with this.

          • OwnerofTriforce

            I know, I should be more precise and actually say that those two are two of the very best Zelda games there are!

          • Amber

            Nothing can be as good as Zelda.

        • gamer

          Agreed, most action games have developed some sort of RPG mechanics since the 80s. It’s time for Zelda to catch up. At least go back to the things TAoL did right.

          • JuicieJ

            Oh, geez, if there’s anything Zelda II nailed, it was magic. If Zelda ever brings back the Magic Meter, we need to have real spells again, just much more advanced.

    • SecondGear

      Brilliantly said!

    • toonlinkuser

      Have you played Darksiders yet?

      • Skull Kid

        I only have gotten a little bit into the second game. I’m fine if you like it, but it might not just be my kind of game. Sure it’s great, but there are some things Zelda does better and what Darksiders does better. No game is perfect after all.

    • Linkfan99

      I don’t think you can even say which is better. People say they are alike, when in reality, they are very different. Especially Darksiders 2. Darksiders is a little more focused on combat, and a LITTLE less on puzzles. But overall, the only main thing similar is the puzzles, the dungeons, and the bosses. That’s about it.

  • pizzaman

    First of all, since when is Darksiders II a Zelda game?

    • ralphpotato

      It’s not, but Mases and Alex think that Darksiders II, which is heavily influenced by Zelda, is a great game to compare to the Nintendo franchise.

  • Dracomajora

    Darksiders II was a great game. It was the only game I got all of the achievements in. The huge amount of glitches was terrible though. I got a game breaking glich on my first playthrough at The Black Stone. I had to start over. Just go to the forums and look at the Darksiders II technical help thread to see what I mean. Seriously, i’ts like 4 pages long. I hear the DLC has the same issues. Oh well. That won’t stop me from getting it.

  • Sid

    I like both Darksiders games, and they have some things that I would love to see in Zelda games. However, there are a few things that make Zelda games superior for my taste.

    Even though they share a lot in common with Zelda games, I don’t like:

    - the character leveling improvement system.
    - the galore of non-essential weapons and armor that can be picked up.
    - having to spend extended periods of time browsing through all the weapons and items not essential to the quests to find out what better suits my character, instead of adventuring.
    - No clear conclusion of dungeons in Darksiders 2. After beating the boss, you usually have to teleport out yourself instead of having something that tells you that you reached the end and takes you outside.

    I can think of more stuff, but I bet I gave enough for others to hate me about :p

    • OwnerofTriforce

      Wow! I completely agree with you! That’s some of the things that bothered me too

    • Dracomajora

      I see nothing wrong with the first one. The galore of non-essential weapons and armor, and having to choose are part of the gameplay, and add much more depth and customization. They certainly aren’t flaws. For the fourth one, there is always a clear ending. It always tells you that you’re done. Even if that was true, it’s still a minor ploblem. It seems like you’re criticizing Darksiders II for nothing but it’s RPG elements, which were all pretty well implemented.

  • littlemissgleek

    Sure, if you think Darksiders II is better than Zelda, that’s fine. But do you REALLY need to brag about it on ZELDA dungeon!? People come here for info on Zelda, not on Darksiders…

    • Nevan Lowe

      exactly. this is ZELDA dungeon. not DARKSIDERS 2 dungeon.

  • littlemissgleek

    Sure, if you think Darksiders II is better than Zelda, that’s fine, it’s your opinion. But is it SERIOUSLY nessecary that you brag about DARKSIDERS on ZELDA dungeon? It’s no surprise that so many people disagree since it IS a zelda website, so seriously, if you wanna brag about other games go post them on other suitable websites!

    I certainly don’t come onto a zelda website everyday to read about other games like darksiders, and frankly, I don’t give a damn.

    • littlemissgleek

      I accidentally posted my comment twice, sorry about that ^^;

  • OwnerofTriforce

    I’m playing Darksiders II at the moment, and I just have to disagree with this. The game feels cool and fine in the beginning, but to me, it just keeps getting repetitive. Even though the dungeons in Zelda games is my favorite aspect about the series, the ones in Darksiders II feel so dull compared to each other. They all look the same, you do almost the exact same things in them. You climb a lot, and you solve some puzzles (don’t get me wrong, some of the puzzles are tough and good!) but it’s pretty much the same each time. The fighting gets boring as there are hordes of enemies you have to do the same thing to. The same goes for the bosses. It started good with varied ways to beat them, but many of them are just about button mashing as soon as you have the chance. It’s kinda good, but to me, it gets boring after a while. I’m not really having that much fun with it anymore. Some aspects about the game is better than Zelda, but I don’t see anything in this game that makes it better than the latest Zelda games as a whole.

  • Daniel

    DO NOT TURN AWAY FROM ZELDA!!!!!!

  • Steele

    better than ss if they took ss controls and put in that game it would be amazing, completely agree with the cell shading point, i wish zelda would stick with the darker style like in tp, by the way my first game was alttp, so that might be bias, but zeldas been going down hill
    i still buy all the games though, its a weakness of mine

  • Linkfan99

    What I love about these comments is that everyone is saying “no no no, Zelda is better” (which I don’t necessarily disagree with) without ever even playing Darksiders. :P

    • lan lan cow

      No no no…………………………Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    • JuicieJ

      Fanboys tend to do that.

    • Sincere

      Oh really? Let me see what “everyone” is saying for myself then.

      “I’m playing Darksiders II at the moment.”
      “I like both Darksiders.”
      “Darksiders II was a great game.”
      “I admit that Darksiders II is comparable to Zelda.”
      “AMAZING game.”

      What I LOVE about YOUR comment is that you can blatantly lie out of your ass in a pointlessly narcissistic manner and people will agree with you!
      What, do you think I’m joking? It’s genuinely amusing how people will willingly wade in ignorance on the internet.

      • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

        Whoa, whoa, whoa! Sorry if I offended you or anything, but by everyone I
        clearly meant the majority of people. You just listed 5 examples out of 83
        comments. It’s not ignorance, as I posted that ^ comment BEFORE any of these
        other people posted the ones you listed. Now, that’s what I call ignorance.
        Also, what are you talking about lying? It’s a fact that many people posted
        comments about how Zelda can’t even compare to Darksiders, while SOME of them have never even played the game.

        “Zelda. Is. Better. There’s really no way I can stress that more.”

        “Nothing can be as good as Zelda.”

        “No. No no no. I have played Zelda since I was a kindergartener, and
        NOTHING trumps Zelda in ANYTHING. Period.”

        “DO NOT TURN AWAY FROM ZELDA!!!!!!”

        “Zelda is SOOOO much better. Darksiders can’t even compare.”

        “I’ve never tried Darksiders, but it looks boring. Zelda is way better.”

        Just some examples of many comments. So again, I didn’t mean to upset you in any way. So why all the hate?

        • Sincerely to the Imbecile

          Oh dearest me, did I hit a button? I’m so very sorry, I just wanted to stress how much inane drool is leaking out of your mouth ‘s all. No harm intended! Now we know that by “everyone” you clearly meant “some” ^^ they’re just so similar I can completely understand how you mixed them up.

          However did I not notice the quotes I pulled were from people who posted after you! But wait, yours says 17 days old and 4 of the mere 5 I pulled from the mass are strangely 18 days old? And all 5 are… under your post?! Oh I do believe you need your brain checked, what you have is much worse than ignorance, it’s the cancer of the human race called stupidity! And your symptoms fit it perfectly.

          It’s ok, we all know you have to lie to spin your 15 year old wit- you can admit it now. I’m sure I can manage to forgive you for your fallacies and the fact that your original comment magically now has to do with the people who posted “Zelda is better” alone, so you can create the illusion of bolstered numbers when there’s only actually two people at most you can find who said Zelda was better AND hadn’t played Darksiders.

          Come now, don’t be shy- admitting to your stupidity is the first step in conquering it. There’s no longer a need for damage control, grasshopper.
          Or of course, you could just edit your original post, right? Don’t want to have your internet handle defamed now do we?! That would be just awful!

          • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

            Alright, then. I am sorry, but I won’t be replying to you here any more than this comment. I just wanted to say that “top to bottom” isn’t necessarily sorted by newest to oldest. No offense, but that’s what I call ignorance. And no, I am not editing my original post. Goodbye, now, and maybe, if I see you leave comments on other posts in the future, then we can start over, and forget about this bitter disagreement. Goodbye.

  • NoScrubs

    The thing is, most of the stuff Darksiders does right is heavilly borrowed from another game that simply does it better. While it is a strong game, and has had me glued to my tv for hours, the innovation that drives the Zelda series is simply nowhere to be found in the Darksiders universe

  • Seis Siete

    People need to stop comparing the Darksiders series with Zelda. They’re nothing like each other. Just because Darksiders shares a couple small similarities, doesn’t mean it should be constantly compared.

  • Mawk

    I don’t like how they worded this. Sure, the creator of Darksiders was inspired by Zelda, and some may like it more than Zelda, which is ok. But if you say it has completely replaced the series since the N64 era, then you’ve gone way too far. The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, and even the handhelds that came out after Majoras Mask are all worth admiring. The Zelda series is still as good as ever were, with some minor flaws, and you can’t say one game that was inspired by said franchise is better than any of the later games. That’s like saying the first Kingdom Hearts(just as an example) was better than any of the Final Fantasies and has completely replaced the franchise since its release. I’m not trying to gamer rage over this, but I think this is really a slap in the face to Nintendo and the many Zelda fans out there who love the games that came out after Majoras Mask(including me). Sorry for being a jerk and all, but that’s how I feel about this. No offense to any Darksiders fans out there.

  • Dreiko

    what annoys me is the title “Darksiders II is best zelda game in years”, the game isn’t called zelda and even if it’s similar, it still not a reason to say if it’s better or not because both games, as similar as they are, have different concepts, considering that darksiders is about the four horsemen of the apocalypse, is only natural for the overall game to feel dark and sinister, because it should fit the whole demonic thing, unlike zelda wich have a different setting and concept for the story and characters and it annoys me that “satisfying cel-shaded style” like claiming that’s how zelda should be (wich is stupid), other thing is the rpg, while zelda is considered a rpg, you can clearly see it’s kinda different from a normal one, there’s not leveling up or too much customization, and it’s more focused on items needed to finish a temple or a mision along with many things, i can agree that zelda can learn alot when it comes to the overworld, but saying that darksiders is the “best zelda” is just plain stupid in my opinion, that’s like saying “halo 4 is the best metroid” or something like that

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