A few weeks back, THQ finally released its long-awaited sequel Darksiders II for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and it was well worth the wait. Developed by Joe "Mad" Maduriera and his team at Vigil Studios, the game introduces Death as a great new protagonist as he attempts to vindicate his fellow apocalyptic brother War (the hero from the first game) by fighting his way through the Underworld. The game sold fairly well for THQ, prompting them to push forward with their plans for a new edition specifically tailored for the Wii U. Though we have yet to see it running in action, they're throwing in a number of features that should make it a must-own.
For the most part, the gameplay experience of Darksiders II on the Wii U will be the same as previous versions. You'll be able to chain together some sick looking combos using Death's twin scythes, slicing enemies to bits and moving in for the kill with a devastating blow in certain cases, most particularly with bosses. Some enemies will also drop weapons and pieces of armor, allowing you to take advantage by "looting" them and equipping these goods on the fly through a sub-menu.
On the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, you needed to go to a pause menu to equip these items. With the Wii U version of the game, however, you'll be able to do this using the special touch-screen menu that will keep track of your inventory. The GamePad's touch-screen also lets you manage leveling up when the situation calls for it, exceeding your strength and attack abilities so Death becomes even more lethal. Yes, apparently you can build a better Grim Reaper.
Depending on what you pick up over the course of the game, you can chain together some pretty nasty combos with Death. For instance, combining your fast movement with a huge hammer allows you to pummel larger enemies with ease, while equipping yourself with smaller blades makes it easier to get rid of smaller foes. Whichever weapons you prefer, you'll do a lot of damage.
There are also times you'll call upon your horse, Despair, to get around. Since Darksiders II works in a large environment, you don't want travel entirely by foot, so you can call upon your grim steed, with its glowing green hooves and deathly stare, to travel from place to place while striking at baddies and finding hidden chests along the way. You'll spend hours looking for every little thing within the game…and that's not even including the downloadable content.
Speaking of DLC, you won't have to worry about getting those extra packs through the Nintendo Network. THQ has confirmed that all the DLC that's been previously released through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network will already be included on the Wii U disc from day one. This includes the new Argul's Tomb, which comes with two additional dungeons and boss encounters to take on, along with the pre-order packs Shadow of Death, Angel of Death, Death Rides and Deadly Despair pack. This gives you access to special armor and weapons. The Wii U version will also receive some exclusive legendary weapons and armor, though THQ didn't disclose just what those would be at the time of this preview. Maybe something out of Link's weapon closet from The Legend of Zelda perhaps? His sword could do some damage in the Underworld…
Regardless of add-on content, Darksiders II should be an amazing looking game once it comes out for the Wii U. Though it hasn't been confirmed just yet whether the game will take advantage of the system's 1080p video processing set-up, it will include some amazing environments to work your way through along with gorgeous animation and weapon effects. Joe "Mad" and his team really went out of their way to expand the Darksiders world in the sequel and it shows.
Darksiders II doesn't just excel in its visuals – it has superb audio as well. Jesper Kyd, the composer behind soundtracks such as Borderlands and Assassin's Creed, put together some of his finest work to date with the moody soundtrack that's set here. Death also has a cool, snarling voice, provided by actor Michael Wincott, who you might remember as the main baddie from The Crow; we couldn't think of a better guy to fill Death's shoes. (The other voice actors are good, too, by the way.)
Most of us have already seen what Darksiders II has to offer, but with its new armor offerings and its unique GamePad control set-up, it just might be worth a second look when it comes to the Wii U on the system's launch day, November 18th. We'll be sure to go hands-on with the game very soon and let you know how it's shaping up. You can probably expect nothing short of Death-ly goodness, though…
Get our official strategy guide for Darksiders II!