'Darksiders 2' will be as similar as it is different to 'Darksiders 1'

Darksiders 2 will be set in the same universe as the first Darksiders, sharing the same rich lore and keeping up with the colorful and mythical world in which War adventured and fought. But the upcoming sequel to Darksiders will be as different as it is similar to the first game, according to Darksiders 2's creative manager, Jeremy Greiner.

Darksiders 2 will be set in the same universe as the first Darksiders, sharing the same rich lore and keeping up with the colorful and mythical world in which War adventured and fought. But the upcoming sequel to Darksiders will be as different as it is similar to the first game, according to Darksiders 2's creative manager, Jeremy Greiner.

"War was our protagonist in the first game and it would have been a lot easier in the sequel for us to build off the mechanics of a proven character," Greiner told Polygon. "But ultimately we wanted to tell the stories of all four horsemen of the apocalypse, and who better than Death?"

Death is War's polar opposite. Instead of building on the mechanics of War, the team behind Darksiders 2 have crafted a new character from the ground up. Where War was steadfast and straightforward, Death is quick, agile, and nimble. He seldom blocks. Personality-wise, where War was honor-bound, Death is presented as an arrogant and sarcastic character.

The differences in characters in communicated in several different ways: there's the scripting, which is completely different, but there's also the character animations, movement, and combat that have received an overhaul. Unlike War, the character of Death moves much more fluidly. He lacks the weight of War, he doesn't block, there's a lot more dodging.

"There's literally hundreds of thousands of items of loot in the game and they can be tailored to customize your experience towards your own play-style."

Greiner says that in addition to Death being a very different character to War, every player's Death will also be different.

"In Darksiders 1, everyone had the same War from start to finish," Greiner says. "In Darksiders 2, an hour into the game your Death is going to be completely different because of our RPG elements like loot.

"There's literally hundreds of thousands of items of loot in the game and they can be tailored to customize your experience towards your own play-style. So I'm more of a run and gun kind of guy so I use lighter weapons and magical spells in combat, but you can also grab heavy axes and hammers and maces which are slower and feel heavier."

Darksiders 2 also promises a bigger, unique world. While it shares many similar traits to the first Darksiders in its aesthetic and richness, Greiner says everything in Darksiders 2 has been built from the ground up to be different.

"In game design what you typically do is build a bunch of models and environments, and then you kind of play Tetris with them in different levels. In Darksiders 2, all the zones and the dungeons are different. They're completely unique. It's not like we took a dungeon, flipped it around, changed the texture, and called it a new dungeon. They're completely different.

"In retrospect, it probably would have been a better idea to do a little copying and pasting here and there because when it comes to polish you have to polish everything and bug-fix everything from the ground up."

"If a publisher didn't give us a deadline, we'd just work on it forever."

With only weeks until the game is released globally, Greiner believes the Darksiders 2 team has done the right thing by the players and fans – they've held onto the core of Darksiders while building something new, expansive, and original. Greiner says it will be a huge relief when the game is finally released.

"I'm most excited for our consumers and fans to play the game," he says. "In development, a game is never done. If a publisher didn't give us a deadline, we'd just work on it forever. For me, it's great to finally say okay, that's the day, it's submitted, it's out there."

Darksiders 2 is scheduled for release on August 14th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The game will be released August 16 in Australia.

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