Darksiders 2 Deathinitive Edition, the Darksiders 2 game and all of its downloadable content completely overhauled by a team of the original developers, is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this winter, Austrian publisher Nordic Games tells Polygon.
Perhaps more importantly, the publisher, which purchased the rights for the Darskiders IP from THQ during bankruptcy proceedings, is looking into having the original game ported over to current gen consoles and whether to continue the series with the long anticipated Darksiders 3.
"Since Darksiders is an active project for us we are obviously making up our minds about [Darksiders 3]," Nordic Games spokesman Phillip Brock told Polygon. "So far we have nothing to officially announce though."
Brock added that they haven't decided yet whether to port the original.
"We think it could be a great project, though, and in comparison to the original version we could make a huge step forward," he said.
The Deathinitive Edition of Darksiders 2, the existence of which was leaked earlier this year, will include a long list of DLC: the Maker Armor Set, The Abyssal Forge, The Demon Lord Belial, Death Rides, Angel of Death, Deadly Despair, Shadow of Death, Mortis Pack, Rusanov's Axe, Van Der Schmash Hammer, Fletcher's Crow Hammer, Mace Maximus and Argul's Tomb.
The entire game has been reworked to run in native 1080p resolution and polished to include better lighting and improved character and environmental graphics. Developer Gunfire Games, a team made up almost entirely of developers originally from Darksiders studio Vigil Games, also went through the entire game to add polish and rework the game's levels.
"We took over the franchise roughly 2 years ago and thought about the next chapter for Darksiders ever since then," said Reinhard Pollice, business and product development director at Nordic Games, in a prepared statement. "Naturally (and extremely excitedly!), there will be a large-scale project based on Darksiders, but for now it is very important for us to take care of the existing games and make those available to a broader audience. Bringing Darksiders 2 to current gen was a logical step for us and the team at Gunfire Games know their trade inside-out, so we easily and quickly had lots of ideas that we wanted to realize for this specific edition."
David Adams, president of Gunfire Games, said the team did a lot of work improving the graphics and balancing the game, specifically working on combat to help even out some of the missions.
"When we worked on it the first time we didn't have the time we wanted to do the final polish," he said. "One of the first things we did with this version was make some pretty significant rendering changes. We started with graphics and then went through the entire game. "
Adams said the team completely changed the rendering model and the lighting system.
"We had to go through and relight the whole game with more dynamic shadows and higher resolution textures," he said. "Pretty much everything in the game had higher resolution assets already available."
As they went through the game, they noticed encounters that "sucked" and areas that needed difficulty adjustment. So they tweaked the game's balance and adjusted loot distribution.
The fact that Adams and his team had two years of critic and player reaction to work with when adjusting the game actually made it harder to figure out what to do, he said.
"It's pretty hard," he said. " You can't go crazy and change everything. You have to be really strategic. There are things like, 'This is something people didn't enjoy,' but you can't rip it out so you just try to make it better."
The return to Darksiders is the latest in what has been an interesting history for the team that once was Vigil Games.
Founded in 2005, Vigil Games was purchased by THQ a year later, only to go under with the company when it went bankrupt in 2013. But much of the team was picked up by Crytek to form Crytek USA.
That didn't work out either.
Last year, Adams and a core group of the original team left Crytek to form Gunfire Games. Of the 22 people who make up the team, all but two are from Vigil.
"THQ went bankrupt, so we went to Crytek and then Crytek had some issues so we left there," Adams told Polygon in an interview earlier this year. "It was hard, in both cases. In one case we walked away from Darksiders, which is an awesome game. Hunt was also an awesome game. I always wanted to make a cowboy hunting monsters game, it was on my bucket list of games to make. It's just awesome, how can you not like cowboys hunting monsters? That's just badass.
"It was hard to walk away from that, but the situation dictated what we did."
And now they're back to working on Darksiders.
"It's been an interesting road," Adams said.
Nordic Games first contacted Gunfire about working on Darksiders when they were still at Crytek, he said.
"He contacted us at Crytek about working on Darksiders and we said 'No, we're happy here'," Adams said. "Then when we were leaving he contacted us again.
"They have been really, really good to work with. The guy we work with is a huge Darksiders fan."
Nordic's Brock said that the publisher had a "lot of drive" to make Darksiders 2 even better.
"When we started to play around with it, we quickly figured out things and had a clear vision on how to tackle this project," he said. "We think it's a fantastic game and delivering it to more platforms was a given. The original Darksiders needs more evaluation on our end in this regard."
The same goes for the more than 150 individual titles that Nordic purchases during THQ's bankruptcy. That includes franchises like MX vs. ATV and Red Faction.
"As we took over quite a large part of the former THQ portfolio, we will continue to do things in a 'one step at a time'-manner, and in our own pace," Brock told Polygon. "Darksiders and MX vs. ATV are the first, but definitely not the last THQ-IPs we will continue to work on."
Update: The story has been updated to swap out the slider pics with standard pics. Nordic says they will be providing us with more up to date images for comparison. We will post them as soon as we receive them