Darksiders took a lot of various gameplay mechanics from other games, crammed them into a blender and produced one of my favorite games of 2010. When Darksiders 2 was announced, I spent quite a bit of time just thinking of what they could add to the core of Darksiders to make a solid sequel. After a half hour of hands-on time, I can answer that question with “character progression and loot.”
Instead of playing as War, the behemoth Horseman, you play a much more agile Horseman- Death. Movement and combat both felt a touch quicker as the smaller of the two Horsemen. Your primary attack is a scythe while your secondary attack is an equipped weapon in one of two catergories- light weapons and heavy weapons. I only picked up (yes, these are looted weapons) heavy weapons during my hands-on time, including a devastating hammer, but loot was pretty frequently dropped.
Loot can be more than just weapons, too. Armor is also part of the looting experience. Each category even has variable aesthetics to it, so you’ll come across some gauntlets that look different but even if it looks the same as the last, the possible stat changes make Darksiders 2 an addicting look game. You start as a relatively naked Death, but as you begin collecting more bits of armor, your look will evolve into a darker, more intimidating one. Every time something was dropped and sparkled on the floor, I would run over in an excited fashion and see what it had to offer.
Adding a deeper skill tree mechanic to the game ensures that you can develop Death to your liking and you probably won’t have the same Death as a friend by the end of the game. I didn’t get to see much of the level-up system outside of the trees themselves, but talking to the guys showing the game about all of the possibilities made the feature sound promising. Combined with the new loot aspect, Darksiders 2 looks like the grand sequel I was expecting and any fan of the first should be more than excited to see what else the sequel has in store for players later this year.