Darksiders II Review
As I said in my review for the Wii U version of Transformers Prime: The Video Game, the absolute best thing about Nintendo's new console is the ability to play entire games on the Gamepad controller, rather than exclusively on your television set. By marrying my favorite thing about handheld gaming (the ability to watch TV while playing in the living room) and consoles (playing console games, duh), the Wii U has been monopolizing most of my gaming time as of late. So it's easy to see why I'd be interested in replaying Darksiders II on the new system; if I can watch Jeopardy at the very same time, why not? And though this port doesn't differ much from the original PS3/360 versions, it is still a blast to play and a great game for Nintendo-only households who may have missed it the first time around.
Darksiders II was and is a great game, it just wasn't the revelation I'd built it up to be during my months of rabid anticipation. The disjointed nature of the dungeons oftentimes had me completely lost on what my objectives were, and along with the overreliance on fetch quests (seriously, no one in this game can do ANYTHING for themselves), I just didn't see the game as the revelation I saw the original Darksiders as. If you are thinking about playing Darksiders II on the Wii U and missed my thoughts on the original versions, feel free to check them out right here.
Rather than going over all that again, let's just talk about what the Wii U version brings to the table. As I said, this new version is nearly identical to the originals. The graphics and sound are indistinguishable from one version to the next and the double analog sticks on the Wii U Gamepad are equally functional to those on the other systems. The problems are still very much in place as well. You'll hit a few bizarre (but never game-ending) glitches, a good amount of screen tearing and some clipping issues; none ever amount to more than a minor annoyance, though. Darksiders II on the Wii U is very much the same game you may have already played, and there is little reason for anyone but superfans to play it again.
The new version does have its perks, though. In addition to the Gamepad-only play, you also get a good bit of the paid and/or store exclusive DLC offered to PS3 and Xbox 360 players. This includes the Argul's Tomb expansion, the Death Rides speed boost for your horse, Ruin, and some of the exclusive weapons, among other little goodies. Wii U players get basically all the DLC right out of the box EXCEPT for the Abyssal Forge and Demon Lord Bellial dungeons. These are both pretty decent expansions, and a Google search yielded no fruit when it came to discovering if these will ever make it to the Wii U version. This makes the Wii U version a double-edged sword; you get a bunch of "free" stuff other gamers had to pay for, but you may never see the game's biggest dungeon expansion sets.
Because of this omission, you'd think I'd drop the score a bit from my original 87 percent. I would, but the Gamepad play is so nice on its own that Darksiders II on the Wii U breaks even with the versions before it. Like I said, there is little reason to play again if you finished Death's adventure months ago. But if you never got the chance, this is one of the best launch titles out there.
Final Rating: 87%. The Wii U version isn't that much different than it is on other consoles, which makes it one of the better games in the Wii U launch lineup.