Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Apocalypse can wait

Pictured: Death on his way to the bathroom for a quick shave.

Okay...So this guy I know, Cody...I was living with him and this other guy, Ray, and the two of them are video game junkies. Food, clothing, rent, utilities...they could all wait, as long as the next, great video game graced our home. And one of these games was "Darksiders." (And from here on, there be spoilers, so stop reading now if you have any intention of playing this great game.)

It was the typical, improbable storyline. Heaven had had it up to here, *holds hand just above his head,* with the antics of Hell. The eternal war they'd been fighting was put on hold when humanity interrupted the party. According to the mysterious Council, humans would play a vital role in the final battle. Abaddon, the leader of Heaven's legions, grows impatient for action. So he arranges for six of the mythical Seven Deals to be broken. This should be enough to get the final battle going, but not involve the Council or have their "police force," the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, roll out to make a mess of his plans. The Seventh Seal is...protected.

And so it it that Heaven and Hell come raining down upon the Earth. Humans, not even close to being prepared, start dropping like the dead weight that they are, as the two eternal forces engage. The game opens in a major city of some sort, very much resembling NY, where utter destruction is taking place.

And then, quite mysteriously, WAR SHOWS UP! (That's you, the player.)

Now, the legions of Hell see War and react as though to say, "Oh, good. NOW it's a party!" But when Abaddon sees War, his reaction is, "Wait...What?!? You're not supposed to be here. I haven't even finished the opening monologue. Go back and wait in the Green Room." To top things off, whatever power War has is slowly sapped from him throughout the opening sequence.

Enter Straga. He's a demon the height and width of a skyscraper. He pulverizes Abaddon with one hand while the latter is distracted by War's sudden appearance. This leads Uriel, Heaven's second in command, to believe War is in league with the demons. She's swatted out of the sky, and then War is left alone to take on Straga...which just isn't going to happen at this point. War is literally crushed, and his "death" lands him in front of the very judgmental Council.

They promptly blame War for bringing on the Apocalypse too early, and War demands he be allowed to clear his name. To be sure War doesn't get distracted, they attach "the Watcher," (voiced by Mark Hamill), to...well, watch over him. The Watcher is a wonderfully sadistic creep who pretty much taunts War throughout the game, ensuring War knows his place, despite being a Horseman of the Apocalypse. By the time War returns to Earth, 200 years have passed, and the conflict between Heaven and Hell has yet to be decided.

This is just the beginning!

It's a long, arduous journey from there, with War returning to Earth and having to side with somewhat "neutral" demons along the way to get things done. (Really...Phil LaMarr as the resident shop keeper? What comedian is casting this game? o.O ) War regains much of his old power, as well as a bit more than what he actually starts out with at the very beginning of the game. He also gets plenty of toys to play with along the way.

Along the way, War learns that he's being manipulated by the Council. How this gets revealed to him without the Watcher's knowledge is the old story trick of, "Oh, no...I'm sorry, but only ONE person can go into that place [where knowledge is distributed] at a time. You wait here while War goes off to experience things without you." The Council knows it's weak. It knows Heaven is stirring up trouble. And they need a fall guy for what is probably going to go down. So it was THEY who summon War prematurely.

Now, because of what I'll be showing you in short order, I must explain "Nex Sacramentum." Fairly close toward the end, Uriel shows up for a little one-on-one with War. She declares "Nex Sacramentum," meaning that it's just her and him, and it's a fight to the death. Well, if you're up to speed with the regain of power, a little dodging and some decent hits against her, and Uriel is really no match for War. Instead of killing her, as by the rules she declared, he spares her life, and that's that.

Or is it?

The big bad guy, The Destroyer, needs to be taken down, and if anyone bothered to look up some of the Biblical names used in the game, you'd know Abaddon IS the Destroyer all along. Uriel heads off ahead of War to try and take on the Destroyer with a team of angels, but it wouldn't be good for the story if she succeeded. No, it's up to the player to take him down. It makes for a long, final boss fight at the end of the game. First you face him in demonic form, which looks a great deal like a dragon on fiery steroids. Then you face him in angelic form. It takes a bit of work, but he can be beaten.

This is the end of the game, but then the design team threw in what has to be the most awesome end scene of all time.

Cody, Ray, and I watched that scene...and we immediately wanted to run out and get Darksiders 2. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be out until 2013. You could say that we were just a wee bit irked, as well as completely juiced. WE WANT THE NEXT GAME NOOOOOOW!

Oh, well. We'll have to wait, just like the rest of the world. But "the Great Leak Machine" is already teasing us. See that picture at the very top of this post? That's the main character of the next game, Death. Rumor has it that his job will be to get humanity up and running once more. And because of how the world appears throughout the first game, I would have to say that he definitely has his work cut out for him.

So it is that we wait. And I doubt Cody and I will be the only ones camped out at the video game sore of choice at midnight, waiting for the next game to be placed on the shelf so that we can snatch it up. If the employees are lucky, we won't walk off with one of their hands. =P

No comments: