The Future of the Four Horsemen: What I want in Darksiders 3
Currently the Darksiders franchise is in a state of limbo. Darksiders went through tumultuous times where the franchise was sold to Nordic Games following THQ’s bankruptcy and IP auction in April 2013. Since that day the series has remained unheard of outside of some comments at E3 2015 where Gunfire Games spoke of their intent to bring Darksiders III back to the masses. With the promise of a new Darksiders title on the horizon I cast my mind forward to the announcement and then eventual release of Darksiders III; here’s what I want to see from the game.
1/ Unleash Strife
In past Darksiders games we’ve seen one of the four horseman take centre stage, in the original title we played as War while Darksiders II saw us take control of Death. With this third entry I’m most eager to see Strife cast as their central character. Both previous games have featured a predominantly melee-focussed slant but with Strife boasting two handguns (called Mercy and Redemption) there is opportunity to broaden both the game’s addressable audience but also the gameplay possibilities that the game presents.
2/ Close Combat
Following on from that point though, and given that Strife is a master of ranged weaponry, Gunfire must be careful to ensure they don’t rely on this mechanic too heavily. It is the franchise’s impressive melee focussed mechanics that have made it both the critical and commercial success that it has become, and this makes it imperative that a point of balance is reached between both ranged and melee combat.
3/ Getting the Gang Back Together
In the process of the THQ bankruptcy, the original studio behind Darksiders – Vigil Games – was shut down. While some former Vigil employees including former Vigil founder David Adams have gone on to build and join Gunfire Games, others went on to join renowned studios such as Retro Studios, Certain Affinity and Airship Syndicate which was formed by former co-founder Joe Madureira. It takes a united team to make a great game, and with the old team dispersed among several different teams, it might be hard to recapture the magic once again. Hopefully having gathered as much of the old team together as possible, Darksiders III has the opportunity to rekindle the same spark that they’d all injected into past entries, with a few new faces injecting some fresh ideas for good measure.
4/ Co-op Campaign
It had been confirmed by Joe Madureira that Vigil Games had every intent of adding a co-op multiplayer mode into Darksiders III pre-closure. They had always hoped to build a four player co-op game with all four horseman being controlled by separate players. Despite the shift in studios I’m hoping that this concept returns. It’s possible that given the rocky situation the game has gone through that it may be too risky financially for Nordic Games to go with a purely co-op experience, and perhaps co-op play could be relegated so a side project. What I’d love to see is a purely single player campaign akin to previous games, but then a stand-alone multiplayer campaign that can be enjoyed separately where players control each of the four horseman. It can be story heavy, or a fun, light hearted alternate take… but it could be awesome!
5/ Signs of Life
In an incredibly tough period for the franchise it has moved homes from THQ to Nordic Games, changing developers in the process. Many of the franchises that were sold in that fateful IP sale have gone on to get sequels announced, some have even released, but Darksiders remains dormant. The fact that Gunfire have declared their intent to release a new Darksiders game is a great start but what we all need is for there to be a formal unveiling of the game. There are many gamers champing at the bit for the latest entry in the Darksiders franchise so the sooner the game is unveiled the better… for us all.
With the fate of the Darksiders franchise seemingly no longer hanging in the balance, the hearts and minds of countless fans have again been filled with hope. Though there’s much that we don’t know about this incoming instalment, the hype train currently sits in the station waiting to take off. I’ve outlined a few things that I want to see in Darksiders III but what are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook and Twitter to give us your verdict.