Friday, May 5, 2017

12 minutes of Darksiders III pre-alpha gameplay.

There was a show that was on in Canada, for a while, called The Electric Playground.  It was headlined by a guy named Victor Lucas - a hero of mine, when I was a teenager! - and I'm pretty sure it's still going on in website form, at least.

Anyway, I remember seeing pre-alpha footage for a game yeeears ago, from a new studio called Vigil, working on a game called Darksiders.  It really stood out, because it was absolutely awful.  It was like why-would-you-show-this-to-anyone awful - a gray, nondescript, blocky dude thumping around a brown, shapeless field, and riding a big nondescript horse.  The guy from Vigil assured you the game was gonna' be awesome, but man, that footage turned me way off.

I mention this because, shit, the pre-alpha footage for Darksiders III does not sell me on it whatsoever.  The player makes sure not to use Fury's more flashy abilities (though neat-looking flips and rising spins to occur in the above footage, rarely), her whip seems to lack any real impact or feedback, and what we have is twelve minutes of Darksiders gameplay without the series' way-over-the-top God of War-style finishing moves.  There are no real combos, there are no air juggles, there's just pretty much the same three or four-hit combo over and over and over again.

That's dumb.

This whole thing could've been redeemed, perhaps, by just having a finisher in there for the end of the Sloth fight.  Every major boss fight in the series' history ends with some badass animation of War like dismembering a giant centipede thing or ripping off an enemy's spines and impaling them with it or something gross and fun like that.  Not entirely redeemed, of course, but at least ending the footage on a thrilling animation like that could have helped, a little.

A lot here is clearly placeholder - the UI at the very least - but I will say that after the rather disappointing bosses of Darksiders II (they were all very mechanically and visually similar), it's gratifying to see Sloth as a visually unique design.  I also enjoy the fact that Fury's hair does kinda' drift and flow like in her concept art, and the announcement trailer.  Also in the plus column - and this is gonna' sound weird - but I like that Fury herself has the same kind of thumping, heavy walking gait as War and Death.  She's not doing some weird hip-swaying Femininity Cranked Up To 11 lady-character walk (see: Bayonetta) - she's stalking around like she's on her way to do some shit.

I also enjoy the number of invincibility frames on her dodge.  Keep positive! I the only one who's really itchin' to go back and play Darksiders or Darksiders II again?  ...but Prey comes out today... but Darksiders II sounds so nice right now...


  1. yeah they got a lot of work to do. Though the animation looks fluid AF.