Gaming

Darksiders III – Protector of Humanity

Oh my word, I never thought I would say this, but I can’t believe I finished Darksiders III, I think this one was definitely a lot harder than the last two! After completing it, I can’t understand why some fans don’t like it. I saw a fair bit of negative reviews on Steam, but I went into it with an open mind. In the beginning I was unsure, but the more I played, the more the game grew on me, and now having emerged with it complete. I love it.

While War is chained for his crimes and Death has gone missing, Fury is tasked by the Charred Council to eliminate the Seven Deadly Sins. At this time, no one knows what kind of threat the sins pose to the Council. Fury seems enthusiastic about the job and desires to be named leader of the Horsemen. The last time I checked, the four had no leader but I always considered Death to be that since he is the eldest. Nevertheless, Fury take the job and is accompanied by a Watcher.

While on her hunt for the sins, Fury meets Ulthane who asks her to look out for human survivors and the mysterious Lord of Hollows who requests she bring the soul of a demon named Abraxis. But not before she nearly dies in an encounter with Wrath after seeing her beloved steed Rampage slaughtered. At this time the game was taking its time to grow on me, but I pressed on in hopes the game would get better.

I consider the gameplay in this one to be a step down from its predecessor. While the second game was considered open-world, map, and everything, this game takes entirely on Earth like the first. But this time, you don’t get a map. The only thing you can do is rely on your HUD which tells you where the next sin is. Everything else you can explore around to find additional things like collectibles to upgrade weapons with Ulthane, lost humans, etc.

Locations have their fair share of beauty and danger, but some of them, especially the last area, the Scar seemed to have bad design. Like in that area, there was this tornado that I had run past a few times and it was in this open area, then it suddenly jumped to a smaller place where I had to evade it once again before finally letting it burn. Then again, evading it felt like I was trying to get past that worm again in the first game and solving puzzles allowed me to hear that satisfying chime from DS1 again!

I could not help but notice that this game takes a lot of things from Dark Souls such as my old friend Vulgrim’s stations are considered save points, if you die you lose all the souls you collected and can return to that last place to retrieve them. Enemies can get tougher along with you and the only way you can level up is to feed those souls to Vulgrim which increase in amount each time you level up. So, does that mean when I go to Armageddon mode when I decide to play through the series again, I’m still gonna need 20,000+ souls to keep leveling up?

I decided to play on Balanced difficulty instead of the easiest (Story) this time and while puzzles are a little less frequent, the game does have a lot of emphasis on boss fights where in combat you have to time your dodging in order to successfully counterattack, which is referred to as Arcane. Although it’s good to do this in any hack and slash game, this one requires you really study your opponent’s moves in order to counter them and avoid taking damage. It’s still easy to heal if you do get hit though. Maybe that’s why some fans didn’t like this game because a lot of things from its predecessors were taken out.

Gluttony was my least favorite boss fight whom I had to use different strategies until I found something that worked; he was also pretty gross too! Then there was this other boss that took me even longer to defeat, but I was desperate to do so because of the reward I would get for doing so, I’ll talk about that later.

I enjoyed fighting Lust as well who also proved a challenge when Usiel joined the fight, but I managed to spare the latter and get what I needed.

Other than that, Fury’s got a Havoc form which is pretty badass and in addition to her whip, she also gets elemental hollow abilities that come with weapons of their own along with a wrath ability for each form. Once I got the hang of the gameplay, it’s just as fun. My favorite hollow form is the Storm Hollow.

Character time! So, let’s talk about Fury. When I first met her, the first thing I thought was she was beautiful but deadly. Right away, her personality may not be appealing to everyone as she shows quick impatience, aggressiveness, and unpredictability. She’s not afraid to meet someone and say she has the right to kill them where they stand and do things her way when someone asks her for a favor.

She also has a strong sense of determination in the beginning to prove herself to the Council, but I can’t help but think that behind that pride, lies insecurity. Two of the sins think she is dumber than the other three Horsemen. So, she had a hard time growing on me at first, but the moment I saw her mourn over the slaughter of her horse Rampage did I decide to keep giving her a chance. By the time I had defeated Lust, she started to become a better character, realizing that not everything needs to be solved with killing and what she really wants is not what she thinks it is. By the end of the game, I felt her show compassion and maturity more which made me now love her. I also enjoyed how meeting with each sin tried to play into her weaknesses before fighting. Cissy Jones did a great job voicing her, well done.

Vulgrim returns but for some reason he doesn’t sound as sneaky as he did in the other two games, but he becomes my sense of relief in my travels. He likes to cackle a lot for some reason. Ulthane hasn’t changed, but he doesn’t talk about pigeons anymore and there was something suspicious about this one human who calls himself Jones who stood up to Fury when I met him…

The Lord of Hollows is also an interesting character. He offers a permanent escape from the life, death, rebirth cycle that angels and demons go through. One thing I don’t get though is, why does he have the Ark of the Covenant chained to his back? But if you choose to carry out his task and spare him (which I did), he’ll reveal to you that he used to be part of the Council until discovering that the Balance to Creation is not what he thought it was and that humanity was meant to bring the true balance and evolve while angels and demons were made by the Creator as they were from the beginning.

This is why Lust was one of my favourite boss fights as she showed Fury’s deepest desire before the fight itself. From the game’s trailer, I saw this scene of all four Horsemen gathered and was like holy shit we get to see them all together! However, when I saw Strife shoot Lust as the others arrived and War told Fury that it was time for her to be made as the leader of the Horsemen, I started to suspect that wait, there is no way that her brothers would just allow her to lead them just like that. So, with that being said, it was all an illusion that no doubt upset Fury and changed her as a character perhaps forever.

She realized that leading the Horsemen wasn’t what she anticipated and after the fight she tells the Watcher just that and now she wants to find a new purpose. I also noticed that her personality began to mature at this point, she was less quick to anger (though she still had some moments of rage depending on the situation like with Gluttony later) and soon became to realize she is embodying each of those sins and has only antagonized her brothers (like in the beginning how she talks to War when she finds him chained, she sounds like she isn’t interested in helping him, she just wants to do things for the Council for her own personal gain) in the long run. This is what made me start to like her more, she has flaws and is trying to overcome them instead of letting them overtake her.

This I feel also played a role in her rematch with Wrath later in the game, which is one of my favorite boss fights. She doesn’t allow the anger to consume her and manages to defeat him despite his attempts of flattery and desire to find her weakness again so that this time he might succeed in killing her.

When I met Abraxis, he tried to convince me to take his side in the matter that the Lord of Hollows was a traitor. He even mentioned that he is supervising the construction of something, which I already knew was going to be the Black Throne tower, home to the Destroyer. But, there was something about him that made me not trust him so I chose to kill him.

He kept calling Fury “m’lady” so I love how when I defeated him, she said:

I am no one’s lady!

You tell him sister! I’m no one’s lady either! You and I, we belong to no man! Anyway, I took his soul to the Lord of Hollows and he gave me a gift. Abraxis was still a cool demon though, even if he doesn’t beat Samael.

As you can see I got Fury’s abyssal armor before defeating Wrath and Pride because I wanted to enjoy some of the game’s story left with it donned! I was absorbed by the final encounter Fury has with Pride. In this scene, it appears that just like the Horsemen, the Seven Deadly Sins are a faction of their own and Pride reveals to Fury that such Balance the Council has demanded, does not exist. It’s like they have only chosen to focus on Heaven and Hell while the Kingdom of Man is left to fend for itself.

From there, Pride offers Fury to join her so that they may achieve such a Balance on their own. I loved Fury’s response to indicate her refusal, I think it showed how much she’s changed, especially since in this game, I believe she encapsulated Wrath and Pride the most, but the latter slightly more.

Never. Trust. A. Watcher. This is the second time that one of those things has betrayed one of the Horsemen, and this time it wasn’t a real Watcher but actually Envy. She’s our final boss and one of our antagonists but not necessarily our true one. The Darksiders universe can be complex. But playing through the first game it doesn’t take long for you to learn that the Charred Council is clearly corrupt.

Envy was always a creature of jealousy and the most lowly compared to the other and she seeks to get rid of the Council and takes the fight to them, but of course that’s where we stop her.

It turns out that Envy secretly plotted to steal the power of the other sins in order to challenge the Council directly, therefore she disguised herself as a Watcher to gain Fury’s trust and took their power and some of hers at the last minute.

It seems like the Charred Council had been plotting all along to get rid of the Horsemen, first they frame War for triggering the apocalypse too soon, and then sending Fury on a hunt for the sins alone in hopes she’ll be disposed of, but they also released the sins as well hoping they will destroy one another. Why they wish to do this, I do not know but the theory I’ve learned is that they are aware that mankind was meant to evolve and they see them as a threat. So, that’s why they conspired to eliminate humanity even if it means taking the Four along with it, knowing the latter would do anything to maintain the so-called Balance which keeps humanity safe.

But my ending was a happy one, Fury openly defied the Council with a powerful amulet from the Lord of Hollows and returned to Earth to send the surviving humans to safety, but not before a certain human revealed himself to be someone else, someone who I’ve been waiting to see for a while now!

He doesn’t even have his own game yet like the other three! Oh well, at least there’s the prequel.

Anyway, once again, I loved this game just like the other two. I still cannot fathom why some fans don’t like this game. I thought it took things in a different direction for a change, especially with gameplay. Was it harder? Yes, but still fun. There were some predictable moments in the game but I still was met with surprise. The post-credits scene at the end also has made me think that the Council are not the only evil and corrupt ones here. But that is all I will reveal.

If you’ve been reading my Darksiders reviews maybe now I’ve got your interest with Fury’s personal journey? But then again, if you don’t like puzzles and boss fights, this may not be a franchise for you. My only complaint is the absence of Rampage and Samael though.

I think it’s time I move this series to my favorite video game highlights on my page about my favorite things now.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

👽Emily

3 thoughts on “Darksiders III – Protector of Humanity”

    1. Absolutely, but you know what they say: The bigger they are, the harder they fall! I loved how in the first game I’d get this badass cutscene of War finishing off a boss I defeated. If you choose to check out the series then let me be the first to say: Welcome to the Apocalypse, Horseman.

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