Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition, 2015's Halloween Treat
Roughly three years after its initial release date, Nordic Games and Gunfire Games announced the official return of Darksiders II, jumping into the pre-holiday fray with a "Deathinitive Edition". Death returns in all his newly-resolute glory on October 27 on both PS4 and Xbox One, in boxed and digital formats. The price point is sitting at $29.99 USD, according to an October 6 press release.
Fans of the series will notice a heavy emphasis on graphic improvements in the Deathinitive Edition. Experienced developers involved in the franchise's past installments returned for the new edition, this time working under Gunfire Games rather than the closed Vigil Games.
John Pearl, the Design Director at Gunfire Games, commented about being one of these original staff members:
“It’s rare that as developers we get the opportunity to revisit one of our previous games. The passage of time and the numerous games we’ve worked on since Darksiders II shipped has allowed us to return to it with a fresh perspective.
With that said, we went back to what is a huge game and addressed things we didn’t have time for or didn’t notice the first time. We started by revisiting every asset in the game, increasing the texture resolutions, and brought the art up to spec to take full advantage of the new lighting and rendering.
Darksiders II has a lot of DLC in the form of weapons, armor and unique locations. These pieces of DLC, which felt separate from the main campaign, have now been integrated into the game and rebalanced accordingly. Lastly, we’ve addressed much of the feedback we received after the game’s release in regards to balance and bugs. With all these changes, this is truly the Definitive Edition of Darksiders II.”
For those who don't have the list memorized or handy, the DLC that Pearl references includes:
- Maker Armor Set
- The Abyssal Forge
- The Demon Lord Belial
- Death Rides
- Angel of Death
- Deadly Despair
- Shadow of Death
- Mortis Pack
- Rusanov's Axe
- Van Der Schmash Hammer
- Fletcher's Crow Hammer
- Mace Maximus
- Argul's Tomb
If you purchase the Deathinitive Edition, all this DLC will come included.
But the DLC isn't the only good thing about this edition.
Not only were lots of bugs squashed and tuned (a real relief to fans who struggled through all the glitches in its 2012 release), but the game's loot distribution system has also been reworked.
The graphics deserve some extra attention, as they tend to give the aforementioned loot a little more shine. The atmospheric-reliant game runs in native 1080p resolution, but as the quote above reveals, the enhancements didn't end there. Revamped character models strut their stuff, while changes in the game's lighting effects help all the adjustments pop. Pearl commented more elaborately on this with a release of before-and-after makeover stills in the spring. He explains that developers sought to mimic the physically-based textures that many of the industry's current game engines utilize:
"What this means visually is metal, leather, stone and skin look and respond to light as you would expect them to in the real world. This new rendering method meant we revisited every texture and surface in the game, reworking and re-authoring them for the new renderer. To take full advantage of these texture changes, we’ve also gone back and relit the entire game."
Here are some photos that show all these upgrades and enhancements:
For fans who prefer the visual of gameplay to a handful of photos, Gunfire Games hosted a streaming event via Twitch on October 6th. Joe Madureira and Ryan Stefanelli were featured as special guests from Airship Syndicate for the occasion.
So do you think the newly rendered game is worth another play-through? Is there any particular feedback the developers should have turned to in their quest for a better game? Should Nordic Games follow the Deathinitive Edition up with a Darksiders III? Let us know what you think in the comments below! (Because, you know, Death is watching.)