Ever since THQ went out of business nearly five years ago, the future of several of their key franchises has been up in the year. While some of their games were promptly bought up and continued as if nothing had happened, such as the WWE franchise, we hadn't heard much from the Darksiders series in that time.
This was partially because the Darksiders property (amongst others such as the Red Faction and MX vs. ATV) was bought by a small, largely unknown company called Nordic Games. Initially, Nordic was reluctant to confirm what they would do with the franchises going forward, but earlier last week Darksiders 3 was finally confirmed to be in production.
If you are like some of us here at GameSkinny, you might be excited. And whenever you get that itch, you know you just have to play other similar games to help stave off said itch. So here are 13 games that all have a little something in common with Darksiders -- and games you can play right now.
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One
When Ninja Theory’s reboot of the Devil May Cry series was announced -- aptly titled DmC: Devil May Cry -- fans were pissed. The game instantly garnered bad publicity for its heavily altered protagonist, and it was never able to shake this reputation. However, by the time the game had released, the Dante seen in the announcement trailer was only present in the flesh, as his mannerisms and attitude had been switched to better represent those of the Dante we know and love. Despite this, many people never paid attention. No white hair; no interest.
I'm not entirely sure that Dante ever actually touched a cigarette in DmC.
But that’s a damned shame, because this game is one of the tightest hack-n-slash games on the market. Dante no longer uses a lock-on system to take enemies down, but does so in real time. Moreover, he has gotten some awesome new skills: Dante can now yank enemies closer, like Nero’s beloved Devil Bringer from DMC4, or pull himself to them.
Holding down one of the trigger buttons switches to another weapon seamlessly mid-combo -- a system borrowed from Ninja Theory’s PS3 exclusive, Heavenly Sword. Combine this with a couple more unlockable weapons and several different guns, and you have an extremely wide array of combat maneuvers available to you at any given time.
If you missed this game back when it first came out, then you should really consider buying it now. You also might be interested in Ninja Theory’s other games, such as Heavenly Sword for the PS3 and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
When Devil May Cry 4 was originally released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2008, it was already a solid game. It featured the same tight combat from the previous games while introducing Nero and his Devil Bringer, an awesome demonic arm that allowed him to yank far-away enemies to him, or slam nearby enemies into the ground.
The Special Edition adds three new characters. Trish, from the original DMC, can replay Dante’s missions, while Lady from DMC3 can replay Nero’s missions. Oh, and you can play as Dante’s badass twin brother, Virgil, through all the missions in the game.
Same tight gameplay, new interesting characters to play with? Hell yes.
If you are interested in this game, then you might also enjoy the Devil May Cry HD Collection, which contains the first three DMCs on one disc for PS3 and Xbox 360. The Bayonetta series, which featured some of the same developers from the original DMC games, plays almost identically to these games and is also worth your time. Bayonetta is available on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and WiiU while the sequel is available exclusively on WiiU.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
The original Darksiders was basically a mashup of God of War and the Legend of Zelda, so why not return to one of these iconic series to experience what the game was able to successfully replicate?
Lately, the Legend of Zelda series has seen its own renaissance, implementing RPG elements in a classic adventure atmosphere, as Breath of the Wild has been met with much praise from critics and gamers alike. by adopting the same open world structure that we grew to love through Bethesda’s RPGs. However, it was the more traditional Zelda formula, perhaps most well recognized from critics and gamers alike.
By adopting the same open world structure that we grew to love in Bethesda RPGs like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, LotZ has reinvented itself for a new era. However, it was the more traditional Zelda formula, perhaps most well recognized from Ocarina of Time, which the original Darksiders was able to successfully recreate.
God of War served as the other half of the inspiration sphere for Darksiders, and as such, it's only appropriate that it gets a place on this list.
The original Darksiders has some pretty epic moments. But God of War was built from the ground up to not only provide epic moments but to also let you live through them with against huge set pieces.
Each of the GoW games starts out on a high note, whether it be fighting the multi-headed hydra in God of War or battling the gods as you ascend Mount Olympus in God of War 3. Alongside DMC, GoW helped define hack and slash combat for more than a generation of consoles to come.
If you're interested in playing the rest of the series, then you will have to go back to the PS3. There you will find two HD collections, one being for the PS2 games and the other being for the PSP games, as well as Ascension, which served as a prequel to the series.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
The Witcher 3 is a lot of what Darksiders 2 wanted to be. (The Witcher 3 is a lot of what many games want to be.) Well, that is only half true. Darksiders 2 never wanted the same grounded combat. It always wanted to be an over the top action game that featured Diablo-style loot.
However, Darksiders 2's open world never came close to resembling the scope or the amount of quality content that is seen in The Witcher 3. The Witcher 3 also has more storytelling punch in its pinky (assuming it has pinkies) than Darksiders 2 has in all of its being.
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, & Linux
No, you did not misread that; I wrote Portal. Toward the end of the original Darksiders, you unlock a portal gun. Sadly, this portal gun can only be used on very specific pads, which greatly diminishes its ability to emulate the awesome physics bending powers shown off in the Portal games.
Their attempts to rip off Portal were even more transparent than their attempts to rip off God of War and Legend of Zelda. While they succeeded in replicating the other two series, they were not able to bring any of the thrills of Portal by merely giving you a knock-off portal gun for one late-game dungeon.
That being said, the puzzles that used the portal gun in the original Darksiders weren’t bad, so that’s a caveat at least.
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Mac
Diablo seemingly served as one of the primary influences on Darksiders. Whether it be its new-found concentration on loot or its extended skill trees, the influences were evident, as they had been on so many RPGs before and since.
Diablo’s combat might be much different than that of Darksiders, but at its best, it can still be just as hectic. Diablo 3’s fun skill system, varied classes, and nearly infinite loot allows for a ton of variation. Best of all, the game is still being supported. In fact, the necromancer class is set to release in the later half of 2017.
Platforms: PS3 & Xbox 360
While Darksiders 2 aesthetically borrowed from the Prince of Persia series’ parkour, it never rivaled the unparalleled thrills, and challenges that could only be thrown at you if you were given time manipulating skills to navigate them. On top of that, each of the Prince of Persia games had solid, action based combat.
Sadly, this series has been dormant in recent years. The Sands of Time trilogy had an HD collection on the PS3 and Xbox 360. 2008’s Prince of Persia reboot was a solid, albeit much less challenging approach to the series parkour action. And Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, also on the PS3 and Xbox 360, was the last release in the series back in 2010.
Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita
Odin Sphere Leithrasir is the remaster of Odin Sphere. But don't let this fool you; this old dog has learned some new tricks. While the story elements were left alone for this remaster, the gameplay systems received huge overhauls. The combat system, in particular, has been heavily reworked.
Unleashing combos, juggling foes, and activating spells/abilities never felt this rewarding before. Leifthrasir might be 2D, but it is every bit as intense and good as its 3D hack-n-slash counterparts scattered throughout this list.
Leifthrasir also allows you to play the original version of the game if you so wish. Either way, both versions are aided by a much better, more consistent frame rate than the original game and updated HD visuals that ensure the gorgeous Vanillaware art style has aged just as gracefully in Odin Sphere as our brains choose to remember.
If you are interested in OS:L, then you might also like some of Vanillaware’s other titles, such as Muramasa: The Demon Blade for the Wii and Vita, or Dragon’s Crown, available for the PS3 and Vita.
Nioh might be famous as a Dark Souls clone, which it definitely is, but it's more than just that. It's fast-paced combat, reminiscent of Team Ninja's other series Ninja Gaiden, makes it feel like a refreshing hybrid between the more action packed, juggle happy hack and slash games of yesteryear and the slower, more methodical hack and slash games of modernity. If nothing else, it is just a damned fine action game.
Platforms: PS3 and Xbox 360
The Lords of Shadow trilogy, particularly the first one, was one of the more successful examples of a series reboot. It took the tone and made it grittier while preserving the gothic atmosphere. It also took traditional story hooks and flipped them on their head. Combine this with one of the more successful God of War style battle systems, which provided its own hooks via its unique magic system, and you have a recipe for success.
Moreover, like Darksiders 3, LoS has your main character controlling a whip-wielding protagonist. Isn’t that reason enough to connect the two titles?
Platforms: PS3 and Xbox 360
This game is basically Darksiders 2 with slightly less responsive combat, no acrobatic climbing, but with a much larger, well written open world and a better skill system. Also, while Darksiders had Joe Mad as their artist KoA had Todd MacFarlane as their artist.
Sadly, there is not much hope that we hear anything else from this series ever again. Kingdoms of Amalur developer/co-publisher, 38 Studios, went bankrupt shortly after the game was released and all plans to move forward with the then in-development MMO were canned.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
The Surge is another Souls-like. However, while Nioh focuses on faster action in a feudal Japan setting, The Surge maintains the slower pacing of the Souls games with an interesting sci-fi setting.
One of the more interesting hooks in The Surge is that you can target the limbs of your enemies in combat, which allows you to potentially loot parts associated with said limb. This is similar to the Monster Hunter games.
So sure, I said I'd give you 13 games to play, but in reality, I gave probably close to triple that. We have sci-fi and fantasy. Greek mythology and Norse mythology. Gothic and punk undertones. Last gen and current gen (or current gen and next gen for those of you that haven't upgraded yet). 2D and 3D. There's honestly a little bit of something here for everyone.
So there's no reason to not get a little Darksiders 3 action before the game officially drops -- whether it's actually a part of the series or not.