I had the chance to check out Darksiders III at PAX West and speak some with Gunfire Games Senior Designer Richard Vorodi about the game. From my brief time with the game, Darksiders fans have a lot to look forward to. The combat is entertaining and things like exploration seem to be heading in the right direction, upping the complexity.
In Darksiders III, you take on the role of Fury, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. The events happen parallel to those of the first and second game, where Armageddon has begun and the war between Heaven and Hell is raging. In that chaos, the Seven Deadly Sins were released and Fury has been tasked by The Charred Council—the entity whose purpose is to maintain balance—to hunt them down.
Richard wouldn't go into the details of what else happens with Fury, other than to tell me that Darksiders III will be a very personal story about her. Where the other two games were more bigger picture and plot-driven, Darksiders III will zoom in on Fury's character. He said he expects fans of the series will like the story here best just for that reason, as we learn more about Fury, why the way she is, and how we'll come to terms with her actions.
The most interesting change coming to Darksiders III, to me, has to be the changes in map design. Darksiders was a mostly linear experience, and, stealing Richard's description, Darksiders II was more of a wheel with spokes approach to content, where you had a hub world with paths to go down. He said Darksiders III is more like a bowl of spaghetti. Paths will crisscross, lay on top of one another with the verticality, and be a tangled web to go through.
There will be no map or minimap of any kind, either. In terms of UI elements, all you'll have to guide you is a compass at the top of your screen. In the world, there will be many points of interest to guide you. Instead of looking at a map and following a directed path, instead you'll see a large cathedral as a landmark and know to go in that general direction to get there, or maybe a large tree that towers over the crumbled city. Richard said this was done intentionally to get players immersed further in the world, soaking in what's around them rather than simply going from point A to point B.
The combat felt like something you'd get in a Darksiders game. It was hack and slashy goodness, but didn't show off a too awful lot that those familiar with the genre would be excited to see. What I played was pretty basic, as Fury's chain whip flashes across the screen. It's quick, has a long reach, and honestly feels incredibly similar to the Blades of Chaos from God of War. Richard told me that we would see Fury taking on different forms, which would drastically change the way she takes on enemies.
I left speaking with Richard interested in what's to come, and the team at Gunfire Games seem to be taking the series in the right direction. Since all of the lead developers are the same as the original two games, fans of the series should know it's in the right hands.
Darksiders III is releasing November 27th for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox One.