Darksiders: Wrath of War
Ė an Apocalyptic whodunnit. Developer, Vigil, and the gameís creative director (and company co-founder) Joe Madureira (AKA Joe Mad) wouldnít pitch it to you like that, but they couldnít tell you itís not true, either.
The Apocalypse has come early and War (you know, of Four Horsemen fame) has been blamed for it. Heís out to find out whatís happened. The world is over Ė forget about that Ė this is about the Truth, dammit!
Well, the Truth and maybe stamping on some heads. As the title suggests, gameplay isnít about putting together clues so much as it is controlling a great big harbinger of doom with a great big sword.
Joe Mad is 'comics royalty', having done much-loved work on the likes of Uncanny X-Men
and created his own series, Battle Chasers
, which remains painfully unfinished. I sat down with him to talk about what we can expect from Darksiders
and try not to bend his ear about the funny books.
Firstly, when you sat down at the start of the design process for Darksiders
, what was the core concept? What was the thing you really wanted to get across?
We knew we wanted to make a game that was very epic, that (has a) very strong concept that is easy to understand Ė good and evil, Heaven and Hell, the destruction of mankind. Itís very simple to grasp even if youíre not into games, even if you have never watched a movie, you understand these things are bad. And you know angels are good and demons are bad.
So, that setting was really cool, and we wanted to do a game that has bad-ass combat, but had a lot of exploration and adventure. We grew up playing a lot of the classics like Metroid
, so while on the surface it looks like a combat focused game, really combat is just one of the components of it. We really tried to keep it just as much about exploration and adventure.
Does the exploration add a lot to the combat? When you come to a boss battle are you better off if youíve been exploring the levels?
Yeah, a lot of the dungeons are
designed so that the artefacts that you find in there... as youíre learning to use it, youíre learning to fight the boss as well. As you get better at using them, itíll serve you in traversal as well as in combat. Each time you find one of those, it really opens up other parts of the world to you, too. So, I think itís fun to break up the combat with exploring. Itís like, ĎHey, I found some water. Iím going to swim down and see whatís there. Cool! I got a hidden item!í and ĎOh, I can break this piece of the wall, I didnít notice that, Iím going to see whatís back thereí. If you donít have stuff like that and itís just straight combat all the way through itís hard to hold peopleís attention.