Darksiders: Wrath of War
? an Apocalyptic whodunnit. Developer, Vigil, and the game?s creative director (and company co-founder) Joe Madureira (AKA Joe Mad) wouldn?t pitch it to you like that, but they couldn?t tell you it?s not true, either.
The Apocalypse has come early and War (you know, of Four Horsemen fame) has been blamed for it. He?s out to find out what?s happened. The world is over ? forget about that ? this is about the Truth, dammit!
Well, the Truth and maybe stamping on some heads. As the title suggests, gameplay isn?t 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 ? good and evil, Heaven and Hell, the destruction of mankind. It?s very simple to grasp even if you?re 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 you?ve been exploring the levels?
Yeah, a lot of the dungeons are
designed so that the artefacts that you find in there... as you?re learning to use it, you?re learning to fight the boss as well. As you get better at using them, it?ll 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 it?s fun to break up the combat with exploring. It?s like, ?Hey, I found some water. I?m going to swim down and see what?s there. Cool! I got a hidden item!? and ?Oh, I can break this piece of the wall, I didn?t notice that, I?m going to see what?s back there?. If you don?t have stuff like that and it?s just straight combat all the way through it?s hard to hold people?s attention.