This is my unfortunate experience based on playing Darksiders on the PC, through steam. I picked up this copy from the THQ “humble” bundle.
I was having a great time with the original Darksiders over this past weekend. This game for me was scratching an itch for a combat based adventure game that didn’t take itself too seriously. I still haven’t added a video card to my system yet, but I had it running pretty smoothly at a lower resolution. It didn’t look as sharp as it could but I was having a great time slicing and dicing crazy enemies and bosses, and figuring out some crazy puzzles anyway. In Darksiders you play as War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, who has been accused of prematurely causing the end of the world. You slice and dice the aforementioned crazy enemies and bosses to try and clear your name.
My fun weekend of enemy dicing in Darksiders came to a disappointing end when I encountered the ::gasp:: game-breaking bug. I was leery of this possibility (as glitches and bugs seem to be more and more common in gaming these days) so I was diligent in my manual saving, but despite my efforts I still came across this odd bug. To make a long story short, I was on a mission to find 3 swords throughout an area and I had to bring them back to a central location. From there you are supposed to go on to fight the boss for that area. I had retrieved one sword already, spent an hour on the second puzzle to get to the next sword and when I got to it my payoff was reduced to a simple, Nelson styled,- “Ha-Ha!” The new sword glitched out and I ended up running around with no sword…. my sword was invisible, the quest sword was also gone. I had no sword at all. I was hoping the invisible sword would trigger the end of the mission, but no luck there either. I tried reloading my earlier saves and they all loaded me in with the same invisible sword issue. All my previous progress hinged on this, so my game saves are completely broken and if I want to continue I will have to start over. The game is interesting and fun enough that I may suck it up and try again, but I’m not sure if I want to risk another 3+ hours of gameplay.
I don’t have any poignant insight and commentary on the state of gaming in this day and age, or how a lack of quality control can affect gamers, or even how glitches and bugs on multi-platform games can create a mindset that is detrimental to a particular platform; but I can say that I am disappointed in THQ/Vigil Games for not patching this glaring bug. A bug that, according to the internet, has affected hundreds of players. Sure, bugs and glitches occasionally make it into games and its unfortunate, but as gamers we accept it as the norm and deal with it… mostly by creating manual saves in an OCD fashion, which can break down the whole experience. But, my issue with this particular case is that on other platforms this glitch was patched and fixed, but on the PC it was never fixed.
At this point, I’m just complaining about a game that is 2 years old and I still haven’t found a workaround yet. (You’d think the internet would have taken it upon itself to write up a patch by now…. custom built for me, of course.) Anyway, I was having a great time with Darksiders- it’s pretty, it’s fun, and though it’s iterative (read: Zelda), it is different enough to be a cool experience. If you have a beefy PC I’d say its worth cranking the settings all the way up and seeing what it can really look like, but for ease of use I’d have to recommend the console version. Or, just pick up Darksiders II.