Few things are certain in life but I’m starting to think one of those things is that if there is a video game platform out there then you can bet the Darksiders franchise will be making an appearance on it. Thankfully as a huge Darksiders fan I don’t mind that these games keep finding new homes. The original Darksiders was on all of the last generation platforms and all of the current ones via the Warmastered edition. Darksiders II also was on all of the last generation platforms and then came to most of the current generation ones via the Deathinitive Edition. The Nintendo Switch was the only place so far that Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition hadn’t appeared yet but that has now been rectified as Death has made his way to Nintendo’s newest hybrid platform.
The story of Darksiders II is actually set before the story of the first game and follows the most feared of the four Horseman, Death. Death’s mission in this game is to clear his brother War’s name who as you may recall was being blamed by the Charred Council for bringing about the apocalypse. I enjoyed the story in this game and much like the first it has some great characters, both new and returning from the first game. The gameplay in this one though is a bit different from the first focusing more on loot which the first game didn’t really have. Other than that the game is still very much a Metroidvania style game like the first where you’ll explore open and connected areas and encounter parts you can’t get to until you obtain some new item or power later in the game and then return to use it. The environments are pretty big but I never found traveling back and forth through them to be annoying as I could always call on Death’s horse Despair to speed traversal up.
When it comes to combat Death is more agile and faster than War was and it makes for fun gameplay as you slice your enemies apart. The game has a variety of different weapons for Death to wield including his dual scythes as well as things like hammers and axes. He also has a gun called Redemption that can also be used for ranged attacks. I’ve always enjoyed the combat systems in these games and playing as Death in bed in portable mode on the Switch was as satisfying as ever. Every enemy you crush rewards you with XP that will level Death up and grant you skill points to spend in upgrade trees to unlock new perks and abilities. You’ll also get tons of loot while playing divided up into different rarities. Higher ones obviously grant better stat bonuses and such so it’s always fun to check what new piece of gear you might’ve picked up. It makes for a very different experience compared to Darksiders 1 and 3 which don’t really feature this loot system at all.
Exploration is also rewarding in this game as you’ll frequently find chests with new loot in them or more enemies to reward you with more XP. When you’re not in combat or traversing the environments you’ll have to solve various puzzles some of which will test your thinking skills. This game very much still has those Zelda similarities that the first game had and I’m here for it. With it being the Deathinitive Edition you of course get all of the DLC that was released for the original version of the game which includes the arena mode called the Crucible and the additional story missions along with some new gear for Death. For $30 this is still an overall great package value wise if you haven’t played the game yet but you won’t find anything new to draw you in if you’ve had your fill already in the past.
The Switch port ran and performed well for the most part during my play sessions both docked and in portable mode. Granted this was a last generation game after all so it should be expected to look up to par on the Switch. That said there were times where I encountered frame rate issues that affected my gameplay experience and that is disappointing considering how old this game is. It also doesn’t look as good as the 4K versions on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X so if you’re looking for the best version for the game visually then you’re better off with those.
Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition on the Nintendo Switch might not be the best version of this game available but it is the only one that you can play on the go. At its budget price I highly recommend it even though it doesn’t have any new content that the PS4 and Xbox One versions don’t have. I really enjoyed playing as Death in portable mode and I think you will too if you’re a big Darksiders fan like me. Now bring on Darksiders 3 on the Switch!
*Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a Nintendo Switch. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition$29.99
- Has the full game and all of the post-launch content
- Expanded loot and RPG systems from the first game are welcome
- Death's combat is faster and more satisfying than playing as War
- Looks great both docked and in portable mode
- Has framerate issues at times that affect gameplay
- No new content