Following the genocide of the Nephilim, The Charred Council sends Strife and War on a new mission to destroy various demon masters who have pledged themselves to Lucifer, as The Dark Prince intends to upset the Balance Between Good and Evil. The Horsemen duo must hunt these masters down, while gathering new information about a conspiracy brewing that may jeopardize The Council, who have been left in charge of creation.
The game provides examples of:
- Bash Brothers: Strife and War may bicker over each other's personality and methods, but they work together well and care deeply for one another.
- Bittersweet Ending: On the one hand, most of Lucifer's co-conspirators have been killed. On the other hand, his plans to corrupt humanity through the Animus have succeeded, forcing War and Strife to kill all of the corrupted humans.
- Blood Knight: Tearing apart enemies with gusto seems to be a Nephilim trait.Strife: You... ever get tired... of slaughtering hordes and hordes of demons?
Strife: Yeah, me neither!
- Comically Missing the Point: Strife tries a "Knock Knock" Joke on War.
- Comically Small Bribe: Subverted, but For Laughs. When Strife and War have Mammon cornered, the demon desperately throws treasure at them in a desperate attempt at pleading for his life. Just as Strife declares that they cannot be bribed, he briefly pauses to admire what looks like a solid gold rocking horse, only to turn it down.Strife: We're the Council's enforcers. You really think you can buy us with this worthless— [Stops to admire rocking horse.] O-kay. You almost had me! [Strife shoots Mammon.]
- Constantly Curious: Strife. He encourages War to constantly question their orders and the situations they're in and to not just blindly follow the Council.
- Co-Op Multiplayer: Two players can take control of War and Strife through the story.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Lucifer's plan. He used demonic energies in order to create the Animus which will cause corruption among the humans. Strife and War were then forced to Kill the Cutie.
- Crapsack World: Eden is depicted this way, understandable since the game takes place a short (but indeterminate) time after the Nephilim tried to invade the realm and their eventual massacre at the hands of the Horsemen.
- Deadpan Snarker: Strife is a snarky gunslinger who's not shy about being sarcastic at one's expense.
- Foil: War and Strife are this to each other. The former is a dead serious hulk of a man with a big sword, while the latter is a snarky dual-wielding gunslinger of average height.
- Dynamic Entry: When Strife and War go to Molloch's domain, they are joined by Samael who dives into the battlefield like a meteorite. Strife is impressed.
- Enemy Civil War: An empowered Moloch leads a siege against Blackstone Keep, Samael's fortress, at the beginning of the story and successfully uproots him. Samael aids the Horsemen throughout the game against the demons Lucifer struck bargains with in order to be rid of his rivals and claim their resources.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: How everyone describes Belial and Molloch, a boon of their bargain with Lucifer.
- Genre Savvy: Strife, Samael, and Lucifer. Strife is more of a Meta Guy, while Samael and Lucifer play Xanatos Speed Chess against each other, with Samael being a Manipulative Bastard and Lucifer The Chessmaster.
- Genre Shift: Genesis is a top-down Action RPG with optional co-op, while the previous Darksiders entries were third person Action-Adventure.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Lucifer's form is never seen. He's only seen as glowing crimson eyes in the dark.
- The Gunslinger: The Horseman Strife, obviously.
- Hidden Depths: Strife is at first glance a wisecracking gunslinger who doesn't seem to respect any kind of authority. But the players along with War learn more over the course of the game: he's conflicted about the Nephilim's extinction, he has done things he's not proud of even before he became a Horseman, and he does respect the balance.Strife: I know who I am. And I'll do the Council's dirty work. All I want is to know why I'm pulling the trigger.
- I Shall Taunt You: Strife slings jokes and insults the same way he shoots bullets. Not even his brother or Samael himself are safe from his tongue.
- Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: This game takes place relatively soon after the Horsemen's mission to annihilate the Nephilim, meaning that particular subject is hot news. Demons like Vulgrim taunt War and Strife for what they did in Eden, and angels like Abaddon and the corrupted Astartes treat them with palpable distaste. The two themselves aren't particularly proud of their actions: War appears more relaxed but constantly makes justifications as if he's trying to reassure himself and his brother, while Strife more openly questions if wiping out their own kind was the right thing.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Strife and War meet the battle-weary Abaddon who has been fighting Lucifer's corruption in Eden since that realm's fall. He laments that the likes of Astarte have fallen from grace, but he soldiers on, and welcomes the assistance of Strife and War to cleanse the realm.
- Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Malgros the Defiler, an enormous three-headed demon that resembles Belial, appears in the "Not Alone Trailer" for the game. The demon, however, does not actually appear in the game.
- Lighter and Softer: Strife and War's buddy cop dynamic adds a lot of levity throughout that had typically been typically used sparingly in the previous games.
- Magic Knight: Both War and Strife's weapons, Chaoseater and Mercy and Redemption, respectively, can be augmented with magic for different effects. They also both use other magical abilities in battle.
- Mammon: Mammon is a demon and boss that both War and Strife have to fight. Befitting his legendary greed, his boss room is one filled with so much gold and treasure that he can swim in it.
- Narrating the Obvious: Vulgrim's first mission for Strife and War has them going to a demonic dungeon to retrieve an artifact. Once there, Strife humorously notes:Strife: Screams of suffering, cages...yep, we're definitely in a dungeon.
- The Power of the Sun: Dis and Vulgrim describe the Ember Core as an artifact housing "the power of a thousand suns".
- Pragmatic Villainy: Samael refused Lucifer's deal, partially because he has some alleged respect for the Council's Balance, partially because he doesn't trust his rival one bit. He goes on to make an alliance with War and Strife, guiding them into taking down Hell's Masters. Not out of righteousness, but because with them gone, Samael gains all the more dominion over Hell.
- Restraining Bolt: The post-credits scene shows the Council forging the Seals, in light of Lucifer's manipulations, that play a poignant role in the later games. Judging from the Council's words, they are meant to protect Earth and humanity from direct influence of any parties. Seals one through three bar Heaven's forces, Seals four through six Hell's, and as the first Darksiders shows, the Seventh Seal brings forth the Horsemen when broken.Angry head: Listen thus: With the forging of these Seven Seals, a great treaty shall be wrought in the name of the Balance. They who break it shall suffer the Horsemen's wrath.
Wise head: Let our will be manifest within the Seals. Three from the children of Heaven... three from the dwellers below... And a final seal from our own wisdom.
Reasonable head: The Council has spoken.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: War and Strife are each other's opposites when it comes to personality. War is a By-the-Book Cop with a standoffish attitude, while Strife voices his doubts about the mission given to them openly, can't stop wisecracking and pulling his dour brother's leg. The way those two rub each other the wrong way is an unending source of situational comedy.
- Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!: Samael unlocks Strife's Anarchy form and War's Chaos form this way.
- Tempting Fate: Strife notes with disappointment that he expected the Blood Mantle to be more heavily guarded. Cue the guardians of the Blood Mantle.
- Tentacled Terror: Dagon is presented as a massive tentacled demon obsessed with drowning his opponents to "cleanse" them.
- Villainous Glutton: The newly minted Demonic Lord Belial. Strife is particularly disgusted by him defiling Eden and him regurgitating a crystal the Horseman can use as a key.
- Wham Line: Once Moloch is dead, Samael finally explains to the Horsemen just what Lucifer's plans are. And that the Horsemen have actually been helping his plans along the way.Samael: To fuel The Animus, Lucifer struck a deal with the Masters granting each of them power at a heavy price. The fools agreed, believing they would be invincible. He made the same offer to me. Heh, can you imagine the nerve?
Strife: What was the price, Samael?
Samael: Their souls. To be claimed upon death.