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There are some games that take ideas from games and then there are games that completely copy them. Darksiders 3 feels like it goes much more in the latter direction and loses some of its identity as a result.
I really wish they had chosen another horseman like Pestilence or Conquest instead of Fury. Before the release of the game, I questioned how they would portray her powers in the series, and the answer I got was they didn't. While War and Death got powers that were true to their namesakes, Fury got a grab bag of elemental powers tossed at her by a random sage. The previous horsemen playstyles resembled their characters, while Fury's feels so random.
Its strange that they would follow a formula that prided itself in minimalism and breadcrumbs plot points for what is supposed to be the turning point of the series. Whereas previous entries followed a The Bad Guy Wins plot, Fury has much more interaction with humans and is even tasked with rescuing them. Unfortunately the plot is wasted on ambiguous moralities and allegiances that are supposed to fake out the player but feel so empty upon reflection. The sins that Fury fights are supposed to make her feel empathy for humans by exposing her to the struggle they face throughout their lives. Unfortunately, Fury interacts so little with humans directly that this change of heart feels sudden. Its not as if they could not have humans play a bigger part of the plot. If Fury was to have random powers, why not gain them through human invention, or perhaps have her dead horse replaced by an oversized motorcycle or all terrain vehicle? Instead we get another horseman-watcher relationship and it is no more fulfilling than the one that wasted Mark Hamill in the first game.
Gameplaywise, Darksiders 3 lack of a map makes it difficult to navigate in a world filled with obstacles that require certain power-ups in order to progress. Dark Souls had no map, but practically almost every place in the game could be accessed by proper platforming whereas I lost track how many times I ran into a block or wall that could only be passed via a certain power up. My lock-on kept also kept shifting onto the nearest enemy rather than the enemy I designated making battles against ranged or agile enemies among groups more difficult than they needed to be. I also often struggled with the camera which often shifted away from enemies.
Darksiders 3 is a decent hack-and-slash game. I did appreciate how each boss had their own gimmicks and fighting styles. However, the story was mostly straightforward with most of its twists compounding upon themselves at the very end. The game could have used more variety in gameplay. While Dark Souls is fun, it does not need to be applied to every new age hack-and-slash and more flexibility can be applied to make a game feel less repetitive.
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