I meant to write this blog after completing Darksiders II, but I was a little busy at the time, so I forgot. While playing Darksiders 2, I noticed a lot of similarities with The Legend of Zelda games. I felt these were really funny and so here I’ll share some of them with you…
- Dungeon Layouts – I can’t help but to think that the Dungeons were very similar in design, often with overlaying structures of rooms and large halls that would loop around. Also, the large rooms often have movable large objects that changed the layout to allow you access to a previously inaccessible part of the Dungeon.
- Skeleton Keys – Key-fetching quests of course are the bread and butter of most Zelda Dungeons, but they are admittedly also very common in other games. However, after seeing the dungeon doors being blocked by cross-chained locks, I couldn’t help but to think of the locked doors in Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker.
- Dungeon Map – Alright! Suddenly digging up a map that shows you the entire layout of the dungeon is pretty much direct rip-off of a classic Zelda tradition and I loved it. Finding the Dungeon Map is always such a huge relief for me since it allows me to see just where I haven’t been yet (so I wont miss anything). I would actually go so far as to say that Darksiders’ maps are actually more useful than Zelda’s, because they show your location and the locations of treasure chests and locked doors instantly (no need for that stupid compass).
- Spatial Puzzle Solving – I think one of the most often neglected element of Zelda games is the spatial puzzle solving. Even in my least favourite Zelda game, Skyward Sword, I found tremendous enjoyment having to wrap my head around the room-puzzles that often required you to observe the entire area before deciding how to go ahead. And Darksiders did this very frequently which impressed me, since normally RPGs ditch interesting dungeon designs in order to just have you take on armies of monsters (there’s a lot of that too, but lots of puzzles. I dig the balance.) Particularly activating switches from a distance with bombs and such just really remind of Zelda.
- Chests-a-plenty – This game’s heavy emphasis on finding things in chests (unskippable opening animations and all) just really bring to mind Zelda. (Da-da-da-daaah!)
- Unleash your anger… on pottery – You break up boxes and pots and god knows what else to discover money inside (wonder where I’ve seen that before).
- Explosion Balls – They’re basically Bomb Flowers. ‘Nuff Said.
- Item of Interest – Almost every dungeon gives you an item required to beat it, just like in Zelda.
- Item Fetch Quests – Why is it whenever you enter a new realm, people want you to get stuff for them before they’ll help you?
- Item Escort Missions – Lugging around lanterns and rocks to activate something. Kinda reminds me of carrying Ruto on your head in Ocarina of Time.
- Companion – While Death doesn’t exactly have companion the same way Link does, Dust the Crow pretty much fulfills the same role as Navi, Tatl or Midna by pointing you in the right direction in dungeons when you get lost.
- Some Boss Fights – There are a lot of Boss Fights where your adversaries provide the ammunition to defeat them, such as dropping balls or bombs for instance. However, the further you get these more interesting boss fights become fewer and some turn pretty much into massive grinds (wouldn’t be an RPG if it didn’t, I suppose).
- Despair at the Sight of my Horse – I guess having first ridden a horse in a video-game in Ocarina of Time, I can’t help but to feel like every game’s horse-mechanics are a total rip from Zelda. Despair, Death’s horse, in particular has pretty much the exact same boost system (but with blue segments instead of carrots) and you can even run down enemies as well as swing your weapon while riding him (Twilight Princess style). What’s nice is that your horse materializes and dematerializes at the press of a button (or two), not requiring you to run up to it or playing a melody just to get near.
- Death’s Magic Glove – It kinda feels like a cross between a Hookshot and the Grappling Hook in Wind Waker. Or the Clawshot.
- Enemy Lock – It’s pretty much just Z-targetting (backflips and all). ‘Nuff Said.
- Rolling Around – Just like Link, Death moves faster by rolling forward.