Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Vigil Games/Gunfire Games
Medium: Digital/Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: No

The first time I played Darksiders II, I hated it. I got it back when it first came out on PS3 in 2012, and I made the mistake of playing it immediately after finishing the first Darksiders. As I remember it, the very, very early stages of the game put me off, with the rolling green hills and flute-heavy score giving me far too much of a Lord of the Rings vibe. I played it for a short time, didn?t like it at all, and traded it in.

This is why I?m so glad the game has been re-released for current gen systems, because it?s given me time and perspective to realize that Darksiders II isn?t anywhere near as bad as I first thought it was.

For one thing, even if the pan flute-heavy score in the first area is a little grating, it?s not nearly as bad as I remember it being. (It?s quite possible that it was such a jarring difference from the first Darksiders, it?s gained an outsized role in my memory.) What?s more, it?s only one part of a much longer game, which I would have learned if I hadn?t been so hasty in dismissing it the first time.

Beyond that, Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition works for the same reasons the original Darksiders worked: because — as my colleague Dustin Chadwell noted seven years ago — it blends together the best parts of God of War with the best parts of The Legend of Zelda. The combat is mostly pretty smooth, the environmental puzzles are pleasantly challenging, and you always feel like there?s plenty of world to explore.

If there?s a downside to Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition, it?s that its performance still isn?t consistent. It?s not as bad as it was on PS4 or Xbox One, but there are still quite a few obvious hiccups. It?s not uncommon for the game to freeze for a moment while it loads the next section. Similarly, there are parts where the quality of the visuals drops noticeably. It?s mostly okay, but if you go in expecting a flawless experience, you?ll be disappointed.

If, however, you go in hoping for a game that?s merely fun, then Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition will more than fit the bill. It?s a good reminder of why people were so pleased when the series was reborn last year, and it?s a solid action game to have in your Switch library.

THQ Nordic provided us with a Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B+