Darksiders Genesis Isn’t Great on Console

Doing actual reviews of games isn’t really my thing anymore, but sometimes you just gotta share what you’ve learned.

I’d been meaning to play Darksiders Genesis for a while but never got around to it. It was on GamePass on the Xbox so I had access to it but you know the drill. So many games, so little time. I got the kick in the butt I needed when I learned it was leaving GamePass on August 12th so I figured I’d better check it out while it was available.

Darksiders Genesis is an ARPG played from an isometric point of view. Y’know, like Diablo or Path of Exiles. I generally enjoy this kind of game and I might have enjoyed this one if not for some poor (in my opinion) technical design decisions. Keep in mind I only played for a few hours so again, I’m not going to touch on the story or character progression or anything like that.

My first issue is that the characters are really small on-screen. If you’re playing on PC or you have a console hooked up to a monitor that you sit right in front of this might not be a big issue, but from 10 feet away I kept losing track of my character in crowds of enemies, or even in the certain terrain (lava/fire areas in particular).

The second issue was that your viewpoint is fixed. There’s no way to rotate the map/level like you can in some ARPGs and often my character was behind some obstruction. You do get a character outline showing through the obstruction but it still wasn’t ideal, particularly if you were in a fight. I know this ‘fixed view’ is found in a lot of ARPGs but the level design here, with lots of verticality, made it a real issue for me in DG.

Last, there’s a lot of jumping/gliding over bottomless pits. I lost far more health to plummeting to my death (if you fall into the abyss you respawn with some of your health gone) than I did to fighting. Again it’s about the isometric view and not being able to spin the level. I just kept missing; there weren’t enough depth cues or something. I’d think I was jumping onto a climbable column but instead my character would pass ‘in front of’ the column from the player’s point of view.

Three strikes was enough & after a few sessions of feeling like I was fighting the controls I uninstalled. I don’t mind a game being difficult, but I do mind game systems being difficult, if that makes any sense. I really think if the developers had given us some kind of camera zoom and the ability to rotate the map (I realize that isn’t a trivial ask) it would’ve made the game much more enjoyable for me.

On to the next game!