Looking back on Darksiders III eight months after its initial release, I remember being overwhelmed by the unnecessarily brutal difficulty, and disappointed at the lack of new and intuitive puzzles. Therefore, when THQ and Gunfire Games announced that Keepers of the Void, the second piece of DLC, would primarily focus on puzzle solving, I was eager to jump back into Fury’s adventure. Sadly, the issues that dogged the main title are still ever-present, and the puzzles are underwhelming at best!
Given to you by Vulgrim, Keepers of the Void see you take control of Fury as she travels to the Serpent Holes to overcome the evil that resides within. The story is nothing to get excited about, and completely forgettable, and while it was nice to explore the new Serpent Holes, the whole purpose of the DLC isn’t to expand on Fury’s adventure.
Instead, Keepers of the Void is essentially a series of puzzle-based levels, each of which requires you to solve numerous challenges, all of which are focused on Fury’s different Hollows. You can get started as soon as you’ve unlocked the Flame Hollow, and, if like me, you’ve already unlocked them all, you can take on all the new challenges in one sitting.
At first, the puzzles breath some new life into the title, but after completing the first two levels, it quickly becomes clear that all the pathways are mostly the same. Most puzzles are nothing more than hitting spheres with different Hollows, allowing you to move blocks around rooms to open paths and secret passageways. The later puzzles do make use of more than one Hollow power and are a little more challenging, but none are particularly difficult or memorable.
Once you’ve made your way to the end of each level, you’re then tasked with taking on the boss, a personality-void stone golem which makes use of whatever Hollow pathway you’re in. It was disappointing that ever end-level boss was exactly the same, with the only difference being the Hollow power and the occasional special move. Complete every level and you get to take on a bigger version of the stone golem which makes use of all the Hollow powers. It would have been nice if the bosses had more personality and variety to them, as each stone golem feels nothing more than a copy of the last – a shame given the number of brilliant adversaries in the main story.
Sadly, these fights were made worse by the brutal difficulty. Unlike the Dark Souls series, which encourages you to learn through death, the difficulty here is just silly. Darksiders 3 encourages you to make use of Fury’s dodge ability to open up enemies, but the hit counter is so broken that despite a successful dodge, I was still pummelled by attacks, leading to frustratingly-quick deaths. What’s more, the issue of terrible checkpoints has been carried across to the DLC. So, if you die before reaching the end boss, you’ll need to slog your way through the levels again and again!
While THQ and Gunfire Games had the best intentions with Keepers of the Void, it’s £10.99 cost is extremely high for what is essentially four levels, of which only the first feels fresh. What’s more, the DLC only takes around 2-3 hours depending on skill, and adds nothing to the original story, and feels like nothing more than an expensive way of unlocking the Abyssal Armor set. Having said that, it’s still better than The Crucible and the puzzles are still more enjoyable than those found in the main game, it’s just a shame that the DLC doesn’t add anything substantial to Fury’s story.
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