Darksiders

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Darksiders Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Game about Armageddon is well made but very bloody, violent.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game glorifies bloody, brutal combat. The vast majority of time will be spent in vicious battles, and while most of our enemies are easily identified as villainous demons, our hero has no problem hacking his way through other creatures as well, including angels and humans. Indeed, the notion of good and evil takes a back seat to the simpler idea of balance between the kingdoms of men, Hell, and Heaven.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Our hero is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. His job is to bring about the end of the world, which involves the slaying members of the three kingdoms, including angels, demons, and humans. He doesn’t hate the creatures he is supposed to kill; it’s simply his duty, as per a contract he and his brothers entered long ago. To his credit, when the end of the world is brought about prematurely, he strives to right the balance once shared by the three kingdoms—though via extremely violent methods.

Ease of Play

The controls are quite easy to start, but by the game’s midpoint players will have earned enough abilities and weapons that remembering which button combinations perform each move becomes quite challenging. Plus, some of the boss battles are very complex and difficult, even on the easiest skill level.

Violence

Among the more graphically violent games available, players spend their time using a variety of weapons, including a sword, a scythe, and a glaive, to carve up demons, angels, and a few humans. Limbs and heads are severed regularly, with fountains of blood spurting from victims’ stumps. There are also plenty of finishing moves in which our protagonist rips apart his enemies via imaginatively vicious means.

Sex

One demon boss has extremely large breasts that appear to be naked, though they are so discolored and deformed it’s difficult to tell.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Darksiders is a decidedly violent, bloody game, and is not intended for kids. Play involves the killing of demons, angels, and humans via extraordinarily violent means that see players employ variety of bladed weapons to carve enemies into bloody bits. There is also some obvious sexuality, thanks to at least one demon boss who appears to bare her gigantic, deformed bosom.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9, 13, and 15-year-old Written byJeremy H. December 19, 2016

Simple to learn and fun to master

Definitely not for younger kids, even though the violence is cartoonish and the enemies are mostly monsters. One of the reviews mentioned killing humans in the... Continue reading
Adult Written byTilly T. September 14, 2012

Darksiders Review

Fine. No sex. Very stylized blood. Everything is animated. Trying to bring back humanity.
Kid, 12 years old January 15, 2010
Teen, 14 years old Written byGamersnews32 June 3, 2019

Very cool Action hack n slash feels different to God of War.

Darksiders is a very well made hack N slash RPG. With and engaging story about angels and demons, the gameplay is very addictive. Violence is gory. You use a la... Continue reading

What's it about?

Based on the biblical notion of Armageddon, DARKSIDERS puts players in the shoes of one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; a burly warrior named War. According to an ancient contract between the kingdoms of Heaven, Hell, and Mankind, War and his three brothers would be summoned to bring an end to the world when seven ancient seals were broken. War arrives on command and begins the end of days, only to realize too late that the seventh seal had not been broken, that he had been tricked and that the Apocalypse had taken place prematurely. His goal becomes restoring balance to the three kingdoms by hacking his way through a decimated world now devoid of humans. Along the way he must slay hundreds of demons (and some angels) in extraordinarily violent ways using a variety of bladed weapons. Its closest analogue would be the God of War games, and it’s easily as graphic. Definitely not for kids.

Is it any good?

Darksiders isn’t particularly original -- some players will find the brawling combat and the way in which War slowly earns his abilities via the souls he collects to be quite familiar -- but it is very competently made and should prove quite satisfying for mature players who enjoy intense, over-the-top action. The graphics are excellent, and the contextual environmental puzzles, which involve throwing switches, pulling objects, and finding special keys, are just the right level of challenging.

If we were to nitpick one thing it would be accessibility. War’s abilities are so multifaceted (he can hover, throw a glaive, use a horn, perform a wide variety of combinations that involve both face and shoulder buttons, and much more) that the controls become difficult to keep straight by the game’s midpoint. Plus, players who have little experience with brawlers may find some of the long and complex boss battles a little too hard. Luckily, waypoints at which War can respawn are very frequent. All in all, it’s a fine adult adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the game depicts the Apocalypse. Given its subject matter, is there anything in the game that might offend religious groups? If your beliefs incorporate the notion of Armageddon, is the hellish world presented here anything like what you have imagined?

  • Families can also discuss violence in games. Clearly, it helps games sell. But why? What is it about seeing blood and gore that excites and satisfies some players?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: January 5, 2009
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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