Common Sense Media says

Game about Armageddon is well made but very bloody, violent.





What parents need to know

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

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.


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.


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

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Available online?Not available online
Release date:January 5, 2009
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Suggestive Themes (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of Darksiders was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old April 28, 2011

Blood but no language.

This is a very cool Hack and Slash game that is good for everyone but does introduce Blood and Gore but not as bad as some M Rated games like Dragon Age 2 and Mortal Kombat. Overall a Great Game for 11 - 16. I would not recommend this to young children as some scenes can be Frightening not for Under 10 , Good for Teens.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old November 23, 2010
my mom will probably say no even when im 17 because she is cristain and believes that if a game is not for 1 and up its not for no one freaki- strange right
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old January 15, 2010


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?


What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide