Darksiders II

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Darksiders II Game Poster Image
Violent action RPG tracks gallons of blood spilled.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Darksiders II wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

This game sensationalizes bloody fantasy combat with the intent of making gory violence entertaining. While the game is based on the Christian concept of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the game makers have avoided reference to any other Christian-specific concepts, resulting in a game world that is at once darkly spiritual but not really associated with any particular religion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's hero, Death (one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), isn't explicitly good or evil, but he employs violence to solve virtually all of his problems. One of his goals is to restore humanity, and he also wants to save his brother, War, but his motives are tainted by selfishness.

Ease of Play

This game uses a classic, easy-to-learn control layout that most players will have little difficulty picking up. It also has three levels of difficulty, ensuring players of all skill levels can find a suitable challenge.   

Violence

Players use a variety of bladed and blunt weapons -- oversized scythes and hammers -- to fight fantastical creatures in brutal, gory, third-person combat. The game depicts decapitations, eviscerations, and impaled creatures, often with large splashes of red blood. One of the game's statistics tracks how many gallons of blood have been spilled, and it quickly enters the hundreds, and then the thousands. Players will hear cries of pain from defeated enemies.  

Sex

Players encounter some fantastical monsters adorned in revealing outfits that expose deep cleavage.   

Language

The word "hell" appears a few times in voiced and text dialogue.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Darksiders II is an extremely violent, action-oriented role-playing game intended only for mature players. Sensationalized fantasy combat includes gory finishing moves that see opponents impaled, decapitated, and yelling out in pain as they perish. While the game focuses on a distinctly Christian notion -- the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- it shies away from any other terms or ideas that might be connected with a specific religion.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylisa lancia August 20, 2012

amazing game for 12+

i have a 12 year old who was really pumped about getting this game when it came out but i was concerned when i heard this was a mature game, i tried it out myse... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 year old Written bymwe November 24, 2014

Fun questing game without bad language

Cartoonish violence with oversized weapons and enemies that quickly disappear after being destroyed. No bad language. The game is a typical fantasy quest for ma... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJester™ August 16, 2012

Enthralling Fantasy RPG for Older Teens

Darksiders II is an intense, dark fantasy role-playing game in which the player assumes the role of Death (in itself this is quite a dark notion) and attempts t... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 4, 2013

the gore is censored by colorfulness

its bare-able for 11 year olds but but was recomended for 15+ instead

What's it about?

DARKSIDERS II, sequel to 2010's Darksiders, continues the exploits of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War was the star of the original, but players shift into the skin of his brother Death for the series' second installment. He's on a journey to prove War innocent of prematurely initiating the apocalypse. His travels take him to planes beyond Earth, where he meets, among others, the mammoth-sized Makers of worlds (not to be confused with the grand Creator), who help guide him on his quest. As in the first game, players spend most of their time exploring monster-infested areas while undertaking a variety of missions, leveling up, and upgrading their weapons and armor as they carve their way through hordes of fantastical opponents. Other parts of the game involve some tricky parkour-like antics, with players climbing walls and leaping between pillars.

Is it any good?

Grown-up gamers will appreciate the enormous size of Darksiders II's world, the sophistication of its character growth and combat systems, and the high quality storytelling, which includes talented voice actors and a twisty, compelling narrative that sinks its hooks into players in the first chapter. The visual presentation lacks the sort of polish seen in other high-profile fantasy games -- object surfaces lack sheen and detail, and the world seems a little flat at times. However, what's here is more than sufficient to create believable, otherworldly environments in which it's easy to lose oneself for hours on end.

It's not the sort of game that pushes many boundaries, but older players looking for a lengthy, well made, and just plain fun adventure filled with plenty of hacking and slashing are unlikely to go away disappointed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. Do you see any difference between gory, bloody fantasy violence carried out against non-human creatures and gritty, realistic military violence set in more familiar environments?

  • Families can also discuss the inclusion of religious iconography in games. Is there a proper place in interactive entertainment to depict spirituality, or should games simply stay away from the world of religion?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fast action

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