Darksiders II Game Poster Image

Darksiders II

Violent action RPG tracks gallons of blood spilled.

What parents need to know

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

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.   


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.  


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


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

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Skills:Self-Direction: achieving goals
Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
Available online?Not available online
Release date:August 14, 2012
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes, Violence

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What parents and kids say

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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 to save his brother War. There are lots of different enemies to fight in the game, some living others machine-like. The machine-like ones just shatter when killed while the living enemies spray lots of blood each time they are hit. In saying that, the blood is very animated, with a very unrealistic feel as opposed to games like Lord of the Rings: War in the North and Counter-Strike. Overall a fun game that is easy to play with and in depth story. *NOTE* The Australian classification of Darksiders 2 is MA15+ for Strong Bloody Violence. (Recent Edit: Increased learning potential to Fair due to the frequent puzzle solving the game requires, something i forgot to mention earlier. The game is only about 1/6 combat, the rest of the time is spent exploring and solving puzzles in dungeons, some of them quite mind-bending) Jester's Rating: 9/10
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent 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 myself and here is my verdict: The game's violence is on the same level as any of the other super hero game's my son owns, you hit the enemies with various attacks eventually knocking them out or they just turn to black goop. When playing the game it became apparent that the only reason this game was rated M was that when you beat an enemy they turned to black goop, also when you hit a demon/org black goo would splatter out. This is not a concern because the black goo which is considered blood (moving the game to a M rating for blood) is very fake looking and not at all as bad as real blood (the goo looks like mud). The demons that you fight are not very scary for a 12+ year old and the skeletons and org's look like something from zelda and lord of the rings. When beating a skeleton all they do is crumble and turn back into a pile of bones. A plus is that this game features dungeons (very similar to the Zelda games) which features the same logic and thinking puzzles which where quite challenging that you find in Zelda in order to proceed. If the puzzles are to difficult the different difficulty modes make it easy to change it to something your kid is comfortable to. Death can be a good role model because he is selfless and believes in doing what is good for others. All and all i think this game is OK for a 12+ but not for any younger ages do to the fact that they might find the skeletons scary (unless you have a mature 11 year old). The game is a great buy because the graphics are truly amazing, the game is involves some great puzzles (while keeping it interesting), and it will last your kids a long time (so you don't have to buy them a new game for a while!).
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
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