A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The story touches on familiar Christian concepts -- such as angels, demons, the Creator, the apocalypse, the Four Horsemen -- and modifies them to suit its fiction. The action glamorizes violence.
Positive Role Models
As her name suggests, Fury's perpetually angry and more than happy to jump into a fight. She shows little sympathy for humanity and seems mostly self-interested, though as the game progresses she proves she does have capacity to love and show mercy, and that she recognizes -- and isn't proud -- of her flaws.
Ease of Play
Even on the easiest of four difficulty settings, this game can prove challenging. Combat requires deft timing, and bosses can be grueling. Players lose "souls" -- a currency for leveling up and purchasing items -- when they die, and must journey through territory filled with respawned enemies to collect what they've lost. There's not much hand-holding, and puzzles can be very tricky to figure out.
Violence & Scariness
Fury uses a chain whip, lightning spear, crossblades and other magic-infused melee weapons to fight fantastical creatures including demons, angels, and powerful creatures based on the seven deadly sins. Blood often sprays with successful hits and enemies cry out in pain before falling to the ground and eventually disappearing. The bodies of dead humans and other creatures -- some crumpled on the ground, others run through with pikes -- are encountered frequently while exploring.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Fury's outfit -- high heels, exposed arms, and a breast plate molded to the shape of her bosom -- isn't very practical for a warrior, but nor is it particularly revealing.
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Mild language occasionally appears in text and spoken dialogue, including the words "hell," "damn," and "bastard."
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Products & Purchases
Third installment of the Darksiders franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Darksiders III is a third-person action game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Players take on the role of Fury, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as she wanders about an urban wasteland strewn with ruins and bodies. She fights fantastical creatures such as angels and demons using magical melee weapons including a whip, flail, and spear. Enemies bleed when struck, cry out in pain, and eventually disappear after being defeated. The story draws from Christian lore and mythology -- for example, the seven deadly sins are given physical form -- but doesn't preach religion. Though Fury's the protagonist, she doesn't conform to the norms of a traditional hero. She's always angry, eager to fight, cares little for humans, and is self-interested -- though she does eventually become aware of and feel some shame in her flaws. Be aware, too, that this is a challenging game that could frustrate players who don't enjoy losing to the same boss multiple times or being pushed back to distant save points when they fail.
Is It Any Good?
It's not as slick as other action games from larger studios with bigger budgets, but this adventure delivers enough old-school fun for players looking for a challenge. Darksiders III's telling of the lone female Horseman's tale progresses the series' mythology nicely. It gives more information about the now-ruined balance between the forces of Heaven and Hell while introducing some memorable new villains in the form of the Seven Deadly Sins. Fury starts off on the unlikeable side, but she becomes more reflective and sympathetic as the game progresses. And while the world she explores may not be up to the graphical standards of its peers -- not much imagination has been put into details such as posters, cars, and architecture -- the ruins and rubble successfully convey a sense of desolation and post-human emptiness.
On the subject of peers, avid gamers will likely notice plenty of similarities shared with other popular action series, including God of War and Dark Souls. The designers clearly aren't afraid to let their influences show. That said, the combat's still fun and satisfying, mostly because it requires a good deal of skill, even on the easiest difficulty setting. There are also more original mechanics and elements, like Fury's ability to switch Hollows. This changes the color of her glowing hair and gives her new powers both in battle and in how she moves around the world. These powers mesh well with those that have been borrowed from other games. Boss battles can perhaps be a little too unforgiving at times, and environment-based traversal puzzles provide so few clues that it's easy to get stuck wondering how to proceed for lengthy periods of time, but players looking for a little challenge and a subtly retro vibe will probably have plenty of fun -- especially if they've played the first two entries in the series and want to see how everything ends. Darksiders III doesn't push any boundaries, but it's fun, and sometimes that's all a game needs to be.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.