This generation, we’ve received countless downloadable add-ons, from unnecessary horse armour to incredible and long-serving expansions. In-between, there have been many story-based add-ons of varied lengths, including Vigil Games’ first two for Darksiders II, as well as its just-released third mini-campaign. Whether you like it or not, downloadable content is here to stay, and its lack of pricing regulations means buyer beware is in order. After all, you won’t always get what you paid for.
Over the last year or more, I’ve reviewed quite a few of THQ’s DLC packs, for both Saints Row: The Third and Darksiders II. While both games were very impressive when it came to their single player campaigns, their downloadable expansions left a lot to be desired. A lot of that was due to length versus pricing issues, as none of the noted packs were worth their rather high price tags. It’s unfortunate, because the developers had great opportunities to expand two easily recommendable games, but chose to release short-burst, and sometimes forgettable, post-release content instead.
Now that I’ve played through The Demon Lord Belial, Vigil Games’ third downloadable mini-campaign for Darksiders II, I unfortunately must tell you that it follows the same trend as its predecessors. Despite offering an enjoyable experience that is arguably the best of the bunch, it once again clocks in with a run-time of one hour or less, making its ten-dollar (800 Microsoft Point) price tag tough to swallow.
This time around, Death is summoned to a new section of earth by allied angels. There, he’s tasked with searching for a group of humans who apparently survived the apocalypse. The resulting adventure sends our Nephilim hero through man-made structures and underground caves, where he must do battle against demonic creatures, culminating in a challenging boss battle. As such, this new content isn’t much different from the core game, mixing visceral melee combat with a bit of third-person shooting.
From start to finish, The Demon Lord Belial was an entertaining ride, although its abrupt ending was somewhat disappointing. This pack’s pacing is strong, and its storyline is quite interesting, though added length certainly would’ve been nice. Simply put, this is the strongest one of the bunch, although its length issue sets it back. The Abyssal Forge, which easily takes second place, was longer, and the difference in quality between the two is slim. Granted, the game’s most devoted fans will want to play through all three, though if one should be skipped, Argul’s Tomb is it.
When it comes to presentation, there aren’t many new facets to describe. This mini-campaign’s representation of earth is similar to what we saw in the main campaign, as well as in the original Darksiders. As a result, you can expect to see a lot of ashen brown, fire orange and hideous character designs. Going further, the visuals pop, and everything runs smoothly, with some great audio to complement the scythe slicing.
Unfortunately, Darksiders II hasn’t sold a million copies as of yet. That is, as far as we’ve heard. What that unfortunately means is that the series’ first and only sequel will probably be its last. Furthermore, since The Demon Lord Belial is the last downloadable pack attributed to the game’s Season Pass promotion, this could be our last piece of brand new Darksiders content to play through. It’s a shame, because the series is a quality one, which deserved a much better fate. Thankfully, if this is the last add-on, the intellectual property will go out with relative quality.
This review is based on an XBOX 360 copy of the game that was provided to us.
The Demon Lord Belial is arguably the best of Vigil Games' Darksiders II add-ons, though its brief runtime doesn't compare to its ten dollar price tag.