: Darksiders II Interview: Making A Superior Sequel

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Darksiders II Interview: Making A Superior Sequel

We're only a few days from the launch of the highly anticipated Darksiders II, which was undoubtedly a labor of love for the guys at Vigil Games.

Associate Producer Jay Fitzloff offered to answer a few of our more burning questions concerning the new sequel, and it's clear the team is satisfied with what they've completed. Will the fans respond...? Based on our play time with the game thus far, we're guessing they will. But that's later; for now, let's learn more about how DSII came to be.

PSXE: Darksiders II is unquestionably bigger and deeper than the original; essentially, more of an RPG. Why did you want to go in that direction?

JF: "A lot of the new features in Darksiders II were things we wanted to have in the original game, but just didnt have the time to incorporate. When the time came to start working on the sequel, we took all of our favorite ideas that were on the cutting room floor and put them at the top of our new things Darksiders II needs list."

PSXE: There seems to be a little of everything, from combat to platforming to role-playing to adventure/puzzle. Was it difficult to properly blend all those different mechanics and features?

JF: "Yes. When people ask us why there arent more games like Darksiders, we half-jokingly reply, Because theyre really hard to create. We dont mind all the hard work, though. Were getting to create our dream game, and are excessively happy and proud with how it turned out. Personally, for the first time ever in my career, Im planning on playing the retail copy on my home system on release day. Normally when you work on a project for two years, youre so familiar with it that your copy of the game remains in the shrink wrap for all eternity. Not so with Darksiders II."

PSXE: As a follow-up to question #2, because it's so diverse, do you fear it might not cater to any one specific group of fans? Or would you rather it have a little of everything so it can appeal to just about any gamer?

JF: "Our design philosophy is to make a game that youre passionate about, that you would be stoked to play, and let that passion come through in the design. Truly great and memorable games arent devised via market research spreadsheets, theyre made in the hearts of a team loving what theyre creating. Of course wed love it if Darksiders II was the best-selling game of all time, but as long as we please our existing fans and maybe pick up some new ones with the sequel, well be happy with our work."

PSXE: Can you explain why the game was pushed back? Was that more of a THQ thing or more of a Vigil thing?

JF: "Those extra few weeks allowed us to fine tune and polish the game to add in fine details that you dont necessarily notice, but make the game a more fluid experience overall. Were extremely pleased with how much better the game is now."

PSXE: If there was thing about Darksiders II of which you're the most proud, what would it be? And what might be one thing you wished you had more time to focus on?

JF: "Were an art-driven studio, so what were most proud of is how Darksiders II has a very distinct visual style. Every world feels unique, and every creature has their own visceral appeal. Theres no way that youd mistake Darksiders II for any other game, even with a quick glance. As for what we wish we had more time on, thats a dangerous question. I always say that time is the enemy of art, but you need deadlines. Otherwise, developers would spend over 10 years to craft a single game."

PSXE: Even though it didn't score off the charts, the first Darksiders generated quite a loyal following. How important are review scores to you, and what sort of scores do you expect DSII to receive?

JF: "We know that Darksiders II is a superior game to the first as long as we make those who loved the first Darksiders happy and pick up some new fans with the sequel, were feeling good."

PSXE: THQ has gone through a few changes over the past year or so. Was there any added pressure to deliver a top-tier game because of that?

JF: "Nobody can put more pressure on us than ourselves. Regardless of what was happening at THQ, our goal remained the same make an awesome game. And thats what we did."

End Interview

Thanks to Fitzloff for answering our questions, and expect to see our Darksiders II review very soon. Will it be one of the games you just have to play...? You'll find out in due time.

8/11/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (28 posts)

Killa Tequilla
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 5:00:34 PM
Reply

Looks like a good game. I don't know... I never played the first one.

Can anyone give me a brief explanation on what the game is like?

Last edited by Killa Tequilla on 8/11/2012 5:01:40 PM

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Akuma07
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 6:17:34 PM

The slightly darker love child of Zelda and GoW.

But that's not a bad thing, people say it copied those games, but to be honest, it takes everything that made those games good, and throws them all together into one nice little package.

A good comparisson of Darksiders 1 to DS2, would be the difference between Assassins Creed and AC2.

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Deano34249
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 5:25:31 PM
Reply

Killa, the original must be so cheap by now, i recommend getting it for sure. If your a fan of the God of War series, the gameplay in Darksiders should appeal to you and i have read that many people compare the puzzle elements to Zelda, something i have no experience with. In my opinion it is/was a very underrated title with solid gameplay and a very interesting and compelling storyline. Expect to invest 10-15 hrs into the game and hopefully loving every minute of it.

GO GET IT!!!!!!

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Killa Tequilla
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 7:35:32 PM

Hey! I love me some GoW! I will look into Darksiders.

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LowKey
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 12:31:09 AM

Elements of LoZ? I call it "Link goes to hell" lol

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Akuma07
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 6:18:59 PM

I grabbed it for $19 AUD. That'd be like $5 in a US store.

Damn great price, for a damn great game.

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frostface
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 5:42:42 PM
Reply

I'm still stuck in the same place in Darksiders 1. No matter what I do I keep getting my butt handed to me. I want to get the sequel because the first game is quite fun but I won't be buying DS2 until I beat the first game.

Besides, isn't out on the same day as Sleeping Dog's?

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Deano34249
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 7:50:22 PM

where are you stuck?

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frostface
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 8:24:11 PM

The Twilight Cathedral part that keeps respawning Soldiers, a Conscript and a Rot Mauler. I think it's not far from the boss at the end of the area. No matter how much button mashing I do, I can't beat these guys.

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frostface
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 8:54:20 PM

I can't believe it. I just beat that area. I've lost track of how many times I tried to tackle it and lost. It was almost a game breaker for me to be honest. But I just did it. I'm feeling real good right about now. I can finally move on and enjoy the rest of the game.

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Beamboom
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 6:46:38 AM

Few things feel better than getting past such points, Frosty. Sometimes you need to leave a game and return later, with renewed motivation and a clear head. :)

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frostface
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 8:12:35 AM

A clear head dipped in cider also works lol

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Akuma07
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 6:21:35 PM

A tip for next time. Don't focus on button mashing. Yeah you have to spam your primary attack, but focus more on timing. The guys in DS will kick your ass if you don't pay attention. I just finished my second playthrough and I didn't die once, i barely even took any damage. Learn to dodge :)

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frostface
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 6:51:43 PM

That's good advice Akuma mate. I've been playing for most of today, and I'm really digging the game. I've not been dying as much because I've been getting the timing down better. In fact I'm finding I don't need to button mash, the combo's are easy enough to pull off and when done correctly do massive damage.

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xenris
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 5:58:04 PM
Reply

This is so far my most anticipated game coming out in the next couple months. Love the first one and the second is looking to be even better.

I can not wait. Also I love this man, what he speaks is true. Truly great games are created with passion and love and not with a sales figure in mind. I hope this game sells well though, he really deserves it.



Last edited by xenris on 8/11/2012 6:04:42 PM

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Nickjcal
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 6:21:05 PM
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I'm reviewing the game as well over at OnlySP and all I can say is that I'm really impressed and having a hell of a lot of fun.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 6:52:27 PM
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Gotta respect these guys for sticking with an old school set of ideals and bringing it into this generation. I think the reason a lot of gamers complain these days is because games are so one-dimensional in gameplay. Darksiders was very multi-faceted.

Personally I'm stuck somewhere in the first game and can't think of what to do next so I ended up moving onto other things. If I ever finish it I'll pick up this second one. Maybe it will come to PSN like the first did.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 7:26:36 PM

REALLY big game to put on the PSN. ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 9:15:00 PM

Hasn't stopped any other big games.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 9:21:08 PM

I can't think of a game as big as DSII on the PSN. Maybe Burnout Paradise.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 9:59:24 PM

inFamous 2

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 11:44:46 PM

I don't know...that's actually not that big when you think about it. And when you compare it to the very large interior environments in DSII (along WITH a world map), I can almost guarantee DSII would be bigger.

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LowKey
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 12:35:46 AM

Infamous 7GB, Infamous 2 12GB, Burnout Paradise 3GB, And I think its a Ratchet and Clank game is a whopping 14gb. Just off the top of my head. (hence why im always bitching about digital copies vs. Bandwidth caps).

Last edited by LowKey on 8/12/2012 12:36:56 AM

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TheCanadianGuy
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 10:49:16 AM

GTA IV is on PSN. i don't know how much space it takes because i have it on disc but i imagine that's gotta be alot.

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Temjin001
Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 8:26:57 PM
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Awesome. Looks to be a real winner.

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R3ZR
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 1:59:22 AM
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Darksiders is free for PS Plus members atm. It's 10GB and not bad at all. Can't wait for the next one

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___________
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 4:28:35 AM
Reply

gotta love his responce tp question 3, only wish more developers had that attitude!
ive been saying that for years, make a game your passionate about and you will get decent sales!
im so sick how this industry has become publishers looking at statistics and saying x company is bringing in the bank with x genre so we have to do the same.
the industry does not work that way, just because one company is making millions off a FPS does not mean you will too!
you really think zelda would sell as well as it does if it was made by M$?
or GOW made by ninty?

exactly why 99% of games this gen have been disappointing, because you can really tell its not what the developers wanted to make!
and it shows!
as he said when your working your a$$ off on something you love you just dont care, you go the extra mile because you care about it!
when you dont give a sh*t about the project your going to cut corners and slack off wherever you can.
i just wish publishers would trust developers know what their doing, and just let them make the game they want to make!
they forget developers are gamers too, so chances are whatever they want to make is exactly what we want to play!
only if you could get that through their thick skulls...........

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DjEezzy
Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 10:50:17 AM
Reply

Problem is... With millions invested by the publishers and shareholders, "chances" aren't sure enough. Sometimes they want that guarantee of billions of dollars. Business will always win over creativity. It's really unfortunate to be honest.

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