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Darksiders II Designer "Frustrated" By Comparisons To Zelda

It's often part of a journalist's or critic's job to compare a new game to other familiar titles, just so the public has a reference point.

But some game makers aren't too thrilled with these comparisons, even when those comparisons are quite flattering. Take Vigil Games lead designer for Darksiders II Haydn Dalton, for instance. In a recent Videogamer interview, he says he isn't a big fan of constant comparisons, even if Zelda is included. Said Dalton:

"If anyone says it's like the games that you talked about, of course, anything like that we see as a compliment. But it's a curse as well because they see it as, like, you haven't really done anything to earn that. Everyone has seen [Zelda]. Why isn't everyone else doing it? People have tried to do things like that but they've completely failed at it.

We seem like we've done it right but we still get a little bit whipped for it. We're trying to do something that we think is fun in a genre that I think is dying now. It's hard to do and it costs a lot of money and we're still trying to keep the idea of that action-adventure genre going. It feels a little hurtful sometimes when people are hurting us for doing that."

He went on to say that critics should use comparisons as a reference point, but they definitely start to feel like "derogatory remarks" when they go, "Well, it's just this." For example, it drives him nuts when Darksiders II is said to be a "carbon copy" of God of War...it isn't, and he wants us to know it. For our part, we're pretty excited about this new sequel; it seems to have oodles of potential.

It does remind us of.....oh, just kidding. We won't do it.

Related Game(s): Darksiders II

Tags: darksiders ii, darksiders 2, thq, vigil games, darksiders sequel

7/25/2012 10:36:45 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

Jawknee
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 10:49:37 AM
Reply

I would agree. I played some of Dark Siders and it has absolutely nothing on Zelda. In all honesty the game was pretty generic in my opinion. I'll take a look at the new one when it hits but I doubt I'll be interested. I'm not a fan of the whole Saterday Morning Cartoon/Image comics art direction of these games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 12:16:19 PM

You have to get into the meat of it to see where it improves upon the Zelda formula.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 12:28:20 PM

Meh, I tried. The art direction and character design alone was so meh that I couldn't put myself through anymore punishment.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 12:47:12 PM

I know what you mean about the art. Some characters were cool but War himself didn't do much for me. I was not pleased with the constant greyness of everything either, I never finished it but it did have some real head scratching dungeons and clever use of old standards like boomarangs and bombs.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 1:00:51 PM

Something about hulkish builds and masks that look like they were ripped out of an Image comic book from the 90's makes me say "just no..."

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xenris
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 1:47:26 PM

Wars unlockable costume is awesome. Its still bulky but really I love it. You can google images for it.

I thought the art style was refreshing but I love things that look different. I really was sold on the excellent combat and overall pacing of the game.

To each there own. Maybe Death with appeal to you more jawk.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 4:54:00 PM

You both need to bear in mind that Darksiders II should be significantly different. Even more like Zelda, as I understand it.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 8:29:38 PM

Something about hulkish builds and masks that look like they were ripped out of an Image comic book from the 90's makes me say "just no..."

I see you like em plain, young and in their pre-puberty :P ... That could be seen as illegal :D lol

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 9:46:01 PM

The fact that you came up with all that based my comment that makes zero mention of any of that says more about you and your mind than it does me.

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Neo_Aeon666
Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 6:57:34 PM

LOL

Well I took into account that you love Zelda and you just said that the Manly art of DarkSider was one of your main turn-offs.

I kind of think it fits... I mean you of all people should know Link does look like a 14-15 yrs old teen. Or way less when you play as Young Link. And you love that game meaning you also love the style...

Still I can agree I have a twisted mind :D lolll

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 7/26/2012 7:00:16 PM

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Temjin001
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 11:29:05 AM
Reply

I really enjoyed Darksiders.
I absolutely agree that the action-adventure type games are a dying breed. They used to seem so prevalent back in the day. So I see his point when he says that it's probably not a good thing to say Darksiders is like Zelda+God of War. It sort of pigeon holes the game's identity as a knock-off, where back in the day games like Zelda, Faxanadu, Metroid, Simon's Quest, Legacy of Kain etc., shared a large genre together, claiming any single one directly to another leads to a lot of assumptions.

Anyhow, this new Darksiders looks solid. The first game helped scratch that Zelda =p itch I had this gen without having to lower myself to the Wii standard, or buy extraneous peripherals.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 7/25/2012 11:29:50 AM

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berserk
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 11:58:02 AM
Reply

A big map to explores , multiple dungeons filled with puzzles and a boss at they end . Parts of the world blocked until you get the right tools to get past it .

Sorry but it s hard not to compare the 2 but one thing for sure , it s a day 1 purchase for me ( the loot closed the deals for me ) .

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xenris
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 11:58:58 AM
Reply

I think Darksiders blows the recent Zelda games out of the water. I personally stopped playing Zelda after the Snes era because they all felt the same to me. I did however love wind waker.

I love Darksiders world, I loved the story, and the dungeons and puzzles and combat were all blended perfectly so none of them felt like they were dragging on.

I also think Darksiders is at least evolving the genre where Zelda has evolved very little from game to game. Except for a gimmick that each game is built around, like the ocarina, or the wand or ugh...motion controls.

The edition to a loot system is going to make this one addictive game.

I platinumed this game just because of how solid and refreshing it felt. You can say it copies Zelda but it plays much better and smoother in my opinion and had better flow to it.

Its an action adventure game and it is a genre that is dying out this generation. Most games are on rails or so sandbox you lose direction.

Its the same crap other good shooters get. Its either too close to CoD but its not CoD, or its not enough like CoD so why not just play CoD. I would be frustrated if I was him as well.

Last edited by xenris on 7/25/2012 12:02:53 PM

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 12:13:13 PM

If you haven't played a Zelda game since the SNES days, how can you claim Darksiders "smoother" or "better"?

You are making claims about a game you haven't played in nearly 20 years. Do you even realize how ridiculous your post sounds?

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xenris
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 1:54:03 PM

That does look silly, I meant to say I stopped caring about the Zelda series after the SNES era. My intention was to express that I haven't liked any since the snes era except for wind waker.

I have played all of the major console zeldas I worded that poorly, apologies. Note how I said I loved wind waker? I guess I will have to proof read my posts.

Your over reaction and hostility was expected though. I suggest linden tea and an Epsom salt bath to release some unneeded tension in your body.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 3:23:22 PM

Just sayin...you made bold claims about a franchise in which you haven't invested yourself much in since the SNES days by comparing it to a game that is mediocre at best. I am glad you agree your initial post sounded silly.

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/25/2012 3:25:48 PM

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xenris
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 5:24:43 PM

True I haven't invested much time into the Zelda series, however like I said Wind Waker was pretty good. I beat ocarina with a friend and watched him play majoras mask as that was when I realized I didn't really care for the series. Wind waker reminded me of the SNES version for some reason which is why I liked it and ended up borrowing it from a friend but Skyward sword was honestly ruined for me by motion control and even still it felt the same as the other 3D Zelda games except for the motion gimmick. Twilight princess felt bland to me too.

If you don't like it because you don't like the art style and the combat isn't for you or whatever your reasons are for not liking it thats fine, but many many people loved it for those very things. I wouldn't say there is anything mediocre about it, it has excellent voice acting, interesting bosses, lots of exploration and secrets, collectables, and for me really fun fluid combat.

If this game builds on that then I think it might be my personal game of the year, other than journey that doesn't really count because nothing can touch it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 12:15:30 PM
Reply

It does suck when people say "It's just this" about a game, but Darksiders had the Zelda formula down really well though I should say it's the classic formula from the NES and SNES days.

Sad that this style is dying though, I think the reason is the gameplay is more important than the story and effects and whatnot in a genre where the cinematic nature of something like Uncharted is more popular. You can't really make a game like Darksiders as a cinematic production and have it be as enjoyable for fans of old school gameplay.

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xenris
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 1:55:37 PM

Well said. I still think they managed to tell a decent cinematic narrative though.

I am also sad the genre is dying. One of the most satisfying genres for me to play.

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DrRockso87
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 12:48:26 PM
Reply

I can understand why being compared to Zelda is annoying but honestly, who cares? Darksiders is similar to plenty of games (e.g. God of War, Devil May Cry, Legend of Zelda, Panzer Dragoon, Portal, etc.) You know what's great? Darksiders merges all of these games into one awesome one. So, who cares?

Again, I can understand why he's upset about the comparisons but, I mean, that's just how it is. Darksiders seriously does feel like Zelda. God of War as well while ripping off Portal! That's not even speculation; they seriously ripped off Portal. But again, who cares? Game is great! I'm not complaining.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 3:13:53 PM
Reply

It really is God of War meets Zelda, (or at least the first was) there's no getting around that.

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EMax
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 4:28:52 PM
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I really enjoyed darksiders. Thought the art, design and gameplay was great for a brand new IP. Can't wait for Pt 2. It didn't feel like zelda or gow to me. Elements were borrowed of course but which game out there hasn't borrowed elements from other games. Heck, even FPSs have a levelling up system a la rpgs (not the rockets ok lol)

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YashaZz
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 5:28:34 PM
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Darksiders felt different to other hack 'n' slash games. I liked it, but it was not enough to make me continue playing it, so after I hit a certain boss I just lost interest.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 6:02:14 PM
Reply

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/168568/following_your_instincts_.php?page=1

A cool read for Darksiders 2 fans.

They even talk about Jawknee in the interview =p He's mr. popular in this thread;)

"Funny story in Darksiders 1 is, we did a usability test and they hated everything about the game -- they hated the story, they hated the character, they hated the art, they hated it all. And then you look at the play time, and they were spending an hour in an area that's supposed to be 10 minutes."
-David Adams



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La_Bete12
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 7:42:28 PM
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Isn't it true that due to the shortage of newer IPs being created recently that all games being developed currently have aspects from past games anyways? It doesn't matter what game you make, critics will always be comparing it to another game to give consumers an idea of what they're about to purchase. Honestly I highly doubt that the Darksiders series is better than Zelda, but I haven't played it so I can't form an opinion, but really I don't see the problems in comparing games, because in reality all games borrow, steal, reform, and reuse aspects of games all the time.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 10:09:48 PM
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Darksiders was a sleeper hit. I never bothered with the game because I honestly didn't ever get a look at it. I picked it up for $20 AUD on sale the other week after being bored with my current games and having a look at darksiders 2 trailers.

I am SO glad that I did try it, and disappointed that I never got into it years ago. It really is an awesome and fun game.

Darksiders 2 looks like it is going to be 5x more intense the the 1st, and I cannot wait.

Collectors Edition here I come!

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___________
Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 5:28:53 AM
Reply

hes got a point.
but hes taking it too personal, he makes it sound like people are trying to make it sound like there not doing anything new there just copying other games.
there not saying that, there just comparing it to other games so people know what there similar too.

im a bit worried about this though.
simply because it suffers from what every sequel this gen suffers from.
it has to be a TOTALLY different game!
the ONLY thing that made darksiders so awesome was its slow paced heavy strategic combat system.
and now they have replaced it with a much more athletic, acrobatical, much, much, MUCH faster paced death.
sigh.
why?
why do sequels have to be completely different to their predecessors?
why cant they just be exactly the same but bigger and better?
i really, really hope this turns out like red faction guerrilla.
a game that is TOTALLY different from the franchise, but still a awesome game!
instead of RE5, a game that is TOTALLY different from the franchise and sucks donkey balls because of it.
only time will tell, but i will be SO disappointed if this flops!
i just hope this does well enough for another darksiders game, and this time for the love of god bring war back!!!!!!!!!!!

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xenris
Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 3:33:15 PM

Just play it and enjoy it. Darksiders 2 looks just like what you said, the same as its predecessor only bigger and better. Death is slightly more agile but war moved fast when upgraded at the end. I never felt like the combat was slow and strategic in Darksiders 1 though.

I think this game will hit the spot.

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DeathOfChaos
Friday, July 27, 2012 @ 1:07:20 AM
Reply

But it IS like a Zelda/God of War hybrid. Maybe they should try not making with that formula so they don't get the comparison, lol. I couldn't get into the bulkiness of it, either. I didn't get very far in it, I just couldn't stay focused. Maybe the second will be better, but then I'll have to get my lazy bones to play through the bulky first title, lol.

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