darksiders 3 review
March 2nd, 2019 by Vega Montanez

When you’re last gen but you’re fun.

Game development studios go out of business all the time. It’s the unfortunate part of the industry that keeps every on their toes. What does not happen often, if at all, is a game publisher going out of business. Then there assets and trademarks being purchased at auction. And finally, one of their biggest franchises gets brought back to life by the new owners. However, crazy it sounds, this is the story of Darksiders 3. The release date was on November 27th 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It picks up where the previous games left off and puts you in control of the only horsewoman of the apocalypse. Developed by Gunfire Games and Published by THQ Nordic (remember the story) the third person hack and slash action adventure game hopes to build on the foundation laid before it. Does Fury get an adventure as awesome as War & Death?

GRAPHICS: 1/2

The first thing most gamers will notice is that Darksiders 3 looks a lot like Darksiders 2. For reference, DarkSiders 2 looked a lot like DarkSiders 1. So yeah, the graphics are nothing to really be blown away by. The impressive part of the graphics feeling dated is (with the remasters in existence) the timeline of events feels super coherent and natural. In a weird way, rather than feel like the graphics are outdated it feels like the game is bringing the player to a specific point in time. Whether this was intentional or not it makes it super easy to overlook the minor graphic issues. And the game development team did an excellent job at making sure there were no glaring graphical faults. Not the prettiest tool in the shed but not ugly enough to ruin the experience.

STORY: 1/2

The Darksiders series tells an incredible story when all three games are put together. Individually, each games story is really good but it’s very clear something is missing without the experience with the previous games. Fury is on a mission to take down the seven sins that have taken over earth. That reads interesting but not quite enough. It’s missing the flare of knowing everything that led to this point. Like War being framed for causing the battle that destroyed earth and ruined the balance. Or that Death is on his own unapproved mission to prove his brother War’s innocence. Or perhaps the suspicious story from the Char Council that Strife is off on a mission and he can not be reached. See now the story is much more interesting, however all those pieces come together from playing every game. Great story spread across three good games.

AUDIO: 1/2

Similar to the visuals, the audio in Darksiders 3 sounds very much like it’s predecessors. Again this does an incredible job of creating the feeling that the events of the game are indeed taking place simultaneously with Darksiders 1 and 2. For anyone who’s played the previous games the roars of monster and the destruction of items in sight will sound very familiar. For those new to the series, it’s a hit or miss. Some menu sounds are absolutely annoying with their sharp chimes. However, most of the sounds in game, from sword swinging to landing from a large jump, are pretty action packed. The adrenaline inducing sound effects and music add to the fast paced excitement even if it sounds like a last generation soundtrack.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

This is where each game in this series really separates. Each development team for the Darksiders series has had the privilege of working with nearly identical environments with a different protagonist. In Darksiders 3 the player takes control of Fury, often recognized as the least predictable of the four horsemen. Fury specializes in using her whip and magic to overcome most battles. This makes her similar to Death in that she more effectively dodges than she does block. Yet, similar to War, she is very up close and personal, using her whip and magic to close the distance more often than end the fight. The introduction of a few new enemy types and the strengthening of others makes the experience unique to Fury. Enemies that could barely hurt the hulking War are a larger threat to Fury. Learning to play to each Horseman’s strength and weaknesses is what has every fan of this series asking, when do we get the 4 player co-op DarkSiders game?

FUN: 2/2

Fast paced hack and slash third person action. That sentence is the literal definition of a fun game. The Darksiders series does a great job of combining puzzle, platform, and adventure game mechanics. Darksiders 3 is no different. It embodies basic RPG elements like growth and skill charts but it’s mostly about reflex reactions. Battles involve accurate timing for both attacks and dodging. Puzzles scale in size from small levers and dials to entire environments that need to traversed with precision. All these great pieces of other fun games make Darksiders 3 the type of game that requires effort to stop playing.

Darksiders 3 does a great job of being exactly what fans of the series want at the small risk of being too much for newcomers to handle. The team at Gunfire Games have done an excellent job of providing a solid hack and slash adventure during the genre’s major drought. Any fans of fast paced action, unique gameplay mechanics, and challenging puzzles needs to get their hands on this. Or any of the games in the series, honestly.

SCORE: 7/10




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May 23rd, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Delays, delays, delays, also delays.

E3 is around the corner so you know how antsy I’m getting. I’m sure you’re feeling it just as much. I’m here today to hit you with all the bad news this week. It sucks but it is what it is. This one is going to be short so don’t miss it flying by. Behold the most negative LGR to date:

1. Shenmue 3 delayed to 2019!

I think it’s fair to say that I warned everyone reading that this was going to be more of an UnLucky recap. Rip the band-aid off quick and tell you out the gate, Shenmue 3 has been delayed. It was originally planned to come out fall of this year but given the lack of marketing and development progress you would be a fool to be surprised by this. Honestly, I have my doubts that it will even make it to release next year. Call me a pessimist (actually please don’t) but Shenmue 3 is quite a long way out. Good news; we are still getting the remastered versions of 1 and 2 this year. 

2. Metro Exodus delayed to 2019.

This delay on the other hand is super unexpected. If you don’t recall, Metro Exodus was the first game to show us a zombie bear in action at E3. It was terrifying. The game looked incredible and I’m pretty sure it had a playable demo as well. THQ Nordic bought Deep Silver which means this delay is most likely to make sure the marketing is labeled and handled properly. In this case I feel like this is more of a winning situation for fans of the series. You know, cause Red Dead Redemption is going to outshine everything this fall.

3. Bio-Mutant & Darksiders 3 release window uncertain?

By now some of you have realized that all these delays come from the same company. If you didn’t, it’s pretty clear now. THQ Nordic buying Deep Silver has put a big shift on the way the game release schedules are working. So the interesting new IP, Bio-Mutant, and the revival of an IP that should never have died, Darksiders 3, are both under revision for release. Fear not, this doesn’t mean these games are going bye bye, it just means they gotta cook in the oven a little longer. Still thinking this is good thing. Also thinking, news about THQ in 2018? Man if I could time travel, the old me would be all messed up. 

4. Skull and Bones delayed to at least 2019-2020

Not all dogs go to heaven and not all delays come from THQ. Sometimes they come from ridiculously incredible publishers with a ton of great IP’s. In this case the culprit is Ubisoft. And as much as I love to entertain the idea that this delay is to make room for the more exciting return of Splinter Cell, that’s probably not true. Skull and Bones is essentially the boat parts of Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft saw how terrible Sea of Thieves release was and they said “Uh oh, maybe we need more.” Boom and that’s how games are delayed, next question. Damn! 2020 though?

5. Okami HD Comes to Switch.

Because we are a small team and I’m terrible at finishing video games we had to pass on reviewing this when it released late last year. It’s okay though, now that it’s officially releasing on Nintendo Switch, Chet can experience with fresh eyes what I played on PS2. This is light news, but it does a little making up for all the delays right? Right? Please, just say yes. Oh and I just remembered a version of Okami came to Wii as well. Look at that. And Okami HD comes to Switch August 9th.

6. Stalking will be cool again starting 2021.

Well, stalking has never actually been cool. It had a brief moment when the classic survival series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, last title was released in 2009. That didn’t stop the announcement of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 from happening. Well technically happening again because the game was previously announced and then canceled in 2011. When this game releases it’ll officially have been a full decade since the last title. The funny thing about it is, that seems to be working for games pretty well lately. Examples include: Final Fantasy 15 & Last Guardian but not Duke Nukem. Absolutely not Duke Nukem. 

7. The Kingdom holding your heart will be yours, soon. 

I couldn’t be a complete ass and give you only bad news. Here I saved the best for last. Only the greatest news makes it to the end this week. Are you still with me? Alright here we go. Kingdom Hearts 3 will be officially arriving next month to tell you when it will be releasing for your gaming pleasure. That was fun. Yea so Square decided to indulge in the hype of this game by teasing a day they would provide a release date. Pay attention though folks, this month is May which means next month is June. June is E3. Half-Life 3 confirmed. 

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August 28th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Those peacekeepers could use your help, agent!

Agents of Mayhem is a third person shooter with RPG elements developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver. Volition’s last full release, Saints Row IV was released by Deep Silver after THQ, the original publisher was unable to stay in business. This final game (plus the Gat Out of Hell standalone expansion) left the series with little room to move on. So, this game serves as a spinoff to the Saints Row series by taking all of its gameplay and adding some interesting new tweaks. It’s a single-player-only experience, yet you play as a squad of 3 and just swap in and out of all 3 characters. Does it work?
{Reviewed on Xbox One]

GRAPHICS: 1/2

It feels like Volition is always just a little bit behind everyone else in the area of graphics. Adding a slight amount of cel-shaded flair and some decent visual FX, it’s their best looking game to date. But unfortunately, ‘their best’ is a game that looks like a launch title in the graphics department. Or, at the very least, it’s a former last gen game that was hastily ported to next gen for Xbox One and PS4. The design of Seoul, the city the game takes place in, looks quite nice artistically. Aesthetic highrises, building zones, factories, and a shipyard, they made them all look decent. But, in terms of technical prowess, it’s just not up to part with the more modern games it’s lining up against. There’s also a fair bit of asset reuse going on here. Because of that, you see the same signs and buildings multiple times if they aren’t part of the set-piece structures. There will be more about this later on in the review.

STORY: 1/2

The plot of Agents of Mayhem was so banal, it was entirely forgettable. The titular agents of M.A.Y.H.E.M. are put up against the nefarious L.E.G.I.O.N. in order to stop them from creating a super weapon. If this sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon, that’s because it’s framed as one. Tons of 2D animated cutscenes play before and after missions. This game manages to mimic that look, albeit way more raunchier and full of F-bombs. But, like I said, the story is forgettable. What is memorable is the array of colorful characters that interact with each other. Every single mission and major side-mission is loaded to the brim with radio chatter, often engaging as much as 5 or more people in the group gabbing it up while you’re fighting. The case contains 12 agents, 5 major NPCs in your home base, and 5+ enemy characters and they all do their fair share of talking. This is multiplied if you play the game with your favorite squad loadout. You definitely won’t like all 12 agents but you’ll find the ones whose humor aligns with yours the most. Bonus points do have to be given. The enemy NPCs have a metric ton of lines that are specific to whichever agent you’re currently playing as (“It’s Hollywood, get him!” or “Oh sh*t, it’s Braddock!” etc). One more thing that bothers me more though, is that they decided to make Saints Row mainstay Johnny Gat into a pre-order only DLC from Gamestop. I am dumbfounded as to why they decided to do this, so I chose not to pre-order and pick up the game elsewhere.

AUDIO: 0/2

Complete disaster. The audio is littered with multiple small glitches like sounds being interrupted, missing sound effects, and lines getting occasionally cut off. There were also numerous times where leaving the game running and coming back later mutes the entire game, forcing you to restart it. Games running in the background are a staple of all the new consoles, so it’s a pain in the ass when your enjoyment is interrupted because you have to restart the game. The voice acting was mediocre for the most part. Nobody really stood out, but nothing was terrible. The music though? Boring. The cars didn’t even have radio stations either, music just clicks on any time you enter a vehicle. I said in our video that the music sounded like generic “royalty free” music you can purchase at a lower cost than licensed music. Given Volition’s usually propensity for absolutely nailing scenes with well-times songs, it’s just depressing that they couldn’t be bothered to come up with something more interesting.

GAMEPLAY: 1/2

The gameplay in AoM is hectic, as you jump around attacking various enemies in either wide open spaces or closed in dungeon-type areas. It’s sort of an overhaul from Saints Row IV but optimized to suit a squad-based combat system. Some team members are better at taking down certain enemy types than others. It’s pretty easy to make a well balanced teams since they all have handy little logos indicating what their specialty is. Some break through armor, some break shields, other can hack, others do more damage against leaders. This new depth actually made the game exciting to try out different characters while playing the missions. However, all of the gameplay is completely marred by bugs. I’ve gotten stuck in scenery, textures not loading, my car getting trapped, and an enemy boss accidentally teleporting outside the map, forcing me to start the whole bass battle over again. It’s stuff like this and the aforementioned audio bugs that really bring this game down. Even worse is the mission design. Every other story mission or major side mission has you perform a menial task followed by assaulting one of Legion’s underground lairs. Except it’s the same lair. EVERY. TIME. The game tries to make up for this by having you travel to different sections of the lair per mission but its done so frequently that it doesn’t help it at all. One more thing: another detriment to the game was the lack of a minimap, making the buggy GPS system and driving confusing on many occasions.

FUN: 2/2

So, here’s the rub. Despite all of AoM’s problems with glitches and bugs, the game is an absolute blast to play once things get going. Though I’m not a fan of the recent uprising of every game turning into a sandbox game, I can’t say it doesn’t give you plenty of things to do. This is also helped by making the map not really that big. In a market full of games that are continually trying to outdo each other by size, this game had the guts to say NO. This game takes place in one city, not of the missions or activities is all that far away, and the activities are free form so you have that old-school freedom to do whenever you want. The best way to play this game is in short bursts. Playing the game for review forces me to tire of the repetition but if you use it as a time killing game and decide to go around, shooting some stuff up, and causing general MAYHEM, you’ll be in for a good time.

Bugs, glitches, and lackluster soundtrack really hampered the overall quality of the experience of this game. It could have been better had it not been for seemingly lazy mission design. Doing the same thing over and over again can be annoying but not in short bursts. A wild idea arose while writing this review. I think this game should be on the Nintendo Switch. This game looks like it could run on it, and this game would be great to have as a portable title. So if you really like your sandbox games, you could do worse. But for a full price release? Forget it, wait for a sale.

SCORE: 5/10




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August 28th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

More Like Agents of “Meh”-Hem

Vega and Chet from Hard Mode Gamers talk about Agents of MAYHEM. In Agents of Mayhem you fight the nefarious LEGION by doing random things and go into their underground lair. After that, you do more random things and then go into their underground lair. After that, you do more random things and then go into their underground lair. After that, you do more random things and then go into their underground lair. After that, you do more random things and then go into their underground lair. After that, you do more random things and then go into their underground lair. After that, you do more random things and then go into their underground lair.

It’s just OK.




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