I had a lot of fun with Darksiders 3. Despite its shortcomings, it was a fun game which felt like a labour of love from the team behind it. In the eight months after release, developer Gunfire Games has built on the title with a number of updates that addressing some of the issues raised by critics and fans alike.
Riding that wave of improvements since release, Gunfire Games have also spent the past few months working on Keepers of the Void, the second large DLC expansion for the game. Sent on a quest by the merchant Vulgrim, Fury must travel into the Serpent Holes to defeat an ancient threat which has made itself nice and comfortable.
The first thing I noticed heading into the DLC was that such little fanfare was made about it in the game. There is no lengthy, elaborate cutscene setting up the DLC to provide motivation for Fury, and Vulgrim instead mentions it quite passively and players then simply have the choice to travel there. The lack of spectacle going into the content had me worried for what was instore – it would appear this hunch was correct.
Touting new enemies, new puzzles, new weapons and even the fan favourite Abyssal Armour, there was a lot going for Keepers of the Void. On paper it sounds like a great bit of additional content in a game which was already fun, but unfortunately, Keepers of the Void is a short and uninspired trawl through a number of visually-blank looking rooms.
There are four distinct areas, all of which are based on the four different elements at Fury’s disposal. As such, each area has a general theme which dictates the enemies and puzzles. While the addition of puzzle-based gameplay is certainly welcome, I never felt myself particularly engaged or engrossed as the puzzles were never particularly challenging. At their peak, the puzzles help break up gameplay from the abundance of combat.
Each of the four areas has a boss fight which players must beat before they can move on to the next. This is where Keepers of the Void feels at its weakest for me. Darksiders 3 had some fantastic, visually-unique bosses, but Keepers of the Void essentially uses exactly the same design four times in a row with small differences in the types of attacks each one uses.
The fights are certainly difficult, providing a challenge for anyone who wants to get the most out of their end-game equipment, they just aren’t very fun or memorable and feel like they exist for the sake of there being a boss at the end of each area.
A number of new weapons make an appearance, but the way the levelling system works in Darksiders 3 makes them all pretty much useless in Keepers of the Void. Most players will already have a number of enhanced weapons from throughout the main game and using the new ones will result in a serious lack of attack power. It would have been nice if the development team featured a fast-track levelling system which enabled you to match your newly earned weapons to the same level as the weapons you already own.
It’s a shame to see the DLC fall so flat after what has been a solid eight months of updates to the game. Darksiders 3 is in a great place now, it’s just a shame that many of the newly added features and touches of polish weren’t in the game at release. Even with the added polish, this expansion really failed to keep me captive and engaged with its offering.
Keepers of the Void isn’t bad, it’s just disappointing. It’s short length and general lack of creativity make its £10.99 price tag a really hard sell. I would only recommend the latest DLC addition to those people who really loved Darksiders 3, and even with that in mind, I think the development team has lost sight of what makes the series so special.