Darksiders 2 PC Technical Review



Product: Darksiders 2
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Eric Amidon
Date: August 16th, 2012

Graphics options, visuals, performance, & controls

Graphics options

Not much to say or see here: you get a scant four options (Vsync, Gamma, Resolution, and Fullscreen), and all of them are general. What's worse is Vsync doesn't actually work, and forcing it via Control Center does nothing. At minimum, an option for antialiasing is needed, though thankfully jaggies aren't too noticeable by default.

Visuals

Darksiders 2 isn't a high end game by any means, but what it does it does well, which it to say striking art design and impressive combat effects. Textures are mostly of the higher quality you'd expect on PC, but are unfortunately inconsistent in that the occasional console quality texture rears its ugly head, and sometimes very noticeably, like on face models. It's not a huge issue and for the most part you should be able to relish in the fidelity on display, but know you will likely be distracted from time to time.

Performance

Framerate is definitely not an issue, here. In any of the early areas, I rarely drop below 70-80 frames per second, and frequently stick between 110-180; stuttering is rare. Like I said, it's not the most demanding game, but it deserves commendation still for being well optimized in this department.

Controls

Camera sensitivity feels way low by default at about 30%; cranking it up to around 80%, it feels quite at home. On occasions where you need to aim manually, however, there's a strong sense of console inheritance.

Keys can be rebound, though it's through the general in-game menu, and not the options menu, confusingly enough, so it took me awhile to learn this. By default, special abilities are bound to the number keys, which doesn't work at all for the quick combat. Yes, you can use Tab to pause the game and simultaneously access the radial menu and use them that way, but it's unnecessarily tedious and hurts the flow. Thankfully, you can rebind them to any extra mouse buttons you hopefully have, which works reasonably well. Other than that and a frustrating “one size fits all” key for the Inventory, Map, and so on, default bindings feel pretty natural.

As ever, the Xbox 360 controller is supported, though there's no “swap in” functionality, and the D-pad doesn't work in many menus.