Darksiders II on the Wii U is one of the better ports coming to Nintendo’s new console. A lot of the launch games suffer from the transition, but Vigil Games has done an excellent job of crafting the ultimate version of their second entry to the series. While the core game remains mostly untouched, the inclusion of content and touch-screen features for the Wii U Gamepad make a significant difference, making this the version to own, if you haven’t already played it that is.
Let’s start with the Gamepad. You can opt to play the game with either the Gamepad with touch-screen, or the more traditional Pro Controller. Once you get used to the Gamepad, it actually works fairly well. You can use the touch screen for a multitude of functions such as equipping armor and weapons and assigning powers to your wheel. It all works nicely and saves you from having to enter a menu. I also like that I can now see when I pick up new loot by quickly glancing down at the screen, and not having to pause the game.
The Gamepad also allows you to dodge by shaking the controller while holding a direction. It works better than you imagine, but I still preferred the dedicated button. Playing with the Pro Controller feels natural, again once you get used to it. Having the face buttons below the right analog stick feels cumbersome at first, but once you get the hang of it, it works rather well. I still prefer playing with the Gamepad, but it is nice to have a more familiar option.
The other major selling point for this version is the sheer amount of content. In addition to the massive amount of stuff to do in vanilla Darksiders II, the Wii U version also comes packed with loads of the DLC from the other versions, most notably Argul’s Tomb, which is available right from the start. You also get access to all the pre-order armor DLC and weapons, which is a nice touch. There is more content packed into this disc than you will likely ever get a chance to see. Darksiders II is one massive game, and if you don’t already own it, this is the version to get.
Visually, the Wii U has some growing pains in its launch lineup. Thankfully, Darksiders II is not one of them. The game runs as smoothly as the other versions, outside of perhaps the PC iteration. The frame rate is solid, and the only blemish I noticed was some slight screen tearing in places. This is one great looking game, and I still am in awe at seeing games of this caliber on a Nintendo console. It has been a long time coming, but we finally have a Nintendo console capable of producing visuals on par with the other two machines.
All that said, if you have already taken Death’s journey, there is little reason to come back for seconds. Darksiders II is a great game, but once is more than enough here. I am still dealing with side quests and DLC from the original 360 version personally, so unless you skipped it altogether, there is no single feature that makes this worthy of a double dip. Wii U owners that have yet to embark on the series should definitely check it out. It is a massive game that will last you upwards of 50 hours to complete. As a launch title, that is impressive.
If you want to check out more about the core version of Darksiders II, please read Dave’s review from when the game launched back in August for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.