The beloved hack and slash-franchise Darksiders is finally back after six long years and, as plenty of long-time fans of the franchise gather for the release of the next horseman-led instalment in the series, we've done some gathering ourselves - for some deadly sins.
The third game in the series grants the player the opportunity to wield the power of a "new" horseman. In the past we've hacked as War, slashed as Death, and this time around we're moving nimbly through the battlefield as Fury - the first and only female protagonist among the horsemen (or in this case, horsewoman). Fury moves like an acrobat when annihilating her enemies, wields a whip made of what looks to be razor wire, and sports some neat magic powers her brothers don't possess, but more on that later.
At the beginning of the game, the player walks up to the council's fiery throne where War can be seen chained to a boulder for a crime he insists he did not commit, this crime being having opened the seventh seal and thus disturbing the balance of the world. Fury is given the mission to find and retrieve the souls of the seven deadly sins that have been set free and with War in chains, Death missing and Strife "tending to other matters" (how very vague), Fury is the only one who can help restore the balance. The consequences for War's crimes bleed off on Fury's journey, however, forcing her to take a watcher (a sort of council-controlled spy one could say, to make sure no other horseman betrays it) with her as she tracks down the sinful beings. This watcher hovers alongside Fury as she travels a world in turmoil, giving her helpful tips along the way. When leaving the chamber, War turns to his sister, warning her that forces conspire against them and telling her to search her heart while insisting he's innocent.
When dropped down into the hostile environment the player gets to familiarise him- or herself with the game's mechanics and the base gameplay features. Almost instantly Fury gets herself into combat-clad trouble with a bunch of demonic minions who are roaming the city streets that have been ravaged by the chaos Fury is working hard to banish.
The combat is easy enough with the X button being the attack button (Y when in fire form) and pressing it in different successions, holding the button down and mixing it up with a jump/double jump or a dodge making for different attacks. Fury dodges incoming attacks with the right bumper and, if timed perfectly, time slows down, giving her enough time to take the enemy down while its back is turned (this, we found, is the best way to go through the game, especially boss fights, so get practising your timing right away).
Fury's combat movements are very different from those possessed by her brothers, the main difference being her acrobatic nature. Her whip is a good fit for her move-set with its versatility range-wise, and Fury's jump attacks, as well as the dodge-mechanic, make killing lousy demons a cakewalk. Later on in the game, Fury unlocks the power of fire through a fire hollow which gives her an entirely different skill set as well as the ability to jump higher with a force of flames. In this state, she uses Y to attack, obtains the ability to walk through lava, can slice through webs without the need of an explosive bug helper, and gets a new set of weapons called the Chains of Scorn, which have shorter range but can ignite enemies. Apart from this form (and others) she can also enter Havoc form, which turns her into a massive maiden of brute force, although that one is time limited.
The weapons Fury wields, although being subject to optional change along the way, feel like a natural extension of the protagonist's body and can be upgraded as one gets further in the game using enhancements that can be found in the world (as well as adamantium and other items depending on what the player wants to upgrade). The enhancements can in turn also be upgraded with two paths differing in stats. Here one must find angelic or demonic shards for either of the two paths.