The first thing that strikes me about the sequel is that it seems more colourful. Far from anything you would call cartoony, the colours somehow stand out more. Not that the original Darksiders was particularly washed out, but it seems the developers have taken the comic book look one step further this time around.
The new main character is Death, brother of War we played as in the first game. War was a rather large fellow, quiet and cool. I find it hard to like Death and his horse sidekick Despair as much as his adventure is played out in parallel to the events of the first game. Visually he comes with very distinct hip-hop influences, and wears a skeleton mask, and his favourite colour appears to be eggplant. My reluctance towards him is just a matter of personal tastes, and I'm sure some will prefer him to the more serious War.
His weapon of choice is the scythe, and he packs two of them. The weapons are fairly flexible, and the combat does not grow stale. The two scythes can be combined into one, or even used as boomerangs. You can use other weapons such as a gun can be used in familiar chains of combos to increase the multiplier. Death also has some additional tricks up his sleeve, such as Ghost Hand, a move that allows him to quickly brush away lesser enemies. Reversely with larger opponents it pulls Death up close to the vulnerable head.
It must be said that Death is a very different from War, who was a large and powerful character. Our new hero packs a bit of muscle, but he's not your large Schwarzenegger-esque character. He is agile and moves swiftly out of the way of attacks. Death dodges and moves very stylish, he is an efficient killer, and he even has the time to add a bit of dry wit to the formula. War was more of a straight forward brawler, dishing out damage and blocking attacks. He seemed humourless, despite all his coolness. It's a change of direction that should appeal to those who want to make use of more clever moves and tactics with the controller. Right away in the first dungeon you can clearly see passages that reminds us of Assassin's Creed, Uncharted, and Prince of Persia. There is an increased emphasis on adventure, and it seems to work very well.