Author: Lydia Sung
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Sunday, September 30th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/darksiders_2_arguls_tomb/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
A bit over two months after Vigil Games introduced us to Death, Darksiders II received its first bit of downloadable content, Argul’s Tomb. As its name implies, the DLC revolves around a new dungeon, and with it comes new enemies, puzzles, and gear. Accessible from the game’s main menu, Argul’s Tomb transports players to an area not found on the map, where Death meets the familiar pipe-smoking merchant Ostegoth.
The monster-goat vendor tells Death a brief tale concerning Argul, the Deposed King and a minor character from the campaign. Turns out, the tomb holds immense power, and was transported away so that the former king could never reclaim it. Now Death is tasked with venturing into the icy dungeon in search of this power. Ostegoth, for his part, offers the Horseman material rewards for his troubles.
Argul’s Tomb is split into three parts. The first acquaints us with a new heavy ranged weapon, similar to a grenade launcher. Shooting isn’t mandatory here, but you’ll likely be holding onto this thing for the entire first area, where enemies swarm claustrophobic spaces. The mobs here can easily overwhelm Death, and even the boss battle at the end features multiple mini-bosses (and lesser mobs) crammed into a small arena, rather than one big baddy. While the shooting mechanic is a change of pace, it really doesn’t live up to good ol’ hacking and slashing, and I found myself dropping the gun repeatedly in favor of Death’s more conventional weapons and abilities.
The main dungeon comes after the shoot ‘em up starter area and breaks down into two progressively longer segments. They’re much more familiar, as far as dungeons go, bringing puzzles back into the mix (the beginning had none). Don’t expect a whole lot of variety or anything too complicated, however; all the puzzles revolve around portals. Nothing too challenging, which could be either good or bad, depending on your difficulty preferences. I breezed through all three sections in under two hours on Apocalyptic, and the only real hang-up was the final boss – whose identity I’ll keep a secret. The mobs can be troublesome, since they keep with the whole ice theme and can actually freeze Death in place, but they’re all just different versions of the creatures from the campaign.
Despite how short the DLC is, rewards are plentiful, and you’ll find no shortage of chests to loot throughout every sub-dungeon. Enemies also drop a lot of items, and you’re practically guaranteed at least one Possessed quality weapon, plus a few Epics. Should you be in need of the gear and too poor to afford vendor stuff, Argul’s Tomb may be the perfect solution. Completing the whole thing also grants Death a special secondary weapon, taken off the final boss.
Fun though it may be, Argul’s Tomb is surprisingly short. Death is always a pleasure to play as, but his excursion into the frozen unknown barely lasts two hours, and there isn’t a lot there we haven’t already seen. The final boss encounter was definitely the highlight of the whole DLC, as it should be, but even that felt like a bit of a missed opportunity without Despair. Darksiders fans might appreciate its connection to the campaign’s story, but Argul’s doesn’t add anything significant to the lore either, beyond the initial explanation Ostegoth gives Death. In the end, the DLC is really just a treasure hunt, or an excuse to return to the game after you’ve already beaten and unlocked all its secrets. As a pre-order freebie, Argul’s Tomb is definitely worth playing, but at $7.00 for everyone else, its worth rests on how much you love Darksiders II.
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