Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Darksiders 3 Completes The Switch Trilogy At A Cost

Courtesy of THQ Nordic

Darksiders 3 Switch Version

Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: September 30, 2021
Available as: Digital and Physical

Darksiders 3 On The Switch Finally Concludes Its Trilogy

The release of Darksiders 3 during this time of the year may seem random for most Switch owners, especially considering the game's original release three years ago. 2018 saw the release of the final game in the Darksiders trilogy, serving as more of a stand-alone prequel. While the series as a whole has been met with mixed reviews, it has amassed enough of a following for it to make its way on the Switch. The first two games of the Darksiders series were both released on the Switch in 2019.

This only makes the two-year delay of Darksiders 3 even more of a headscratcher. It was seemingly announced and released with little fanfare. Considering one of the most anticipated titles of 2021 was just around the corner, Darksiders 3 took a backseat to Metroid Prime. Regardless, Switch owners finally get to experience the origin story of Fury and her Horsemen brethren. Is it too little too late? Or does the Darksiders trilogy finale hold its weight on the Switch?

Darksiders 3 - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture
Darksiders 3 - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Cast Judgment Upon The World On The Go

The story of Darksiders 3 begins with the focal character, Fury, lounging with her horse as she's called for an emergency meeting. Having discovered her brother, War, chained, she's tasked to seek out the seven deadly sins. As the only available Horseman to do so, she gingerly takes her task while demanding she leads the Horsemen. It is here that the player sees the personality of Fury herself. Even within the opening cutscene, she is brash, curt, and to the point. She has no qualms about taking orders so long as she leaves a trail of bodies in her wake.

Accompanying her is a Watcher, who immediately begins to adorn her with praise. Although curious about the Watcher, Fury eventually warms up to her companion as she takes on the first sin, Envy. Before the player fights Envy, they are treated to a quick "tutorial" on how gameplay functions in Darksiders 3. The combat system is simple "hack-and-slash" where players can progress by simply "Mashing Y." There is a designated dodge system where if timed correctly Fury can counterattack. These counterattacks deal considerable damage compared to her basic method of attack, but this is also where I feel the combat falls apart.

DS3 Switch
Darksiders 3 - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Darksiders 3's Combat Is Completely One-Dimensional

The player is encouraged to take advantage of these reversals known as Astral Counters, with it having its own stat gain as well. The problem is that unless if the attack is extremely telegraphed, like certain boss moves, it's a game of luck. There are times when Fury will dodge the opponent at the right time, yet it is still not enough to trigger her reversals. Meanwhile, Fury can dodge an enemy's attack and still get hit via her blind spot as the camera fails to track outside enemies. What good is a lock-on target system if half of the time I'm fighting with the camera more than the enemy?

The player is better off simply mashing the attack button to net kills rather than going for a fancy dodge into a powerful reversal. While the animations look cool, it means nothing if I lose half of my health in every bout. The most use that the dodge mechanic had in my playthrough was during the first boss, which players may end up dying to by accident.

Darksiders 3 - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture
Darksiders 3 - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

The Graphics Are Also Just As Choppy At Times

Envy has a mechanic where she will charge an attack that deals over half of your health bar. The player has to swat her out of the air to disrupt the attack, yet that requires platforming and vine-swinging. The problem is that sometimes the platforming is jank, as well as the vine-swinging mechanic. This means if the player is too slow, they will die and they will have to start from the beginning of the level. It's hardly a setback as it's only a few minutes, but the fighting between the camera and myself only shows to be a losing battle on my end. Even after I defeated Envy, the problems persisted but now through claustrophobic treetops.

The graphics are just as questionable, for when they are great, they are impressive. Facial animations and lighting are decent for a late-gen PS4/Xbox title on the Switch. However, as early as the opening cutscene shows that Darksiders 3 may be a bit too much for the Switch to handle. Textures load in during the cutscenes as the characters interact, causing very low-quality models to pop in. This closeup of Fury's face looks almost like a Dreamcast title, a console released over 20 years ago.

Darksiders 3 - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Darksiders 3's Bells Toll On The Nintendo Switch

This late-to-the-party Switch port of an earlier released title bears the same problems like Dying Light and even World War Z did in the past. Just because it's possible for a title to be ported onto the Switch, doesn't mean it's always the best option. If such a decision is made, especially the two years apart between Darksiders 2 and 3 on the same console, then the latter should have had more time spent in the oven.

Darksiders 3 isn't a bad title by any means, if not for its camera funkiness and linear gameplay. Unfortunately, these problems are highlighted further on the Switch, where more problems that didn't exist in the original become apparent here. The entire Darksiders trilogy is on almost every single platform, meaning interested players should look elsewhere to play. Only use the Switch platform as a final resort here and nothing more.

Darksiders 3 - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Darksiders 3 is available on the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

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