Darksiders II: Argul’s Tomb DLC for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
For anyone who bought Darksiders II new or, like I did, lucked out and ended up with DLC codes in their pre-owned copy, this review is pointless. Argul’s Tomb is worth your time. The question remains for everyone else though; is it worth your money?
There is a semblance of a story, but it’s difficult not to see how clearly cropped this was from the main game, where it would fit into the narrative much better. Ostegoth, the pipe smoking bull man who acts as a merchant in the main game, has summoned Death to an icy fortress, once the holdfast of the former ruler of the dead, Argul. Ostegoth sends Death into the fortress to destroy the source of Argul’s power, promising a great reward. The entire plot of this DLC is undermined by the fact that Argul is a clearly signposted optional boss of the main game, and had in fact already been killed by Death by the time I played. The dialogue does not reflect this; Death still questions as if he had never met Argul, and it is painfully clear that the dungeons and story of this DLC were originally intended for an extended Argul story arc before being sliced out to be sold later as DLC. I’m generally supportive of DLC, and find the popular gamer rage against it to be immature and petty, but I’m very iffy about this sort of thing. The story is therefore a complete waste of time, which is rather disappointing considering the surprisingly fun story which lies behind the Darksiders games.
If you were hoping for anything new or interesting in the gameplay department you will be disappointed. You are working entirely with the tools already available in the main game, and most of the enemies are basic clones of those from the main game given an icy makeover. The DLC gets off to an inauspicious start by opening with a shooting section; considering that I hated the shooting section of the main game I was pretty put out to find another one here. Gone is the ingenious dungeon design, the challenging and engaging enemy attack patterns; instead you are working your way down a linear path taking down waves and waves of enemies which do little more than charge at you repeatedly. Thankfully, the other two dungeons aren’t nearly so bad. In fact, one of them was so ingeniously put together that it reached Zelda levels of intricacy. These two dungeons make use of the ‘Voidwalker’, the portal gun basically. Although the puzzles aren’t particularly challenging, they are clever, and easily formed the high point of the DLC. The final boss of the DLC is also a lot of fun to fight, acting as certainly one of the best boss fights in the game.
The brief glimpses you gain of the outside is of a stunningly icy vista, so it’s a damn shame that you spend almost all of the DLC inside castles and caves. There’s potential for something visually interesting and distinct from the main game here, but that potential is squandered. I suspect that many of the snowy assets of the DLC were plundered from the prologue of the main game.
This is a disappointingly brief and unambitious DLC, but it’s not actively terrible. If you have a DLC code, go ahead and use it, but is this a DLC worth buying? I’m not sure that it is. If you must get this DLC I encourage you to wait until it goes on sale, I’m sure that it will within a year.