Darksiders 3 for PlayStation 4: Everything you need to know

You can't talk about post-apocalyptic gaming experiences without bringing up Darksiders. While the fate of this franchise was once troubled, it's poised to make a comeback with the birth of Darksiders 3. Here's everything there is to know about this 'Hell on Earth' simulator.

What is Darksiders 3?

Darksiders is a relatively new franchise, having gotten its start back in 2010 under then-publisher THQ. The first game was mostly an action-adventure title that had little in the way of character progression. As a hack-and-slasher, you gained new abilities by finding new legendary weapons to wield but otherwise didn't have much of a say in how the main character did his business.

That changed with the launch of Darksiders 2. This title built on the previous by adding in RPG-inspired elements and character progression that became increasingly popular in the later portions of the previous generation. The game was a critical success, and while it did alright from a sales perspective, it wasn't the champion THQ needed to dodge bankruptcy.

Facing financial issues, THQ was forced to sell off all its assets, leaving all of its franchises in a sea of uncertainty. One company felt THQ's contributions to the gaming world were too significant to let fall to the wayside, though. Nordic Games acquired the rights to the THQ brand and most of its franchises in 2013, and Darksiders was one of the earliest games confirmed to be getting a future release from the company.

Fast forward to 2018 and Darksiders 3 is just about ready to pick up where the previous titles left off. Let's talk about that starting point, shall we?

What's the story so far? Spoilers Ahead

The original Darksiders was a game about post-apocalyptic Earth where one of the the four horsemen — War, which represents — was accused of being responsible for the insurrection of a holy war that saw humanity and many of heaven's angels wiped out. But War claims he was framed, so he was cast down to the planet in order to prove his innocence.

Throughout his plight, War never lost sight of his responsibility as part of the Four Horsemen, which was to maintain balance and order between the forces of Heaven and Hell. To that end, his Darksiders campaign ends with him being joined by the other three horsemen — Death, Fury, and Strife — to rise up and ride toward a resolution.

Darksiders 2 wasn't a continuation, but instead, a parallel plot that puts a spotlight on what Death was up to as the events in the first game unfolded. Believing in the integrity of his brother, Death's mission in Darksiders 2 is to help War prove his innocence. What's more, Death has hopes of resurrecting humanity, and so his quest is all about figuring out what he needs to do in order to restore Earth's former life. He was successful in that plight, but at the cost of angering a malevolent presence which some believe to be Lucifer himself. Predictably, Darksiders 2 ended with Death joining War and the other two horsemen before their big showdown.

And that brings us right to Darksiders 3 which, you guessed it, runs parallel to the first two entries. This time, Fury is the horseman — or horsewoman, rather — you'll be controlling.

While War is clearing his name and Death is saving humanity, Fury is off to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins, a task given to her by the Charred Council. Fury, being the ever-helpful team player she is, takes on the quest without question, though a powerful being she seeks help from known as the Lord of the Hollows suggests she's having the wool pulled over here eyes by the Council.

In any case, he imbues her with the power of fire to help take on those Sins and to find out the whereabouts of some sort of demon who threatens Earth. It's never explicitly confirmed, but it's still inferred that this demon could be Lucifer himself.

A return to simplicity

As Fury, you'll find yourself in control of a powerful mage-like character who prefers to use the power of magic to strike her foes. Despite her affinity for the arcane arts, Fury does still know her way around a weapon or two, with some of her tools of choice including whips, swords, flails, and daggers.

As is usual, you'll start the game off somewhat weak, or at least weaker than what a legendary horsewoman should be, anyway. As you level up and progress, you'll gain new weapons, powers, and abilities, though the rise of your strength will be matched by a rise in the strength of thine foes (which, by the way, will feature a mix of devilish creatures both new and old).

And although there's still the element of progression, Darksiders 3 actually prefers to take us back to simpler times where your character's growth is largely governed by which part of the story you're in. This is likely due to THQ Nordic developing the game from scratch on a brand new engine and not having the resources to build more complex gameplay systems for this initial release.

Darksiders 3 is expected to feature its usual mix of combat sequences, puzzles, and platforming as core gameplay elements, though some early impressions suggest the game ditches the frantically-paced action the first two titles made their names on.

Darksiders was always considered a God of War alternative, and in the very same year that God of War opted for more methodical gameplay sequences, Darksiders 3 looks to match wits. Coincidence or otherwise, Darksiders 3 looks to be more mature than the previous two titles in not just theme, but also in form and function.

Pre-order details

There are several editions of Darksiders 3 that can be pre-ordered. Al pre-sales of Darksiders 3 comes with exclusive armor for Fury, as well as a PS4 theme when buying it on the PlayStation Store.

$60 at Amazon

Pre-order the digital-only Deluxe Edition for 24-hour early access, a 10% discount, and access to two forthcoming DLC releases.

$70 at PlayStation Store

A Blades & Whip edition offers the same benefits of the Deluxe Edition but comes with remastered versions of Darksiders and Darksiders 2 (though, strangely, those are only playable on the day Darksiders 3 launches).

$90 at PlayStation Store

You could step it all the way up to a Collector's Edition which has an 11-inch Fury figurine, a steelbook case, an artbook, and the soundtrack for Darksiders 3.

$150 at GameStop

Then there's the Apocalypse Edition, which just takes the Collector's Edition from 'insane' to 'WTF I wish I had $400 to spend on this.' You'll get everything in the collector's edition, but you'll also get 10-inch figurines for Vulgrim, War, and Death. There's also a unique amulet that you can wear.

$400 at GameStop

When can you play Darksiders 3?

December 27, 2018 is the day that Fury rides into town and takes it straight to the demons of hell. You'll be able to play it on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Quentyn Kennemer