As power fantasies go, role-playing as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse must be right up there. Now imagine having two of the biblical immortals at your disposal.
In this fourth instalment of the hack’n’slash series, War and Strife are dispatched to tame the underworld of Lucifer and his demons. It’s mostly business as usual for Darksiders, save for a switch to a top-down perspective that shifts Genesis in the direction of loot-brawler Diablo.
But it gains most from the introduction of Strife, a second horseman with a new long-range weapon style that distinguishes himself from series veteran War and his close-combat attacks. The two are instantly swappable in solo play and a new co-op option doubles the mayhem in multiplayer.
Usefully, both horsemen gain unique special abilities and customisable skill trees that makes a discernible difference in how they respond and deal damage. The interplay of their droll cut-scene dialogue adds a little spark and leavens the mood between long bouts of demon-slaying.
The frenzied co-op option at least partly explains the perspective switch, which allows for a broader canvas in massed battles, at the expense of the earlier games’ intimate view of the blood-and-thunder combat. This lofted viewpoint also hampers some of the puzzle and platforming sequences, making judging distances a chore.
Nonetheless, Genesis marks a return to form after a lack-lustre Darksiders III. It wins few awards for originality but gives its audience what it wants.
XO/PS4/Sw/PC ★★★★ Age: 12+
Never mind that mouthful of a title, just relish the value and subtle updates in this latest anthology of the celebrated Capcom platformer. Focusing on the Zero/ZX spin-offs of Mega Man’s history, the collection incorporates six of the finer moments from MM’s 33-year history.
For those of you not keeping up at the back, don’t fret. Just know that here are half-a-dozen fab retro platformers with gorgeous visuals, a challenging difficulty curve and heaps of bonus content, such as soundtracks and concept art.
Mercifully too, an easy mode and extra save points allow the modern gamer to savour all of Mega Man’s adventures.