Darksiders II – it’s the game on everybody’s mind. Now with retail release clearly in sight, we thought it the perfect time to have a good old fashioned yarn with the game’s US Creative Manager Jeremy Greiner and talk delays, industry pressure and everything in between.
What was the primary reason for delaying Darksiders II and how much was it able to aid the overall final touches of development?
The primary and only reason for shifting back Darksiders II was polish. As we got into alpha, it was readily apparent that the game was massive and dripping with content. As such, the team asked THQ for some additional time to give it the love it deserves. Thankfully, the company was in a position to support us and provide that latitude.
Do you fear that once you do delay a game, the pressure to deliver starts to ramp up even more?
Nah, there’s always pressure in game development – that’s really nothing new and no one could ever put any more pressure on us than we already put on ourselves.
Most companies want to iterate and change things up when coming up with a sequel. Naturally Darksiders II does exactly that, but what do you think is the best ‘ratio’ in terms of iteration versus staying true to the original foundations?
I think the best ratio can be found in Darksiders II, it’s as dissimilar as it is similar to its predecessor (say 50/50 for a ratio). That’s a truly unique and a hard balance to find, but thankfully we were able to not only accomplish, but excel at that. Many times a sequel feels more like a 1.5. I can promise you that is not the case with Darksiders II.
Darksiders II is also no doubt a much more ambitious game than the original. Was there ever a point during development where you thought it was maybe TOO ambitious, or that you had bitten off more than you could chew?
The biggest risk was switching from War to Death, tossing out all those combat systems and going with something completely new was highly ambitious. Once we got everything in-engine and were able to play as Death for the first time, it was a wipe your forehead moment that exceeded expectations. It was awesome to play as Death, so all we had to do after that was build around him. So yeah, that was definitely ambitious, but thankfully didn’t go the ‘more you could chew’ route.
What do you hope fans take away most from Darksiders II?
That Darksiders II is a game made for gamers, by gamers. Everything in the game, all the loot, side quests, skill trees, levelling, etc. is stuff we love and want to play ourselves. That’s why we made the game!
What was your biggest struggle with the game?
Definitely getting this whole massive beast polished up. When you make a big game, there’s a lot to clean up during finalization!
When we spoke to Jay Fitzloff a little while back, we discussed the desire to have Darksiders break away from the comparisons of other games (like Zelda and God of War) in favour of becoming one of those benchmark titles. What is YOUR ideal ‘identity’ for Darksiders II? How do you want people to see it?
Pretty easy. Darksiders II is a sum of its parts that all work seamlessly together in a highly entertaining way. Have another game hit the market with a similar philosophy and I guarantee you’ll be referencing Darksiders II.
In one sentence, why should people buy Darksiders II?
Simple, you get to play as Death! Kick back, get immersed in a wealth of content, have fun, use your noggin and just have a killer time. Well ok, that was two sentences.