Seeing wishes get fulfilled can take a lifetime or in the case of the Darksiders franchise, well over a decade thanks to the new Darksiders Genesis.
Unlike its predecessors, the upcoming spin-off features two horsemen of the apocalypse — War and Strife — rather than just one. Also unlike its predecessors, Darksiders Genesis allows two players to take command of each horsman for some satisfying and brutal co-op action.
It’s no secret that the first Darksiders was originally planned to feature four-player co-op gameplay with all four horsemen in the midst. The plan, though, went astray with each new installment. It was, however, never scrapped.
While speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, Reinhard Pollice, business and product development director of THQ Nordic, explained just what happened and why, and how Darksiders Genesis is being built to make a dream come true that started out a long time ago.
Giving War such as large narrative-focus made it overly ambitious to treat the other horsemen the same way. Hence, the four-player co-op mode was shelved for the sequel. However, the overwhelming response from the first Darksiders made it apparent that players and fans alike wanted to see a story unfold and not just more playable characters in general.
Darksiders 2 was then quickly refocused on Death and based itself on the narrative strengths of the first installment. The four-player co-op dream, shelved for a second time. Darksiders 3 had to wait a while due to the nightmarish bankruptcy episode that nearly buried the franchise afterwards. When the time did come, it wasn’t suitable to be experimenting with scope and the third installment did with Fury what the second did with Death.
Having risen from the ashes like a phoenix, the franchise would probably have moved on to Strife in a fourth sequel. THQ Nordic, though, wasn’t having it. With three narrative-focused single-player entries, the time was finally right to go for the co-op experience that birthed the franchise in the first place.
You know Darksiders 1 was originally planned as 4 player co-op game. Soon after that plan was made everybody realized that that was going to be too ambitious. Then the plan was to do it for Darksiders 2, which was quickly refocused to a game that fully builds up and expands on Darksiders 1 strengths. On Darksiders 3 the plan from the get-go was to not go crazy with scope. We’ve learned that the players like how the story unfolds from the eyes of one horseman per game, but we still wanted to do a co-op experience. So, here we are with Darksiders Genesis.
In this way, Darksiders Genesis makes a dream come true for all the people involved, at least nearly. The spin-off will feature only two playable characters at launch, which is half of the four-player co-op dream. However, seeing the other horsemen join the roster is not an impossibility.
According to Pollice, it’s completely possible to see Death and Fury return down the road. Their potential inclusion will depend on fans and their requests will be heard after Darksiders Genesis has officially released.
Darksiders Genesis is currently slated to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC at the end of 2019 without microtransactions. The spin-off will also release for Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia.