Darksiders II fans everywhere can rejoice as THQ readies the first downloadable content for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. We had a chance to review the Xbox 360 version of Argul’s Tomb. The DLC contains two new dungeons, new enemies, new loot, a new weapon, and new bosses. Be warned though, the quest is specifically tailored for players that have finished at least the first three zones of the main game and have levelled up a decent amount (at least level seven or eight) or you may have some difficulty along the way.
The premise is simple. The DLC opens with Death in discussion with Ostegoth, a trader of sorts with all kinds of wares and deals for you to consider. Death is sent on an errand for Ostegoth into two new icy dungeons. Argul, The Deposed King, once resided here until his forced demise, hence the name Argul’s Tomb. If are able to locate and destroy Argul’s Tomb, Ostegoth will reward you greatly. This tasty tid-bit of adventure will last around 2 hours before it is completed. Although the story is compelling enough, I have to admit that it did leave me wanting more.
Argul’s Tomb isn’t part of the Darksider II’s Season Pass, and it can best be termed as a mini-mission and perhaps a precursor to how later DLC content will look and play. Argul’s Tomb doesn’t really do anything new in terms of gameplay, but that doesn’t make this add-on any less entertaining. Besides the new level itself, there is a new gun and a third person view that it utilizes. The gun is similar to a hand held Gatling-grenade launcher called a Gorehammer. The weapon shoots explosive projectiles at foes and each sticky grenade can either be detonated remotely or left alone to explode once the fuse runs out.
This section of the DLC isn’t very long, but it adds variety to the package. After blowing up wave upon wave of icy creatures, Death heads to the two new dungeons. I found using the new gun pretty easy but restrictive at the same time. It is easy because you can just pull the trigger and fire, but it is also restrictive in the sense of mobility and site angles. You cannot run flat out while wielding the gun, nor can you jump, but the gun’s brute power makes up any of those shortcomings. It also seemed to never run out of ammo, and even if it did there are plenty of areas in which to pick another fresh one.
Regardless of where you are in the game, Death’s abilities are limited to his staple moves and abilities; Voidwalker, Deathgrip, Redemption and Reaper form are all used throughout the DLC, with healthy doses of platforming and puzzle solving. Fans of Darksiders II will have no problem traversing through the add-on, and the puzzles are somewhat easy to figure out as well.
The two dungeons are straightforward Darksiders II dungeons, full of what lays behind the door gameplay. They are exactly what players have come to expect with very little differences between them. I found them a bit confusing at times and referred to the map often. While the DLC content is somewhat unremarkable, it is worth mentioning that you do score an unusually large number of high-quality loot drops. It seemed like every battle left areas littered with purple items, some of which are quite useful. The final boss drops a special named weapon, which pretty much trumps all other drops.
Argul’s Tomb, while enjoyable, is nothing more than a glorified side quest and I found that it comes to a close fairly quickly, leaving me with a “Is that it?” feeling. Unfortunately, the replay value is pretty low, as having a higher-level Death on my second time through I found the content rather easy, and dare I say it, boring. None of the enemies were challenging enough and you already know how the puzzles work out. This may vary depending on your level and difficulty setting, but I don’t see Argul’s Tomb extending much past the initial play through.
Argul’s Tomb, gives us a reason to revisit Death and his colorful yet morbid world while get some more hands-on time with the Darksiders legacy. The varied mechanics, entertaining puzzle-solving, abundance of loot, and epic final fight round out the high points of the additional content; however, the incredibly short playtime and weaker story elements may just be wetting the appetites of some gamers. Anyone that’s purchased the Limited Edition version of Darksiders II will find a code redeemable for the DLC pack. Everyone else will have to shell out $6.99 (560 Microsoft Points) for the add-on content. If you purchased the game then by all means use the DLC code and get the add-on, otherwise the $7 price tag may be a bit much for the small offering. That being said, fans of the game most likely won’t be disappointed.