Thursday, November 8, 2012

Such a sour taste

After around five evenings with Darksiders 2 I have finally found something that I take issue with. There a few things here and there that could certainly be better. The rate at which good loot drops should be increased. Your horse runs much too slowly, etc. These are things that I can get past because they are trivial or they are a fault with most games that feature random loot drops. The Soul Arbiter's Maze, though, cannot and should not be forgiven.

For starters it really isn't a maze. Death is dropped into enclosed rooms with four possible exits, the catch being that he has to kill everything in the room first and that there are not clues inside of the 'maze' on which way to go. Yes, there are hidden clues outside of the maze as to where the exists and treasure chests are, but once you start it you cannot leave until you die. This leads to cheating, in other words, the internet, because it is not much fun. Enemies come in waves, sometimes in unusual combinations and other times just in huge numbers, and if you make a wrong turn and have to start over they all respawn. This leads to the second, more egregious problem: there is nothing to gain by killing the monsters.

Death gains no XP for enemies killed in the maze and on top of that they drop no loot. There is no reason to kill them other than to open the doors to advance to the next room and do it all again, and it could take quite a while if you are a person with any integrity and don't have your laptop open next to you with the correct path displayed (guilty, as charged). As I  pushed down through the levels I came across enemies that I had not seen anywhere else, enemies that should have generated boatloads of experience and at the very least a large pile of money. But they didn't because they were in the maze.

I would like to have seen the design document for this thankfully optional area: maze that you cannot find your way through without items found outside of the maze in which you are forced to fight enemies in increasing number and difficulty without the two things that make killing things fun: character advancement and better equipment. It was probably scrawled on the bottom of the same memo about there being extra space on the disc to fill after all the on disc DLC was squirreled away.

Hey THQ, how's your stock doing?

I kid. Sort of. At least I hope that someone buys Metro: Last Light from them before they go under the rest of the way.

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