Religious Studies with Darksiders II: Hot Coffee’s Back to School Gaming Guide

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Death Just Hanging Around Like He's Not Death

Whether you’re getting yourself together to head back to class in fresh new kicks or you’re at a point in your life where this is just the hot time of year when you hate your job, you’ve only got a few weeks left to make summer count. Around here this means there are only a few long days left to avoid the sun and knockout some highly anticipated titles from our video game to-do list.

With heavyweights like Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and the Wii U arriving as the weather turns cold and the NFL returns, these end-of-summer titles are hoping to get our last few laidback gaming moments before things turn really hectic. You’ve gained and lost your tan, you’re back from vacation and your grill is off duty until Labor Day. Here are the games that will educate and stimulate –broken down by school subject matter– before you have to face that dreaded lunch lady again……even if she’s at a four star restaurant.

Darksiders II – Religious Studies

You’re playing as customizable, highly stylized version of Death, the most powerful of the fabled Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And by stylized we mean yoked. Death isn’t some scrawny, scraggly scarecrow that looks like he’s one step away from death. He looks like the picture of health with a skull mask.

A creative system of slashing attacks will make Darksiders II far more involved than you might guess. The tuning and balance of the weapons are very particular and the ways you can manipulate the character during combat play directly into these moves. Switching weapons in mid-combo offers a nice risk-reward proposition where you can deal tremendous damage if you’ve lined up things properly. The ability to dodge and flip kick enemies into the air allows for even more angles of attack and entirely new move sets. Between dodges, combos and the total control you’ll have over Death, Darksiders II is a promising hack-and-slasher.

Now the character of Death itself is intriguing because he’s derived from a Christian Bible story written long ago but, according to the legend, he’s somebody that’s supposed to appear in some (hopefully) distant future from now. When Death and the other three Horsemen show up (War, Famine and Pestilence), that’s supposed to be the end of us all. Using such an unappealing character as the “hero” in a video game was a ballsy move in the first Darksiders. Now that we’re on to this next one, it’s accepted that Death is just how we’re going to roll. What’s going to be interesting in Darksiders II is what it’s going to mean for Death to “win.” Because even the crappiest gamer out there is going to beat DSII eventually. Good for you, Death.

(Update: Check out what you get if you’re a loyal fan of Darksiders! More loot!)

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