Darksiders III Switch Gameplay Preview

Developed by Gunfire Games, published by THQ Nordic – September 30, 2021 (X1, PS4, S, PC)
*MSRP: $39.99 – https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/darksiders-iii-switch/

Darksiders III was originally released in 2018 for consoles and PC and was just recently released for the Switch. I won’t focus too much on the game play in this article since the game has been out for a couple of years now and I’m assuming anyone interested in the game has played it by now. I’ll focus more on the performance and feel of the game running on the Switch. As a side note, I have not played Darksiders III before and I have not read or seen any coverage on it so my perspective on the game is my own.

These circular platforms serve as checkpoints and places where you can interact with a vendor or fast travel.

Moving on to the game play of Darksiders III, it took me a bit by surprise. The game is basically a Dark Souls clone. You have bonfire and Estus flask equivalents, although the flask is not restored at bonfires but by defeating enemies or by dying and respawning at a bonfire. Bonfires are essential check points to save progress and serve as a respawn point and Estus flasks are healing potions with limited uses.

The game play is very similar to Soulsborne games as well. You progress through levels, defeating enemies to collect their souls. The souls are used to purchase upgrades and equipment. The encounters will be difficult enough that you will usually die a few times. Once you die, you will drop all your souls and restart at the closest check point. You can go back and collect the souls you lost however. This creates a rhythm of repetition where you learn the levels and how to defeat the enemies while grinding enough souls to make your character stronger.

The combat is pretty enjoyable and easy enough although there are enemies that present much more of a challenge.

It is much easier than Dark Souls though as the enemies attack at a much slower pace and the attacks are telegraphed ahead of time. The game play is surprisingly pleasant and competent although there are moments of pure frustration similar to Dark Souls. I actually rage quit at one point.

There are definitely areas where the visual fidelity has taken a hit.

Moving on to the performance and feel on the Switch, the graphics were noticeably downgraded in some areas. The detail and sharpness of the graphics were definitely lower but it didn’t take away from the experience. The frame rate was stable for the most part but there were definitely sections where it took a noticeable dip. I personally play all my games on keyboard and mouse so I would have preferred that but using the joycons were not completely unpleasant. I would say that the joycons are probably the least ergonomic controller for me however.

Overall, Darksiders III is a much gentler Dark Souls clone that I found enjoyable. The narrative elements are quite weak and I could see where the story was going from a mile away but it was still fun in a cheesy way. The game’s performance on the Switch is pretty solid, although obviously not comparable to a console or PC. It works surprisingly fine for a handheld experience.

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