Darksiders II Won’t be Bringing the Multiplayer Carnage
Don’t start hating on Vigil Games right off the bat. Though Darksiders II won’t have multiplayer just like the original title, it wasn’t because there was a lack of interest. In fact, Vigil really wanted to do it, and has been interested in implementing multiplayer since the beginning of the Darksiders series. However, the challenge of getting it to work has made it hard to do so.
It’s not like there’s absolutely no potential. You already have a story that introduces four main characters: the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse. Tossing you into the fray of wild creatures running at you wave after wave with co-op play is one option. There’s always the option of making giant boss battles that require intense and focused teamwork to destroy too. Portal 2 is also a great illustration of how teamwork puzzle work can be great fun as well.
We could probably keep dreaming on with other ideas, but it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. At least, not according to Game Director Marvin Donald. “[Multiplayer] has been something we’ve been wanting to do since [Darksiders 1],” said Donald in an interview with IGN. “You almost have to make four games. You’ve got completely different animation sets. It’s 800 to 1000 animations for Death alone and they’re all unique.”
Not only is this a technical and animating nightmare, but Vigil wants to keep being a stickler for details. That’s not a bad thing because nobody really likes recycled animation. If Vigil were to do any sort of multiplayer between the four main characters, it had to be done right, and that meant having all the different animations in place for each individual character. That’s a lot of time and work. “Of course there’s balancing with the different abilities,” said Donald. “We’re going to want them to play differently, so we wanted to spend some time developing each of the characters individually.”
Whether or not the third Darksiders game will feature co-op is entirely up in the air right now. With the first Darksiders being largely overlooked, Donald is hesitant to say that four games will even be published if Darksiders II suffers the same fate as its first bretheren. “That’s not to say we’re going to put out four versions of this game and then have a fifth version that’s co-op,” he said. “I hope the next one’s co-op, but it just depends on the resources that are available, the size of the budget and whether or not Darksiders II does well. There are a lot of factors that are going to drive that. It’s too soon to say.”
Don’t count your chickens and all that, as they say. It’s a wise move at this time, given how the industry has become a multi-player and add-ons driven one. However, games that prove to have meaty single player campaigns are still able to stand their own ground. Darksiders did prove to have a great solo flight, but it simply failed to capture a lot of attention.
When the time comes though, Vigil will be more than ready to start the multi-playing fun. “When we put together the pitch for Darksiders 1, we wanted it to be multiplayer then,” said Donald. “It’s just too much work when you’re starting a brand new studio with a new [intellectual property] and you’re building your own technology. We’re also evolving the series into more of [a role-playing game], which was something else we wanted to do from the beginning, but we just didn’t have the resources or time or money to do it the first time around and do it justice.”
All things considered, that was a wise decision to make. After the practice Vigil got in with Darksiders, Death’s introduction is starting to look a lot more polished and ready to kick some ass.
Darksiders II is set to ride in 2012 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Read Marvin Donald’s interview with IGN here.