Darksiders VS Dark Souls: Which Is More Zelda-Like?

Posted September 19, 2012

Darksiders inspired many to proclaim that the mature Zelda has finally arrived. Certainly the game was absolutely amazing. I bought the sequel without hearing a thing about it. That said, I think a case can be made that the From Software games, Demons Souls and Dark Souls, better fit that lofty title of adult Zelda game.

Darksiders is the current ultimate expression of modern Zelda gameplay mechanics for an adult audience. The lock on targetting, dungeon structure, equipment, and combat are all reminiscent of ocaria of time. You’ll ride your horse around through designated areas, pick up big keys and familiar gear, and fight large bosses using that weapon you acquired in the dungeon. This formula has been waiting for a fresh take, and Darksiders fits the bill perfectly.

Dark Souls is the ultimate expression of Zelda’s soul for an adult audience. This soul, which is sadly being lost, is the sense of being lost, of constant discovery and exploration. Dark Souls stock and trade is the unknown. The shear terror of standing alone in the dark, knowing that something horrible is around the corner. Yet in the back of your mind is the voice saying to go forward, to conquer the darkness. On defeating the creature you find, you’re rewarded with not just new abilities, but a knowledge that makes the once harmful world, harmless.

Ultimately modern Zelda has become about a gradual unlocking of abilities in a linear world. The game is about plot progression and gating players. Darksiders replicates the gameplay elements of these later games. Classic Zelda and Dark souls are about adventure, testing the boundaries and finding the courage to chose how the journey unfolds. Dark Souls merges the best parts of the Zelda series, the original’s spirit of exploration and Ocarina of Time’s 3rd person combat, with From Software’s RPG background and a healthy dose of medievil themes on top.