Vigil Games allegedly began working on the sequel just a couple of months after releasing the original Darksiders. At the IGDA Leadership Forum, Danny Bilson mentioned further details regarding the future Darksiders title during his keynote speech. It was revealed that in Darksiders II, a new character will take center stage as the main protagonist, not War. While the sequel's protagonist is not War, the Apocalypse only happens once so the story will be set concurrently with the first game. For the July 2011 issue of Game Informer magazine it was revealed the new protagonist is Death.
Darksiders was released in the US on August 14, 2012 for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360; the game was released a week later, August 21st, in Europe. The game will also be a launch title for the Wii U, when the console is released on November 18, 2012.
Set during the same time period as the original game, Death's ultimate goal in Darksiders II is to restore Humanity; the Apocalypse was meant to occur once the Human race was ready to join either the side of Good or Evil in the End War, tipping the Balance and ending the war between Darksiders and Lightsiders once and for all. However, because the Apocalypse occurred millenia too soon, Humanity was completely wiped out by the demons who rampaged across the Earth. At the same time, Death seeks to keep his brother War protected during his journey to clear his name after he is framed for causing the Apocalypse.
There is a sub-plot of the game that regards the origins of the four horseman and their once glorious race known as the Nephilim, as well as further explanation about who The Makers were. There was an official Comic released that focused on the other horseman and it has been hinted many times that they will all appear a lot more in Darksiders II.
The new combat system is much faster, and more reliant on offensive agile maneuvers than War's more tank-like reactive combat; while War, as the incarnation of violence, was able to withstand mighty blows, Death is frailer than his brother, unable to block, and must rely on dodging to avoid damage. Despite the concept being intrinsically tied to War, Wrath is once again the 'magic' of the game, offering up special attacks and abilities to add variety to combat as well as secondary weapons for changing up combos and reacting to specific enemy types.
The new loot system puts a bigger emphasis on allowing the player to create a version of Death that plays the way they want to, with, for example, items that give more wrath allowing you to be more like a spell caster and weapons designed for melee giving bonuses to regular combat.
Stats are now also a big part of the game emphasizing how much more of an RPG Darksiders II is in comparison to the first game. Although planned for the first game development constraints prevented the stat system from making its way in but it has returned for Darksiders 2 and is fully utilized to coincide with the loot system.
The four primary stats are Strength, Defense, Agility and Arcane the allocation of which determines how you wish to play your version of Death.
All weapons have a level of quality and various stats with the strongest being called "Possessed" weapons which can be fed other items in order to grow more powerful. So far gear items that look strikingly similar to those of the first game are;
Most weapons and armour come in the form of loot items such as in an RPG and are fully customizable but designed to all fit together regardless of combination. Different stats will be better for different specializations.
Death has his spectral mount Despair; much like Ruin in the first Darksiders, Despair acts as Death's mode of fast transportation across the world of Darksiders II. This time around he has been part of the game design from the beginning, and Despair is available from the start of the game; the is in contrast to Ruin, who was encountered late within the first game, as its environments were supposedly developed prior to Ruin being added to the game as an active mechanic.
As War had his Chaos form so does Death have his Reaper form; a much larger, more powerful super-state that grants far greater amounts of power for a short period of time. Since Death is a more flashy, egotistical character than the brutally pragmatic War, his Reaper form is featured in cutscenes as well.
Death was designed very differently from War, appearing lean but not emaciated, a distinct contrast to his usual depiction as a cloaked skeleton. His armor is very similar to War's in design, though with Death preferring to forsake any torso or shoulder armor to give him the maximum amount of maneuverability - unlike War, Death cannot block, and relies entirely on dodges to avoid injury.
The four horseman themselves are the last remaining members of a race known as the Nephilim, incredibly powerful super-beings with varying forms relatively similar to that of humans. The four were controlled by the neutral faction known as the Charred Council, initially represented as three giant stone faces in the first game. The Nephilim were almost wiped out after they declared war on Heaven; it was believed that the role of the species who would sway the Balance in the End War would go to the Nephilim, who were outraged when instead that destiny was given to the mortal race of Humans. The forces of Light wiped out all but four of the Nephilim in the ensuing war.
The primary setting for Darksiders II is a realm of forgotten battlefields and destroyed worlds left behind by countless wars between Heaven and Hell. The major local is known as the Abyssal Plains. The more fantastical setting of Darksiders II has allowed Vigil to expand their artistic style much more thoroughly across the game than in the original since Earth isn't the primary location this time around.
Town hubs with NPCs will be present offering up the standard RPG tropes of item vendors and optional quest givers.
The Wii U version of the game will make use of the touch screen for inventory/map functions and the gyrosensor in the GamePad for evading enemy attacks. Off-TV Play is also supported. Additionally, the Wii U version will come with 5+ hours of additional content in the form of all pre-order DLC packs and the Argul's Tomb and Death Rides DLC on the disc. The next two DLC packs have also been confirmed to be available via the Wii U eShop once they're done.
As well as the standard edition of there are two additional versions: The limited edition and the collector's edition. The limited edition is a free upgrade to the regular edition for those who pre-order the game. It includes one piece of DLC which will be released for everyone 30 days after being released and is titled the Argul's Tomb expansion.
The Collector's Edition contains much more then the Limited Edition, it includes: