Darksiders 3 will be the latest installment in the Darksiders series and will feature Fury as its protagonist. The game’s story will follow Fury as she sets out on a quest to hunt down the Seven Deadly Sins, and each of these will be separate boss battles. There are quite a few changes compared to the previous games in the series when it comes to combat and exploration.
To learn about these changes and about the game’s development, Gamingbolt reached out to the THQ Nordic with some questions and Business & Product Development Director Reinhard Pollice provided the following answers.
"Fury can transform to any form at any time once obtained. Each form grants a new weapon and a new traversal ability."
What first made you decide to have Fury as the protagonist of this third game in the series instead of the 4th horseman?
Early on in the gameplay exploration phase we decided that the story about hunting down the seven deadly sins would be Furys. The ideas of the sins ties very well into how Fury as a character is portrayed.
What are the different forms that Fury can use and how exactly do each of these work?
We have only revealed one yet, which is Flame. Fury can transform to any form at any time once obtained. Each form grants a new weapon and a new traversal ability. Flame grants Fury flails for some speedy attacks and a powerful jump to reach even higher places in the world.
With sequels, it can often be a challenge to be accessible to new players while still maintaining a connection to the previous games for long-time fans to enjoy. How did you go about striking this balance in Darksiders 3?
First and foremost the most important thing was to come up with a formula that fans of the series enjoy. We first analyzed what was the DNA of the previous game. Those are already vastly different. While Darksiders 1 Zelda really follows closely the Zelda formula with more emphasize on combat Darksiders 2 is more an ARPG. We felt the core elements of Darksiders are combat, exploration and puzzles together with a certain story focus. When then analyzed what people enjoy to play nowadays and what balance of those elements are important to keep and tried to predict how the market will change in some years.
It’s been revealed that there won’t be a minimap in the game. Can you tell us what exactly led you to make this decision, and how this impacts navigation in the game?
The decision was made very early on when we decided on how we gonna build the world. As the world is in essence one big dungeon with a lot of natural connections and backtracks. So we felt a minimap would only be confusing and not supporting our world design.
What are some of the major changes in the combat system that this third installment brings?
Darksiders 2 was like an ARPG focused on loot so you would get weapons all the time from beating enemies. In Darksiders 3 new weapons are unlocked based on progression and there are just a few. The whole style of the combat is less focused on high energy action but rather a tactical approach where you need to understand the attacks and behaviors of your enemies and you have to place your own attacks in the right moment.
You’ve stated that this game is a lot closer to a Metroid game than a Zelda game. Can you tell us more about this?
Yes, this ties into the world design mainly. Zelda has a certain formula about exploration and Dungeon (but also for Zelda games it changed over time a bit). Darksiders 3 doesn’t follow this strict blueprint of for example how a dungeon is designed and what items are there to find and to get to the boss.
"Fury as a character is very hungry to prove to everybody that she is the best. She wants to convince the Charred Council that she is the strongest of the Four. That whole character arc is the essence of the story of Darksiders 3."
What can you tell us about the progression system in the game?
For beating enemies Fury collects their souls. Souls are both used as a currency to trade goods with Vulgrim and to spend to receive level ups. From those level ups Fury receives attribute points that can be spend on health, strength and arcane power.
Fury is described as the most enigmatic among the Horsemen. What are some of the things that make her stand out in terms of the lore and gameplay?
Fury as a character is very hungry to prove to everybody that she is the best. She wants to convince the Charred Council that she is the strongest of the Four. That whole character arc is the essence of the story of Darksiders 3.
In terms of gameplay her character archetype is that of a battlemage. As a mage all her weapons are powered by magic. For example even the whip is just a magical manifestation.
In terms of the story, what were some of the major aspects of the game’s universe that you wanted to explore?
Darksiders 3 is really mainly about Fury as a character and how the Charred Council can influence that.
What are some of the major changes and improvements in this third installment that you’re most excited for players to see?
We are very excited to get Furys take on combat and exploration in the hands of players as well as seeing people experience our concept of world design when playing the final game. Of course we are also excited about all the boss battles.
How long is the game going to last? And is there going to be a new game plus?
In terms of length its comparable to Darksiders 1. So we believe it will take easily around 15 hours. About New Game Plus we are still figuring out stuff.
Do you think Darksiders 3 is close to Darksiders 1 or Darksiders 2?
Its closer to Darksiders 1 in general because the way progression and weapon/ability unlocking works.
"The Seven Deadly Sins are the main boss fights in the game. Each of those is very unique and custom made."
How big is the world compared to the original two games?
That’s impossible to compare, because of our different world building approach.
Can you tell us about the various side missions in the game?
We don’t want to reveal too much here but there are some that span over the whole course of the game like for example finding and helping human survivors.
Are there going to be epic boss fights in the game? What can you tell us about them?
Of course they are in. The Seven Deadly Sins are the main boss fights in the game. Each of those is very unique and custom made. Besides that there are also smaller boss fights, that can be as demanding but might not be as spectacular as fighting the Seven.
The game will feature Xbox One X specific enhancements. What can players expect if they are playing the game on Xbox One X? Is 4K/60fps on the cards?
Its definitely enhanced. We have a dynamic resolution scaling feature so the game is smooth all the time.
And how will the PS4 Pro version turn out in terms of resolution and frame rate?
Similarly nice. But in the end it will be a bit below the X1X but barely noticeable I’d say.
From a development perspective, how do you find the Xbox One X to be? With so much GPU power, we are sure you must be doing some amazing things.
Unfortunately you can’t really utilize that as you also have to be able to ship on the main Xbox One.
"Other than the drama component loot boxes are a very questionable business practice from a moral perspective. Microtransactions are a different cup of tea."
How is the game running on the original Xbox One and PS4, frame rate and resolution wise?
We are working very very hard to provide a smooth gameplay experience at all time. Since we are still working on that I can’t make any final statements hereto.
Are there any plans to bring the game to the Switch? If not, why?
The Switch is just way less powerful than our target systems. But we will see. As THQ Nordic we have a lot of game releases on the Switch as we love the platform.
Next gen is coming sooner or later. From a development perspective, what is your biggest expectation from PS5 and Xbox Scarlett?
To give more power and ease up development in terms of process, available services and tools.
What is your take on the ongoing drama of loot boxes and microtransactions?
Other than the drama component loot boxes are a very questionable business practice from a moral perspective. Microtransactions are a different cup of tea. Some games are built around that and if it’s free to play and not pay to win, it seems fair.
However at THQ Nordic our full focus is on making great premium games.
Last question: Do you have any plans for story dlc and will we ever play as the 4th horseman? 😀
One day yes. The whole idea of the franchise is to have 4 distinct and unique main characters. Now we got 3 of them. We do have DLCs announced that are part of our editions. Those are not just for pre-ordering obviously. We will talk more about those DLCs when the time has come.