Darksiders III Nintendo Switch

Thoughts. I have a lot of thoughts on Darksiders III. The majority are good thoughts — great thoughts, even. Some are a little less great, particularly regarding the Nintendo Switch version of the game. But those not-so-great thoughts still aren’t enough to deter me from saying that I truly enjoy what Darksiders III is and what it does for the series, even on Switch.

I first played Darksiders III back in 2018 on PlayStation 4, and I had a lot of fun with it. The game offers up challenging combat, great action, and a fun world. It’s derivative of Soulslikes and even Bayonetta (to a simplified degree), but that’s not necessarily a problem. I mean, I enjoy Soulslikes. I also like Bayonetta. So I don’t get too hung up on the whole “this game isn’t all that original” thing, because what I want, first and foremost, is a good game that’s fun to play. And Darksiders III is most certainly that.

You play as Fury in what can be considered a somewhat forgettable story where you have to hunt down and defeat the Seven Deadly Sins. While the plot itself is largely whatevs, the game is fully voice acted, and it’s done so in admirable fashion, with solid performances all around. Fury is a little cheeky, and she’s undoubtedly ruthless, but she’s a protagonist you can get behind.

Darksiders III Fury

If you’ve played the first two Darksiders games, you’re aware that those games are heavily rooted in both Legend of Zelda and traditional RPG gameplay foundations, from character progression to puzzles and dungeon designs. Though you might still get some Zelda vibes from Darksiders III, it definitely strips back those classic mechanics in favor of a more Souls-inspired, if sometimes basic, experience.

Combat still consists of hacking and slashing, but it’s a bit more methodical in Darksiders III and much slower paced than the other entries in the franchise. If you’re looking for more of what Darksiders and Darksiders II offered with their environments, you might be disappointed. That said, if you want some tough Souls-y action set in a post-apocalyptic urban landscape, you’ll get exactly that in this installment.

It’s worth noting that Darksiders III features a classic mode option, which alters the combat to make it play a lot closer to that of the previous titles. Classic mode also allows instant consumable use — this is in stark contrast to the standard mode, where Fury performs an animation that doesn’t allow her to attack or defend while using a consumable (like in most Soulsikes). Personally, I enjoyed the standard mode because of the added difficulty, but classic mode is there for folks who want an adventure more akin to the previous Darksiders offerings.

Darksiders III Boss Battle

Progression in Darksiders III is fairly linear. You have an onscreen marker directing you toward the location of the next Deadly Sin at all times, so you always have an idea of where you should be going. This marker isn’t necessarily as handy as a tried and tested map, but it gets the job done.

Speaking of progression, you won’t be solving a bunch of God of War-esque puzzles in this game, which might be a bummer for longtime series fans — but even then, the combat is the star attraction here. You’ll rely on powerful combos and perfectly timed dodges to take down even simple enemies. You’re often outnumbered, which gives a lot of weight to these encounters and makes for a post-apocalyptic ride that’s pretty challenging from start to finish, even on the normal difficulty setting.

In terms of its mechanics, progression, and world, Darksiders III is really great. That all translates quite well on the Switch, and being able to lean back on my recliner with this dope game in the palm of my hands is cool as hell. Not to mention, it also includes Keepers of the Void and The Crucible, the game’s two DLC expansions.

Where the Switch version of Darksiders III suffers a bit is in its presentation and performance. Even on PS4, it didn’t look especially amazing. It looked good enough, but it sometimes looked like something you’d see on Xbox 360 and PS3. This was fine on PS4 because the game was pretty smooth, but there were still some load times that would pop up out of nowhere as well as visual inconsistencies.

Darksiders III Bug Enemy

Sadly, that stuff is exacerbated on the Switch. The game’s textures aren’t amazing, and graphically this isn’t the nicest game to look it. That said, it I never encountered any visual flaws that were out of the ordinary. As far as this port goes, it looks passable, sometimes even pretty good, on Nintendo’s platform.

The real issue is in the performance, as those load times I experienced on PS4 are present in the Switch version of Darksiders III, and they’re even worse. Load times occur whenever you enter an open space, which feels jarring because the interconnected world means you’re not going through doors to access different areas. It’s all there for you to explore, but the game can’t always keep up with you, so it’ll just stop and load for upward of six or seven seconds. This occurs early on but is even more prevalent in the later parts.

If you go into Darksiders III aware that you’ll encounter some technical flaws, it might not be as much of a problem. It’ll still be annoying, but at least you’ll know this problem exists versus just being surprised by it.

And that’s where more of my thoughts on Darksiders III come in. Despite some glaring Switch-centric issues, I still really like this version of the game. I like it because of the convenience, and because I can play the game late at night as I lean back and start dozing off. I like it because, as a fan of Darksiders III, having this particular Soulslike experience on handheld is cool. I like it because I love playing these types of games on Switch. I don’t necessary dig it as much as the PS4 version, but I still enjoy it.

Do you want to know what Darksiders III on Switch is like? It’s like when you have a good friend who has some annoying flaws. Like, that person is still a good friend, but they do things that annoy you. I have a friend who would order a burger — no drink or fries — whenever we’d go to a burger joint. Because I go to these places to do the work, I always get myself a combo. Not this dude, though. You know what he would do? He would take some of my fries! Without even asking! I hate that!

Oh, another time, we went to Chipotle and ordered burritos. I, however, also ordered chips and guac. If you’ve been to Chipotle, you know how tiny their portion of guac is — tiny and pricey. Well, this dude literally grabbed one of my chips and took a big ol’ scoop of guac! Once again, without even asking! I really, really hate that!

But the dude is still a good friend.

That’s Darksiders III on Switch. It’s a friend that’s there for you and whose company you enjoy, but it might annoy you. It’s cool, but it has some obnoxious, pesky faults. These are faults that you can certainly get over, but they’ll perturb you regardless.

Darksiders III Large Enemy

So should you play Darksiders III on Switch? If playing on the go, in handheld mode, or on your Switch Lite is something you’re keen on, then maybe you should. The game might get patched, so these issues may or may not be a thing for too long. As it is, though, tread carefully, and know that the Switch edition of Darksiders III is functional and entertaining, but it’s far from perfect.

Seriously, though, who takes someone’s guac? At least Darksiders III doesn’t do that.

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