Darksiders PC port rant

Darksiders is a game that I’ve been looking at for some time now.  It looked amazing and Penny Arcade, a web-comic I read thrice weekly, had great things to say about it.  So when I finally decided to purchase it on Steam, I had high hopes.

The game isn’t bad, and is probably excellent on an actually console, but the port to the PC is poorly done.  The first problem I had started within seconds of trying to play.  The first two logos appeared and then the screen went black, and stayed that way until I press alt-f4.  No problem though, a quick Google search and I fixed the problem.

So I finally get past the opening screens and like every game I play, I want to go to windowed mode so I can continue doing everything else uninterrupted.  To my surprise there is no windowed mode, but for some reason there is an x and y axis sensitivity slider AND a mouse sensitivity slider.  This problem wasn’t as easy to fix and required me to search for about 10 minutes only to find that I had to download and use a third party program.

Alright.. time to play! So I set the audio to run through my headphones, load the game and then switch the sound back to the TV so a buddy of mine can continue to watch episodes of Father Ted through my hdmi cable.  Suddenly the game decides to play the audio for the cut scenes through my TV and the rest of the audio through my headphones.  Why?  Because they open up and external video player for each cut scene to play their videos.  Now it’s truly impossible to multitask politely in my current situation.  I end up skipping all the cut scenes and playing the game without a fragment of understanding about whats going on.

The last straw, before I decided to take a break from the game, was when it showed me how to use special abilities.  I had to choose four at a time and put them in a selection menu that looked a lot like a four button controller setup.  Then to call upon them I had to hold caps lock and then press a  corresponding button (1, 2, 3 or 4).  This kind of mechanism is only required if you don’t have enough buttons on a controller, but with a keyboard there is no excuse.  Not to mention, holding a shoulder button down is so much easier then holding the caps lock button down, especially when you consider your using alt to dash, and holding shift to lock onto targets.  Why couldn’t we just link the abilities to the number keys without caps lock?  It’s probably because no one at Vigil wanted to take the time to do a proper port.

This isn’t an official review because I didn’t give it enough time to truly review it, and I’m sure it’s still an excellent game but I really need to nerd rage a bit there.

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2 Responses to Darksiders PC port rant

  1. James says:

    Though yes the no windowed mode is annoying I must point out that this game was designed with console in mind and then ported to PC later, the launch date difference between the console versions and PC version was nearly 9 months since one came out Jan 2010 and the other Sept 2010. And so though yes the keyboard design may not have been well thought out for PC, the limited to 4 “spells/items” at a time was in the original console version for obvious reasons and well the PC version is just merely a port and was not being thought about to hard at first.

    Could it have been designed better for keyboard and mouse? Yes definitely, there is no reason to slack on control layouts even for a port, but I can see limiting it to 4 “spell/items” at a time even if the control layouts are better due to the game was balanced around picking and choosing your spells you had quick access to on console.

    I don’t play keyboard and mouse on this title, I use my console controller on my PC for it since it was designed for that style input anyways, and it controls as if it was running on console.

    To sum up, annoying as hell that there is no built in Windowed mode, and keyboard and mouse controls not well thought out, but if you can tolerate there being no default windowed mode and if you use a game pad on your PC then it controls just as well as the console version and is worth a go, I just picked it up on Steam for 75% off due to their summer sales and I must say even only a few hours in I can say I have gotten more then my $5 worth that I paid and it seems reasonable to pay $20 for it if you have a game pad to have the controls the way it was designed for.

    • Casey Bouch says:

      Steam’s summer sale is fantastic so far. It’s lured me to buy 2-3 cheaper games that I might not have purchased otherwise.

      I think your comment sums up the experience I would have if I buckled down, plugged in my controller and just dealt with the port issues. Sadly, my patience wore thin too quickly and I gave up on it, and more than likely I gave up on it prematurely.

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