We here at GamersPack know you are all very excited about the up-coming Darkisiders II from THQ, so we sat down (metaphorically) with Haydn Dalton, the game’s lead designer, and ask him a bunch of questions and Haydn was kind enough to provide us with answers. We looked it up, and apparently that is called an interview. You can read the whole thing below.

GamersPack: Why Death?

Haydn Dalton: Once we decided that we wanted Darksiders II to feature a different Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death was the obvious choice. He’s the most well-known and most feared of the bunch – and since we were creating a much bigger game, it seemed only appropriate that it featured him.

GPack: How is playing Death different from playing his brother, War?

HD: War was more the hulking, brutish, unstoppable warrior type of character. He personified power and anger, but was also stoic and honorable. Death is much more agile – he never blocks attacks, only dodges – and will duck in, strike, then leap back out of a fight. Death is more talkative than war, but also more cunning. He’s willing to work behind the scenes to get his way.

GPack: What about the game’s world? Can we expect to see the same kind of mix between open-world environments with linear progression?

HD: We’ve actually expanded heavily upon our open-world areas. There are still linear progression points that have to be visited to move the story forward, but there’s also a lot more reason to explore our worlds and go off the beaten path. We’ve tucked in plenty of hidden areas and side quests for those willing to look around.

GPack: We know Death’s story is happening during the same events we saw in the original Darksiders. Will War be making an appearance? What will be his role this time?

HD: I can’t tell you if War will appear in Darksiders II or not because that would potentially spoil some surprises. What I can tell you is that Death’s story takes place at the same time as War’s, and there are parts where you’ll cross paths with characters or places from the first game. You don’t need to have played the first game to understand Darksiders II, but if you have played it, there are these kind of ‘a ha’ moments where the original is referenced.

GPack: Tell about what kind of environments we will be playing in.

HD: We didn’t realize it at the time, but since the first Darksiders took place on Earth, it kind of tied our hands artistically. Everyone knows what a building on Earth looks like, so we had to hold true to that. Since Darksiders II takes place in different areas of the Underworld, it’s allowed our environment artists to go wild. So as you play through the game, every zone will look completely different. We’ve got lush forests, arctic wastes, lava filled levels, deserts of death – just really some cool looking places.

GPack: We heard this game will have more RPG elements in it. Can you elaborate on that?

HD: These were features we wanted to have in the first Darksiders, but just didn’t have the time to implement. This time around, though, they were at the top of the list of things to add. So now you gain experience points for every kill, and when you go up a level you get to select a skill from one of two skill trees – the Harbinger Tree (which is more of a warrior track) or the Necromancer Tree (which is more of a wizard track). You can focus on one or mix between the two, but there’s really no wrong way to go. However, I should mention that we purposefully made it impossible to have every skill by the end of the game. We want players to have different characters and go in different directions.

GPack: Will there be side-quests, or subplots?

HD: Definitely. In addition to finding them via exploration as I mentioned before, we’ve also set it up so side quests can be found by conversing with NPCs in various towns. I should add, these aren’t simple fetch quests. Our side quests are stand-alone dungeons that can take hours to complete. If you’re willing to take the time to go the extra mile, then we’re willing to take the time to make a rich experience as a reward.
GPack: We heard there is a new economy system in the game. How will that work?

HD: We do have a loot system – meaning that every time you kill a creature or open a chest, randomly generated money and items are dropped. Like the skill system, the goal is to make sure everyone has a unique playing experience and can customize their Death to suit their play style. Every piece of equipment has randomly generated stats, so there’s always that temptation to kill just one more creature.

GPack: Mark Hamill did the Watcher’s voice in the previous game. Will he be reprising his role? Are there any other famous voice actors in the cast?

HD: Again, can’t say because I don’t want to ruin any surprises.

GPack: What about the other riders? Will they be in the game?

HD: Are you trying to ruin the story for everyone? My lips are sealed! 😉

GPack: Have you considered any type of multiplayer? Like co-op play with Death and War, or the other riders of the apocalypse?

HD: Certainly we’ve considered it, but when it came to creating Darksiders II – a game featuring the universe’s biggest bad ass, and having so much more content and features than our first game – we knew it wasn’t the right time for multiplayer. Our single-player game was so deep and compelling, that was what we wanted to focus on entirely.

Darksiders is out June 26 in North America and June 29 in Europe, for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Thanks again to Haydn Dalton for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

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