Docksiders games are constantly changing their format and gameplay formula. The thing is that different development teams are trying to make the next game different from the previous ones. The original action game was released back in 2010 and represented War – the first of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Gameplay it was a fairly simple action game with all the elements of the genre like parkour, combo attacks and bosses. Two years later, a sequel, Docksiders 2, appeared.
This time, they were allowed to play for Death, and the gameplay went towards role-playing games. The player could explore the open world, pump abilities, pick up different equipment, and even choose answers in dialogues. The third installment, released in 2018, allowed the player to play as Rage, the third Horseman. This time, the authors borrowed some elements from Dark Souls: bonfires, the combat system and the loss of all accumulated souls after death.
And so, on December 5, Docksiders Genesis will be released. It differs from its brothers even more – the developers fixed the camera on the ceiling and made two main characters at once – War and Strife, the last of the four. Because of the top view, players from the first trailer dubbed the project the new Diablo, but I hasten to dispel this myth. Genesis is the same Docksiders, with very familiar gameplay and signature traits from the series, just with a different perspective.
And that doesn’t make the game worse. On the contrary, it suits her much more.
The Docksiders Genesis storyline serves as a prequel to the events of the original game and focuses on the co-op mission of War and Strife. The Great Council sent the Horsemen straight to hell to deal with Lucifer, who is gathering an army again and plans to seize the depths of the underworld. During their journey, the Horsemen will meet the famous merchant Vulgarism and make friends with another demon – Maltha, who, like the Horsemen, is not satisfied with the prospect of bending under Lucifer.
The beauty of Genesis is Strife. Unlike his brothers and sisters, this guy constantly jokes and throws sharp phrases both during dialogues and right in the middle of the battle. The complete counterbalance to it is War. A rider with a heavy sword rarely smiles and is always categorical. This contrast works great. During the passage, I was imbued with both sympathy for the fool-Strife for his endless roily,
and respect for the War for his willingness to do anything to complete the task. In the course of the passage, the player will meet points, the activation of which will start a conversation between the brothers. Sometimes they will discuss recent events, sometimes they will think about what will happen next, and sometimes they will just fool around and tease each other.
The game has a hub location in which characters can buy new items and talk to their counterparts in order to take a new quest, as well as a teleport that allows you to replay a stage already passed, go to the next one, or fight in the arena. Arena is a simple survival mode, an active game in which you can unlock upgrades for characters and earn currency.
Once at the story stage, we explore the level, look for various secret places with bonuses and destroy opponents. We move around the location not only on our feet – both Horsemen have faithful horses, and sometimes the game dilutes battles with platforming elements with jumping on poles.
At the end, there will definitely be some boss or an armada of creatures waiting. The game also has a small element of metroidvania – the Horsemen will not always be able to get into an area without the necessary skill.
Despite the camera flying to the ceiling, the gameplay of Genesis is very similar to the original game, but with one exception – there are now two main characters. We are already well acquainted with War, but his brother – Discord – appears in the series for the first time. In general, during the game, one gets the feeling that the camera from above was invented especially for him – from this perspective, he feels much more confident. If the game was a third-person action game, the authors would have to flip half the mechanics and try to balance between a shooter and a slasher.
Both Horsemen have fundamentally different fighting styles. Discord charges pistols with different types of ammunition: there are regular bullets, a variation of the death ray from Diablo 3, a shot, a powerful shot like a cannon, and even a portable shock generator, the discharge from which scatters all nearby enemies. All additional firing modes consume ammunition.
which can be found on the corpses of opponents or by destroying a crate. In addition, Discord can enter the Drive state after having shot several opponents. When Discord is on the courage, his pistols start shooting like a machine gun, and non-standard ammunition takes on new properties. For example, the same death ray breaks through all opponents in its path.