This game is pretty badass. It plays like a mixture of Zelda and God of War/Devil May Cry/Bayone- Look, you do puzzles and crazy combo attacks, and sometimes you press a button/key to rip some poor soul's limbs off. It is, for the most part, mindless entertainment (other than the puzzles and the brief strategy involved in the combat).
The story is based on the Judeo-Christian Apocalypse and one member of its heralds, War of the Four Horsemen, accidentally starting the end of the world too soon. It quickly becomes a story of revenge, justice, and answers as War travels across a destroyed earth (or, more accurately and area that could easily be just what/where New York City and some part of New Jersey used to be. It's not the full planet) taking down other biblical beasts and monsters of both Heaven's and Hell's host. If I am not mistaken, War is actually described as, "Hunted by Heaven, and Hated by Hell."
While its fun, it is a bit straight forward up until the end, in which you're thrown a few twists and turns.
Speaking of being straight forward, the game is fairly linear, but in a more Zelda-y or Halo: CE sense than a Call of Duty and FINAL FANTASY XIII way. You're given many areas (Forgive me for not remembering the exact number, it's actually been months since I played the game) to explore in a pseudo-open world sense, with at least one dungeon per area. In the dungeons, you go back and forth between combat and solving puzzles to progress, and like in Zelda, acquiring a new skill or tool to complete the dungeon and open up old paths for exploration in the other areas.
I know I keep referencing Zelda, and while some might consider that to be a bad thing, I certainly don't. I love that franchise, and the only reason I keep alluding to it is because it's a forerunner in its field (kinda), and it really is the best comparison I can make with this game. I'm sure there are a bunch of other puzzle-y, platform-y, RPG-ish games out there that have the same feel as Darksiders, but I just don't know them.
Anyway, the sound design is pretty damn spot on. Things squish, crunch, rip and smash in brutally good sounding ways, and War sounds like the embodiment of destruction should. Oh, and Mark Hamil has a voice in this game, and he's always welcome because, well, hell, it's Luke GOSHDANG Skywalker and The Joker (and Skips). The demons sound demonic, the angels sound pious and righteous, and the music... Um. The music didn't stand out to me, at least not like the sequel's does. It was adequate. Enough for a post-apocalyptic action game.
The art design is definitely one of my favorite aspects of this game, and the sequel too. It's all comic book-y, and I love it. There's plenty of realism in the environment and some of the characters, but not enough that it looks like it's trying too hard, and not too little to the point that it feels like I'm defintely looking at a cartoon.
Now, there is leveling and a small degree of customization involved in the game, but I quickly found a weapon I wanted (which do not present themselves too often) and loaded it with the skill I liked the most (health absorption and DoT, mainly), so I didn't really delve too deeply into the game's RPG elements. Oops (look, this is my first big review, and like I said, it's been a while. Please don't kill me).
So I think I covered everything I needed to regarding this game: setting, story, sound, visuals, gameplay. I'm sure I'm missing some stuff, but I don't think I'd be able to say much on it in that case. Anyway, I'd definitely recommend this game. At its worst, the game feels like a 6.5/10 (which it really only hits when trying to solve awkward puzzles), and at its best it's about an 8.5/10 (which it hits quite frequently in my book). Solid game. Solid entry to the genre of Action RPGs. Solid start to a series that I still hope continues on with good development like the first two.
'S good game.