This week on Gaming on a Budget, we have some lesser known titles that received mixed reviews upon release. While they may or may not have been well-received, they still provided a unique set of experiences I’ve yet to find anywhere else. I hope our readers agree.
Our first game this week is the first in a series that sadly, will probably not get an ending. With the fall of THQ, Crytek now owns the IP, and it seems they’re not doing anything with it. Darksiders is still a fun little game with an interesting premise. Darksiders is often referred to as a Zelda clone, but it was so much more than that. One of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, War, is called upon by the Charred Council to do their bidding. He is sent to Earth, where he must confront the general of Heaven’s army. He notices the other three Horsemen haven’t been called, and that the Seven seals are still intact. Out on a mission to prove his innocence, War must brave the depths of several unspeakable crypts retrieving information and items that can redeem him in the eyes of the council. It most assuredly borrowed elements from the Zelda series though Darksiders went beyond that as it featured a set of unique puzzles enemies and weapons. Darksiders may be a “Zelda clone”, but it is worth a look all the same. Darksiders is available now on sale at GOG.com for just $4.49 with the sequel—bringing us to our next Budget title of this week.
Darksiders II continued the story, taking place concurrently to Darksiders. Death is convinced of his brother War’s innocence and will go to any length to uncover the truth. Drawing on the mistakes in the first game and learning what worked and what didn’t, Darksiders II was a far more refined experience. It not only featured a more open world but a different level progression system as well. Darksiders II managed to shy away from the “Zelda Clone” moniker. Backed by the voice talents of Troy Baker, Phil Lamarr and Michael Wincott, Death must brave the Forge Lands—a world populated by the “Makers”. The series may never get an ending, but both games are worth a look into by fans of action roleplaying titles. Darksiders II is available in the same sale as the first game on GOG.com. It’s only $7.49 and the entire Darksiders sale will expire in roughly four days.
This is a game I generally find few have heard of, which is a shame as it managed to capture the feel of old-school top-down shooters perfectly. Shadowgrounds put players in the role of Wesley Tyler—a military engineer who is called out to repair some generators on a nearby colony base on Ganymede. He finds all the systems have been chewed through. Upon fixing the generators, the power comes back on and he is greeted by alien organisms that attack him. He then receives a call, while on the defensive from alien assailants, from a superior officer who is trapped in the nearby water treatment. Can Tyler survive long enough to hail New Atlantis for an evac, and discover the true intentions of this alien race? With an ending that really makes you think, this diamond in the rough is certainly worth picking up for just $1.39 from the Humble Store. Seriously, I paid $20 for it and wasn’t disappointed. At the time this article will go out, there will only be eight days left on the sale, so I just people take advantage of this great little offer.
Humble Store also has the sequel—Shadowgrounds: Survivor included in the sale. While this featured many of the same things that made the original fun, the story was a letdown. Shadowgrounds: Survivor put the player in the shoes of three different colonists trying to survive the invasion. They had to fight hand, tooth and nail against the same creatures that Tyler battled. The sequel, however, offered more of the same which isn’t a bad thing, but it didn’t expand on the first in any way aside from a different perspective. The plot wasn’t as well thought-out, but at least the gameplay was still enjoyable. This game is available in the same sale on the Humble Store for $1.99. Great value for the entire Shadowgrounds series. You have roughly eight days and counting!
Darksiders may have gotten mixed reviews, but I truly urge people to give it a go. It’s an ARPG with a unique flavor, borrowing what works from other franchises and amalgamating them in an odd way that works. Shadowgrounds offers a more modern take on the classic top-down shooter paired with an interesting story and its sequel brings more of the same. Well worth your money. Thanks for reading and be sure to follow us on Twitter to see what we have in store next week.