We’ve had quite a few great interview this summer here at OnlySP. We started of with Prototype 2, Metro: Last Light and most recently the very ambitious Class3. To continue on with our focus on interviews, we got in touch with Vigil Game’s Associate Producer Jay Fitzloff to answer some questions about the game for us. Some of these questions were from the fans of the game sent in by readers on Reddit as well. We hope you enjoy the first of our two-part interview and hopefully you learn something new about Darksiders II.

What is the main difference that you want fans to see in the second installment of the series?  (Aside from graphical improvements, camera fluidity, etc.)

When we were working on Darksiders II, we kept the fans of the first game in mind the entire time because obviously without them we wouldn’t be in the position to make a sequel.  So what I think they will appreciate most is that at its core, Darksiders II is still the same combination of exploration, combat and puzzles of the original, but we’ve expanded and extrapolated those elements to create a game that’s more massive and on a grander scale.

What were your main inspirations for choosing the character of Death to be the center of the game?  What did you take out of the experience of creating a story for him?

Quite simply, Death seemed like the best choice. Ask anyone to name the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Death will be the first one named 99% of the time.  Creating a story around him proved to be a challenge, however.  How do you make Death – an eternal entity whose name personifies his function – a character that people can feel compassion for and relate to?  I can’t say how we did this or I’d ruin the game’s plot, but essentially we did a deep dive on Death’s background to find motivations and emotions, and much of that background gets revealed through the game.

What are you most proud of in this new game?  Whether it’s a new mechanic, the story, or the characters, what is it that you can look at and smile?

The environments. I know it’s not exactly a sexy answer, but for me – a person who has been playing this game on an almost daily basis for the last two years – the fact that I still stop while I’m riding Despair through one of our worlds just to look at a building, an object, or sometimes just the horizon tells me that we’ve created something majestic.

Is it true that enemies can now drop random gear pieces that you can either use or have fused into existing pieces? Will this replace the upgrade mechanic from the first game that souls were for? And is it going to be exploitable – meaning farming up to a ridiculously powerful weapon early in the game?

Yep, enemies now drop random loot, and yes this replaces the original game’s upgrade system. Once in a great while you’ll find a Possessed Weapon (I think the average is you’ll find four in an entire play through), and you can feed other items to it, which will give it experience and make it ‘level up’. Technically someone could find a Possessed Weapon early on in the game, then farm items to feed it. But since you can only increase their stats by up to five levels, that generally puts a cap on the lifespan of their usefulness. For example, if you found a Possessed Weapon when you were level 3 and then farmed until it was capped, it would still be a great weapon until you got to level 8. At that point, other randomly dropped loot would start to surpass it.

What makes Death an interesting character in your opinion?

His attitude. Every time he speaks, there’s this kind of underlying threat. As if he’s thinking, “I could kill you, but let me hear what you have to say first.”

How challenging are you expecting Darksiders II to be for players?

I have this mathematical formula where you define the players skill level by adding the number of years they’ve been playing video games and divide it by a coefficient defined by the difficulty level you’ve chosen at the start of the game. Just kidding, I can’t actually do math.

We tried to avoid massive difficulty spikes, which many complained the first game suffered from, but otherwise maintain a consistent escalation of challenge. Sometimes the new challenges will come from a creature, other times from a new item you’ve gained, or maybe from a puzzle you can’t quite figure out. It’s a fine line between frustration and fun, but I think we’ve managed to stay on the right side of the fence throughout.

With the success of DS1 and the hype behind DS2, there would seem to be an obvious call to cover all 4 horsemen of the apocalypse.  Is there a plan in place to cover the other two (Famine and Pestilence)?  Any pre-written narrative path that will allow for them to make an eventual appearance?

There are plenty of ideas for where to take the series next, but until we’ve wrapped Darksiders II (and taken a vacation) we honestly don’t know where things will go.

Just how much of a human/third kingdom involvement will we be seeing?

Without spoiling anything for the player, the story runs parallel to the first game, so the Apocalypse has already occurred.

With all the platforming-elements and climbing (environments and enemies) we’ve seen, Death seems to be a more agile character than War.  War was an appropriately large and burly character, while Death seems somewhat thinner and more trim.  From a control standpoint, is he more agile (i.e. quicker and more responsive)?

At this year’s E3, the number one comment I heard from people that played the demo was how quick Death was and how fluid the controls were, so absolutely.


Part 2 of the interview will be posted tomorrow, so stay tuned and make sure to follow Only Single Player on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest on Darksiders II and more exclusive interviews!

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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  1. I&#039d love to see them follow up with a game featuring Pestilence and/or Famine. I could imagine them as much thinner, ghoulish looking characters. I guess i&#039ll have to wait until after I finish this one. Looking forward to it!!!

  2. I'd love to see them follow up with a game featuring Pestilence and/or Famine. I could imagine them as much thinner, ghoulish looking characters. I guess i'll have to wait until after I finish this one. Looking forward to it!!!

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