Coming to PSN this Week: Darksiders Demo

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It’s been over a month since Darksiders released with near-universal critical praise, and the team at Vigil Studios is still hard at work. On Thursday, Vigil releases a demo for Darksiders. This isn’t your typical demo, however. It packs an unprecedented 90 minutes of gameplay, encompassing the entire first dungeon of the game: the Twilight Cathedral. I had a chance to talk to Vigil’s Creative Director and comic book legend, Joe Madureira (Joe Mad) — along with composers Mike Reagan and Cris Valesco — to get some more info on the demo:

Now that Darksiders has been out for a few weeks, what do you think about the fans’ reactions to the game?

Joe: We are incredibly excited to finally get Darksiders into people’s hands! The response has been fantastic. We already have armies of ravenous fans clamoring for a sequel, and that’s a dream come true for us. For Vigil, the development of Darksiders was almost as epic a journey as War’s is in the game—so of course, we’re excited to finally see it through to its end. We look forward to hearing from even more gamers over the next few months as they check out the demo, and news of the game spreads.

Let’s talk about the demo. What can fans expect from the demo, and where does this take place within the main story?

Joe: In this demo, War has been tasked with retrieving the heart of one of the Destroyer’s chosen. Tiamat, a massive demon queen is not about to give it up without a fight, so you’ll have to pry it from her cold, dead body. Luckily, this is just the sort of thing that the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are good at—and War is probably the toughest of the bunch. Of course at this point, War’s powers have been stripped from him, so he’ll have to use every weapon at his disposal, and locate the ancient artifact called the Cross Blade. Its mastery is vital to navigating the Cathedral, and ultimately bringing down Tiamat. The Cathedral itself is chock full of puzzles and other hazards, and of course, it is home to a host of the Destroyers minions. Be especially wary as you approach the walking pile of cadaverous flesh that is—the Jailer! When you meet him, you’ll see why…

Darksiders is obviously a game with an epic scope. Why choose to focus the demo on the Twilight Cathedral?

Joe: It’s true, there is so much to do, and so much to see in Darksiders, that it was difficult to pick one area to feature. We liked the Cathedral because it’s a self contained chunk of the game that’s fairly early on, so it’s easier to pick up and play. It’s also the first ‘dungeon’ experience in the game, so it’s a good one for players to learn the game’s structure. The dungeon exploration, using keys, solving puzzles, mastering the dungeon’s gear item ( Crossblade ) and of course, introducing tougher enemies and boss battles. It really gives you a taste of the adventure aspect of Darksiders, and hopefully will show gamers just how far from being a typical hack-n-slash Darksiders actually is.

After playing the demo, what do you want fans to know about the rest of the game?

Joe: By the time you beat the demo, you’re going to realize one thing—this is an adventure game! That’s right, you can go back to any area even after you beat it. You’ll want to do this because War is not equipped to find everything his first time through most areas. As War gains new abilities and items, he will be able to unlock areas of the levels previously unattainable. This creates an interesting pace, where combat is carefully balanced with exploration and puzzle solving. It’s not just a button mashing combat drill! That said, I do think it’s important to note that we at Vigil just LOVE to create kick ass enemies. There are some truly cool looking creatures in this game that make for fun and memorable battles! The bosses in particular are a lot of fun and end in a rewarding mess of gore! So what are you waiting for? Check out the demo, and pick up a copy today. YOU MUST OWN THIS GAME PEOPLE!!!!

If you’ve been on Home lately, you may have seen the occasional Angel, Demon, Horseman, or Man-Horse walking around. We wanted to give the denizens of Home a chance show their allegiance to Heaven, Hell, or the Horsemen. We tried to pick some of the more iconic images from the game – including angel wings and demon horns. It’s a real credit to Joe and the rest of the team at Vigil that the characters and costumes look just as cool in the “real-world” Home environment as in the “comic-inspired” game environment. What’s most impressive is that we were able to take some of the in-game models and port them directly into the Home environment.

We recently released War’s armor with the Mask of Shadows. My favorite item, however, is the Ruin horse head mask. It’s at the same time awesome and disturbing. I can’t deny the fact that I was partially inspired by a certain burlap-skinned character from one of my favorite side-scrolling platformers. If you’re a Darksiders fan, or just want to show your good, evil, or creepy side – go check out the Darksiders virtual items!

Lastly, I spoke with composers Mike Reagan and Cris Valesco about the incredible music in Darksiders. You may not know their names, but you definitely know their work – God of War and God of War II being two of their most well-known titles.

What other games have you worked together on?

Mike: This was really the first project that Cris and I truly collaborated and wrote a theme together. Previously, we had both been hired individually to work on the God of War series.

Cris: Mike and I have previously worked on the God of War series together as well as Van Helsing. However, this was the first time that we were actually able to collaborate on actual music. In the past we’ve always just worked on our own music independently. This time we were really able to brainstorm on the Darksiders Main Theme and I think it really shows.

What was your inspiration for the “sound” of Darksiders?

Mike: Spiritual warfare was a key motivator, and we wanted to create a sound that could be heard in complete darkness and convey a haunting experience. The Choir as well as the solo boy soprano sung by Zack Weisberg really added something special to the sound.

Cris: Darksiders clearly has some religious connotations attached to it and we wanted to take advantage of that with the choir. They’re singing in Sanskrit throughout. This language dates back as far as 1500 BC so we thought this would help give the music a sense of weight and age.

What is your favorite track?

Mike: I’m really proud of the Main Theme that Cris and I did together, and the pieces with longer melodies that work really well over the Boss themes as well.

Cris: The Main Theme that Mike and I wrote is probably the stand-out track in the game. It’s definitely my favorite piece. I also really liked the boss music that Mike wrote for the Greaver. Of my own music in the game, I am partial to the final boss music. This track and the Main Theme were actually performed live at the Night In Fantasia ’09 concert in Sydney this last summer too!

Thanks for reading. I hope everyone enjoys the demo!

Comments are closed.


  • Awesome game!

  • Glad this is coming as I have wanted to try it out since hearing about the game so much recently. But is the main characters name really “War”? That’s just… that’s just bad. lol :p

  • Awesome, I was thinking of buying this game but had no previous knowledge of it, just had a cool case, I like the foil wrap on it. I passed it up though and went for Demons Souls, Now I will be able to determine if this game is worth the $60/$40 @ gamestop.

  • I think it’s a little too late for a demo. Still, it was a good game and I can’t wait for the sequel.

  • Nice, I heard about the length of the demo being longer than usual, but 90 mins is decidedly hefty!

    I’ve been waiting for my Gamefly account to send me Darksiders sice the reviews were all positive, now i can tell for sure myself!

    @3 houdrummer Demon’s Souls was a wise choice..

    thanks for the post and the demo, hope it boosts sales for the devs and artists sake!

  • This is great, the game looks awesome and I can tell the devs behind it are eager to get the word out. I’m absolutely going to play this massive 90-minute demo this week and will probably buy the game. It was always a title I planned to buy, but I get the feeling the demo will seal the deal. Also the price is now $39.99 everywhere, which is a steal for a game of this caliber. Any plans to release the soundtrack?

  • I really enjoyed Darksiders and I hope the demo encourages people who were on the fence to pick it up.

  • 21 DAYS TILL GOD OF WAR 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


  • Purchased at launch, Darksiders is among my Top 5 of this generation. A masterpiece in every regard. I realize God of War 3 is just around the corner but guys, you absolutely need to try this.

  • For anybody who doesn’t know.

    If you buy this game NEW you can get a free (well 5 dollar) copy of Guerrilla Red Faction.

    I’m not spamming I’m just letting everyone know about this deal

    go here –

    I’ve only played a few hours of this now but from what I’ve played its alright. Reminds me why I stick to mostly exclusives now.

  • Darksiders was/is a pretty cool game. Absolutely LOVED the color palatte and the character designs. Samael is such a bad ass!…best character in the game imo.

    Some of the puzzle sections got a little tedious with the portals and the light beams, but the action overall was great.

    I think the demo will suprise some people, definitely worth checking out.

    Nice job Vigil Studios!

  • Nice, I heard this one was pretty good.

  • cant wait to try it out oh and @megamixer look up the four horsemen and you’ll get their names Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. can you guess which one you’ll be playing as?

  • What will the download size be?

  • The game is great! I am playing it now!!!

  • THQ, from my opinion and many others in these comments, it is really a bad idea from you to bring out a demo 1 mouth and half after the game release date.

    Why??? Trying a free demo before the game comes out helps your marketing to sell your game. Its out now, the gaming news talks no more about your game.

    Next game, bring a demo BEFORE!!!!!

  • I am looking forward to playing the demo. My friends said the game is really good, but I was too busy with other things at the time and forgot about it. This might push me to buy yet another game with the little money I have.

  • I heard this demo is supposd to be an hour long. Hmm.

    Well, I am looking foward to downloading it!

  • Sweet Buht-cheeks!

  • PLayed it. Plat’d it.

    I just want to know if and when a sequel is happening. And if it will actually give us all 4 horsemen, not just 1.

  • Nice to see this! Although i have had my game since release date. I preordered it from for the exclusive Playstation Home War costume and Ruin Head. :D

  • Got it on launch. Great game! Highly recommend it to every Zelda fan out there.

  • awsome can’t wait 4 the demo

  • I just wanna know one thing. Will it end right before a boss fight? I hate demos that do that.

  • It should be the last 90 minutes thats the best part of the game!

  • I bought the game day 1, it rocks, Joe MAD FTW!!! 8)

  • I’ve been really conflicted as to whether or not I want to purchase this title, and a 90-minute demo is something more publishers should think about when releasing a lower profile game such as Darksiders.
    Judging by how interested I’ve been in the game thus far, I’m sure this demo will push me over the incisiveness plateau.

  • Yeah I rather put my money on God Of War 3 where the developer have tried to make the best possible game, by really using the hardware, in comparison to these multiplat developers which is more interested in making the game as equal as possible on all platforms.

  • *sigh* this would’ve been really effective if this was before or a little after release date…i already bought the game. really underrated, but it’s really good!

  • Everyone I know makes jokes about Darksiders.

  • This is by far one of my favorite games of all time. I love it through and through. I just bought the strategy guide so I can go back through and get the platinum trophy.

    Just truly an incredible marvel of a game to behold. I cant wait to see if there is a part two!!!

  • You guys did a great job in making of this game which I really enjoyed playing it.

    Can’t wait for the sequel. :)

  • cool can’t wait to check it out. I think were getting Uncharted 2 DLC this week also things are looking good. still need that FFXIII DEMO though? :)

  • 90 minutes? More than enough to judge the game :P

    But thanks anyway.

  • I really liked this game, the story was awesome too.

    One complaint i have is that even if the system is deep, you end up using almost always the same combo. A mix of everything in the combat and chaining them would have been nice but overall i really like it and maybe a special move or something when you are in dragon form.

    Oh and please, dont add guns in any of the darksiders you will make please, when i saw we get a gun i was like wtf? a gun for a knight of the apocalypse

  • WHY? WHY? WHY? don’t companies get a DEMO out BEFORE the game releases? Darksiders is an AWESOME game, but seriously…I freaking HATE seeing a demo out AFTER a game already releases.

  • “WHY? WHY? WHY? don’t companies get a DEMO out BEFORE the game releases? Darksiders is an AWESOME game, but seriously…I freaking HATE seeing a demo out AFTER a game already releases.”

    After selling the game without the demo, gamers who didn’t buy the game, might try the demo, if they like, they’ll buy the game.
    Even after the release of the game, simple huh?

  • I want to disagree with those saying the demo should have come before the game launch. 1 month after launch is PERFECT. Get the early-adopters/those the hype has sold without spending time/money on a demo. Then get the demo out to catch any of us on the fense.

    And a 90 min demo…wow, very cool.

  • I’m sure it’s been used elsewhere and often, but to me Tiamat is the 5 headed dragon from the Sat. morning D&D cartoon.

    Still looking forward to the demo. Forget the naysayers of 1 month late demos, they obviously haven’t taken any marketing 101 classes.

  • All the puns, and jokes aside this game is a must have for RPG, and Zelda fans looking for that hardcore title you just can’t find on the other platforms, but still has that wonderful character design that made Zelda so cool to look at.

    I highly recommend this for people who are on the fence about games like Final Fantasy 13 (like I am), or need something with god of wars epic scope.

    Heck the first 20 min of the game is so epic I played it twice just to see it all. Angles and Demons falling outta the sky in massive fire balls, giant stone monsters walking the city streets, massive demons eating humans for breakfast it’s truly insane……..

    Plus the PS3 version is the better version even with the minor save/quit issues the full version has. It runs smooth, and there is no loading between locations and thats nice.

  • Holy crap. I thought the game seemed good but the demo was far better than I was expecting. Man, what a ride. I’m totally sold.

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