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Interview: Jeremy Greiner, Creative Manager on Darksiders II

by on June 8, 2012

The release of the hotly anticipated Darksiders II is on the horizon now, we’re all getting excited here at GodisaGeek.com Towers, we’ve had previews, we’ve seen the trailers, and now we’ve even managed to have a sit down with one of the people who are making the game. We managed to have a quick chat with Jeremy Greiner, the Creative Manager of the game that we’re all holding our breath for; Darksiders II.

Did the critical reception, and the eventual cult following, of Darksiders put much additional pressure on Darksiders II?

Yeah. It was definitely a sleeper hit in the year that it came out and in the end it put more pressure on us. This is a pretty awesome game that we’re making now and it’s pretty massive with all the new introductions to the franchise. With Death as the new protagonist, NPC interactions, loot, skill trees, a levelling system; it’s all new. I don’t think that anyone could ever put more pressure on us than we put on ourselves.

Is Darksiders a series that you’re looking to have over many years? Will we have Darksiders III and IV so that in the end, we can have the whole “band” together?

Yeah. It’s always been an objective to the studio to get the entire band together in a game. We felt to do that, we had to establish the franchise and that’s what we did with War and the Apocalypse set on Earth. Now, that we were successful in that, we were able to broaden our horizons and tell the story of Death as well as leave Earth and go to more fantastical realms. This game has the Demon Realm, the Angel Realm, the Makers’ Realm, the Crowfather’s area and the Dead Plains so visually it’s much more varied as we’re an art-minded studio.

The ending of the first game strongly hinted toward potential co-op in future games, anything you can tell us on this front?

The reason why the heads of the studio created Vigil and started the studio is because they wanted to do console games and ultimately we’d love to bring all the Four Horsemen into an arena together in some kind of capacity. I can say that that’s what everyone would love to do and as long as people keep buying Darksiders and Darksiders II, we will definitely have the opportunity for something like that.

Will we see movie, TV or comic book tie-ins for Darksiders II? iOS apps etc?

I think our interactive marketing team is working on an iOS app as we speak. It hasn’t been announced yet. There’s a comic being worked on as well. There are definitely other channels that the Darksiders Universe is branching out through.

What prompted the shift of focus from one character to another for Darksiders II?

This relates back to what I said earlier, about the Four Horsemen and what we want to do with the franchise. We told War’s story and now, who better than Death? Was it a challenge? Heck yes! Typically in a franchise on your sequel you build out on your proven systems and iterate on that and just make everything better and more grand. You don’t typically introduce a brand new protagonist who has a completely different fighting style, traversal style and personality but this is what we wanted to do; and it’s paying dividends now.

There was no DLC for the first game. Are you planning any DLCs for Darksiders II?

Yes. There will be full DLC support for the game. I can say we’ve not started working on it. We’re finishing the game now, we’re not carving off content. It’s going to be brand new, unique content. The First DLC pack will be called Arghul’s Tomb and anyone that pre-orders the game right now is upgraded to Limited Edition and will get our first DLC drop for free.

How does the character of Death play in comparison to War? I played the demo and Death feels faster and more agile. Anything else you can tell us that I haven’t seen yet?

As you acquire abilities throughout the game the traversal of Death really opens up. You get the Death Grip which can grab onto beams and ledges and you can use it to swing and to pull yourself up. So eventually you’re going to have to string together different traversal methods that you’ll learn throughout the game in order to complete challenges. Where War could stop and think while hanging on a ledge, Death has to get everything right in the correct order in order to pass that area. Death is nimble and agile whereas War was pretty much straightforward.

Will War appear in the sequel? Again, I played the demo where you almost tricked me.

(laughs) You never know. You have to play through the game to find out. Everyone loved the ending of the first Darksiders so hopefully the ending of Darksiders II is just as good.

This question has quite an obvious answer but does the story carry on from the first game?

The stories will weave together as you play through. They actually happen during the same period of time. So while War is imprisoned by the Charred Council for a hundred years, that’s when Death’s journey is taking place to clear War’s name.

Is the PC release going to be concurrent this time?

Yes. PC will be day one debut. It’s the primary development platform so all the PC gamers are going to be psyched that it’s high-res with great frame rate.

How will the Wii U version differ from the others? Also, did the new platform present any new challenges for you?

Right now Nintendo has us under full gag until E3. What I can say is that obviously we’re going to take advantage of the Wii U’s unique controller and develop certain systems that take advantage of those hardware opportunities. Obviously it’s brand new, next-gen hardware so we’re working hard and fast with our partners at Nintendo in order to get the game up and running as beautifully as possible. We really just want to take advantage of what the Wii U has to offer and I think that at E3 this year I will probably be able to say more.

Now, the tricky question. Where do you keep your ketchup? Fridge or cupboard?

At home it’s in the fridge and in my office it’s in the cupboard.

On that bombshell it was time to leave. Thanks again for Jeremy for his time and I hope you guys have a lot of questions answered.

Darksiders II will be out August 2012 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. Check out our hands-on Preview for more Darksiders II goodness.