The second DLC for the apocalypse battering Darksiders III, Keepers of the Void sets itself apart from the first DLC, The Crucible, by providing a quest instead of a horde mode. Vulgrim is in trouble, and says his serpent holes have been taken over by aggressive intruders. He states that the keys to the realm in question are your already possessed hollows and so recruits you to deal with the situation.

This means there are four areas to tackle in the new realm, each with its own ‘hollow’ based spin. As is typical for Darksiders this means a whole lot of fighting, but just as much puzzling as you use your various hollow powers to create ways through each area. The puzzles mostly take the form of platform based challenges, with you moving blocks and manipulating them to reach new areas.

Your flame hollow for instance – the one which you use most often throughout this DLC – has the ability to move platforms. The catch is, however, that you can’t move platforms at your choice, but must attack orbs that will affect your surroundings in a prescribed way. In this way, you have to figure out how your hollows change the scenery and what order to do this in.

Ultimately, the puzzles aren’t massively challenging, however they do require a certain attention to detail, and as they demand combinations of hollows, such as using flame to move a platform and then storm to create an updraft for you to fly from, they get more complicated to deal with. And it’s not just completing a section that you need to think about, but also ways to access treasures and secret areas – so maybe the direct route in easier, but there’s bound to be another way of setting up the platforms that gives you access to a hidden area.

It’s a nice way of incorporating the game’s hollows in a fresh way – designing the puzzles specifically around their use – and, as brief as the DLC is, the variety is good and the challenges are enjoyably thought-provoking.

Equally challenging and enjoyable is the DLC’s combat. There’s plenty of it as each area is guarded by stony-like creatures – some of which roam around, others hiding in the walls. Initially I thought this was a little easy, especially with me starting the DLC at the end of the game (high levelled and with most of my weapons upgraded to max), but the end of area bosses quickly set me straight on that.

While each is the same in physical design, the bosses have some unique attack patterns to get used to and quirks related to hollows. Some will attack to regain health, for example, if you are using the same hollow as them (I only experienced this with one of them, however wasn’t prepared to test the method again and assume that the other bosses do the same). They aren’t the most exciting battles, but for the DLC they are good, and the final encounter is epic to say the least.

Each boss, when defeated, gives up a new weapon based on the hollow of the area. The designs of these are cool – offering an axe, talons, polearm and scythes – however, particularly if you’re at end game in the main story, none of these will be superior to your current equipment, meaning actually using them for anything other than curiosity is effectively pointless (unless you’re willing to grind and upgrade them sufficiently).

The challenge of the bosses I would usually say might put some off, however if you’re playing the DLC one would assume you’re already used to the game’s combat – and, with the exception of the final boss, these encounters aren’t any more difficult than bosses you face in the base game. The final encounter, though, was a little much for me I must admit. I found that Darksiders III drew a sensible line when it came to its Dark Souls aping design and actually was far more forgiving, but the final fight of Keepers of the Void went a little too far for my liking – being, frankly, un-enjoyable to actually play though (though certainly more stunning than the previous bosses that led up to it).

Overall it’s not a bad DLC, but it’s nothing exceptional either. The puzzling is interesting and enjoyable to figure out, and of course the combat remains challenging but empowering as it was in the base game. But the DLC is rather short, and the areas and enemies not that interesting aesthetically, or even mechanically. The bosses are okay, but essentially the same as one another (with the exception of a few quirks in attack pattern), and come the end of the game, I didn’t find the story conclusion to be all that satisfying. You receive a cool set of armour to go with your weapons, but as I already mentioned, if you’re at the end of the game already, what’s the point of it really? I’d say it’s worth it for those who really enjoyed the base game, and the price they are asking is fair, just don’t expect to be blown away by a sizeable expansion.



Author

John Little
John Little

I started gaming with the release of the PS1 - Crash Bandicoot and Ridge Racer Revolution being the first 'real' games I ever set eyes on - and have been enthralled with the medium ever since. I particularly love strategy and horror games, the sort offered by titles such as Total War and Silent Hill, though I also have a soft spot for a good RPG. I studied Journalism at university in the hopes of progressing into writing about games. You'll most likely find me covering indie games as I'm always on the look out for interesting little titles, and generally I stick to the PC and PS4 platforms. I'm not interested in MMOs or really any kind of online game, and I have an unusual and frankly worryingly expensive obsession with collecting gaming guide books, but aside from that I like to think I'm a well rounded average gamer. Find me on twitter @JohnLittle29