The Point of No Return: Darksiders

Rage quitting or quitting a game quietly…we’ve all done it at least once. If you haven’t, you’re a liar or you have the patience of a saint. An insane saint, but a saint no less. This irregular column is dedicated to those moments of quitting, what caused us to go over the edge and never look back. It’s all about the point of no return.

My most recent victim of rage quitting was Darksiders (the first one). I bought this game when it first released, played the first few chapters, and then was promptly distracted by Bayonetta and then everything else that released in the early months of 2010. (Remember how packed that time was? I wasn’t even into Mass Effect back then and I was still busy!)

I didn’t pick up the game again until early July, after I was told I would be representing the Angels at a Darksiders II event at the end of the month. Me being me, I was not going to go without playing and finishing the first game so I would 1) be familiar with the gameplay, and 2) know that story. I have to know the ins and outs of a story before I get into anything, hence why I’ve dropped out of the comic scene. Since I only had a couple of weeks to play the game due to my Comic-Con travels (yes, PLEASE feel sorry for me), that meant I had only one option: lower the difficulty to Easy and burn through that puppy.

It didn’t take long for me to see that this game was not for me. Playing on the Easy setting didn’t make the platforming elements any less frustrating, and the game’s obvious cloning of the Zelda formula wasn’t making me feel very optimistic. I’ve never finished a Zelda game before, not even the first one. I keep losing interest after awhile.

Darksiders Ashlands
My chances of finishing were as barren as this desert of ash.

The writing may have been on the wall at the outset, but it was the introduction of one element that sealed my fate. Worse, I knew it would be my catalyst as soon as it was introduced. I’m talking about the Chronospheres, the ability War gained to slow down time for a brief period of time.

As soon as these dastardly spheres entered the scene, my heart sank deep into my stomach. I cannot stand anything that is timed, no matter what it is. I don’t care if I’m given an obscene amount of time; being timed on anything stresses me out beyond belief. Add timed portions to a game that includes my arch nemesis–platforming–bye bye chocobo. However, since I was really digging the story to Darksiders, I really wanted to give this section an honest shot.

Yeah, I didn’t last long.

My downfall came with the towers War had to traverse using the Chronospheres. The first tower was a dry run of the puzzle, allowing the player to see what hell was waiting just ahead without the need to slow down time. I had difficulty controlling War’s direction as he climbed around the demonic growth at the ceiling of the tower. I had to do the same thing at the second tower, but this time I had a time limit that forced me to be flawless in execution.

After 30 minutes of trying to cross one ceiling in that one tower, I threw in the towel–and almost my controller. Life is too short to struggle with something that is supposed to fun or entertaining for that long, so it was time for me to bid a bittersweet adieu to War and his story. I still regret that I wasn’t able to hack finishing this game, but hey, I really should be proud that I made it as long as I did.

Darksiders - War in Ashlands
I'm sorry I let you down, War. Stop smirking at me.

Place of death: 2nd Watchtower in the Ashlands.
Play time: 10 hours

The Point of No Return is an irregular Gaming Angels column that reveres that point in games where we quit playing forever, never to return to again, written by our beloved Keri Honea a/k/a crunchychocobo.