Darksiders is the brainchild of Joe Madureira: a comic book writer/artist, most known for his work on Uncanny X-men and his own creation Battle Chasers. Also his style, which mixes both western and Japanese influences, making some truly unique and appealing to audiences.
At some point, he became creative director at Vigil Games, and come 2007 he would announce his latest project: Darksiders.
This hack and slash adventure, has players take control of War from the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse. The horseman may or may cause the apocalypse and extinction of the human race, so the story follows him attempting to prove his innocence… by mauling every demon and angel in his way. The games promised an action-packed gameplay and carrying Joe's signature look, but now in glorious 3D cell shaded style.
2010 the game was released on all major consoles at the time. And it gained a good enough reception. Praised for its originality, solid voice acting and polished combat. However, there was some small criticisms, the silliest one for me, being that the game was a mix of Devil May Cry and Legend of Zelda (the 3D ones). Never the less, Darksiders got solid 80s out of 100 or 4 out 5 stars. Also at this point, it was revealed that the series has 4 games in total planned, each having to deal with a different horseman.
So during E3 2011, Darksiders 2 was announced, and how it would follow Death, doing his part to prove his brother's innocents. And while it seemed like gaming would have a new semi-annual franchise, similar to what God of War and Uncharted where.
However, in the background, a storm was coming. THQ, the publisher, and owner of the Vigil Games studio was struggling financially. Having many unprofitable titles, and dropping IP's left and right. From Red Faction to MX vs. ATV by 2012, Darksiders was one of the last promising property they had. However, as it was seen at the release of the second one, the financial cracks would show.
The same year 2012, Darksiders 2 released, too… more or less the same reception to the first one. This time the game took all the minor criticisms of the first title and change appropriately.
While the game was still a hack and slash adventure, now you instead of getting weapons, health upgrades, items etc. from Zelda-like dungeons in a Zelda-like world, you have a massive open world with dungeons both required and not. Weapons drop from monsters, tons of collectibles, shops, and even massive colossal bosses. Also while combat is still solid, there is a level up system and skill tree.
In the end, the game seemed amazing and could have been a massive success, but after the first half of the game, a sour truth revealed itself. The game was rushed to be released. Sure it had some minor ignorable annoyances, but after a certain story point, Death has to move to a new location. And that location was empty. No side stuff, a literal barren wasteland, and the story being concluded way to quick.
But even with all of these problems, the game still had a good reception from both fans and critics. Again getting 80s and 4 out of 5s.
In the end, that did not matter. The game did not make sales expectations and became one of the nails in THQ coffin.
2013 THQ filed chapter 11 bankruptcy and had all of its remaining IP's auctioned off.
So what happened to Darksiders? The IP was bought by Nordic Games(aka THQ Nordic). And outside of a few rumors, the fate of Darksiders was unknown. Up until 2016, when both Darksiders 1 and 2 came out with enhanced editions (Warmastered and Deathinitive). And later that year, an Amazon leak revealed that there would be a Darksiders 3.
And here is where we are with this franchise. And again, the 3rd installment would be different the previous ones. From footages and press releases, we know that you will play as the horsewoman Fury, hunting down the 7 sins with here will and magic. But not much aside from that is know. Only that this 2018 the game will be released.
I personally, am a fan of this franchise and can't wait to see how the game is and does. And I hope it finally catches a break and we can breath easy that this won't be the last we see of the fantastic design horsemen of the apocalypse.