Darksiders II

It's the end of the world as we know it and we feel fine...

Ever since Nintendo first unleashed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64 in 1998, other publishers have struggled to match up to that epic action-adventure game. And while Darksiders II doesn't quite achieve that lofty goal, it's still a blast to play.

The storyline is the usual grab-bag of mythological tropes and casts you in the role of Death (he of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse). Redesigned as a fast-talking, anime-influenced take on Masters of the Universe villain Skeletor, this lithe, sword-swinging incarnation of Death is on a mission to prove that his brother, War, didn't cause the end of the world. As is so often the case, though, the plot really doesn't matter one iota. All it really boils down to is hacking and slashing your way through various worlds – an experience enhanced by occasional forays into puzzle solving, plus RPG-lite concepts that send you off on side quests and allow you to build up your skills and arsenal.

Darksiders II's entertaining and surprisingly deep gameplay is matched by its excellent production values. The sensational hi-def graphics give the locations a truly epic sense of scale and lend a real physicality to the battles, while the audio is every bit as grand and sweeping as you'd expect – even if there is a little too much repetition in the use of certain tracks and themes from time to time.

THQ, Xbox 360/PS3/PC, £50 Approx, On sale now