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Darksiders II Argul's Tomb
Score: 80%
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Vigil Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/RPG

A New Campaign:
Darksiders II Argul's Tomb is a new DLC that adds a small bonus campaign to the lengthy Darksiders II story. Of course, this campaign is completely optional, but there are a few rewards to be had at the end of the extra fighting that might make it worthwhile.

The Argulís Tomb campaign isnít on the map like the Crucible DLC we previously reviewed. That location is opened after a certain point in the gameís story and you can visit it anytime, but you will need to have a pretty powerful character if you hope to make your way through that particular DLC. Argulís Tomb is Crucibleís opposite in pretty much every way.

Instead of getting to the new DLC via the in-game map, you have to exit your game and go to the DLC option and select it under the list of campaigns. Also, instead of it being a massively difficult campaign that you need to have beaten the game at least once in order to get through, Argulís Tomb seems to scale with the characterís level. Enemies that are supposed to be more powerful than you stay above you, while those on your level stay that way. This, plus the fact that the campaign will give you any tools you need in order to get through the puzzles, like the Voidwalker and the Death Grip, even if you donít have them in the main story yet, means you can jump into Argulís Tomb at any point. Although, I donít really know how the DLCís story plays out if you havenít met Ostegoth yet since he is the character that tells you about your mission and he doesnít show up until the second act of Darksiders.

So what is your task? Well, put simply, Ostegoth tells you about the lost king, Argul, an enemy you can actually seek out and take on in the main campaign. It seems that his successor has actually hidden his tomb away to forever keep his spirit troubled. Well, Ostegoth has found it and he wants you to take on the challenges it poses. The frozen map is broken into three dungeons, and one of them is optional.

Frostbone Crypt:
Darksiders II Argul's Tombís first required dungeon is lightly scattered with enemies and, while the dungeon culminates in a tough mini-boss fight against the Frostbone Titan, most of the dungeon involves puzzles that use both the Voidwalker and Death Grip items.

Actually, there are only a few places in the Crypt where the enemies attempt to overwhelm you with sheer numbers, and those are the only times when this part of the DLC gets difficult. As for those puzzles, there isnít anything too complex involved, but the further you are in the rest of the game, the easier those puzzles will be since they will make you more familiar with the tools you will need in order to get the key that lets you into The Frigid Spire, the second required dungeon in this campaign.

Strange Cave:
Darksiders II Argul's Tombís Strange Cave area can be completed before or after Frostbone Crypt, or not at all for that matter. This particular side-quest is optional in the DLCís campaign. If you choose to explore this offshoot of the main path, you will find a sticky grenade launcher called the Gorehammer. You can fire your projectile at your enemies and then either let it go off on its own, or trigger it to explode. While this is a lot of fun, I found it really changed the dynamics of the game.

While most of Darksiders II is all about close-ranged melee combat, I found being able to lob a grenade at enemies and explode them caused me to play a very different game. Most of the time, I would hold back at the edge of a room and just destroy anything I could before getting close. In most cases, I was able to cause one enemy to charge at me without alerting the others and, by the time it got within striking distance (they are melee fighters as well, after all), the creature was destroyed.

Donít get me wrong, I found this shooting challenge still a lot of fun, but it really changes the feel of the game and I wouldnít want to see this kind of mechanic all over the rest of Darksiders II, because it wouldnít feel right.

This side-quest ends in a major arena fight where you not only have to deal with many easy-to-kill enemies, but also five Ice Giants. Thankfully, the Gorehammer is a great tool to use on them, just make sure you keep moving.

The Frigid Spire:
Darksiders II Argul's Tombís final challenge is unlocked after beating the Frostbone Crypt. These two dungeons share a lot of similarly feeling puzzles, but there were a couple of times in the Frigid Spire that actually had me scratching my head for a while. Pretty much every time though, it was because I wasnít thinking about the best ways to use some of Deathís tools (hint, the Death Grip can pull objects to you, not just pull you to them).

Like the Frostbone Crypt, and unlike the Strange Cave, enemies are pretty sparse, but when they do show up, you are typically locked into a small arena and you canít leave until youíve cleared the room.

While most of the DLC is pretty easy to run through, it all leads up to the campaignís boss fight. The ice dragon named Frostbane is a massive beast that will do everything from swipe at you with his claws and tail if you are close, to ground pound and even rain ice shards down on you. Make sure you walk into this fight with full health, wrath and refills because you will need them. Remember, like the rest of this DLC, Frostbane will level up as you do to keep the fight a tough one even if you are high leveled.

The Rewards:
If you manage to make it past Frostbane, then Ostegoth will send you a new legendary secondary weapon, Frostforged Twins, a set of level 30 armblades.

So is it worth the getting? Well, it isnít the longest DLC out there. It took me about two and a half hours to work through all three missions. If you bought the Limited Edition version of Darksiders II, then youíve already paid for it and can take on the challenge. In that case, donít pass it up, its fun and worth going through. If, on the other hand, you donít already have it waiting to be downloaded, the $6.99 price tag might be a bit high for just a couple of hours of play time. Then again, you could always go back to it over and over again.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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