Darksiders III Devs on Souls Influences and How NVIDIA DLSS Makes the Game Look & Perform Noticeably Better
Fans of the franchise are now eager to play as the Horseman Fury, the sister of War (protagonist of the first Darksiders) and Death (protagonist of the second one), as she hunts down and destroys the Seven Deadly Sins after having been ordered to do so by the Charred Council.
After previewing a non-final version of the game earlier this month, we've chatted with Reinhard Pollice, Business & Product Development Director at THQ Nordic. Enjoy!
How do you feel about competing today in the action RPG niche? What do you think will separate Darksiders III from other titles in the genre?
The mixture of gameplay elements is still something unique. Darksiders is an action-adventure series that’s very combat-heavy but has also a good focus on puzzles, exploration and story. This latest game is a unique take on that mix as the main protagonist, Fury, has her own personality that’s deeply connected to both the game’s plot and the core gameplay systems.
Is it fair to say that for Darksiders III you have taken some inspirations from the Dark Souls games, both with the interconnected world and the combat system? Are there any other influences you can discuss?
The Souls games were a big inspiration but, first and foremost, in every decision we took, we tried to incorporate the ‘soul’ of the previous Darksiders installments above all other factors.
How much customization will there be in this game compared to the first two?
Cosmetic customization and loot grinding isn’t part of the formula this time around. This was only
part of Darksiders 2 due to the nature of Death’s abilities. Darksiders III is more closely aligned to the original Darksiders, and weapon upgrading and enhancing your character’s stats are central
Is there going to be any gun in Darksiders III, like in the two predecessors?
No gun, but there will be a ranged weapon more suited to Fury’s style…
Will players have to backtrack often in Darksiders III?
Certainly not in a forced way. There will be some natural revisiting, but we never want somebody to
think: “oh, I’ve clearly got to come back here again and use this new ability”.
One of the complaints we have read on the Web is that Fury is supposed to be a Mage-like character and yet we have seen very few magic from her in the videos. Can we expect to find more in the final game?
Fury is a Battle Mage, meaning she is a mage/warrior hybrid. We’ve shown some of her magic abilities already with two of the four Hollows that have been revealed and more are to come. All her weapons – even the whip! – are magical, too.
According to your internal estimate, how long should it take to complete the game? Is there a lot of optional side content?
Playtime is always a tricky question as it depends on numerous factors. On average, we would say
somewhere around 15-hours-plus, which is similar to the first Darksiders.
Can you share the finalized technical specs for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X? Will there be support for HDR displays?
We have HDR output as well as dynamic resolution scaling. The resolution is a bit higher on Xbox One X but not by much.
What are the odds to see the game on Nintendo Switch at some point, given that it is powered by the Unreal Engine 4?
At this point, we don’t have any plans.
Are there any chances to see the game on Mac and/or Linux in the future? Will there be support for Ultrawide (21:9) displays?
MAC/Linux is not planned right now. However, Ultrawide display support is.
Darksiders III is listed among the games due to support NVIDIA DLSS. Why did you decide to add this technology and what do you think of it?
It’s NVIDIA’s new flagship technology, which gave some nice visual gains. Fortunately, it’s also relatively easy to implement these benefits with Unreal Engine 4.
NVIDIA's performance graph showcased the RTX 2080 performing even twice as fast as the GTX 1080 in certain games with DLSS enabled. What's your experience after testing it in Darksiders III, with regards to performance and image quality (compared to the normal version of the game)?
It looks noticeably better and performs very well. That said, on a GTX 1080 Darksiders III also looks
gorgeous and performs very nicely.
Some gamers have compared it to the Checkerboard Rendering that's used mostly on consoles. Do you feel it's an apt comparison?
Checkerboard rendering is an interpolation as pixels are created based on pixels that are already on screen. DLSS is something way more sophisticated, where AI techniques are applied to create a
better and smoother image.
Will Darksiders III ship with NVIDIA DLSS or are you planning to enable it at a later date?
We cannot say just yet. Right now, our immediate focus is to make the game as great as possible for all players during the end phase of polishing.
Will you look into the possibility of adding raytracing (NVIDIA RTX) to the game eventually, or perhaps for the PC versions of your future games? As developers, what's your opinion on NVIDIA's bid for raytracing with the new GeForce RTX cards?
We don’t know for Darksiders III specifically, however, as a company we are always curious to try and support the latest technology in our games.
Thank you for your time.