Getting Darksiders III was a bittersweet victory. It had all the makings of a great addition to the Darksiders series, it just fell short for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, it did well enough to give us a title devoted to the final horseman, Strife, along with some expansions with the hopes of ending Darksiders III on a better note.
Each expansion focuses on different aspects that made the franchise so fun. The Crucible gave us a way to fight foes, along with the return of Wicked K, resulting in an arguably mindless, but still enjoyable series of battles. Keepers of the Void brings puzzles back to the world of Darksiders III and touches on familiar territory. With a strong push, new weapons and a little more story, is it worth venturing to the void or should this expansion be tossed into it?
Keepers of the Void starts with Vulgrim explaining to Fury that he needs help removing an ancient threat from the serpent holes. Despite being skeptical of his request, he promises loot in exchange for taking care of the problem. Naturally, this leads to a final twist that might not be surprising but remains true to the characters and the franchise as a whole. Speaking of which, Keepers of the Void is less about stopping a threat as solving puzzles.
The vast majority of this expansion is entering a room, figuring out the puzzle and then exiting said room. I wouldn’t say any of the puzzles are hard, as much as it’s easy to overthink them. Once you get an idea of what needs to be done, they actually follow a rather predictable cycle.
Almost every puzzle in the expansion comes down to using your powers to activate orbs and move floating bricks around. Some orbs allow for multiple activations, though it almost always comes down to using flame hollow, followed by whatever other ones you can use. This is also one of the more annoying aspects of the puzzles.
While I won’t pretend that I got them all right immediately and they offered no challenge, as both of these things would be a lie, the trick was almost always just activating them in a cycle and figuring out where the next piece was. This can be best seen on the puzzle that gave me the most trouble.
This puzzle starts with an orb that has two modes. One is flame, which moves the blocks, with the other being storm, giving it a whirlwind you can use to float higher. As mentioned above, you move the block, activate the whirlwind and fly across. On the other side you move a block with flame, jump on it and then move it back. On the other side there is another flame orb that moves some blocks, so you repeat the previous steps. When you make it to the other side and this is the only tricky part, there is an activation point behind you that allows you to move a spare orb to the empty slot and solve the puzzle. So, to simplify things, you activate the obvious points until you need to find a less obvious point to solve the puzzle.
I wouldn’t say my criticism is that these are bad puzzles, not when they required a fair bit of thought to figure out, just that the whole expansion builds off the same design. The only real difference between the first and last puzzle is you go from using one hollow power to all four of them and even then most of the puzzles focus on one of those powers.
Your reward for solving these puzzles is a brief cutscene, followed by a boss fight. The scenes are little more than Fury attempting to talk to a golem that says nothing in response. The interactions decrease as you progress, getting to the point where she utters a sentence or two before the fight, with each fight coming down to the same core concept. Defeat a rock formation with powers associated with the area you completed.
When all four locations are completed, you gain access to a final fight against a fifth guardian. This one is able to utilize the power of the fallen guardians and finally responds to Fury revealing some important information. This final fight is a lot different than the others, with new moves and some devastating attacks, though the ability to dodge and play defensively will almost always result in victory.
For removing this threat you’re given a final cutscene, the infamous Abyssal Armor and an alternate version of each hollow weapon. These can make the experience a little more fresh, while also serving as a decent reward for overcoming these trials.
Enjoying Keepers of the Void comes down to what you like about Darksiders III. It’s almost entirely puzzles, most of which rehash the same concept of moving blocks to progress. This can make it rather bland, assuming you want more variety. However, given you’re getting a fairly large area to explore, new weapons and even some additional story content, there is enough here to see the value in it. At least beyond what The Crucible offered.