That's what comic book artist-turned Vigil Games founder Joe Madureira did, and though Darksiders 2 definitely looks like it's turning out well, even he says he had doubts. "I still wonder if it's a smart thing," he told me at Comic-Con this week, "because usually when you're building a franchise around a character, you really try and keep the same character." Well, yeah.
"But it was a momentary apprehension. As soon as we concepted him and we had him running in the game, it was a cooler character." He says that THQ didn't have a problem with the change either: "They were like, yeah, this is a cool idea."
Of course, given all of the other updates to the game, maybe it's easy to see why the creator and publisher didn't worry quite so much about the main character. In a quick hands-off demo, Madureira showed off combat and utility gameplay that looked pretty similar to the first game (if not a little tighter and cleaner, of course), but it's what happens out of combat that's most interesting. Darksiders 2 will feature a full loot and quest system, adding a whole shar-pei of new wrinkles to the way the game works.
One of the biggest complaints about the first Darksiders game is how much it aped more familiar titles like The Legend of Zelda, in that War explored just a few dungeons, won tools to complete puzzles, and opened up areas of the game in a preset order. But Madureira says while the team heard those complaints, he didn't end up paying them much heed.
" It kind of rolled off our back," he says, "Zelda for grown-ups, as I've heard it called, is not really a bad thing to us. I think that's totally cool." Madureira thinks the new gameplay features will answer those concerns a bit as well. " I think with the addition of loot drops and skill trees, it really does have a unique feel to it." Not that Zelda games are ever bad, he admits. " There should be more games like that, honestly. If like three Zelda games came out every year, I'd be really excited."
We'll take his word on that one for now -- there will be lots more revealed about the story and the game itself as we move towards release "next year."