Darksiders II kept to its roots by borrowing the best aspects of some of the industry's most beloved games and adapting them to the Darksiders mythos: making slight improvements and adjusting them to produce a quality experience. While the main campaign saw use of the Voidwalker (see: portal gun) ability, Argul's Tomb focuses almost entirely on its use. Argul's Tomb serves as both the first piece of content for Death to continue his adventure and as the free bonus for purchasing a new copy of the game. However, if you have a used copy of the game, is Argul's Tomb worth the asking price of $7?
Argul's Tomb can be accessed at any point in the main game, however it is recommended that the first three areas of Darksiders II be cleared as the DLC automatically supplies the player with the Voidwalker and Death's Grip (see: hookshot). Before the Lord of Bones became the Dead King, Argul reined supreme with the help of the dragon Frostbane. Death is tasked by Ostegoth with the destruction of Frostbane, who lies waiting in the snowy grave. Story wise the DLC doesn't do much more than explore some subplots and provide further backstory to the universe. Gameplay is what this piece of DLC is really all about, so if you're looking to continue Death's story, then you're out of luck - but Argul's Tomb isn't intended to be a narrative piece.
The first Darksiders II DLC focuses mainly on utilizing Death's portal gun and hookshot to progress through dungeons filled with plenty of puzzles and enemies to keep a player happy. Most of the puzzles, though not exactly mind boggling, require a mix of creating portals with the Voidwalker and manipulating objects with Death's Grip. Using the charge shot of the portal gun to manipulate momentum is key, as many puzzles see Death shooting across gaps and movable blocks turned into pendulums so Death can snag it with the hookshot. Frustration won't set in due to the relative ease of each puzzle, yet breezing through them isn't possible due to their length. They're fun for the most part - they just don't require much brain power.
Being the frozen wasteland that it is, Argul's Tomb features enemies of the icy persuasion. Many of the enemies are the same demons from the main campaign, though some new additions serve to spice up combat. The most interesting, an undead warlock, is also the most deadly; a quick death by area attacks awaits the player if active dodging isn't employed. Laxidasical "sticking and moving" won't suffice due to the surprising challenge that normal enemies now offer. Depending on when the DLC is accessed, some might find it more enjoyable than others. No new gameplay mechanics have been added, and if repetition has already set in after the game's completion, then expect more of the same. If the recommendation of clearing the first three areas was followed, then a much better experience can be had.
Like the main campaign, plenty of loot is ready for collection, with some legendary pieces of equipment granted by the DLC's bosses. Where the first boss is nothing to brag about (and neither is his loot), Argul's Tomb's end boss, Frostbane, is a blast to fight and provides some worthwhile rewards. Being a dragon, Frostbane utilizes both ground and air attacks, which means Death will be tumbling around the frozen tundra with a vengeance. Frostbane offers a healthy challenge, even for those who've completed the game, so you'll need a fair amount of patience to best the Wyrm. As a reward for your patience and skill you'll get a pretty sweet pair of claws that can be used in the main campaign; they have some decent stats, and instantly freeze Death's enemies.
Argul's Tomb adheres to the same dark, gothic visual style found in the main game, albeit with a flash of white due to the blanket of snow. Each room of the Spire is as beautifully detailed as the last, and the sprawling frozen landscape is dominated by ruined tombs and snowy mountains. Eerie tones and gothic bells complete the overall feel of the tomb, setting the stage for the gloomy, rather chilly quest.
Darksider's II's first installment of DLC doesn't try anything too risky. Though its main focus is the dragon Frostbane and extended use of the portal gun, which is undeniably fun, it would have made for a better first impression if something new had been added. As well as that, the DLC only clocks in at roughly 3 hours long, and really I expected more. As it is, Argul's Tomb is a solid piece of content, it's just not on par with the rest of the intuitiveness that Darksiders is known to offer, especially if you need to shell out more money to get it.