In order to avoid buying Darksiders 3 at the moment, I decided to play through Darksiders 1 and 2, both of which I’d previously started but never finished.
People like to call Darksiders 2 the Zelda game while Darksiders 1 is the straightforward action game. I’d felt that myself, my first time around. But starting Darksiders 1 over, after having experienced Darksiders 2, a fair amount of “Zelda” elements are in the first game.
It is just that Darksiders 1 doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a linear storyline. (You can go back to “completed” areas to get missed objects, and you need to go back to get past barriers that you didn’t have the items for previously, and the game will send you back to progress the story at times though.) That, and the world is presented as connected locations, rather than as a large overworld containing multiple dungeons. But a fair amount of that is a surface difference.
Well, that, and Darksiders 1 isn’t as blatant as Darksiders 2. For example, in Darksiders 1, you have to find the dungeon chests that have the dungeon keys to open locked dungeon doors. Except the key is a knife (still found in dungeon chests though) and the lock is a magic barrier, and you unlock the door by stabbing an eye monster with the knife. In Darksiders 2, the key is physically a key.