Once you gain control of your character, ride forward on Despair through the Veil until you reach the stone steps, where Despair will vanish. Run up to the wall and press the jump button to climb on up. Run forward and you’ll encounter some Ice Skeletons. These simple creatures can be defeated with basic Scythe strikes and their attacks are easily avoided by using Death’s evasion.
After the skeletons have been done away with, be sure to pick up any loot that is left for you. You can equip the items as they fall to the ground or just browse through your inventory and equip it that way. As you progress, you will be getting hundreds of various piece of equipment, so you can customize you Death as you please.
Run forward and enter The Dark Fortress, You’ll come across a large gap. Run and jump towards the wall on the left and Death will perform a wall run to get across the gap. Run forward and slash at the frozen ice skeleton to the left to awaken it. Run down this corridor to find a treasure chest filled with goods. Note, each of these treasure chests contain a random collection of loot or potions.
Back on the main path, once again use a wall run on the right to get across the gap. Grab onto the hand hold and jump to reach safe ground. There are a few more ice baddies in the area, so defeat them as you wish.
Run ahead and you’ll find some wooden beams. Jump over and Death will latch onto it. Rotate around the vertical beam, lean away, and then jump over to the next vertical beam. You will see the Crowfather on the other end of this platform and as you draw near, he will disappear.
Run forward and you’ll find some more ice skeletons. Defeat them and then scale the wall. There are a series of hand holds and wooden planks that death will need to scale upwards. It is fairly linear and an introduction to the type of traversal found throughout the game.
You’ll be greeted by four more ice skeletons but they shouldn’t be much of a problem at all. Get rid of them and climb the vines. While on the vines Death can freely climb without the need to run or jump. Hang from the ceiling and continue moving alone the vines to reach the higher platform.
After seeing the Crowfather once again, defeat the ice skeleton found here and climb some more vines. Climb up to the hand hold and then run to the left to reach a higher platform. You will be greeted by a massive Ice Giant. Despite its enormous size, this enemy battle isn’t much different from the standard ice skeletons. Slash away with your scythe, mixing in your secondary weapon attacks as well. Whenever the ice giant is ready to strike, be sure to evade the attack by dodging out of the way. Repeat this process until the ice giant is no more.
After watching a sweet kill-scene, continue onward and you’ll find another gap. Run along the wall and vault over the wall post. Continue holding the jump button to reach the other side. Press the action button near the large switch to activate the elevator.
Climb the nearby walls and you’ll come to an area with two parallel walls on the sides. Death can jump back and forth from wall to wall as he scales his way upwards. At the higher level use a wall run to reach the wall post and continue along until Death grabs onto some vines. Continue traversing across some vines, a wall post, and eventually run over to a wooden beam. Climb the wooden beam and jump up to another beam directly above it. Hope over to an adjacent beam and then run over to the higher platform.
Defeat some more ice creatures and run along the wall to reach some vines. Climb down and to the right to see some hand holds. Wall run over and continue traversing across the gap. Run forward and you’ll find a series of wooden beams. Jump from beam to beam and then onto the vines. Climb the vines and run over to the wooden beam nearby. Jump up to a higher beam, and then across to a series of beams. Continue beam jumping and you’ll eventually see a wall post directly above you. Climb on up to reach the top of the Dark Fortress and then walk forward to finally encounter the Crowfather.
After a cut-scene between Death and the Crowfather, a boss battle of sorts will trigger, where the Crowfather has transformed into War’s Shade.
The key so surviving the battle is to continuously evade all of War’s attacks. Whenever he is gearing to strike, immediately dash away to avoid taking damage. After his strikes, dash back in and deliver a few strikes of your own. Be careful though, as War often times attacks with three slashes in a row. Your best chance to attack War is after he has missed his third sword slash, as he becomes vulnerable for several seconds.
If War blocks one of your attacks, immediately dash away as he will perform one of his special wrath abilities, reminiscent of the blade geyser attack from the original Darksiders, where massive yellow spikes come up from the ground. You must dash to the left or right as well, as the blades will shoot out directly towards Death.
When Death and War lock attacks close to one another, press the action button that appears on screen to push War away and deal damage. Repeat this same process until Death has defeated the shade of his brother. Afterwords, enjoy the scene as Death does what he does best.