WeView: Dark Souls II

“Prepare to die” has always been a fitting heading for Dark Souls. The harsh and unforgiving gameplay can be quite intimidating for newcomers to the series, and I expect it’s no different in Dark Souls II.

I’m yet to play the latest Souls game, but I have spent many hours exploring imaginative new ways to die in Demon’s Souls and the first Dark Souls. Despite the games’ insane difficulty I’ve found each one really addictive. No matter how many times I’ve died I’ve remained optimistic, hoping that I’ll progress a little further with each death, and eventually beat it. It can be extremely satisfying when it all comes together.

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We didn’t review Dark Souls II at TSA, we all must have been too scared to [True story – ed.]. Nevertheless the game boasts an impressive 91 score on Metacritic.

We’ll take a look at Official PlayStation Magazine, who said Dark Souls II is “uncompromising in its challenge” and a “supremely balanced slasher that destroys your fingers and delights your soul with its unrivalled sense of triumph through trial”. IGN also shared the same praise for the game calling Dark Souls II “a smart, massive, and incredibly rewarding sequel”.

Did you find Dark Souls II to be a worthy sequel, or were left frustrated by its unforgiving difficulty? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to give the game either a Buy It, Sale It, Plus It or Avoid It rating. Remember to get your verdicts in by Sunday evening for the chance to be in next Monday’s round-up article.

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7 Comments

  1. More of the same but on a much larger scale. That should tell you whether you will like it if you’ve played the earlier ones. I have to say it is a more refined experience but also an easier one.

    Buy it!

  2. While it is a great RPG it is not without it’s issues. The story is not up to the level of the first Dark Souls and the bosses, while being difficult, are often difficult due to the developers adding in mobs rather than innovative move sets or abilities. The mob mentality is infact one of the major issues I have with the game. There are times where it isn’t hard but annoying and that seems to occur on a regular basis. It is as if the development team who took charge of the game changed a key mechanic right at the end, oh wait, they did.

    Due to a perceived issue with the visual effects they removed the need for torches throughout the game which in turn led them to replace the darkness with more enemies. For most action adventure games this isn’t normally an issue, but when a game’s key mechanics are based around 1 on 1 combat it can cause major headaches at key moments in the game, particularly if you are relying upon magic. It is also an issue that the development team continue to adjust the balance of certain spells and weapons on a regular basis which lead to certain weapons and spells being nerfed to the point that they become useless overnight. A major issue if you have been relying upon something or built and entire character around something. I digress.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is still a great game. It is just that there are a few occasions where certain bosses and areas come across as lazy and frustrating rather than the usual difficult but fair. It’s a shame that the game they demo’d and indeed showed in Beta never quite made it to the floor but you should still buy it, but be aware that you may need to engage in online play far more than you did in the previous games as the mobs can become quite annoying if you chose to play as certain classes.

    It’s a buy it but buyer beware if you are ‘planning on going solo’ – George Michael

  3. Brilliant game, simple improvements like clearer mission objectives and menus for fast travel make it more user friendly than the first, though combat is still just as tricky. Even a weaker enemy can quickly deplete your life bar if you aren’t careful. Defeating a boss is very satisfying due to the challenge they offer.

    Overall improves on the previous game without dumbing it down for the playstation generation. To find out if you’re really good at games, BUY IT!

  4. Psychobudgie hit the nail on the head for me with his comment.

    Great game still, but I prefer Demon’s Souls myself :)

    BUY IT

  5. Really cannot offer up much more than what PyschoBudgie has said (great post).

    Niether Dark game, great as they are, have in my eyes, come close to holding a candle to Demon’s Souls in terms of story, sense of scale and giving player such a rewarding feel for defeating Bosses.

    Think a lot of the problem stems from fact developers seem to feel throwing in more Bosses will make for a much better game, but whilst they look superb, an average Boss fight in DSII for myself with 2 fellows fighting alongside me, lasted on average, 45 seconds!.Some fights i just stood back, let others take care of.

    I did find the online side worked superbly though, made 1 ‘real life’ mate from playing the game, spent hours helping other players take down tricky bosses (that at least felt rewarding), but the sense of challenge was missing from Demon’s and more so the forboding sense of menace.I wanted to get to next area to see what it offered, where as in Demon’s i’d have same feeling, but mixed with real sense of dreading what i’d encounter.

    I do feel with each Souls game, they are ‘watering the exp.down’ somewhat, but then double-edged sword (no pun intended) they need big sales to fund future games, so not really great long term to have a rock hard game that puts people off to point where sales suffer, but i’d just like Sony to step up and get a ‘true’ Demon’s Souls II made for PS4, which returns to the challenge offered by the 1st.

  6. It’s a great game, but pales in comparison to its predecessor.

    The main problem is the level design. Most of the levels are unremarkable and they lack the intricate secrets and short cuts of Dark Souls 1. As a result the world of Dark Souls 2 feels like a collection of disparate stages strung together rather than a cohesive whole.

    • Despite my negative comments, I would still say BUY IT!

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