Dark Souls II
PublisherBandai Namco Entertainment
Release date11 Mar 2014
The unique old-school action rpg experience captivated imaginations of gamers worldwide with incredible challenge and intense emotional reward. Dark Souls II brings the franchise’s renowned difficulty & gripping gameplay innovations to both single and multiplayer experiences. Immerse yourself into mind-bending environments filled with new twisted monsters and deadly bosses that could only come from the imagination of from software. A wide range of threats will prey on human senses & phobias - auditory hallucinations, vertigo, acrophobia, etc.
About Dark Souls II
Dark Souls II is released by Bandai Namco Entertainment in 11 Mar 2014. The game is designed by FromSoftware. Dark Souls II is a typical representative of the Role-playing (RPG) genre. Playing Dark Souls II is a pleasure. It does not matter whether it is the first or a millionth hour in Role-playing (RPG), there will always be room for something new and interesting. Thrilling levels and gameplay Dark Souls II will not leave anyone indifferent. The complexity of gameplay increases with each new level and does not let any player get bored.
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Dark Souls II is versatile and does not stand still, but it is never too late to start playing. The game, like many Role-playing (RPG) games has a full immersion in gaming. AllGame staff continues to play it.
Dark Souls II is perfect for playing alone or with friends.
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Dark Souls II - Critique
Playing Dark Souls II is like playing baseball with a good old comfortable and worn down glove, only the rules of the game have been slightly changed. Anyone who worried that this sequel would lower the level of difficulty, in order to reach a wider audience, can rest easy: Dark Souls II is just as trying, demanding and ultimately rewarding as its 2011 predecessor. not always fly but enough to make it an exceptional game and an irresistible challenge, whether you are a solitary explorer or you prefer to help or torment others in multiplayer mode.
As a player who won the two end game trophies "To Link the Fire" and "Dark Lord" of Dark Souls first of its name, I admit without shame that Dark Souls II made me drool hundreds of times during this monumental 60 hour journey. But as in the original, no death was ever in vain. Each failure taught me a little more about how Dark Souls II works, which allowed me to improve. Whether it was exploiting the enemy's characteristic movements, or spotting the indications of a trapped place, this great difficulty almost never seemed insurmountable to me.
I say "almost" because the developers of From Software have gone a little too far by adding a penalty that lowers your maximum health level each time your avatar dies. This can be counterbalanced by using a Human Effigy, but these items are extremely rare in the first part of the game. Although this is a hardcore feature of the game, I found this frustrating, as it affected a bit of my desire to explore this world, for fear of being too severely penalized if I fail. It is true that this system is similar to that of Demon's Souls, but I appreciated much more the way the original Dark exploited it.
The world of Drangelic is huge and populated by a wide variety of natives. You will travel from dilapidated coastal kingdoms, into poisonous swamps, until it is akin to the very bowels of Hell. Although the places to visit and where to fight are very varied, the world of Dark Souls II lacks a certain cohesion present in the original. In 2011, Lordran's representation seemed geographically sound; despite the fantastic scenes, the whole seemed to agree naturally. In this case, the variety and the ability to travel great distances in the blink of an eye make Dark Souls II a vast collection of levels, rather than a unique world with a natural look.
Despite this divergence, this world really flatters the eye. The updated Dark Souls II engine enhances the role of light in the exploration part. The game is wonderful when you walk outside in a naturally lit area, with a torch in hand. Not only does the fire we carry illuminate the dark corners, but certain enemies will tremble with fear in front of this light. This option certainly has an interesting visual impact, but strangely, the torch poses the player before a dilemma: is it better to play carefully and carry a shield or risk death by living a more interesting visual experience with the torch?
These difficult choices in no way detract from the pleasure of playing Dark Souls II. This title builds on the challenge, scale and mystery of the original game in multiple ways. Already very beautiful on 360 and PS3, it becomes particularly beautiful on PC. The improved textures, lighting, as well as some minor environmental effects, like the wind blowing on the grass, make it one of the most visually striking games I've played.
The role of Oaths is also extended and well taken advantage of in multiplayer mode. For example, the Oath of the King Rat gives me control of an ancient tomb, as well as places to place pools of poison, enemy rats, and other vicious traps, which the next player will have to face (without Oath King Rat) who will pass by there. Think of Tecmo's Deception, and you will have a good idea of the dynamics implemented by From Software. This is an extremely satisfying way to let the genius of evil that is in me express itself.
The battles are however similar to the original: the emphasis is strongly on patience, knowledge of enemies, and the ability to parry or avoid in a fraction of a second. Slight changes have taken place: the magic this time seems slightly less powerful, and the time required to parry seems a little tighter, but fighting through this world is a highly satisfying experience. Each encounter is a little puzzle in itself, and the enemies of Dark Souls II are among the most powerful ever designed by From Software. Mummified knights capable of protecting themselves and warding off pose an arduous challenge from the first hours of the game. Massive armored turtles approach you with a heavy and threatening step, forcing you to use agility to counter their strength brute. Finally, giant trolls overlapped by smaller creatures need to keep their distance and strike quickly with precision. There are many diverse challenges.
Charismatic bosses make you spend painful, heartbreaking and memorable moments, which ultimately lead to triumph. These don't really have the same impact as in the original Dark Souls, but to be honest, I think it's because I was prepared for the challenge I was going to face in front of them. Some certainly stand out: the Mirror Knight, for example, offers an incredibly tough battle located on a magnificent tower, which can be used in multiplayer and New Game Plus. I leave you with the surprise of these fantastic moments.
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Juan GarcíaDark Souls 2 - Analysis
Note: This analysis focuses on the unique features of Dark Souls 2 in its PC version. If you want to know everything that the title of From Software offers, go ...
We have been enjoying death in Dark Souls 2 for a month and a half in its versions for desktop consoles. However, if you are one of those who expected to play it on PC , you are in luck, From Software has finally released the version of this title for computers and not only keeps everything good from the rest of the iterations, but it becomes its own merits in the best opportunity to enjoy one of the most difficult and satisfying games of recent years.
To start, it should be noted that when it comes to content, Dark Souls 2 for PC is exactly the same as on Xbox 360 and PS3. Same locations, enemies, behaviors, features and game options that are nailed to all levels. The delay to polish specific areas of the game has not been used, but the work of From Software has been to retouch the technical section to take advantage of the greater technical power of many of the desktop computers in our homes. The most direct implication of this is somewhat discouraging: those who expected this version of the game to look like beta or the demonstrations prior to the downgrade graphic prior to the game's release, will take a good click. Everything here is an adaptation of what has already been seen, so we cannot expect major changes.
However, once this little varapalo is overcome, the truth is that the comparison with the PS3 and 360 versions is almost odious for the latter. Dark Souls 2 for PC moves faster (60 frames), shows better graphic effects and more detailed textures and even dares to reduce load times significantly (although not to make them disappear). The differences are sometimes subtle, other times they are much more obvious. We just have to look at the oscillation of the grass rocked by the wind, the density of the particle effects or the greater detail of the light games (without going crazy, of course). The feeling is to be before the same, but something more worked. That is, before one of the most beautiful games of recent times.
The graphic configuration options are sufficient, although not precisely exhaustive. For example, the FXAA is the only antialiasing option, although on the other hand it can be configured from water quality to depth of field, among other possibilities. In short, it is easy to make Dark Souls 2 work even on mid-range PCs with more than efficient performance. Of course, shortly after our machine is powerful we will enjoy an absolutely stable rate of images per second at HD resolutions. Reaching 4K is also possible, although for this we need a latest model system.
At the playable level the changes are minimal, although the implementation of the keyboard and mouse to control our hero stands out. Although it is acceptable, the truth is that it is obvious that Dark Souls 2 has been done thinking about being played with a command, so this is the most recommended option. However, it is curious how when playing with a command the mouse cursor plays and reappears in conversations or when opening the inventory. This problem probably does not last long in solving via patch, although it is annoying at first. For the rest, the same interesting and deep game that manages to sting us despite the infinite deaths that will make us suffer. Even multiplayer options remain the same and work with the same stability. However, we have not been able to test them very thoroughly due to the low number of players that at the time of writing these lines populated the game servers.
Analyzing this game without its console versions, we see that the jump between the PC version of Dark Souls and this continuation is simply gigantic. The improvements and optimization in this case are vastly better. And what is more, considering even the versions for PS3 and 360, we are still facing the best version of Dark Souls 2 , although we continue bellowing for the graphic downgrade with respect to previous demonstrations. If you like to have a good time having a bad time, this is your game.
Gianluca "Ualone" LoggiaDark Souls 2: The Lost Crowns - Recensione
When a few months ago I reviewed Crown of the Sunken King, the first of the three Dark Souls 2 DLC that make up the Lost Crowns trilogy, I immediately had a str...
The return to Drangleic, after a few months' break, had certainly been pleasant and fascinating. But the idea of having to face the game in fits and starts, in three different moments, was much less so. Crown of the Sunken King became available in late July, while Crown of the Old Iron King arrived on digital stores (Steam, PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360) in late August, with Crown of the Ivory King to close the trilogy in late September (delays permitting).
Some players have been more forward-looking than myself and have waited for the release of the last chapter to play all three DLCs in a row, thus fully enjoying the entire trilogy, without unpleasant interruptions. In hindsight, I can say that they did very well. Which turns into a fairly clear advice for those who have not yet purchased the three DLC. Do it now, with all three chapters immediately available, and perhaps taking advantage of the Season Pass (which, at the price of 24.99 euros, resulting in a saving of 5 euros compared to the sum of the three individual chapters, placed 9.99 euros per one), it's definitely much better.
Also for this reason, after trying with Crown of the Sunken King, we then decided to publish a review that commented on the entire trilogy The Lost Crowns, as the only substantial expansion of Dark Souls 2.
Why? Because The Lost Crowns enriches Dark Souls 2 with game moments that are among the best of the entire work. In addition, of course, to deepen elements of the dark plot orchestrated by the writers of FromSoftware and to reward the player with new weapons, new pieces of equipment and new spells. But the gratification, you know, in the Souls series is not given so much by the loot (however present in the three chapters of The Lost Crowns), but by the satisfaction of having overcome complex areas and having beaten demanding enemies. Both things that characterize this expansion very strongly.
Let's start from the areas. The level design of Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King and Crown of the Ivory King is absolutely superfine and definitely above the average (already very high) of what is offered in this field by the base game. If the ingenuity with which the areas of Dark Souls 2 were built seemed to me slightly lower than what was seen in Demon's Souls and Dark Souls (two authentic masterpieces of level design), the same I do not feel to say for The Lost Crowns, which in my view it manages to reach exactly the highest levels of the first two exponents of the Souls series. Merit of complex and fascinating architectures and of increasingly mysterious areas to study, where the taste for accessory exploration blends in an exemplary way with the necessary search for objects, gadgets or shortcuts useful to continue the game.
Chapters that, in addition to offering a very high quality in terms of level design, also offer a level of challenge among the most demanding of the entire game, especially if you have the audacity to face the three DLCs in the New Game ++, as did myself (a little regret) the undersigned. Difficulty increased, always in my case, by the fact that the vast majority of the enemies present in The Lost Crowns seems to be making a serious mockery of magic, which is not really comfortable for my sorcerer. Challenge that certainly becomes more affordable for a high-level character who has stripped the base game well without going into the New Game + yet, and perhaps even more affordable for a class more oriented to hand-to-hand combat.
HedDark Souls II game review - the great return of the dying simulator
The review was based on the X360 version. Also applies to PC, PS3 versions
Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are games that I really love. Both gave me something that I have not felt in video games for a long time - that I can still be surprised and absolutely let myself be absorbed. For hundreds of hours, boundlessly. After Dark Souls, From Software has gained the reputation of one of the best developers in the world, even despite a few less expressive products on the account (even from the Armored Core series). It was clear that in the upcoming continuation the Japanese would want to repeat their success. However, there were some disturbing signals - hinting that the game would be easier or more accessible, or even the bizarre marketing of Bandai Namco. Were the fears justified?
I will say, perversely, that some of them were in the right place and looking superficially at Dark Souls II, you can accuse him of a few things . On the one hand, the game is similar to the original in many places - it is still a story about the cursed undead who hunts the souls of opponents in the new land. On the other hand, From Software has decided on a few changes and some of them make the game easier to master. However, this complaint is absolutely irrelevant.
If Zygmunt Bauman reviewed Dark Souls II , he would probably write that he sees the ambivalence in this game: it is easier than its predecessor, but at the same time more difficult . I know it sounds like - with all due respect to Bauman's style - butter butter, but it's difficult to describe what the From Software studio did differently. Let's start, however, by recalling the assumptions of the game - we play the role of a hero wandering inaccessible land and fighting with dangerous opponents. The overriding motive is exploration and discovery of the so-called bonfires - we can rest with them at the cost of rebirth of previously killed opponents. We develop our character for collected souls, buy and improve equipment. Into all this weaved a hidden story and online mode, allowing you to leave messages to other players or connect with them to help yourself or fight. In a word, the foundation of Dark Souls II has not changed. We are also still being tested because the authors of the game have decided to challenge the player.
What is the ambivalence about? The fact that the second installment of the game is easier to get involved, because we operate longer and more often in particularly demanding situations. For a long time, the authors have been sending us humanoid creatures, which, although they beat strongly, but are not too difficult to defeat. More often we also get clear descriptions of gameplay mechanisms, of course in the course of dialogues with various characters. The latter are still expressed in a vague and mysterious way, but at least they explain elementary issues without unnecessary charades or understatements. Following the example of the previous Demon's Souls, we have a "safe haven", a town of Majul, gradually filled with independent characters. The symbolism of this place - located by the skimming sea and bathed in the light of the setting sun - is not accidental. This is a conscious procedure that has a soothing effect on the psyche. The downside of the new solution is that we have to visit the city many times to improve the character.
Another important thing is that from the beginning of the game we can teleport between unlocked foci. This option allows you to reach places you've visited earlier, and thus allows you to look for another passage or try your hand with the boss postponed. Another simplification is that enemies killed many times simply disappear . The way to the opponent's chamber, which we often take many times, becomes easier. And one more small change - the healing items known from Demon's Souls have returned, although in return the initial number of uses of the bottle of estus, our primary healing potion, has been reduced. In these numerous - let's call it - simplifications, there is a method, because one of the problems of the series was that many people bounced off her at the first boss - now they should reach at least the third. Yes, I just challenged you.
... but harder
In the conversation about the Dark Souls II difficulty level there is one more thread that can probably be called psychological. At some point in the game I thought that I was to blame - this is my third encounter with the series, so I know her tricks and I got used to specific logic . One where you die to check out a theory or learn about the boss's behavior. Because it is not that deaths have not happened to me - death is still common and common. The opponents are difficult and the locations are full of traps, so they die very often. However, man gets used to the fact that he repeats the location, remembering the deadly surprise he had just discovered. "Can he jump here? Maybe try to kill him with that? I will check what is there ... "- almost all of these cases end badly, but give you new knowledge: that these are stupid ideas.
Postcard from Drangleic
The world of Dark Souls II is probably the most polished of all to date. The addition of the city meant that we venture more and more often into the dirt and darker places. In a sense, the feeling that individual locations are closely related to one coherent system has been lost - there are fewer shortcuts between them. However, I think it's a conscious choice and I don't mind. The more that the whole is designed in an intelligent way. I love and respect From Software for giving little hints and signals that you need to learn to read. Example? In one of the places I found an important item only when I looked at the area from a certain height. It's great that the game rewards us abundantly for all efforts - there are more clits. We often have to pull out these awards by force, but it is also beautiful.
I don't want to talk too much about what I visited in Drangleic because it would be unfair. It is better to discover them yourself without guides and help. So in the postcard style I will say so much that it is a mixture of variations on known locations and completely new ideas. For example, we have something like Blighttown with the difference that now we can light the urns here and there to mark where we've been and to facilitate exploration. From my favorite spots I would mention a dark bay with a pirate theme. Overall, I am delighted because I visited a lot of interesting locations and would like to know their history. Well, how is the story? In Dark Souls II, it is created with the same means as before - more about the game are descriptions of items than enigmatic statements of the characters. It will take some time to discover the secrets, including the connection with the first Dark Souls .
It is worth referring to some new ideas that are controversial - I will say straight away that some of them are the development of the concept from Demon's Souls . In Dark Souls II, after death, we cease to be human and become animate, just like in "only". Each subsequent death, however, shortens the life bar to a maximum of half. You can eliminate this condition with the help of so-called "human puppets", objects that reverse curses. However, it is difficult to get them in some parts of the game. In my opinion, this is not a big problem, however, because, like in Demon's Souls , we can find a weakening ring quite quickly. For every negative change, the authors of the game offer something that can make life easier. We use more rings, we find more auxiliary items. In short, with the curse ... that is, with new ideas Dark Souls , you can live.
I have the only problem with the hit counting system. In Dark Souls, the dodge guaranteed almost 100% certainty that we would not take damage. Here, blows sometimes reach us despite the fault. I wonder if this is a nod to realism and taking into account the size of the opponent's weapons and other factors. Or is it a mistake? Either way, these situations do not happen often and can be avoided.
Dialogue between fan and ... fan?
In terms of world design, available locations, momentum, ideas and climate Dark Souls II is my favorite game from From Software studio . I didn't think I would say it because it is "just a sequel". When playing this game, I often laughed to myself and was impressed with what it is. A kind of dialogue between the creator and the recipient. It sounds like a truism and banality, and yet I rarely feel a similar thing. In Dark Souls II, I often find myself wondering what the creators thought when they designed the fragment. I have the feeling that they created their creation just for me, with me in mind. And at the same time they had a great time, because in what games we like, we are on the same side. I don't want to reveal too many details, but I can give you one example of this Dark Souls II feeling, right?
While fighting a certain opponent, I was able to push him into the abyss in total darkness. I expected the opponent to die, but - and here surprise - he landed below on the ledge. I walked around this area for several minutes, and I had no idea about it. After clearing the location, I decided to check this discovery - I took the torch and jumped down. Below I discovered the entrance to the cave. The first clue that I was about to be hit was the wide width of the tunnel, after which I guessed that it was not a lair of small and harmless beings. The second was darkness - nothing could be seen in the distance. I entered a larger room and at the same time noticed that something was rushing towards me from the darkness. Tentacles? Giants? Some beast? It didn't matter to me, because there was one thing - it was huge. I automatically decided that I want to get out of here as soon as possible. I took a step back, but in the same split second the mind made a quick calculation - I have nowhere to go back, because there's a tunnel and a chasm behind me. Panicked, I started running towards the mysterious, enraged creature and in a desperate attempt jumped into the smaller cave on the right. I saw a characteristic cage, which so far in the series served as an elevator. The approaching patter of legs, hooves or God knows what was the last thing I needed to make a quick decision. I ran into the elevator and fled in panic.
After this incident, I laughed in spirit and symbolically threatened with a fist at the creators of From Software. I am convinced that they designed this scene with me in mind - they predicted that this hidden place would probably be discovered by a coward and would escape. I have the impression that my reaction would honestly amuse the studio staff, because that was what they meant. There is still something elusive in this game. Passion, soul, honesty - call it what you want. And don't repeat my escape story anywhere, because they will stop respecting me at Dark Souls fan meetings.
Graphics count ... a little more
This lengthy description is an attempt to show what you can count on in the game if you only accept its specifics. Because - going unexpectedly to criticism here - Dark Souls II remains a bit strange game. Sometimes blocky, graphically raw and sometimes funny. I mentioned that the hero's mobility was increased and jumping is now easier. This advantage has a disadvantage at the same time - it shows the absurdity of many locations, where our hero may or even must jump over the chasms and is not able to climb a small wall or debris. I realize that this is a typical thing, but in a game so well designed it strikes more intensely.
The controversial issue is graphics, which was supposed to be much better. I will say this: it is, but not as much as some people expect. The lighting is impressive, which in the first Dark Souls was awful. I would like to praise that the locations are designed with greater care - and we remember that in the "only" there were monsters in this respect - but note that we can still find weaker textures. The championship is that better visuals are not just aesthetic - feel that From Software has developed a new engine to realize your ideas. Thanks to this, we have to use torches in several locations and we can light smaller urns to facilitate exploration. Graphics in the service of the game, and not the other way round - this is how it should be done. Another thing is that the game works really well and I don't think I ever experienced great drops in the animation flow.
Screenshots will help you evaluate the graphics and gameplay of Dark Souls II.
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