Dark Souls 2: The Lost Crowns - Recensione
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.