Dark Souls II - Xbox 360

Release Date:

14 March 2014

Also on:

Xbox 360 PC PS3

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
8.7

Summary:

In Dark Souls II, players create a character and allocate stats into a variety of base skills, then head off into a dark and incredibly dangerous world in hopes of ending the suffering of their cursed protagonist. As always, the souls of fallen enemies serve as both the in-game currency and the only means of levelling, forcing gamers to choose between improving their character and purchasing vital item. Online interactions are a key part of the Dark Souls experience, and players can once again examine bloodstains to see how other gamers died, read dozens of helpful (or deliberately misleading) messages scrawled on the ground by other players, or invade the adventures of one another.

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Posted:
2014-05-18

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

9.0

Dark Souls II can be described using any number of different negative words: infuriating, difficult, and intimidating just to use a few. But for every negative attribute that Dark Souls II has, it has a positive attribute that counteracts it either directly or indirectly.

To be sure, Dark Souls II is a hard game - especially if you have grown up in the more modern era of video games. Dark Souls II makes it a point to hearken back to the NES action games of the mid 80s. Back then, games like the original Ninja Gaiden would punish you over and over again until you learned the ins and outs of the mechanical intricacies that made up the game.

Dark Souls II, much like the original game bearing the same name as well as Demon's Souls, brings that concept to modern video games, and it has never been more welcome. In the age of endless tutorials and easy modes, Dark Souls II offers a brutally unforgiving experience. This encourages you to constantly better yourself instead of just slogging through it, like many games would have you do these days.

For those who loved the first Dark Souls, Dark Souls II has undergone some major changes. When compared with the first game, Dark Souls II is far larger, and there have been quite a few changes made to accommodate that larger world. For starters, fast travel is now available right off the bat, and allows you to travel between any bonfires in the game, not just specific ones.

However, there is a downside to this new-found accessibility: the different parts of Dark Souls II's world no longer feel connected. In the first game, you always knew how to get from one area to another because the game required it. In the sequel, I constantly felt like I was just fast travelling between disjointed bonfires that had no real connection. Sure, you have to walk to the new bonfire once in order to light it the first time, but if you were to ask me to travel from the game's main town to one of the late-game areas, I wouldn't have any clue where to start.

If you're new to the Souls series of games, there is no better place to start than Dark Souls II. While both the original Dark Souls and Demon's Souls failed miserably at teaching any of the game's mechanics to players, Dark Souls II goes out of its way to do so - ensuring not only that new players know what they are capable of doing with in the game, but also that experienced players can easily bypass any sort of boring tutorial.

Of course, while you might spend a chunk of time out in Dark Souls II's over-world, the most important part of the game are the bosses - and Dark Souls II has a lot of those. To go along with the huge world, Dark Souls II totals over 30 different bosses. However, while some of them surpass the difficulty that you would find in the previous Souls games, some of the bosses don't feel like bosses that belong in one of these games at all. In fact, there were a few bosses that I killed in just a single try.

Though Dark Souls II is easier than its predecessors at many points, it is still one of the most challenging games on the market, and manages to remain a good Souls game while being the most accessible entry point to the series yet. If you've never played before, this is what you should buy.

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Namco Bandai Games

Release Date:

14/03/2014

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