18th Apr2014

‘Dark Souls 2’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


If there is one thing I hate in a game its dying and losing progress that I have made.  What normally happens if this occurs is that I turn the game off and probably swear a lot, this is what many people would call a “Rage Quit”.  Why do I bring this up? Well the reason is I thought it was time to write something about Dark Souls 2.

Normally after playing the game for a while I’d hopefully be ready to review it and give some thoughts, but not this time.  I can give my initial impression of the game, which is what I am going to do but I can’t help but feel I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg of the game.  The thing with Dark Souls 2 is I am a newbie, I tried the first game and just didn’t like it, I guessed it was not for me.  When the sequel came out I thought I would try again just to see if things have changed.

The first thing I did was to create a character, I went for a pretty default type warrior guy and give him a name like “buttface” just to get things going.  Five minutes into the game I’d managed to kill a few “hollow” creatures and made my way through the tutorial until I got into the meatier side of the game.  Dark Souls 2 really has a pretty steep learning curve, and if you don’t pick up the basics you pay for it, but to be fair even if you are already confident in the game you’ll be paying with lives anyway.

Dark Souls 2 is a game that is created to make you die a lot, it is made to annoy you and make you quit, walking away and thinking that you will never ever play it again.  The strange thing is though you do end up going back, and you take a look at your character and decide what you did wrong.  So after a few days of struggling, then learning how to level up I felt I was finally getting the hang of the game.  This really is the time when the game takes a huge bite out of you and decides it won’t let go, yes…you are addicted to dying.

The fun of Dark Souls 2 is that you won’t be handheld through the game, it’s about exploring and the fun of walking straight into an area you have no chance of surviving.  An example of this is the first time you stumble upon Heide’s Tower of Flame.  The “Old Knights” are gigantic opponents who massively outclass you when you first start the game, so you tend to panic and scream before running past them quickly.  Then of course you come across the boss of the level “Dragonrider” who then kills you easily.  That is one of your first learning experiences, though as it turns out he is not the first boss.  The first boss is found in the Forest of Fallen Giants, the Last Giant is not a hard boss to make it past, but he is pretty impressive when you stumble on him.  This is the beauty of the exploration process.

So at this time I’ve not made much progress but what I have done is learnt the basics of the game and this is what is important.  Dark Souls 2 is a game that will annoy you, it will make you quit more times than you’ll like and it will also make you restart the game until you find your comfort zone with your character.  Does the fact that the game wants you to die every few moments make it a bad thing? I tend to think that the answer to that is no, what it in fact does is show that games can be a challenge, and games can make you die many many times, but if it can keep you coming back for more, then a game like Dark Souls 2 is a very enjoyable experience indeed.  I may write more about it once I get further into the world, we shall see.  For now I’ll just keep on dying.

Dark Souls 2 is out now on Xbox360 and PS3.

Review originally posted on GeekedGaming

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