Dark Souls 2 Review

Dark Souls. That’s the really hard one, right? Sure, but the difficulty is far from why it is so memorable. The freedom of choice when it comes to every aspect of your adventure, the rich lore of the world that makes everything have a purpose and the intelligent approach to multiplayer is what actually makes it. All of these factors are present in this long-awaited sequel.

There’s been a few concessions made to make the game more accessible and this isn’t necessarily as bad a thing as you may think. For instance, the game now actually explains what most things do. Revolutionary, right? Sure, this may take away some of the mystery, but realistically this has just saved you going to a Wiki. The ability to teleport between areas and have enemies disappear after killing them twelve times might seem like a cop out, but instead expedites progress. Progress into areas that still offer that brilliant, intense challenge, rather than trailing over ground traveled a million times.

None of this stuff has come at the expense of content for the experienced Dark Souls player, either. The changes to the character classes, such as dual wielding weapons, now offer much more varied character builds. There’s also far more opportunities to tackle the game in the order of your choosing, if you’re skilled enough, and these new areas are stunning to look at and absolutely full of fiendish ways for you to meet your maker. From Software really did master this gameplay experience with Dark Souls, so for this sequel they’ve just sharpened all of the ideas to a razor sharp (and deadly) point, but have given more players the opportunity to get stuck in.

Dark Souls 2 is a refined, slicker version of what I consider to be the greatest video game ever made, and it is a title we’ll be finding more and more about post-release as its genius is fully uncovered.

Version Tested: PS3. Played for 40 hours and died countless, countless times.

10 / 10

  • Stunning art and sound.
  • Unique, imaginative, multiplayer.
  • Still the most rewarding challenge in all of gaming.
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User Comments

watur123's Avatar

watur123@ Sharonturn123

It really is worthy of being a contender but after that it's down to the individual.
Posted 16:11 on 02 April 2014
Sharonturn123's Avatar

Sharonturn123

A bit of a strech calling it the best game ever? Don't you agree?
Posted 08:46 on 26 March 2014
wacky_'s Avatar

wacky_@ MariosLoveChild

Apparently there's an item that let's you repopulate the world if you want to do that. I guess it helps if you feel like farming
Posted 12:13 on 13 March 2014
Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland

I'd be interested in Andi's opinion on the apparent last minute change in art direction / technical challenges around lighting. I remember seeing a lot of videos around Beta and reading interviews where a lot of emphasis was placed on the need to equip a torch to see. It seems this was greatly scaled back with quite a few areas from the Beta shifting from 'jet black' to a brighter palette negating the need for the torch. Much was made of this and I was quite intrigued by the idea.

I'm not doing the 'pre-order cancelled' thing as I've yet to dig into DS (awaiting the GfW patch first, I f-ing HATE GfW) and the game is clearly very good otherwise. I guess I'm just wondering if the 'missing' torch mechanic is obvious in terms of strangely positioned enemies or pits that obviously were designed to be hidden with pitch black ambient lighting.
Posted 15:45 on 11 March 2014
Syme's Avatar

Syme

I'm only just playing through Dark Souls 1 now, I played Demon Souls a few months back, got stuck on Tower Knight and gave up. Then last month decided to start a new game in a different character class and got hooked.

I was going to take a break before moving onto Dark Souls but then I saw the limited in Edition in Computer Exchange and couldn't resist. I'm being the worst kind of cheating new player who checks the wiki and uses the drake sword for much of the game though. I'll try to stop when I've upgraded my Divine Winged Spear a bit more.

And it means I can watch the pants man video's as I progress.
Posted 14:24 on 11 March 2014
MariosLoveChild's Avatar

MariosLoveChild

Not sure what I think about enemies disappearing after killing them a number of times. Although it might suit me as I gave up on dark souls after the curse that reduced my health to a quarter lol (before they cut out stacking curses apparently). I'll give it a shot sometime this year as Dark Soul's world was fantastically atmospheric.
Posted 13:44 on 11 March 2014
chrishatton's Avatar

chrishatton@ DASHONFIRE

Yeah I get your point. That's why i've kept hold of it but i just cant motivate myself to persevere! Maybe one day when I'm feeling brave. Too many people preach of how good it is for them all to be wrong but i still think its difficulty curve could be tweaked. DS2 might be the one for me in that sense.
Posted 13:43 on 11 March 2014
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

It's a weird week for games. Two, huge titles are coming out, but each attracts the opposite market. I'm not sure which will be remembered more favourably next year, but both DS and Titanfall sound great. I'm opting for Titanfall as you're in instantly.

I would have liked to hear more about the MP component in the review, however.
Posted 13:28 on 11 March 2014
DASHONFIRE's Avatar

DASHONFIRE@ chrishatton

Pretty much the exact same thing happened to me years ago with Demon's Souls then one day I said "I'm going to beat this game" and I did and it instantly became one of my all time favourite games. Then I went and bought Dark Souls on day one and having put more time into it than I have any other game before, I can safely say it's my favourite game of all time. So you should go back at some point and the same thing might happen :)
Posted 13:09 on 11 March 2014
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

Can't wait 'til Friday!

I was a late comer to the Souls Party as it took me an age to even have the nerve to play Demons Souls. I rage quit it after a couple of hours the first time I played it and swore I'd never go near it again. For some reason I decided to give it another go a few months later when I hit a dry spell and ended up 'getting it' and was totally absorbed by the game. As soon as I finished Demons Souls I rushed out and picked up Dark Souls and experienced one of the greatest games I'd ever played. I have actually struggled to play other games since as they all feel a bit...empty in comparison! All I can say to anyone who is tempted to give this series a go is to just give it time to settle with you - don't play with the regular video game mind set that dying is bad and just enjoy the perfect pacing and atmosphere that these games provide. You will die.... A lot.... but it's all part of the learning curve. You will get frustrated at times and feel like the game is unfair but most importantly you will experience some of the greatest moments of satisfaction that gaming can ever provide.

Bring on Dark Souls 2 \0/
Posted 12:36 on 11 March 2014
skidoosh's Avatar

skidoosh

I'm glad VG got Andi Hamilton in to do the review rather than one of the in-house team. Don't think I'd have trusted a review from someone other than a complete Dark Solsian Nutter!
Posted 12:35 on 11 March 2014
chrishatton's Avatar

chrishatton

Dark Souls reminds me of the episode of Family Guy when Peter says he doesn't like The Godfather Movie. Dark Souls being the gaming equivalent.
Posted 12:26 on 11 March 2014
chrishatton's Avatar

chrishatton

This review is tempting me to play the sequel, however, Im about 7 hours into the first Dark Souls and I'm not ashamed to admit Ive given up. Ive still got it on the shelf but the difficulty spike has beat me. I'm out and i will probably need some form of therapy before going back.
Posted 12:23 on 11 March 2014
wacky_'s Avatar

wacky_

My name is Wacky and I approve of this review.
Posted 11:29 on 11 March 2014
pblive's Avatar

pblive@ essex1212

This is very true. If I wasn't writing so much I'd have more time, which is now my plan.
Posted 10:58 on 11 March 2014

Game Stats

Dark Souls 2
10
Out of 10
Dark Souls 2
  • Stunning art and sound.
  • Unique, imaginative, multiplayer.
  • Still the most rewarding challenge in all of gaming.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 14/03/2014
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: FromSoftware
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 54 2
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