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POSTED 14/3/14


DARK SOULS II

From Software/Bandai Namco
PS3 (also on Xbox 360, PC)

Die. Die, die, die. Die, die, die, die, die. Die. Die. Die.

That’s an excerpt from our game diary for Dark Souls II day one– and that was just while it loaded! Damn this game’s tough.

That’s what the first Dark Souls was renowned for, of course. It was hard but, crucially, it was fair. If – scratch that, when - you carked it, it was your own stupid fault. You may’ve been too gung-ho, a tad overconfident, under-equipped or just plain dumb. DSII continues this tradition, although perhaps to allow adventurers to retain sanity for a wee while introductory bits are smidgily more encouraging. Have they gone softcock on us? Answer that six hours in...

Pausing for the uninitiated, DSII’s a dark fantasy action RPG that’s unforgiving. There, that should suffice. No map, no hand-holding and – mercifully - no invisible walls. Wanna walk over that ledge? Sure. But you’ll die. Serves you right, dumbarse!

You pick one of eight classes to commence your soul-searching quest, varying in skills, abilities and fashion sense. Some can shoot from a distance, others are like humanoid tanks for storm-the-castle types. Each class has myriad upgradable statistics which can daunt initially, but soon make sense and allow eventual class equalisation.

DSII’s also delightfully sneaky. Take a big snowy boombah monster thingummy we spotted in the distance. “We can take it!” we thought, confidence oozing all over the carpet and sopping up bond money. We went sneaky from behind... We were almost within striking distance... BWARGH! Its hitherto unseen twin crept up behind us and ate our face – and the rest of us. But it didn’t feel cheap.

That neatly sums up DSII. Nothing, from presentation to gameplay, ever feels cheap. It may freak the fuck out of those inured to linear, nursey-nursey spoon-fed fare, but anybody craving rewarding challenge should – happily - prepare to die.

Lots.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.