Developed by FROM SOFTWARE, DARK SOULS™ II is the highly anticipated sequel to the gruelling 2011 breakout hit Dark Souls. The unique old-school action RPG experience captivated imaginations of gamers worldwide with incredible challenge and intense emotional reward.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (81 reviews) - 92% of the 81 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (30,721 reviews) - 88% of the 30,721 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 25, 2014

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Includes 4 items: DARK SOULS™ II, DARK SOULS™ II Crown of the Ivory King, DARK SOULS™ II Crown of the Old Iron King, DARK SOULS™ II Crown of the Sunken King

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Reviews

“…this is the Dark Souls sequel PC gamers deserve.”
91/100 – PC Gamer

“The PC version of Dark Souls II is the definitive one to own.”
9.75/10 – Game Informer

“Brilliant, beautiful, and absolutely essential”
9/10 – EDGE

About This Game

Developed by FROM SOFTWARE, DARK SOULS™ II is the highly anticipated sequel to the gruelling 2011 breakout hit Dark Souls. The unique old-school action RPG experience captivated imaginations of gamers worldwide with incredible challenge and intense emotional reward.

DARK SOULS™ II brings the franchise’s renowned obscurity & gripping gameplay innovations to both single and multiplayer experiences.

Join the dark journey and experience overwhelming enemy encounters, diabolical hazards, and the unrelenting challenge that only FROM SOFTWARE can deliver.

Key Features

  • Go Beyond Death: dare yourself to engage against intense gameplay in a vast world powered by an all new engine that leaps graphics, sound & FX forward like never before
  • A labyrinth of monsters & bosses: immerse yourself into mind-bending environments filled with new twisted monsters and deadly bosses that could only come from the imagination of FROM SOFTWARE
  • Sensory assault: a wide range of threats will prey on human senses & phobias - auditory hallucinations, vertigo, acrophobia, etc
  • Deeper and darker: more intricate customization options provide weapons and armor tailoring to player style
  • Evolved multiplayer: updated multiplayer system enables improved online interaction to bring forward cooperative & competitive play
  • Refined gameplay: DARK SOULS™ II features fluid motion-capture animations, an upgraded combat system, a vastly expanded suite of characters, deeper customization options, new weapons, armor abilities, and a balanced player progression system

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8
    • Processor: AMD® Phenom II™ X2 555 3.2Ghz or Intel® Pentium Core ™ 2 Duo E8500 3.17Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 9600GT, ATI Radeon™ HD 5870
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 sound device
    • Additional Notes: Controller support: Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) recommended
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8
    • Processor: Intel® CoreTM i3 2100 3.10GHz or AMD® A8 3870K 3.0GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750 or ATI Radeon™ HD 6870 or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 sound device
    • Additional Notes: Controller support: Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) recommended
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (81 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (30,721 reviews)
Recently Posted
Jere
( 49.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
When u start any of the souls series game without playing one of them, at first it is difficult to pass the first areas. And it can take like a couple of hours to pass them and learn how the game plays and stuff.. But if u think that's hard, then no.. When u keep going you get to kill many bosses, and it will be a lot harder than that.. Sometimes, when u die to a boss when u get it like half hp and the boss one hits u, you literally wanna take ur keyboard and throw it at ur screen.. So, if u have enough mind power to not throw your keyboard at your screen then buy it, why not ? But, DONT Play it with a keyboard and mouse.. Trust me, it sucks. When i first started playing this game i thought it was okay, but when i bought a 360 controller and played this with it, i noticed the difference.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
⋘GaBeN⋙
( 91.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Ты знаешь что нужно делать.Правая рука требуется в переди и тогда наслаждение.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Creepy Jonte
( 284.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Dark Souls 2 is clearly the worst game in the Souls-series, but it is still a excellent game worthy of playing. But i do recommend you try this out after you played the other games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
OmyGod
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
好游戏
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 348.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Underrated game, by people who got biased by the mainstream, as simple as that period.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Niceu Niceu
( 312.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
is prettry neat i guess, not as many waifus as the first game but thats ok becauyse im noit a weeb
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Evilcat182
( 65.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
Awesome Game

+ challenging
+ fun & addictive gameplay
+ freedome of choice (open world & lvl system)
+ new game +
+ looks realy nice
+ entering majula feels like coming home

- less explanation
- not as challenging as previous souls games
- The Gutter & Black Gulch area sucks (u will see what i mean :D )

Still my fav in the franchaise,
if u´re new to the series, give it a try, u wont regret it.
And hang in there if your first thoughts are this game sucks (like me)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TeamTom Reviews
( 21.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
Dark Souls II is a fantasy third person action RPG game, developed by From Software and published by Bandai Namco, releasing worldwide on PC, 360 and PS3 in April 2014. The story takes place in the grim fantasy world from the original game, Lordran. This time around you visit different areas and play as a new character.

If you have been on the internet at all in the past few years you will already know what Dark Souls is known for, gruesomely hard unforgiving game play. The original game was probably one of the hardest games I have ever played which tested my skill not only as a gamer, but as a person. Whilst the game play mechanics in Dark Souls II are basically the same comparatively allowing the player in full control of building the character they want to play due to a different levelling system being incorporated. Of course the most important aspect of Dark Souls is the combat and again it is done very well. A lot of the regular mob fights are interesting and varied, you do come across a slight repetition issue when you find yourself being killed by the same monster over and over again but it gives you that little extra incentive to progress. Boss fights throughout the game are all extremely well-tuned and designed encounters – I’d say the boss fights here are more memorable than the original’s purely because the scale and size of them is gigantic in some cases.

Another really key element to Dark Souls game play would be the exploration of the game world which is essentially entirely open for you to explore right from the beginning of the game; whilst it may not be the wisest thing in the world to go exploring the later stages it is possible if you want to though. I was more inclined to go searching for treasure and loot this time around too; whether it was because I was completely enthralled with the armour and weapon designs that I wanted to keep finding more, or because of how well the maps are designed. The game does very little to aid you by telling you where to go which leaves you in a rut sometimes. I have to admit I did resort to using a walkthrough and wiki throughout my play through; I know I know, I’m such a wimp – I honestly don’t think I would have been able to beat the game without it though, so for the purpose of this review I’ll take one for the team here!

Graphically Dark Souls II has been improved over the original, I tried to find the official game engine being used online but even so long after its release I’ve not been able to find a reputable source of an answer but all you need to know is the game does look much better than the first. There are still a few textures which are low quality, but character models, animations and scenery all look gorgeous. The little voice acting that is available is done really well; almost too well – you can really feel the deprived thoughts of the characters in the game through their monotone and dull voices which I found to be quite an immersive factor. It was a little off putting when characters were quite obviously talking that their mouths weren’t moving through which was a shame to see from a game of this standard.

I have to say I found the original Dark Souls to be more of a challenging game compared to II – I think the main factor behind this is the fact that the PC port for this game wasn’t completely broken compared to the first. The controls work right off the back which is always a good sign. That being said boss fights are fundamentally easier though; with some mechanics more clearly than others on how to combat them, or maybe it’s because I finally “gitted gud” at Dark Souls. You can also tell how less of a challenge I found it, given that my first run through of Dark Souls II took almost half the amount of time than the original game, spanning just twenty one hours – remember that I had a wiki throughout the run so if you are going for a true experience you are easily going to be pushing the fifty hour mark. You’ll also get plenty of replay ability from this title due to a new game+ mode being introduced this time around.

There is also a much improved multiplayer side of the game too; one element of this is the ability to leave notes and hints around the game world for other players to see, as well as being able to see people’s recent deaths around you too which is always amusing to see someone run straight off a bridge; it never gets old regardless of how many times you watch it. You’ll also get other players invading your game world which is…well, a different experience to say the least.

Like I said above, this is a much better PC port of the game; there is already native controller support which is brilliant as the game is played waaaay better on a controller compared to a mouse and keyboard. Whilst there are limited graphical options, I was quite pleased to see that I was able to run the game at 4k resolution and on full graphics the whole time and I was able to remain at 60 FPS the whole time. This wasn’t even running SLI so it is an extremely well optimized release. I did find it slightly annoying that I wasn’t able to turn off the online though, you are able to opt out of it on console in the options menu, but it seems to be constantly online for PC – you can get round it by launching Steam in offline mode, but I still want to be online on Steam, just not in game as it does get annoying when someone ten times higher level than you keeps invading your world to poke you up your bum with his massive sword time and time again.

Right from the beginning of this game I actually found it to be a worse Dark Souls game compared to the original due to it not being overly challenging, but that being said I had more fun playing this game than the original; I know it probably doesn’t make sense but this felt more like a finished product that works off the shelf and I was able to finish the game to completion within a matter of a week and I enjoyed every minute of it. I would have like to see the price drop a little bit over the course of the past two years but you are still getting a game that is a joy to play from start to finish here. It is also worth noting that there is a different version of Dark Souls II, in the form of Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin – whilst this is an improved version of the game, both graphically and technically, the game’s worlds are also slightly different. This review is for the original Dark Souls II release.

Tom's Score Card
1) Stay away
2) Not Recommended
3) Only recommended when on sale
4) Recommended
5) Highly recommended
6) This is a must play

If you found this review helpful, please give it a thumbs up. If you would also like to follow my reviews more easily, be sure to join my group by clicking here and checking out the TeamTom Review site

http://store.steampowered.com/app/236430
Helpful? Yes No Funny
WalkinGunz
( 20.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
This game is hard. You'll die, you'll cry, you'll ask "WHY?". As you lay on the dirt, bloody and defeated, helplessly watching your life slip out of your grasp, a voice echoes in your mind:

"get gud"
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[Ornstein] gunshot12222
( 33.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
Dark souls 2's base game is similar to the first where the main objective is to explore the level going through monsters to reach an area boss. Some of the bosses were very imaginative and had a cool way in which you can approach the fights, whereas others were a bit disappointing and a couple were just a rehash from early game. The game is better ported than the first but still isn't great. I would strongly recommend controller as trying to use a keyboard just results in things like "press {Xbox b} to roll" even though you specify you are using keyboard and mouse. However, the game feels much smoother to play and controls feel more responsive. I also didn't experience any lag issues throughout the entire game.

Now this is going to sound strange but I was actually a little disappointed at the games difficulty. It actually felt a bit too easy. I probably did 1/5 of the bosses first try and around 2/3 within a few tries. In fact there was only one boss that gave me a lot of trouble and I was very happy to beat. Nowhere near the level of Ornstein and Smough. Just something about the boss difficulty was lacking. This game felt more of a woo I beat another boss. Whereas almost all of the bosses in the first game gave me a lot to think about and left me feeling a massive sense of accomplishment after beating them. I only got that for maybe 2 bosses in this game.

Having said this I cannot deny that this game is absolutely excellent. Once you get into it you'll get incredibly immersed in the world and you will be playing for hours at a time. That's how you tell it's a great game.

Overall, I really enjoyed dark souls 2 and would recommend to buy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
42 of 44 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Dark Souls II is a fantasy third person action RPG game, developed by From Software and published by Bandai Namco, releasing worldwide on PC, 360 and PS3 in April 2014. The story takes place in the grim fantasy world from the original game, Lordran. This time around you visit different areas and play as a new character.

If you have been on the internet at all in the past few years you will already know what Dark Souls is known for, gruesomely hard unforgiving game play. The original game was probably one of the hardest games I have ever played which tested my skill not only as a gamer, but as a person. Whilst the game play mechanics in Dark Souls II are basically the same comparatively allowing the player in full control of building the character they want to play due to a different levelling system being incorporated. Of course the most important aspect of Dark Souls is the combat and again it is done very well. A lot of the regular mob fights are interesting and varied, you do come across a slight repetition issue when you find yourself being killed by the same monster over and over again but it gives you that little extra incentive to progress. Boss fights throughout the game are all extremely well-tuned and designed encounters – I’d say the boss fights here are more memorable than the original’s purely because the scale and size of them is gigantic in some cases.

Another really key element to Dark Souls game play would be the exploration of the game world which is essentially entirely open for you to explore right from the beginning of the game; whilst it may not be the wisest thing in the world to go exploring the later stages it is possible if you want to though. I was more inclined to go searching for treasure and loot this time around too; whether it was because I was completely enthralled with the armour and weapon designs that I wanted to keep finding more, or because of how well the maps are designed. The game does very little to aid you by telling you where to go which leaves you in a rut sometimes. I have to admit I did resort to using a walkthrough and wiki throughout my play through; I know I know, I’m such a wimp – I honestly don’t think I would have been able to beat the game without it though, so for the purpose of this review I’ll take one for the team here!

Graphically Dark Souls II has been improved over the original, I tried to find the official game engine being used online but even so long after its release I’ve not been able to find a reputable source of an answer but all you need to know is the game does look much better than the first. There are still a few textures which are low quality, but character models, animations and scenery all look gorgeous. The little voice acting that is available is done really well; almost too well – you can really feel the deprived thoughts of the characters in the game through their monotone and dull voices which I found to be quite an immersive factor. It was a little off putting when characters were quite obviously talking that their mouths weren’t moving through which was a shame to see from a game of this standard.

I have to say I found the original Dark Souls to be more of a challenging game compared to II – I think the main factor behind this is the fact that the PC port for this game wasn’t completely broken compared to the first. The controls work right off the back which is always a good sign. That being said boss fights are fundamentally easier though; with some mechanics more clearly than others on how to combat them, or maybe it’s because I finally “gitted gud” at Dark Souls. You can also tell how less of a challenge I found it, given that my first run through of Dark Souls II took almost half the amount of time than the original game, spanning just twenty one hours – remember that I had a wiki throughout the run so if you are going for a true experience you are easily going to be pushing the fifty hour mark. You’ll also get plenty of replay ability from this title due to a new game+ mode being introduced this time around.

There is also a much improved multiplayer side of the game too; one element of this is the ability to leave notes and hints around the game world for other players to see, as well as being able to see people’s recent deaths around you too which is always amusing to see someone run straight off a bridge; it never gets old regardless of how many times you watch it. You’ll also get other players invading your game world which is…well, a different experience to say the least.

Like I said above, this is a much better PC port of the game; there is already native controller support which is brilliant as the game is played waaaay better on a controller compared to a mouse and keyboard. Whilst there are limited graphical options, I was quite pleased to see that I was able to run the game at 4k resolution and on full graphics the whole time and I was able to remain at 60 FPS the whole time. This wasn’t even running SLI so it is an extremely well optimized release. I did find it slightly annoying that I wasn’t able to turn off the online though, you are able to opt out of it on console in the options menu, but it seems to be constantly online for PC – you can get round it by launching Steam in offline mode, but I still want to be online on Steam, just not in game as it does get annoying when someone ten times higher level than you keeps invading your world to poke you up your bum with his massive sword time and time again.

Right from the beginning of this game I actually found it to be a worse Dark Souls game compared to the original due to it not being overly challenging, but that being said I had more fun playing this game than the original; I know it probably doesn’t make sense but this felt more like a finished product that works off the shelf and I was able to finish the game to completion within a matter of a week and I enjoyed every minute of it. I would have like to see the price drop a little bit over the course of the past two years but you are still getting a game that is a joy to play from start to finish here. It is also worth noting that there is a different version of Dark Souls II, in the form of Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin – whilst this is an improved version of the game, both graphically and technically, the game’s worlds are also slightly different. This review is for the original Dark Souls II release.

Tom's Score Card
1) Stay away
2) Not Recommended
3) Only recommended when on sale
4) Recommended
5) Highly recommended
6) This is a must play

If you found this review helpful, please give it a thumbs up. If you would also like to follow my reviews more easily, be sure to join my group by clicking here and checking out the TeamTom Review site

http://store.steampowered.com/app/236430
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
73 of 108 people (68%) found this review helpful
93 people found this review funny
Recommended
115.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You di ed You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died You died
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 23 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
360.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
It’s quite safe to say that Dark Souls 2 is one of the more polarizing games in the franchise. Back when it first came out, people flung their poo at it and called it a disappointment compared to the previous game and while most people now still do, I have to admit that I was among them at first. I thought that Dark Souls 2 had tried too hard to copy its predecessor, resulting in a fanservice-riddled mess of a game that couldn’t decide whether or not it wanted to be a worthwhile addition to the franchise or a shameless rehash of what we’ve already been through. Thankfully, Dark Souls 2 is mostly the former.

Bad news first: This game is indeed sprinkled with shameless fanservice. As an example, you will run into Ornstein as an early boss with no real justification as to why he’s there and you’ll get the same weapon from his soul that you did from the last game. There’s also the Great Lightning Spear miracle which directly references the “grossly incandescent” line that the internet loves so much in its description.

The worst part about this game is probably how it, like every other game in the franchise, gets off on killing you as much as possible. There will be a number of occasions where you’ll run into another bonfire not far away from a boss, but there is still a gauntlet of enemies you’ll need to get through in order to actually reach the boss which will likely cost you some healing items and durability on your equipment.

Speaking of durability, all of your weapons seem to be made out of butter in this game. Standard weapons like the Broadsword might last you through an area or two, whereas the more fragile weapons like the Malformed Skull won’t even last you through a single boss fight. There was also a bug that originated in the PC version where your hitboxes were tied to your framerate, and the PC versions had a framerate of 60 over the 360/PS3’s 30, so every weapon you swung broke twice as fast. This was fixed after the Scholar of the First Sin remake came out... eleven months after the PC version was released.

Design in general is lacking. Enemies don’t have as much variation as they did in the previous game. A fair few of them are humans with regular weapons and some of them are humans with variations on what weapons and armour they have and in varying sizes. Bosses are also mostly large armoured humanoids with greatswords and don’t show much variance there and if we’re including DLC, then in Crown of the Old Iron King, you’ll run into a reskinned Smelter Demon that now creates an AoE explosion when it powers up its core and can now slow down its attack animations to throw off your roll timing. There’s also the Crown of the Ivory King DLC where you’ll run into one new boss, then later on you’ll encounter the same boss again, but you’ll have to fight two of them at once and they have a fun new self-buff ability when one of them dies. They’re accessed through what has to be the most tedious area in the whole game and possibly video gaming history, the Frigid Outskirts. It takes at least five minutes to rush through the area and you’ll have horses shooting lightning up your rear end the whole time. There’s no bonfire any closer to the boss fog, either.

There are also a few strange design decisions thrown in, such as a weird, pulsating bloodstain overlay texture appearing on your screen during every pre-boss fight cutscene. There’s no good reason to include this. I can see the giant armoured humanoid with a greatsword in the cutscene, thank you. It’s an eyesore and adds nothing positive to the game and if there were no fog walls mid-stage, there would be absolutely no possible reason to include this.

Now, the good news. There are a handful of good game design decisions that make Dark Souls 2 a more player-friendly experience. For starters, you no longer have to venture into the seventh circle of Hell to get to a blacksmith just to ascend one weapon to Fire or something, then upgrade the next four levels later on at a bonfire but only if you have a certain key item like you had to in the previous game. As soon as you find the Dull Ember, you take it to one single blacksmith and he will handle every single one of your weapon’s infusions. He can also upgrade your items just the same as the one in Majula can. You can also swap between weapon infusions and your weapon will retain its upgrade level, instead of having to downgrade your weapon to its +10 standard upgrade path then infuse it into its new upgrade path and wasting all of those upgrade items.

For those who find the game too hard, you have the option of using a Ring of Life Protection to prevent yourself from losing your humanity and your souls at the cost of the ring breaking. Unlike the Ring of Sacrifice in Dark Souls 1 and 3 which disappear after use, these rings can be repaired for a few thousand souls each and are very useful for those who either wish to make the PvE easier, or hosts of PvP worlds who do not wish to use their more valuable human effigies should they die. Conversely, there’s the Company of Champions covenant which you can join if you feel like the game is too easy. Joining this covenant will disable your ability to summon phantoms into your world for co-op, make enemies dish out and take more damage and your reward for this is the occasional Awestone drop, which can be traded for a few unique rewards, including a ring which increases your bare fist damage by a lot, making it a very feasible weapon for the whole game. There is also no penalty for abandoning any of the covenants.

For those who prefer to play their games in co-op, you’ll be pleased to know that this is easily the best implementation of it that the series has ever had. In the previous two games, you had no direct method of control for who saw your summon sign. Here, a new item called the Name-engraved Ring allows you to pick between ten different gods to favour, then while the ring is on, only people who have also picked that same god can see your summon sign and receive yours. I live in Australia and I have been able to connect to people who live in the US and Canada and it's never taken longer than twenty seconds, compared to Dark Souls which has taken half an hour and Bloodborne, where a connection couldn't be established after a full hour.

While this one may be subjective, I feel that it’s worth mentioning that there is also a noticeable degree of absurdity in this game that sits quite well with me. If I can find a weapon in the game that’s both practical and aesthetically pleasing, I’ll use it. There’s the top half of a dragon’s skull, a giant melted lump of iron and a straight up beam sword that all have their uses depending on what you want to build, plus they’re fun to use, very creatively designed and balanced well.

While the Souls games have been generally renowned for their ability to be the video gaming equivalent of throwing cupcakes at a wall to knock it over until you eventually do which people seem to perceive as “difficult, but fair”, Dark Souls 2 does have enough good points to contrast against its flaws to the point that it gets a content single thumb up from me, rather than two enthusiastic thumbs up. There are still problems with it, but it’s absolutely serviceable as a video game and while I wouldn’t recommend picking it up at full price, waiting for a decent sale will at least soften the blow if you find it disappointing at all. It may leave a bad taste in your mouth at first with its shoddy art and enemy design, but it’s worth trudging through in the end for the gameplay, weapons and even co-op.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
186.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 10
To clarify, as Dark Souls 2 is the considered the odd child of the series, I'm only not recommending THIS version of the game since I believe the "remaster" Scholar of the First Sin version is better. Get Scholar of the First Sin instead of this.

So instead of a full review of the product I will give a more detailed idea what SoTFS does better, but first I will need to go over the CONTROVERSY.

For the uninformed, Dark Souls 2 has a rocky release history. The announcement footage of the game featured pitch black areas that required the torch, beautiful graphics with tons of pretty particle effects and shadows being cast off every lighting source. It was surprising that something like that could even run on last gen consoles.... but it was too good to be true. The release looked very little like that, the infamous LE PREPARE TO DOWNGRADE.

Many people argue that there was no reason for this downgrade. I have a unique perspective on this as I'm someone who was able to play the original infamous demo version of the game at Comic Con. The game looked pretty yes, the dark rooms added tons of tension since you didn't know what was lurking ahead of you yes, but it ran very poorly. Many people argue that the reason for the poor performance with that version was cus they ran the demo off xbox 360 Dev kits that run games worse than the actual console. Now we will never know the reason for the downgrade Officially, but I think it's clear that the downgrade happened because it ran so poorly on last gen consoles.

Now Dark Souls 2 has one area that is dark and you need a torch for, and you get to experience the tension there, but areas like in the demo that were dark were not dark anymore. Since there's this whole torch mechanic it's makes it basically useless now that it's gone. Why was it removed? Speculation, but since you need to hold a torch, people who mainly 2hand weapons would be at a disadvantage, theoretically. But being the whole point that you're gimped during these sections, and that you need to light these lighting sources to go 2Hand is a good tension in my opinion and removing it entirely and LEAVE THE WHOLE TORCH SYSTEM STILL IN THE GAME never made sense to me.

This is where Scholar of the First Sin comes in. First of all it attempts to add more graphical fidelity into the game, and while it's basically just SWeetFX injected into the game by default that game does look better and less flat. And, areas are dark again! The torch system actually has a use in SotFS since there's various dark rooms again. Thus with an Attempt to amend the "le prepare to downgrade" graphics and re-add a, imo, important mechanic, those two alone make me recommend Sotfs.

The last change is that enemies/items were rearranged. How it felt to me was that the difficulty spikes of the game got moved around, so some areas are easier but some are now harder. Nothing really soured me even though the pacing was changed, but a few areas were vastly improved. A late game level that was unnecessarily annoying was changed to be wayyy less annoying and for that I would again recommend Sotfs over the original release.

For the final kicker, DLC is not included in this one, it's a seperate purchase. Sotfs has all the DLCs already included, and actually incorporated in the game instead of just giving you a key to the area when you buy it.

Dark Souls 2 was created by the B-team of From Software while the main peeps were creating Bloodborne, but even as someone who preordered the PC copy and preordered the season pass, I never felt duped really. It's not a true Dark Souls 2, it's more of a side story, but I didn't hate the game because of it. Making Scholar of the First Sin a complete seperate purchase with seperate servers to split the community is when I felt duped as I saw no reason to do it. And it really should of been a free upgrade for all the people who owned all the DLCs already, but during one Steam sale the "upgrade" discount price for Sotfs was $5 which I bought with money I made from selling CSGO/TF2 stuff so I effectively got a free upgrade... Still the only thing to make me sour from all of this. So.. GET SOTFS OVER THIS.

For anyone curious, I made a youtube playlist that chronologically follows all the versions of the game made public to see the Rise and Fall of HYPE and "LE LE LE PRepare to downgrade":
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKVtBlYzpU-CPHRe8kt6TDyffB3w0RN_6
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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
62.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
This game is bad untill you learn how to praise the sun
9.5/10 would praise the sun again..
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
137.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
Dark Souls II is mechanically better than Dark Souls. The story, characters, and lore or extremely lacking, however. Moreso, the environments feel unfinished and very, VERY poorly designed and textured. There are a lot of cool bosses, but a lot of sub-par ones as well.

Don't get me wrong, I still consider it to be an amazing game - I've spent about 200 hours completing it. But it is not on the same echelon as DS1.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
Recommended
901.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
Pros:
Widest build variety of the series by far.
Best magic system of the series.
Best Covenants of the series, likely dead by now.
DLC areas vastly improve upon the game.
Game has significant changes in NG+

Cons:
Weakest boss design.
Best parts of the game are in the DLC.
Reliance on ambushes for difficulty.
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17 of 29 people (59%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
63.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
I really tried to like DS2, it was the first souls game i tried and i didn't liked it at all the first time; after I played [and fell in love with] DS1 i pushed myself to retry DS2, but it's no use.

DS2 is a mess, the levels are not connected in a huge environment as in the first game, most of the bosses are just regular enemies x5-20 in a small room trying to give the illusion of challenge when in fact makes it unfair as you cannot keep an eye at all of them at the same time.

There is not a single well developed NPC, i started two NG and almost made it to the end on both runs and can't remember ONE name, because they have no impact on the run, they are not interesting, they are just so boring.

The same can be said about the stages, they're way too linear and have nothing that makes them special, they try to force Majula as an interesting location by making EVERY important merchant/mage/level booster/npc be there, but it has nothing of interest, and i don't even know how that is posible when the FIre link Shrine of DS1 is more interesting and that's just a half blown castle.

To sum up, play DS1 and DS3, don't waste your money on this one.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
91.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
Love this game. Just like Dark Souls and Demon Souls before that, this game is brutally hard. The new bosses, new enemies, new characters. (A couple are forgettable though) Overall, an excellent game.

There's more story here than in previous FS titles, however it's still abstract enough to weave your own tale from. Also, the option to postpone a NG+ is awesome, since you can use that time to finish off any optional bosses you may have missed.

Pros:
+ Excellent sound and design
+ Excellent soundtrack. The music is really good! Outdoes any of their previous work
+ 60 FPS is awesome. No need for mods to unlock it. The experience is awesome, even without modding the ♥♥♥♥ out of it
+ PVP duels. PVP is still here, but you can now dual people from your covinant. A really nice feature

Cons:
- Still has some crazy glitches
- Some bosses are way to predictable and offer no real challenge. (Thankfully just a few. The majority are still hard)
- Parry/Reposte and backstabs. WTF? Backstabs are still OK to do, but parrying is rediculous. I prefer DKS1 system better

All in all, if you're a Souls fan, this is a must own. The replay value alone is enough to satisfy your need for masochism. I can't recommend this game enough!
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
196.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
Despite being the weakest of the Souls trilogy, this is still a fantastic game. Make sure to get the Scholar of the First Sin edition instead, though.
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