This content requires the base game DARK SOULS™ II on Steam in order to play.

User reviews: Positive (25 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 22, 2014

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About This Content

Embark on a journey to reclaim a crown that Drangleic’s King Vendrick once owned. This perilous quest will lead you through an entirely different world within the DARK SOULS™ II universe, where stepped pyramids span a vast underground cavern. It is said that one of the ancient crowns lay buried deep within these dark caverns; but surely such a valued item cannot sit unguarded. Explore in search of a crown that holds the strength of lords from times long past.

System Requirements

    • 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 9.0
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 sound device
    • Additional Notes: Controller support: Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) recommended
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8
    • Processor: Intel® CoreTM i3 2100 3.10GHz or AMD® A8 3870K 3.0GHz
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750 or ATI Radeon™ HD 6870 or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 15 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 sound device
    • Additional Notes: Controller support: Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) recommended
Helpful customer reviews
498 of 570 people (87%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
Following on from the way we travelled back in time to the lost land of Oolacile in the DLC for the first Dark Souls, Crown of the Sunken King once again sends us back into history itself, this time to the days before Vendrick had conquered the land and built the kingdom of Drangleic. We've gone back to acquire the same crowns Vendrick once used to build his kingdom although it's not really clear why we're doing it, but I'm certainly not going to complain the Emerald Herald isn't telling me to "seek lest bear" them anyhow. So mysteriously compelled to travel back in time for no properly explained reason, the first of our ventures to loot these three pieces of magical headware takes us to the Sanctum City Shulva, a sprawling labyrinth of temple ruins that have been slowly corrupted under a lingering miasma spewed forth by a venomous dragon. Because what Dark Souls 2 really needed was yet another poison themed level. Thankfully though, the status effect isn't too prominent a theme although I'm am still very dissapointed in the wasted potential for some more diversity. At the very least repeating a theme that wasn't already repeated in four areas in the main game would've been acceptable, but ultimately this concern isn't really about the quality of the DLC so much as a general issue I have with Dark Souls 2's areas, so moving onto the actual content;

What stands out most when you first lay eyes on the city of Shulva is that the level design is very vertical, you're going to be going down and around a lot and often find yourself stumbling back into areas you've been to previously but from different vantage points, the Sanctum City is chock full of intersecting pathways and more shortcuts than you can shake a sequence break at, which makes it incredibly easy to actually get lost in on your first run. This is only exemplified by the number of switches you'll find throughout that will raise or lower certain platforms or open and close different passages, a large number of which will lead down different paths to the same places, only making it easier to get disoriented in the near maze like city. The second area, Dragon Sanctum, on the other hand is enclosed and claustrophobic but still packed with doorways linked to switches built onto every surface because ancient architects apparently had far too much time on their hands (I joke as I review DLC for a video game) and the contrast between the two is certainly interesting although I personally feel the first area is honestly much more interesting as it invokes feelings of the layered level design of the first Dark Souls which is something I honestly feel is missing from the sequel, but I will say I appreciated Dragon Sanctum on account of simply feeling very unique for its emphasis on 'puzzles' as simple and uninspired as they may be, and the enclosed areas certainly made the tougher enemies of the DLC much more threatening encounters.

Speaking of which, there are about six new kinds of dastardly foes for you to pit yourself against in CotSK but the enemies that populate Shulva are effectively redesigned versions of already existing foes and honestly offer very little in the way of challenge. The individual enemies aren't really the danger in the city, but rather the enemy placement as if you don't pay close attention as you make your way down the sprawling walkways of Shulva you can very easily find yourself flanked, ambushes are scattered about and there's no shortage of Sanctum Warriors around every other corner. It's not until you reach Dragon Sanctum that you'll start encountering the more interesting and surprisingly challenging foes, one particularly ghastly group stand out for being some of the fastest enemies in the entire game but for the most part there's nothing that's really new in a meaningful sense, experienced players will quickly learn how to handle enemies that ultimately still follow the same rules most other foes do, and one on one encounters will remain simplistic affairs with the game only ever becoming difficult if you're facing multiple foes at once. Although, I will commend the AI of the Drakeblood Knights who will actually backstab you for trying to heal in front of them, and seem to have much more precise evading than any other regular enemy in the game. It's a shame they're relegated to the very end of the DLC, if they'd been a present threat throughout both maps then CotSK could've actually been very challenging.

So what of the bigger baddies then? Well there are three bosses in CotSK, one of which is optional, and although they're all very different to one another, they're also all similar to already existing bosses. They're also challenging and quite a lot of fun to fight, and I'd say that they're a far sight better than the vast majority of bosses the main game has to offer. Relatively speaking you could make a comparison to the disparity in quality between the bosses in the first Dark Souls & AotA and now the bosses in Dark Souls 2 & CotSK. Although in spite of really enjoying the bosses and I do mean that, I'd consider the final boss of the DLC to be one of the best bosses in the Souls series period, it is rather dissapointing that they're all effectively redesigned versions of older bosses, although this could be considered a boon for people who happen to enjoy those fights, if you're a fan of the Kalameet boss fight in AotA you're certainly in for a treat.

Long review cut short, I had a lot of fun with Crown of the Sunken King, the new areas were a blast to explore, the bosses ranged from fun to fantastic, and I actually really like the art direction of Shulva, the only real let downs for me were the more interesting enemies not getting anywhere near enough exposure in favour of the totally new Hollow variants, and to some extent the 'recycled' undertone the bosses had to them, even if if the fights are absolutely improvements over the originals. I'm more dissapointed in the missed oppurtunity of what could've been rather than what we got, but what we got was still pretty damn good and absolutely worth ever penny.
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284 of 322 people (88%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
(TLDR? This review is also available in video format below for your convenience.)

In typical Dark Souls fashion, its latest DLC, Crown of the Sunken King cannot be accessed until roughly half way through the game. The first of three planned DLC packs has you venturing to recover an ancient crown that was lost deep underground.

It's accessed from Black Gulch and you're greeted with three more sinister areas which add another 4 or 5 hours of challenging content.

The areas are large, sprawling and interconnected which do well to mask the linearity, allowing you to explore in a multitude of directions. There's tons of clever shortcuts that lead back to previous areas as well as plenty of hidden items and secrets. The areas also feature a ton of verticality, making it feel a lot more like the first Dark Souls game.

Special switches have been added to the areas which can be attacked to raise or lower platforms as well as open secret areas. Activating these are a bit of a puzzle and can have a pretty major effect on the environment which is a great addition.

Unfortunately the art direction for these zones is a bit uninspired, borrowing heavily from a lot of previous areas. I was immediately reminded of areas like The Lost Bastille as well as the Oolacile Township from the Artorias of the Abyss DLC from the first Dark Souls. It's all kind of dark, gritty, and indoors. Some added variety between the areas would have been welcomed opposed to more of the same.

The enemies that inhabit the DLC are as dangerous as you'd expect. From ghost like knights that are extremely difficult to kill until you destroy their bodies, to annoying archers, casters, insects and more horrifying monstrosities, there's no shortage of formidable enemies in Crown of the Sunken King. Swarming enemies are a larger threat than ever and status ailments like poison and corrosive damage are rampant.

The boss fights are very difficult as well as each of them are on-par with some of the hardest bosses out of any Souls game. They require planning and quick reflexes to overcome and will surely test even the most hardened Souls veterans.

Ultimately, Crown of the Sunken King is worth playing if you're a fan of the series and looking for new content. It doesn't add quite as much variety and content as Artorias of the Abyss added to Dark Souls 1 but with two more DLC packs planned, I can't wait to see what other challenges From Software adds next.

This review is also available in video format for your convenience:


+ Challenging enemies & bosses
+ Great value
+ Puzzles
+ Cleverly interconnected areas


-Uninspired art direction
-Corrosive damage is annoying
-Lack of variety

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1,099 of 1,441 people (76%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
CAUTION! Contains mild spoilers!

First 3 hours in the DLC as a SL 200 Faith build:

"Oooh, that is gorgeous."
"Looks quiet. Too quiet."
"Ah the old 'Hollow plays dead' trick. Ha!"
"Oh f**k, that hurts! Kill it with lightning!"
"Where the f**k are they coming from?!" *dies*
"Why the f**k is my gear broken?!" *dies*
"Finally, a shortcut!"
"Oh f**k, ghosts!"
"Oh f**k, I can barely damage them"*dies*
"Ooooh, so that's how you kill them."
"Bonfire! Neat!"
"Many bloodstains here ..."
"Dark Phantom has invaded"
"Hey ... I remember you ... OH F**K!" *gets ra*ed by multiple Forbidden Suns* *dies*
"Jesus, how much HP does this smug c**t have?!"
"Dark Phantom banished"
"Praise the ... oh f**k, T-Rex!" *dies*
"Why the f**k am I doing so little damage with Sun Spear?!"
"Holy f**k, so many of them!" *dies*
"Why is there a bonfire in the middle of them!?"
"Sweet mother of Sunny-D, another shortcut! Hurrah!"
"Lone hollow, smells fishy."
"Oh, f**k, what is with that moveset?"
"Oh, f**k, PvP is easier!" *backstabbed* *dies*

And then it hit me ... this is the same feeling I got from Dark Souls 1. Explore, die, rinse and repeat until success. Clever area design, smart shortcuts to a previous bonfire, traps just waiting to make your life a living hell. Ahh, I love the smell of frustration in the evening.

I love it. 10/10 gonna go die again.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Posted: November 6
Jester Thomas has unlimited fireballs. 10/10
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
Posted: September 30
10/10 would sink again
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 20
Coming from someone who has played all the DLCs, Sunken King is the most lackluster in my opinion. However, it's still fun, in a dark and creepy sort of way. The underground temple and environmental traps make you feel like a marauding archaeologist.

The weakness of the Sunken King DLC is that the area just isn't as compelling as the others. It's set in a dank underground area, and doesn't engender the same sense of awe as the other DLC's settings.

In addition, the bosses for the area are rather straightforward. The only gimmicks are the fact that the environment can move around (e.g. rotate, rise up and down) and many puzzles are centered around that.

The very final boss of the area is a nice surprise, though.

- Environment puzzles
- Contains Denial miracle, which prevents you from dying once (similar to Second Chance from Demons Souls, but leaves you with 1 HP)
- Grinding spot for infinite Twinkling Titanite/Dragon Bones

- Dreary setting
- Only really has one impressive boss
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 10

The Devs decided the main game was way to easy. So they added two bosses with restistance to everything. I am on new game plus. I haven't had much of an issue with the main game bosses. I thought i could take these guys. I was so so sorely mistaken.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 30
As much as I love Dark Souls, this particular DLC is a big of a joke. Dark Souls prides itself with being difficult and the reason so many people keep coming back to this game is because completing a challenge feels so satisfying, however the content in this DLC is designed for more than 1 person. Groups of 2 or 3 are the optimal way to beat this content and From Software said they wanted to promote a multiplayer envirnoment.

I can't buy that excuse. If you wanted a multiplayer environment, why didn't you add a co-operative mode when you made the game? I feel like multiplayer was just a quick selling point you added through the special Gods ring you buy from the cat right before release. I don't like playing Dark Souls with other people except on rare occasions, why force me to play with others to complete content? It took me 5 hours just to get to the third bonfire because I had to keep pulling things away from a group to win fights, otherwise it was a 6v1 gangbang most of the time.

I honestly love Dark Souls and the other 2 DLC for it are amazing, but this one has got it's priorities all mixed up. Dark Souls is about accomplishing something for yourself. Beating a boss feels so good except in this DLC you need 2 people to stand anything of a chance.

I will say the game design for this DLC is quite nice but nothing particularly amazing compared to the vanilla game. There are some cool armour sets and interesting new spells to attain, and I don't mind the puzzle-like nature of the map. In saying that, I don't think I'll be completing this DLC purely because I hate the idea of having someone help me through it.

7/10, I would not recommend this DLC to anyone who, like me, enjoys completing challenges on your own. Spend your money on the other 2 DLC.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 1
well worth the price, this dlc is better the original game.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
Posted: November 25
Good areas, enemies and bosses, but final boss a lot easier than other. P.S. Jester Thomas made me cry =((
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
Posted: November 27
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 11
Dlc stuff
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 24
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3 of 16 people (19%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 4
Enemies are completely unoriginal, bosses are horrendous, level design is below average at best. Avoid this DLC like the plague.
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5 of 50 people (10%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 7
game is so hard it makes me cry myself to sleep 0/10 would not reccomend until easy mode mod is made
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Posted: October 3
Digging Deeper

The much-ancticipated first piece of DLC for Dark Souls 2 lives up to the expectations and exceeds them. With some of the best level design in the entire game, thoughtful and devious traps, a solid, self-contained story, and some excellent bosses and new enemy types, Crown of the Sunken King is a fine piece of content that's well worth the initial price tag and the ten or so hours it takes to beat it.

From the start, the DLC leaves a fine first impression. After delving down into the darkest depths of Drangleic and facing the patchwork horror known as The Rotten , a new path is opened and lies in wait, eager to draw in those who would ignore its warnings even deeper than one would think possible. From there, a tense walk down a collapsed corridor, accompanied by enormous, steady breathing, opens up into the breathtaking Sanctum City of Shulva, an interconnected capital beneath the Black Gulch. The first thing that will likely catch your eye is the massive temple in the middle of the city, heavily inspired by Central American pyramids. The second is the sleeping dragon with a spear lodged in his chest, sleeping directly in your way .

After that fantastic first impression, you're left to explore the Sanctum City and the areas that it connects to. Navigation is handled brilliantly, with a plethora of interesting options for opening new pathways and shortcuts. It's incredibly satisfying to spend an hour wandering around lost in the underground complex, only to discover a new path that connects back to the first bonfire.

The dangers are similarly intriguing. The common enemies attack quickly but swing widely, leaving themselves open, but new variations with new weapons and abilities quickly pop up to put a dent in your strategy. There are some other nasty foes, but the solution may lie in observing your surroundings. With the exception of one area, the enemies are spaced out almost perfectly and offer compelling challenges.

A plethora of new traps rear their head, deadly enough to snuff out the life of any wannabe archaeologist, but inventive use of their trigger factors can easily turn them to your side. They also play into some interesting navigational puzzles that require far more thought than you'd expect in this game.

Of course, the penultimate of danger in any Dark Souls area should be the bosses, and they don't disappoint. Though one is merely a trio of character models, they still behave in interesting ways , and the other two are fantastic additions to the roster. The dragon you meet at the beginning of the DLC is one of the best fights in the game .

From a visual standpoint, the Sanctum City and the surrounding area falters a bit more. Expect to see lots of green, and maybe a little red, alongside dark rock and some finecky lighting and reflected water. However, the boss music is perfect and some singing in the main temple provides some surprising ambience and atmosphere. The lack of music in the areas themselves is still disappointing.

Many of the new weapons, spells, and armor pieces are useless, but a few stand out for particular builds. Faith users of both kinds (Cleric and Hexer) can expect some nice goodies, although there's still a deficit of good-looking mage armor that doens't suck.

There's one particular thing that is added to the base game that this DLC allows you to interact with, however. In the Undead Crypt, you can use the Ashen Mist Heart to speak to King Vendrick, and his interesting dialogue and fantastic voice acting make him one of the best characters in the game. Being able to talk to the man who you've heard so much about, but only met as a mindless Hollow, is fascinating.

Crown of the Sunken King is an excellent foray into the deepest parts of the world of Drangleic and manages to be a good bit of fun as well. The visuals could use some variety, but the excellent (boss) music, thick, tomb-like atmosphere, fantastic level design, and solid enemy encounters leave you incredibly satisfied.

  • Excellent, labyrinthian level design
  • Fantastic new music
  • Great bosses
  • Inventive traps and enemies
  • Vendrick

  • Visuals start to get boring after a while
  • Still no ambient music in areas
  • Lack of useful new equipment with a few exceptions
  • One of the areas is nothing more than a corridor stuffed with too many enemies
  • One of the bosses is realyl unimaginative
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Posted: October 4
Awesomeness awaits
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