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

User reviews: Positive (29 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 25, 2014
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About This Content

"DARK SOULS™ II Crown of the Old Iron King" is the second of 3 large-scale DLC additions to DARK SOULS™ II, and includes all-new stages, maps, boss characters, weapons & armor! In this second DLC, players will find themselves in a world shrouded in ash. Can you find and recover the lost crown?

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
    • 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
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 sound device
    • Additional Notes: Controller support: Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) recommended
Helpful customer reviews
285 of 318 people (90%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
This is a quick review of the Dark Souls 2 DLC - Crown of the Old Iron King.

A good expansion for Dark Souls 2, with two side bosses, one of which is a familiar face in new clothes.
The main boss (to get the Crown) of this DLC gave a very good challenge, and I definitely had a lot of trouble getting by with just the NPC summons for help.

While the Sunken King had some vertical and horizontal layout, the Old Iron King focused more on vertical level design, as the backdrop of the DLC occurs in a tower of sort. Expect more lifts and falls.

Couldn't gid gud, completed the main boss after 4 hours using a SL120 quality melee + utility spell build in normal NG, with a good dose of spelunking and turtling. Manage to complete most secrets and optional areas/bosses after another 2 hours.

Also, NPC summons in the DLC can gesture when summoned.

Do note that I had to use some workarounds to review this DLC, and the hours played shown is counted in the actual Dark Souls 2 base game, and not calculated separately for the DLC itself.
Posted: August 26
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306 of 353 people (87%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
There is a boss that buffs himself making his fight significantly more difficult specifically if he sees you wearing part of an armor set you can only get by killing another boss briefly mentioned as his rival in an item description from the base game.

Now that's attention to detail.

Bravo, From.
Posted: August 26
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99 of 105 people (94%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
I'm not sure whether I prefer Iron King over Sunken King, but so far I'm leaning towards Iron King. They have many of the same strengths/downsides, but Iron King I find more aesthetically pleasing and the more tangible lore connection is a definite bonus.

What needs to be said is that - like the first DLC - this is an area driven DLC. That is, its greatest moments come from its environment, its (regular) enemies, its traps and puzzles. That aspect is very similar to the underground pyramid platform festival that was Sunken King. It is NOT boss driven, and could disappoint in that regard. I think of it like this: back when I first played Artorias of the Abyss for the first Dark Souls, I enjoyed it a lot, but in retrospect it was entirely for the bosses and the new items/equipment it brought to the game. While some sound aesthetics were neat, it consisted of an area that was re-used with minor changes set at day, an ugly, blurry series of buildings (which had some cool areas but not anything as nice as what was in the base game) and finally a third rate Tomb of the Giants. The DLC for Dark Souls WAS boss based, and that's the main difference here. There's enjoyment to be found, but in different ways.

Iron King is larger than Sunken King overall (more around the size of Artorias of the Abyss) and has plenty of From's intricate detail sprinkled all over it, visually and audibly. The snowy towers make what would otherwise not be so great more interesting by having connections via tiny chains, and each one leads to an area that is a complete nightmare (curses, ambushes, etc.)

Without spoiling any lore details, the interior areas look appropriately similar to those of Iron Keep, albeit more metallic. Things move, rotate, and power the giant fortress. Inside you'll find plenty of items and enemies. It's the things that make connections to what was not fully explained in Dark Souls II that have this DLC make up for its shortcomings (for the most part). There's also some nice gear, including one particular sword that people who missed it from Dark Souls will probably enjoy. The DLC also has a cave area similar to Cave of the Dead from Sunken King. At first I was disappointed to see this - while visually different, it is almost the same concept - however, going through it a couple times, I no longer felt that way. It seems as though it was an attempt to make up for the weakest area in Sunken King, and it does make up for it. It's the kind of place so danger ridden you can't even stop to look at some of the new enemies trying to take you down. The boss of that area was where the first "meh" from the DLC came in. It's a boss you've fought before...sort of just a bit different. In retrospect, I don't hate it, because this DLC ties to an area from the base game heavily and as such the presence of this boss (in a different sort of state) is appropriate. However, they could have done more to change it up.

Beyond the cave area (which like the last one is optional, I believe), the rest of the DLC is good. The bosses may leave you wanting more, but it excels with its environment. There's a sense of scale to it that you don't get a whole lot in Souls, and though you can't traverse all that you can see by any means, there's still enough there.

Ultimately, I give this DLC about an 8/10 and a recommendation. It's not groundbreaking in any way, shape or form, but it is an area that is extremely welcome in the Dark Souls II world. Just remember what I said about the area-driven/boss-driven thing. If you want to explore a snowy tower with loads of enemies, pathways to other sections that extend over great heights, remnants of the past and some interesting new puzzles (without really spoiling anything: boom), you will like this DLC. However, if you're only wanting to get something to fight new bosses and don't really care about the setting, you might skip this one and wait for Ivory King.
Posted: August 27
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73 of 89 people (82%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
(TLDR? This review is also available in video format below for your convenience.)

Crown of the Old Iron King marks the second entry in the Dark Souls 2 Crown Trilogy DLC and it's by far the most sadistic yet.

It's once again accessed later in the game and is set in a large tower overlooking a snowy tundra. The environments offer quite a bit of verticality but they don't feel as cleverly put together as The Sunken King DLC. The art direction immediately promises some variety but it isn't long before you're stuck navigating through dark and gloomy corridors like you'd come to expect from much of the Souls series.

There's also a host of new enemies which are all fairly formidable and are in my opinion quite a bit more difficult than those you encounter in the main game. You'll take on giants capable of dispatching you in a single hit, knights that will relentlessly pursue you, annoying casters that teleport around and plenty more. They're all pretty tough and they each have a ton of health. Thankfully, you're able to use things in the environment to your advantage, such as luring zombies carrying flammable barrels into fire in order to kill groups of enemies as well as open hidden passages. You're also able to push fire turrets along a track to help eliminate or at least weaken some of the stronger enemies.

Also included is the addition of Nadalia, the late wife of the old iron king. Her soul was divided into fragments and placed inside ashen idols which can make certain areas quite a bit more difficult, such as healing enemies, shooting fire, hampering visibility and cursing the player. These idols can be removed with smelter wedges which will reward you with a fragment of Nadalia's soul. Unfortunately, you're not given enough to destroy all the idols until you complete a certain boss. If you're like me and unaware of this your first time playing, you could remove the wrong idols and make that boss a lot more difficult than it needs to be. This was a clever idea but poorly implemented. Had I known in advance, I simply would have left one of the ashen idols in one of the optional areas in favor of destroying all of the ones located around the boss. If you get in a situation like this, there is nothing you can do about it except fight an already difficult boss that is able to fully heal himself if you let him get out of position. This is just one of a few issues I felt were thrown in to be frustrating.

The bosses in Crown of the Old Iron King are all quite difficult, putting a lot of bosses from the main game to shame however one of the bosses is simply re-used from Dark Souls II. While he was one of the hardest bosses in the main game, re-using him just comes off as lazy. The other two bosses are challenging but they're similar to a lot of the large knight type enemies that are already prevalent in the game. Having some added variety and more unique encounters would have been welcomed.

Ultimately, Crown of the Old Iron King is worth playing if you're looking for more Dark Souls as it adds more to an already content-filled game. It's quite a bit longer than Crown of the Sunken King, especially if you factor in deaths, and you definitely get your money's worth. It's just unfortunate that it seems like From Software made it hard for the sake of being hard while forgoing a lot of the charm and appeal the series is known for. Still, despite it's flaws it adds new challenges and helps to tide fans of the series over until the release of Bloodborne.

This review is also available in video format:


+ Challenging enemies & bosses
+ Great length & value
+ Explosive barrel zombies require a bit of strategy.
+ New items, weapons, and spells.


- Frustrating design aspects
- Re-used boss appears lazy
- Doesn’t live up to Artorias of the Abyss or Sunken King DLC
- Difficult for the sake of being difficult & lacking the signature souls charm

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Posted: August 30
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70 of 86 people (81%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Larger than first dlc, more items and weapons that are fun to play with. Also super sexy armor sets.

Playtime around 7 hours.
Posted: August 27
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