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User reviews: Positive (40 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

    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
    • 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
    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
287 of 320 people (90%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
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.
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312 of 359 people (87%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
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.
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101 of 107 people (94%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
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.
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79 of 95 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
(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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fizue5dDTNw


Pros:

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

Cons:

- 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


If you enjoyed this review, feel free to follow me as a Steam Curator: http://store.steampowered.com/curator/4886473/
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71 of 87 people (82%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
Larger than first dlc, more items and weapons that are fun to play with. Also super sexy armor sets.

Playtime around 7 hours.
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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
Posted: September 30
I don't have this DLC but I can write a review for it.

10/10
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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: November 6
I hope you liked fighting the Smelter Demon in the base game, because you get to fight it again now in Cool Ranch flavor.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 3
Burning Ambition, Rage, and Satisfaction

Crown of the Old Iron King takes Crown of the Sunken King and blows it out of the water. Or, rather, the ash. The second piece of DLC for Dark Souls 2 takes many of the brilliant concepts from the first DLC and removes many of the issues it had and improving on almost everything. It retains some of the most important problems from the first DLC and doesn't take everything that worked, but it's still the superior piece of content.

Like Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King makes a fantastic first impression. After defeating the (you guessed it) Old Iron King in the Iron Keep, a new path opens. While the transition isn't as logical as Sunken King's deeper descent into the earth, you are still transported to an incredibly striking area. White dunes stretch out in every direction, giant towers are connected by massive chains, and white flakes rain from the sky. It's only after they crunch beneath your feet and you notice they're burning that you realize that it's ash, not snow, that you're standing on. After a few moments, you come across a group of dead, ash-choked bodies on the ground that wear the armor of Drangleic Knights, next to a multi-armed statue made of ash which crumbles as you near it . Just what happened here?

After crossing thre first great chain and entering Brume Tower, the main area of the DLC (there are only two, rather than three locations in Old Iron King) does the importance of that Ashen Idol become clear and the main environmental mechanic of the DLC is introduced. These Ashen Idols bestow certain benefits on enemies, debuffs on you, and whisper creepy, unintelligible messages into you when you're near one, so they must die. Unfortunately, this requires a consumable item, so it may often be worth your while to budget which Idols to destroy so that you dont run into a mandatory area and have none left. Also, while destroying all of the Ashen Idols may seem like a good idea, doing so makes the only mandatory boss of the DLC significantly harder. Leave one alive, if you can . Discovering just what these idols are is an incredibly well-executed and creepy moment.

In terms of environmental exploration, Old Iron King is far more focused on verticality than Sunken King, which combined vertical and horizontal traversal. With one exception in the game's two worst-designed places, most travel is either up or down. Like with Sunken King, however, there are plenty of shortcuts. The only difference is that they're all unlocked at once, about halfway through the DLC , but it's still incredibly satsifying to be able to reduce travel time.

There are far fewer traps (if you don't count the Ashen Idols), and the puzzle elements aren't as strong as Sunken King, but there are some areas that require a fair bit of thought to navigate by manipulating certain types of enemies, and not just so that you avoid dying.

Speaking of dying, the enemies in Old Iron Kign are far more unpredictable, moving in strange patterns and most are far deadlier than the enemies in Sunken King. Special mention should go to the Ashen Crawlers, who can leap surprisingly long distances and have some nasty surprises in store for complacent adventurers .

One place where Old Iron King completely crushes Sunken King is in the bosses. They're incredibly well-designed, with one exception, and deliver the perfect balance of difficulty and fairness. They're also visually interesting and the two superb ones contain some excellent easter eggs and secrets for keen-eyed players. Fume Knight may be the hardest boss in the game (besides the incredibly unfair Ancient Dragon) without relying on the Dragon's fake difficulty. He can still one-hit-kill you, but it's better than that stupid reptile. Sir Alonne is fantastic and easily my favorite boss in the entire game, and even the third, kind-of-bad one is still solid because it's tweaks one of the better bosses in the base game . As always, the boss themes are fantastic, but these are especially good.

The way the DLC accompanies the lore of the base game-specifically, the history of the Old Iron King and the Iron Keep-is one of the best parts of Crown of the Old Iron King. While Crown of the Sunken King contained a great story, it had little to do with the base game, something this DLC does the opposite of.

The visuals are far better than in Sunken King. While the color palette is still a little drab, there are some brilliant lighting effects, especially in the arena of one of the DLCs bosses. Because of the fiery theme, the game breaks out some great yellow and orange colors in a few enemy attacks and the frequent shots of the sunset on the ash horizon. There are even some blue effects for the hotter flames.

Especially in comparison to Sunken King, this DLC adds many more items, pieces of armor, and spells that are actually worth something. The boss weapons/spells, with two exceptions, are fun, useful, and unique, and the new armor sets look great. Expect some cool new swords as well.

The DLC repeats a few of the problems from the last one, though. The enemies don't rely on overwhelming numbers as much as they did in Sunken King, but when they do, it's ridiculous. Remember the Cave of the Dead from Sunken King, with its boring area design and absurd number of enemies? There's now two places like it, both made up of straight hallways with an utterly idiotic amount of enemies. There's still no ambient music. And, like the previous DLC, though two bosses are great (and, in the case of Old Iron King, fantastic), there's still a third that's mostly just garbage.

Crown of the Old Iron King, despite those flaws, is leagues better than Sunken King. With a few important exceptions, everything from the first DLC is improved upon in the second. It's a fantastic way to extend your time in Drangleic.

    Pros
  • Better visuals than Sunken King
  • Music is still excellent
  • The tie-ins to the base game are fantastic
  • Most of the new items and spells are really good
  • The bosses are amazing.
  • The level design is still great, eclipsing Sunken King's

    Cons
  • Still no ambient music
  • One of the bosses is a huge disappointment
  • The path to two of the bosses is utterly fake and and is made up of unfair difficulty, relying on sheer numbers and boring area design to waste your time
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14 of 24 people (58%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
I really enjoyed this DLC, the enemies are more balanced than the last one's and I think enjoy the map layout and size a lot more. It does a great job extenting the Iron Keep area in a fun way, and reminds me of the mines (my favorite area) from Demon's Souls in a lot of ways.

+Minotaur helmet made it all worth it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 13
The last boss of this DLC is the most hardcore in this game. According to the data collected, he will win 9 times out of 10.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 4
the dlc is hard but cheap in a way, pack u with shit load of mob in a small room. love the bosses fights. If you manage to kill one of the boss without him landing a single hit of damage on you, his death animation will change to him committing suicide (Harakiri ).
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 1
(^:
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 27
Sir Alonne
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 1
جمييلة جدا بس مطفر
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
This DLC will add 4-7 hours of gameplay depends on your playstyle. Enemies will ambush you in corner or beneath the snow and attack you in large group, which makes it very interesting for co-operation.

The bosses, however, is not either difficult or exciting than the previous DLC, I do hope for a fight with a giant Iron Dragon, but unfortunately it just a exiled knight and a giant samurai with SUPER ULTRA COOL katana.

Nevertheless, it really worth 10 bucks to try. If you like it, then buy the season pass, start your journey today with a couple of sunbro, claim the Old Iron King's Crown for yourself, and see me at Iron Bridge to taste my blade.
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2 of 10 people (20%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 5
Considering Iron Keep is one of my least favorite areas in the entire Souls series, I wasn't expecting much from this DLC. And that was what I got. This DLC takes a giant step back fro mthe first one with a very linear level design, completely unoriginal enemies that feel like they were directly ripped from the first DLC or reskins of other enemies in the series, and 2 terrible bosses. The only good thing that I can think of about this DLC is that it has an absolutely outstanding boss... preceded by a terrible, linear, uninspired level with no new enemies or environment. Yeah, this DLC sucks. Big time.
Nice to know B Team did'nt learn anything from DLCrap number 1.
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0 of 14 people (0%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 1
Piece of shit, wouldn't play if it were free.
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1 of 22 people (5%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 3
gross
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22 of 80 people (28%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
"It's alright."
-Hideo "Didju rike it?" Kojima
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Posted: November 28
+Cool Ranch Doritos Smelter
+Goofy Barrel Men

Best DLC N/A

You're better off waiting for Scholar of the First Sin, if you're looking to get this.
However Fromsoft Treats the PC release of it anyway.
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