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IGN Reviews - Dark Souls 2

Steam whistle beersteam games cs go DARK SOULS™ II: SCHOLAR OF THE FIRST SIN game Dark Souls earned a reputation as the epitome of tough but fair and as a gamer who values overcoming an epic challenge Im delighted that its sequel shows no hint of easing off the talent for creating brutal difficulty and tempting exploration Dark Souls 2 is every bit as punishing demanding and amazingly rewarding as its 2011 predecessor its new ideas for both single-player exploration and helping and tormenting others and multiplayer dont always click but enough do to make this an exceptional game with an irresistible challenge as a guy who earned both the to link the fire and Dark Lord endgame achievements in the original Dark Souls I have no shame in admitting that Dark Souls 2 kicked my ass hundreds of times throughout the massive 60 hour journey but each moment of failure taught me more about how Dark Souls 2 works and that helped me get better from enemy attack patterns to the signs of environmental traps the high difficulty almost never felt insurmountable I say almost because Dark Souls 2 went a little too far with a penalty that decreases your max HP and every time you die this can be counteracted by using a human effigy but those items are few and far between in the early half of the campaign while undoubtedly a hardcore feature I found it frustrating because its slightly stifled my urge to explore the world with a fear of being too harshly penalized for failure but I push through and was rewarded for it because the sprawling diverse world of Dark Souls 2 is one right for nonlinear exploration one of my favorite elements here is that you always have at least a handful of different routes to the world at your disposal stuck at a haunted dock full of fire wielding Marauders well you can work your way down to a well and find a tomb full of talking rats cant get past this ridiculous boss maybe head down another path to the shaded woods instead and come back once youve leveled up oh and remember how awful the framerate got back in the original when you entered Blighttown Dark Souls 2 runs at a steady 30 frames per second throughout the entire campaign without a hiccup linking up with other players online changes the dynamics of playing some really interesting and challenging new ways Dark Souls 2 builds on the same excellent foundation of choosing whether you want to invade other players games and troll them with nightmares or take the saintly route and assist them in particularly tough battles the role of covenants is expanded in the sequel as well for instance joining the rack covenant gave me the run of an ancient tomb including control of where to place poison pools enemy rats and other devious booby traps for the next non rat covenant player that happens by to deal with its an extremely satisfying way to express my inner evil genie combat this time around is similar to the original a strong emphasis placed on patience learning enemy tales and being able to block or dodge at an instance notice every encounter is a miniature puzzle in and of itself but the enemies in Dark Souls 2 are some of the strongest stuff from softs ever produced LUMMA fide Knights who can actually guard and parry provide stiff early game challenges massive armored Turtles slowly stomped towards you with menace forcing you to use your agility to combat the raw strength and giant trolls with smaller creatures riding atop them necessitate keeping your distance and quick calculated strikes its chock-full of challenge and variety iconic bosses also provide a ton of memorable moments of pain and regret that will eventually become triumphs they dont have quite the same impact as those in the original Dark Souls but to be fair thats probably because I was prepared for the kind of challenge they were going to throw at me there are certainly standouts though the mirror knight for example is an amazingly tough battle set on a gorgeous tower and features some super exciting uses of multiplayer in new game+ theyre fantastic surprises I wont spoil for you one of the big changes to the way the world works is the expanded fast travel system while fast travel is available in the original you dont unlock it until well over halfway through in Dark Souls to fast travel between any bonfire youve kindled was unlocked right from the get-go I cant emphasize how great it is to be able to hop around the map at my own leisure the one place its counterproductive is when you have to warp back to the hub area whenever you want to exchange Souls for stat upgrades that irritating and unnecessary step leads to a good chunk of wasted time at least its nice to look at while you eight Dark Souls 2s updated engine emphasizes the role of lighting and exploration at any bonfire you can choose to remove your shield in favor of lighting a torch not only does having a flame in your hand illuminate dark corners but some enemies will even cower in fear before you light a choice that makes such a visible impact is cool but oddly enough the torch creates a strange trade-off take a look at these two areas one with the torch and one without a bit weird huh Dark Souls 2 is a smart massive and incredibly rewarding sequel its crammed with deep systems tense encounters and enough clever multiplayer in new game+ elements to make me want to restart the second I saw the end credits not all of the tweaks and additions worked out for the best but with such great enemies and levels to fight and explore Dark Souls 2 made 60 hours of pain and agony so much fun they flew by in a heartbeat ritters steam kettle cooking Dark Souls II is a smart, massive, and incredibly rewarding sequel to the challenging original.------------------------------­---- Follow IGN for more! ------------------------------­---- YOUTUBE: IGN OFFICIAL APP: FACEBOOK: TWITTER: INSTAGRAM: WEBSITE: GOOGLE+: highest price game on steam steam unlocked all games does steam have xbox games rts games on steam deck 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