Dark Souls 2 Review ► Crown of the Iron King DLC

Steam deck nintendo switch emulatorbest game on steam deck DARK SOULS™ II: SCHOLAR OF THE FIRST SIN review hey whats up guys so the highlight of the sunken crown DLC was the level design and in my opinion the highlight of this second piece of DLC the iron crown is the difficulty so whats the trend here with these two things well both of these things make it feel more like Dark Souls 1 and thats a good thing most of this video is going to be me talking about the difficulty and whether I think its done well or whether I think its done poorly I think its done well but before we get into that I want to talk about your first impressions of the DLC I personally love it when games have a powerful beginning because youre setting the tone for whats to come and you need to intrigue the player so that theyre motivated to continue and arguably souls games need to do this even more than other games because theyre actually difficult you know they have to make you want to play for example sunken crown did this when it had sin fly overhead you saw him and you thought damn Im gonna have to fight that huge ass dragon arent I the core game also does that with the King vendrick it hypes up the fact that you are eventually going to find this King so at the start of this DLC you see a bunch of for the Knights of drangleic covered in ash and surrounding a national creature they clearly died assaulting it it inspires your imagination you then access the main area via this chain which is a really cinematic experience and as you arrive in this second tower you notice a few more things firstly the whispering it feels haunted you know that first abandoned how you just explored that one felt dead but this one this one feels alive the source of the whispering is found quickly and its a very similar being to the one you just saw before you even take it out using your logic you remember the first smelter wedges that were found on the first ashen maiden so clearly those smelter wedges are the things that you need to shove into this womans chest and when you do so you realize huh I got a boss soul from that and youre not expecting to get a boss soul so early so it inspires you to read the item descriptions and figure out the story behind this tower turns out youre going to be finding these vessels housing the Queen throughout the entire our for the Queen has arrived this land after the king has passed away and when she got here she decided to infuse her souls into multiple vessels and haunt the tower through them you explore more and it becomes clear that this place has been long abandoned the empty throne the unmoving gears the ash coating everything it does a good job of conveying history the only way forward is down again as you go down youre assaulted by the feeling that these gears should be moving I talked to that information away for later I knew that if I could get the gears moving Id be able to access ledges that I couldnt quite get to now and in fact when you get them moving its actually one of the most satisfying things because you can just dash all the way through the level and witness everything youve gotten past so the first enemies you encounter theyre quite easy you learn their moveset okay youve mastered fighting them great because now youre ready to be ambushed by six of them enchanted with ashen protection of the maiden while youre trapped in this room with no easy way out thus begins a trend in this DLC you are going to be dropped into a lot of situations where the only way forward is to fight when you look back on this ambush you think its really well thought out its tough but fair because youve already been given a chance to become familiar with the enemies first off youve seen the ashen maiden you know that shes influencing the environment around her and if you were inquisitive with the first one then you should know how to destroy it the only new element introduced here is the ashen protection on the soldiers telling you that these maidens dont just spout pillars of fire like the first one they actually affect their environment so the game is introducing you to one new concept at a time and since you you intelligent gamer you know everything already you run straight to the maid and you take her out and then when the soldiers are unprotected you can take them out as well so sure its an ambush sure its really punishing but the game gave the inquisitive player a chance to learn about everything thats done to assault him so I think this is difficulty executed well and hopefully you didnt get executed a lot of people might think this is too difficult and Im willing to hear your thoughts on it Ive actually got a straw poll down below where you can actually tell me what you thought about this DLC just so you know speaking of something that breaks the mold soon youll come across these Archer guys and in the DLC notes that I have from design statement is that they wanted an enemy that would move in unnatural ways different than all the other enemies that clearly telegraph their moves and I think they pulled it off the way this enemy flails around awkwardly forces you to treat it with caution and a little bit more curiosity than you usually would most players in this DLC will be fairly experienced in anticipating attacks so that they can roll through them and messing up an enemys way of attacking is a neat trick by from to make that experience less useful just after you deal with this weird enemy you get to one of the cruelest sections of the DLC with a long difficult stretch before the next bonfire hopefully youve got your life gems ready because this bit is brutal the game throws three different combinations of difficult encounter at you testing if you can conquer different types of difficult scenarios before you earn your bonfire so first is the ability to cope with tons of enemies with no escape the first encounter is also testing your ability to survive using your environment and the most observant players will succeed here the most observant players will chase a bunch of these goofy barrel holding guys down this hole dousing themselves in water to reduce fire damage and then try to blow up the entire room thats what I think you meant to do anyway the second gauntlet is this stretch that couples ranged attack with melee enemies in a narrow area its enjoyable but the biggest gripe I start to have with this and with the entire DLC is that the game is really starting to favor players who have a ranged method of attack that said it is immensely satisfying to hole enemies off a cliff if youre a strength build with a massive weapon so maybe they had strength builds in mind here too the problem with that train of thought is that the cliff doesnt actually have a big enough drop to kill enemies so youre going to encounter these enemies that you throw off a cliff a little bit later the third and final section is filled with ambushes nothing new here they taunt you with a bunch of items lying on ground and if youve pin playing Souls games for this long you should probably know whats coming your way if you decide to get greedy and pick up those items now these three things are fairly standard examples of difficulty in a Souls game you know theyre testing your combat ability and youve seen all this before but there are a couple more examples of difficulty in the DLC that havent really been done before in a Souls game for example theres this one part where you get to the end of a corridor filled with traps and you encounter this huge towering enemy whos destined to chase you back along that corridor you can use those traps to help take him out and running from him while trying to figure out how to take him out is a really cinematic experience or at least it was for me and next do you remember that tower I mentioned before without spoiling too much it has a red phantom enemy within it now usually red phantom enemies are the worst enemy you can fight they move cancel they have seemingly infinite stamina but in the DLC they did a really good job with them the red phantom fights are actually a highlight because of their AI and the best example of this is mal drawn the assassin who Im sure you will become fairly familiar with if youve played the game Im not going to spoil this one for people so lets just say that he fights like a regular player would and regular players usually fight like scumbags at the bottom of this tower is an item with significant throwbacks to Dark Souls 1 and speaking of the law one thing I can say is that while the sunken crown story was fairly self-contained and separate from the main story of Dark Souls 2 the iron crown DLC includes a ton of links to the rest of the game in particular the story of the old iron king so Im looking forward to covering that in the next few days well conclude on the bosses there is one optional boss thats a reskin above previous boss one optional great boss that has one of the coolest environments to fight in and Im convinced that the mandatory boss fight is the hardest fight in Dark Souls 2 to date so this a few times now but if youre looking for a challenge this DLC has it I mean I spent about an hour or two on this boss and thats significantly more time I spent than on any other boss my major criticism of this DLC and the previous DLC is the so-called coop areas that are supposedly more difficult because theyre intended to be fought in coop with other players now I like this concept but I think theyre being really lazy in their execution of this concept so far in these coop areas weve only seen long stretches crammed with twice the amount of enemies with no real thought as to their placement or the way a small group of players will interact with them from school with these areas is to counter how easy summoning makes the game I get that I hate how easy summoning makes the game and adding more enemies achieves that goal yeah it does but it sure as hell doesnt make it fun design which leaves me wondering why did they even bother instead of adding a bunch of enemies from should create ways for multiple phantoms to feel like theyre contributing or create ways for different phantoms to fulfill different roles for example what if one member of your party needed to carry an item through the level that attracted enemies to him and stopped him from being able to attacked and everyone else in your party had to protect him what if every member of your party needed to prove themselves worthy of co-op by taking out a mini-boss one-on-one what if there was some sort of reward for killing the most enemies in your group these ideas took me the best part of five minutes to think up and Im really disappointed that Fromm didnt have the time or the motivation to put some thought into enhancing these co-op sections because like I said the idea is really good but the execution has been terrible in the last two DLCs and that is something I really hope changes so to sum up these co-op areas if youre going to create co-op areas then you need to introduce new mechanics that make use of having multiple players not just a bunch more enemies for me and my friends to beat on but that is my only gripe really with the DLC so far I honestly think that from software has taken a lot of criticisms for Dark Souls 2 on board and I think theyve shown they still have the capacity to craft experiences that rank alongside the best that the series has to offer but what did you think of the DLC like I mentioned before Ive got a dropo below that you can vote in so just like all the review sites out there you can attribute an arbitrary score of how good you thought the DLC was and I did this because you know my opinion isnt the only one thats important I really want to see what you guys think and I know that people value the opinions of the masses as well so check out that straw poll and thats it feel free to rate the video and Ill catch you guys in the next one which 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