Look, Elden Ring is possibly still years away, which means Souls pan on PC could be in the center of a very long wait for much more brutally difficult FromSoftware goodness. The perfect remedy because that this restlessness? Revisiting the dark horse of the Souls trilogy: Dark Souls 2.

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I know this is going to be tough, however deep down you understand that Dark Souls is a deeply flawed game in places. Blighttown, the Depths, shed Izalith, dig of Giants, and also (glorious architecture aside) Anor Londo room all just horrendous slogs the you have to endure. I don’t have to define the an initial three, you probably currently harbour a deep hatred for them, born of curse-spewing frogs and also falling to your death. Dig of Giants is bad because the just thing that renders the area complicated is that there’s no light. That’s no a challenge, that’s bullshit.

Anor Londo is slightly much more contentious, since it’s gorgeous and Ornstein and Smough space rightly related to as one of the ideal duo ceo fights around. But even if you offer a pass to the dodgy rafter sequence, which has no location in a ‘tough yet fair’ Souls game, you’re still left v a Titanite Demon crammed right into a tiny chapel and the pair of silver- Knight archers through magical homing arrows. Again, not fair challenges, simply nonsense.


Apart native the previously mentioned dynamic duo, Sif, and pretty much any kind of boss from the DLC, I have some stern words because that the boss fights, too. Girlfriend fight the Asylum Demon three times, girlfriend have to die to Seath and potentially shed a heap of souls (unless you recognize ahead of time come equip a protective ring), the autumn to get in the Gravelord Nito fight have the right to literally kill you, the Capra Demon is simply a brawl in a phone booth, and then you’ve gained the Bed that Chaos, i beg your pardon you have the right to only to win by platforming in a game with some of the worst platforming mechanics of all time. The 4 Kings space a DPS check, Pinwheel is a joke, and even the final boss, Gwyn, is a wimp once you know how to parry. Friend can even cheesehim with hefty armour and also you’ll see the credits role in no time.

None of this is newinformation, ns know, and I promise I’m not here to rip ~ above Dark Souls for fun – it’s still a good game, just not perfect. My allude is: it’s baffling thatwe’ve collectively given Dark Souls a free passfor many of the same concerns that Dark Souls 2 washeavily criticised because that at launch.

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As in that predecessor, boss style in Dark Souls 2 isn’t perfect. There are a most easy bosses and also ganky enemies, and also only a grasp of to mark battles choose Fume Knight, Darklurker, and Sir Alonne –and yes, it’s a little tedious that so numerous of this game’s best bosses are knights. But the DLC extend – bundled through Scholar that the first Sin – provide us one of the best dragon fights in the series with Sinh, and some terrific mechanics in the burnt Ivory King boss fight.And this bosses deserve to be made a tiny easieras Dark Souls 2 lets youpermanently clear enemies on an overwhelming boss runs by killing them sufficient times. Alternatively, if you’re ~ a tougher difficulty there room a few ways of increasing the challenge in enhancement to NG+. All of these are enhancements on the original for i m sorry Dark Souls 2 doesn’t get enough credit.


Majula is up there with the best reveals in videogame history


The same can be said of the aesthetic. Whereby Dark Souls is dark and also gloomy throughout, just breaking upthe drab greys and also browns for a quick spell in Anor Londo, Dark Souls 2 gives you some of the series’ many visually arresting locations, favor Dragon Shrine, Drangleic Castle, and also Majula, the last of i m sorry is up there with the finest reveals in videogame history. You arise from the uncompromising tutorial into a gorgeous seaside village that’s permanently illuminated through a half-set sun.

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Instead the a cavalcade that miserable ghosts moping approximately feeling sorry for themselves, Majula is home to a much an ext lively crew – sure, there room a couple of sulkers below as well, but there’s also a cat. Indeed, the NPCs in Dark Souls 2 are a marked improvement all around. Ns love Solaire and Siegmeyer (who doesn’t?), however most of the NPCs in the very first Dark Souls aren’t all that interesting. Dark Souls 2 has actually a substantial cast, andthey’re allworth gaining to know. Take Lucatiel that Mirrah, a noblewarriorwho, favor yourself, is battling with Drangleic to save herself native hollowing. As your paths cross you an alert she’s progressively weary and also forlorn, her storage is obtaining hazy, and also eventually she ends up forgetting everything yet her own name. It’s heartbreaking.


Dark Souls 2"s amount over quality technique doesn"t constantly work, however it definitely makes PvP better


You’ve likewise got Maughlin the Armourer, who starts off shy and also reserved, and also becomes significantly cocky the an ext you buy native him. Climate there’s imperial Sorcerer Navlaan, a character that will either send you on assassination searches or hunt friend down and also kill you depending on how you connect with him. Wheeler dealer Gavlan offers plenty the comic relief, and also you also get a healthy dose that bizarre in the form of Vengarl, a talkative head who jobs you v finding and defeating his headless body. Someof Dark Souls’ NPCs have amazing backstories, but as they’re greatly revealed in item explanation it’s daunting to really attach with any kind of of them.

However, the biggest area of improvement is in Dark Souls 2’s gameplay. Whereas the combat in the first game is slow and you’re quite limited in regards to viable personality builds, Dark Souls 2’s strength stance mechanicexpandsyour choices by including some terrible movesets for dual-wielders. Power stance additionally extends come mages by including some distinctive spell effects, and also the result is develop diversity that much exceeds what’s possible in the very first game. Additionally, you have actually to regulate stamina more carefully in combat, backstabs are lot harder to exploit, and there’s a weapon in Dark Souls 2 referred to as the Bone Fist that provides you the capacity to execute Hadouekens. Therefore that’s pretty awesome.

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Dark Souls 2’s amount over quality method might not job-related out because that its ceo fights or the number of poison level you encounter, but it definitely makes the PvP more interesting and adds many of replay value for players who love trying out with weird builds.

Read more: The finest games prefer Dark Souls ~ above PC

Everything gels with each other a bit far better in the sequel, and while itshares countless of the original’s flaws, it enhances on the series’ main point gameplay in important ways. Not only is Dark Souls 2 bigger, it’s full of more interesting characters, weapons, and also areas.There are so many much more toys come play with when you start up a fresh Dark Souls 2 run, and also it’s crucial to appreciate that once news of theElden Ring release datestill seems so distant.

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Anyway, I’m turn off to begin a brand-new playthrough now, maybe with a dual-shield faith build.


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