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I want the old N4G back.
CRank: 5Score: 0

User Review : Dark Souls 2

Ups
  • Stability to framerate
  • Scenic open areas
Downs
  • Dumbed down difficulty
  • Level design lacks overall creativity
  • Bosses are pushovers

Prepare to die......less.

Demon's Souls broke ground introducing one of the hardest games in a time where everything seems to simplified. Dark Souls built upon that foundation and created a more maniacal experience. Dark Souls 2 deviates from this path as they try to gain new fans by making it more accessible. New comers to the series may find challenge since they don't know what to expect, but as a fan of the previous two installments, Dark Souls 2 is without a doubt the easiest of trio.

The challenge is something that really attracted me to the series since its unlike anything else out on the market. It's difficult but not in a cheesy way, it has masterfully, well thought out levels that has you cautiously peaking around every corner, and enemies that are intimidating to look at. Everything mentioned above is severely lacking in Dark Souls 2, and this alone really hurts the game in my eyes. To make the game more accessible, they dumbed down everything. Enemies look intimidating and great, but once you conquer them you'll realize how much of a pushover they are. In Dark Souls a lot of enemies had surprise attacks and one hit kills, but not in this addition. There really aren't any surprises and it doesn't punish your mistakes. And no Souls' game felt cheesy when I died, however there were numerous times where I am clearly out of the attack range but I somehow get hit that results in my demise. Even the amount of HP you lose is more forgiving since is doesn't decrease by half when you die.

Now you can amp up the difficulty of you're looking for a greater challenge but From Software did this backwards. You can join covenant that increases the overall difficulty, you get these items that can be burned in a bonfire that makes enemies tougher, and you can equip rings that make you more noticeable. For me to get that challenge I have to go out of my way to seek it. This is how the game should have been out of the case, and have those looking for an easier time jump through hoops. But even that wouldn't fix the less sadistic level design (with the exception of 2 levels). There are not many traps, ambushes, pits, or overall cleverness. Drangleic felt massive and the open areas looked fantastic with beautifully artistic back drops, but everything in between looked bland and could've used some more decor. Even leveling up easier because it requires less souls to do so. Plus the amount of souls you gain seems to be on the high side. The change in difficulty is written in every facet of the games mechanics and its very disappointing.

I know I'm tearing into the game a bit but it isn't all bad. It plays exactly like Souls'in how you progress, do combat, and its online interactions. The new engine increases the stability of the performance making the frame rate issues much improved, and the targeting system works. The lighting is nice and the textures are sharp. Online has some cool new features that have you spar with the same covenant if you belong to the Blue Sentinels, or another one that summons other players into a freakish death trap if you belong to Rat King. With those additions though, they foolishly limited the number of Red Eye Orbs (which allows you to invade other players), which in turn makes the new Blue Eye Orb (allows you to invade the guilty) useless. I am a big fan of being invaded because it creates such an uneasy feeling, and when you end up slaying the wimpy invader the sense of relief and triumph is very satisfying. The lack of invading was an issue in DS1 and has sadly gotten worse in DS2.

The game does retain some of its form with a very flexible leveling up system that caters to your style. The ability to upgrade weapons, armors and shields. Magic like sorceries, pyromancies, miracles and the newly included dark magic, Hexes. I spent nearly 80 hours on my first play through so it will definitely keep you busy, and has hours and hours of more play time for the biggest of fans. It's not a bad game by any means but it seems to be losing touch with its Soul and starting to turn Hollow.

Score
8.0
Graphics
Open areas like beautiful with its artistic back drops, but everything else looks quite bland.
8.0
Sound
The boss themes are nice, but the real magic comes from the uncomfortable ambience that makes room for enemy moans and groans.
6.5
Gameplay
The games MO is the challenge but by trying to make it more accessible it has hurt the difficulty, as its evident in every facet of the game.
7.0
Fun Factor
It plays like a Souls' game and it is still an enjoyable experience. But it's definitely the worst in the series and somewhat forgettable.
8.0
Online
They done some interesting things with the covenants, and messages frequently get rated. PvP still isn't where it should be however, but it's better.
Overall
7.0
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smashman98842d ago

I disagree with your review the game plays better than the last 2 for sure and like you said for true souls fans there are many ways to make it even harder and much harder at that you said out of your way? The covenant you join to make the game harder is literally available within the first half hour of play. No traps? Or surprises? How bou the pursuer being dropped on you before you even fight your first boss or turning a corner and being blasted by balistas or opening a chest and being decimated by a trap. And no clever design!? Mirror knight wants a word with you.

Number-Nine842d ago

The point is that the gsme shouldn't require you to increase the difficulty because that it was the series is about. I shouldn't have to do these things to get the challenge I want.

Also, you can't join other covenants if you want the challenge all the way through, and so you can't summon phantoms either. Thats a big chunk of the DS2 experience you'll miss out on.

And you mention the Mimic chests. DS1 had 9 scattered throughout. DS2 has 5.

The Pursuer is totally avoidable. So thats moot.

And what about the Mirror Knight? A pushover boss.

And I said level design wasn't clever. And it's not. I never that there werent any of the things mentioned. The problem is that there arent nearly enough.

randomass171831d ago

I get the feeling that it's meant to be easier for hardened players while newcomers are going to get slaughtered. Like so, allow me to present Mr. Potato Sack Rider. https://www.youtube.com/wat...

Steelmanner829d ago

I find your argument really confusing. You ridicule the game for searching for a broader audience by making it easier, but I fail to see the "easy" factor that this game supposedly comes with. Although i will agree that it is the easiest of the three soul games, by no means is it a "push-over." I have played both souls games and I found a good challenge in the regular game of Dark souls II without any difficulty multipliers.

Plus you are upset that you have to put a little effort into making it harder for "seasoned" talent. To me this sounds like you are either looking for issues in the game, or are just lazy.

I will agree that the level design is less creative then dark souls, but understand the issues that dark souls suffered from as a result. They tried to make it a smoother game by making it less dynamic, but yes they did lack in the design aspect.

Lastly I can see where you are coming from by saying that the invasions have drifted away, but I have experienced the opposite. In the time i spent with Dark souls II I was invade on many occasions, and I myself invaded many times as well. Limiting the orbs was a bit confusing, but I wouldn't say it demolished the invasion aspect, because it is definitely there.

Lastly, I don't think your 6.5 is quite right for Game-play. The better targeting system makes it much smoother. Improvement in blocking has made it a better option. Losing less health on death allows you to get back on track quicker. Enemies were very frightening and many packed a punch. You obviously had some issues with enemies hitting outside their range, but both of the other souls had that issue as well. Also, I'm not sure the enemies you were fighting became push-overs, you probably just learned how to fight them.

Overall I can clearly see were you are coming from on many of your ideas. However many of the thing criticized seems a bit petty, and situational. I bet you have put a lot of time into this and i'm sure you died hundreds of times. Sure it has a few small issues, but I believe this was an improvement for the souls series, and I think that the game deserves a bit more credit than you have given it.

P.S. I apologize for any spelling mistakes I'm terrible at spelling.

codergames840d ago

I see you fixed most of the errors, will vote the approval now. I'm not sure if you two are arguing about something important, but the review is usually a subjective opinion of one individual player and his experience with the game, so all I can do is vote for approval despite the fact that other players disagree with the opinion. Those other players can always write their own reviews of the same game.

newflesh840d ago

I agree on level design being inferior to past Souls games. Also the art style is lacking. Nothing as grand and atmospheric as Anor Londo or Boletaria Palace

Number-Nine838d ago

I agree. Anor Londo, Blighttown, Boletaria, Valley of Defilement, and Tower of Latria are so memorable. I didn't get nearly the same vibes from any of the levels in DK2.

imtheman2013838d ago

Dragon Aerie? I thought that that was easily one of the most memorable locations in the Souls series... oozing with artistic style. Not to mention Majula, Things Betwixt, Sinner's Rise, and many other great locations.

newflesh838d ago

@imtheman2013
To me Dragon Aerie felt artificial, it didn't feel like a real place. And all those bridges, what the hell are they for? Don't think dragons use them. Just broke sense of disbielief. But still it was the most interesting place artstyle wise

g-nome840d ago

The best souls game yet for me. A masterpiece. 100hrs now.

BiggCMan839d ago

200 hours, a platinum trophy....and definitely not the best game, sorry. It's still a kick ass game no doubt, it's rare to see a game filled with so much content where it doesn't need DLC at all, something so complete like the series always has been.

But there's just something about it, I can't pinpoint it for some reason, that's just not as good as Dark Souls and Demon's Souls. Both games were such masterpieces, they are perfect games, and that is something I only reserve for Metal Gear normally.

I didn't feel this way with 2, but it was still really good. I don't think it's the difficulty being less, but again I just can't pinpoint it for some reason.

Hell there are loads of improvements such as PvP connections, much better magic, and other things. But idk, it just didn't feel as epic, not NEARLY as epic.

A really boring final boss fight, nothing really memorable like Anor Londo and Ornstein and Smough. They will forever go down as one of the most outstanding boss battles in history. I got none of that with 2 and it's a shame.

randomass171831d ago

200 hours? Dang, where do you even begin to get that much time to play games? o_O

Chxii831d ago

@randomass171
I'm 170+ hours with a platinum

cpayne93822d ago

I didn't even get hit by the final boss, first try. The bosses and environments just felt much more bland and uninspired than Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. The way the stones and upgrades were done wasn't as good this game, but the main problem with this game is the atmosphere. Just didn't lead me to want to expolore the worlds the same way the precious games had.

For me, Demon's Souls > Dark Souls > Dark Souls 2.

DoctorJones840d ago (Edited 840d ago )

I've been getting invaded more and more in late game, and Red Eye Orbs can be won by duels in Undead Purgatory. So obviously it's not nearly as much of a problem as you make it out to be.

Besides that I pretty much disagree with everything else you accuse DS2 of being, I think it's on par with DS and DkS and surpasses them in many ways. The way NG+ is implemented is far more interesting now, and Company of Champions gives me another reason to play through as well.

If I wanted to go through all the points I disagree with in this review I'd be here all day, so I'll just leave it at that.

OmegaShen839d ago

lol on par, I have made two characters on Dark Souls 2 an fly through it. I been using alot of those items at the bonfire to up how hard it is, so far it hasn't came close to being hard like Demon's Souls.

I even went back to Demon's Souls to relive it, an yes its much harder. No flask, no bonfire. Just long walks to your death. Even gets harder when the world turns pure black.

DoctorJones839d ago

Demons Souls isn't harder at all, stop with the bs. No flask? Yeah, just loads of grass to chew, which is much quicker to take as well. And you don't need bonfires when you can just choose the level and starting point. What difference does it make? None.

I've played all the games extensively and they all have hard points and easy points.

OmegaShen838d ago

All lol, Dark Souls 2 you just need to be close to the bosses feet, close to something keeping the boss apart from you and thats it. Boss isn't smart to stop falling for it.

You must be a noob if you think this game is hard, I betting you haven't even max your level out on the last two?

DoctorJones838d ago

There's not much more involved when it comes to many Demons Souls and Dark Souls bosses, don't know why you think there is. And noob comments are usually made by nobs, so that seems about right.

I played through Demons Souls a few months ago and zipped through it. I love the game, but it's not hard at all really. None of the games are when you're used to them.

You just seem to have a warped sense of difficulty, or just a biased one. I don't know.

Dark Souls 2 is just as good as the other games though, I do know that.

OmegaShen838d ago

No, Dark Souls 2 is worst. Its a dumb down copy of the first one, Dark Souls 1 and Demon's Souls both have things respawn (unlike 2). An now with patch 1.03, game just got even more easy.

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