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CRank: 5Score: 183510

User Review : Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King

  • Plenty of Opportunities for PvP (More of a neutral point)
  • Reasonable length for DLC
  • Challenging Boss Fights
  • Slow Beginning
  • Lackluster Level Design
  • Imbalanced Enemy Encounters

Prepare to Die. More.

Dark Souls II has been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of reception: some people would say the level designers need to be hit with a rake, others would call it a rightful successor to Demon's Souls given some of the mechanics (i.e., leveling up through an overseer of your actions). Recently, From Software started releasing their DLC missions: Crown of the Sunken King, Crown of the Old Iron King, and soon, Crown of the Ivory King. Each of these missions (so far) have had their own hooks to try to pull you in. What IS the sunken city? Who was Alonne? The DLC wastes no time in answering questions you may have had about the lore of the game, hoping Crown of the Ivory King ties up remaining loose ends nicely. So how exactly IS Crown of the Old Iron King? Let's see...

*I should add that this review is, obviously, my personal interpretations of the game and am not trying to pass my impressions onto any potential readers in an objective manner. Pretty obvious, but this IS N4G. ;)


Crown of the Old Iron King dials back on the chaos of the Sunken King in some ways, but compensates in others. While you won't be getting assaulted on all sides as you did in Sunken King, Old Iron King puts you against slower, but more powerful opponents. The optional boss fight might actually be out of reach for players with certain builds so if you don't have a soul vessel, you might want to recruit some people for co-op. Otherwise, the main boss fights are pretty solid, particularly the last one needed to clear the DLC.


Dark Souls II has always been a little ugly in comparison to the original, but that aside, the level design is a lot better in the DLC than it was in the main game. Old Iron King has branching paths, but not in a way that works against you. Unfortunately, the level design is also a little boring. It works well and better than the main game, but Old Iron King's level design just feels uninspired. By this, I mean it feels like you've done it before, completely. It feels too familiar.


Combat being the staple of the Souls series, it works in Old Iron King as well as it works in Dark Souls II, so make of that what you will. As I mentioned before, the encounters can be brutal, and one thing about all Souls DLC so far is the apparent lack of balance with regard to enemies. I will say it is more balanced than Sunken King, but it relies on you being more clever and meticulous than skilled. Some encounters would overwhelm even the best Souls players and force them to hit and run or use up arrows/magic from a distance.

Replay Value:

Compared to the main game, I found Old Iron King to be forgettable. Granted, I'll still play it whenever I'm on a new Dark Souls II playthrough, but that's the completionist in me talking and not the guy who plays From Software's Souls titles for fun. I'll say it's moderate.

Passable, but the game does still come off as ugly when compared to the original Dark Souls. It does hold up against Dark Souls II's main game graphics, though.
Another passable feature, the sound is nothing to get excited about or hate. It kind of just is.
This being Dark Souls II, gameplay mechanics are the best they've ever been in the series, giving you one less thing to blame on the game when you die, and you will be spending an awful lot of time doing that.
Fun Factor
More than okay, but not great. I love a challenge and always play my games on the hardest difficulty the first time around, but the degree of frustration from some enemies makes the combat feel imbalanced.
The online works well, but if it's your first play through, you might want to do yourself a favor and play offline. In my experience, Crown of the Old Iron King is a very popular spot to be invaded and in the worst places when faced with semi-immortal opponents.
DarkOcelet3577d ago

I am still holding out on this until the last DLC hits the stores then i am going to start playing the game . Hopefully the DLC is easier in NG because i thought .NG+ difficulty in Dark Souls 1 is effin high . But it was still awesome

DarXyde3576d ago

Thanks for reading!

When Sunken King dropped, I had the Platinum trophy which took me about 3 playthroughs. Keep in mind that the difficulty increase from NG to NG+ is the most substantial, with NG++, etc. tapering off. I would probably beat it twice first or not at all when jumping into the DLC. Artorias, Manus, and ESPECIALLY Kalameet wrecked me in Dark Souls' Artorias of the Abyss DLC (which was amazing), and I was on maybe my 5th or 6th play? Other day, I ran through the DLC on a new file and, although Manus and Artorias still beat the daylights out of me, Kalameet went down in one try. After several playthroughs, Kalameet was the biggest pain, so I'd say use your discretion.

Hope that helps. I have yet to download Ivory King, but the first 2 DLC's don't hold a candle to Artorias in my opinion.

DarkOcelet3575d ago

Artorias was really hard , i played it on .NG+ because i got the DLC later but still it was really good and what do you think is the best build in Dark Souls 2 since they nerfed the mage build ? And i heard that Dark Souls 2 is easier than DK1 . Hopefully not so easier .

DarXyde3575d ago

In my experience, Dark Souls II is easier in the sense that combat works better, it's easier to level up, and the weapons have greater variety. It's easier to find your place and build.

As far as build, the mage build has been nerfed as you mentioned but you can still do a lot of damage with crystal magicks. I don't recommend cumbersome builds because you'll get destroyed in PvP pretty quickly. If you ask me, a magic build still works, but use the moonlight greatsword and a parrying shield so you have magic, a strong weapon, and high defense through parrying.

2748d ago
solderman2748d ago

I'd rather have a new original game that stands on its own like Demon's Souls and Bloodborne.

KimikoGaming2747d ago

Despite being widely considered the worst souls game, Dark Souls 2 easily has the best DLC by far.


Review: Dark Souls II: Crown Of The Old Iron King | Controller Crusade

Wes from Controller Crusade reviews the second DLC pack for Dark Souls II

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Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King review - Polygon

"Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King disturbed me with its difficulty.

Even in a franchise bathed in brutality, the second installment in developer From Software's downloadable content trilogy contains the most punishing hours I've ever experienced in the action role-playing series. Unlike its predecessor, Crown of the Sunken King, it focuses not on changing the environment through puzzles but on surviving the environment itself. In that sense, it is a return to the formula established by the original Dark Souls, where astute players can use the quirks of the world to their advantage."