The black sheep of the Dark Souls family still shines
In the Dark Souls universe, the second game of the trilogy definitely gets the most flak. And while the game has major issues within the universe and several offshoots within the core game play, it still can be an enjoyable experience for Souls’ fans.
Set sometime after the original Dark Souls (and no, the story is not any more accessible than in the first game. If anything, it’s less), Dark Souls 2 sets you up as someone trying to eradicate the Undead curse. Maybe. Or maybe you just like to kill lots of ridiculously huge things. Again, the story and world, while rich and deep, take a lot of effort to unravel.
Combat in Dark Souls 2 leans even more towards patience than the original, with a large number of your enemies coming from a more realistic looking stock of soldiers than in the previous game. While there are still enormous things to kill, you will be facing more knights and knight offshoots than Gaping Dragons. And while the combat is still at times frantic and always engaging, seeing more people in elaborate armor does get tiresome once in a while.
The weapon selection in Dark Souls 2 is even more impressive than in the original, however. While spells are largely unchanged, physical weapons are more numerous and entertaining. There are more two handed weapons and weapon types than in Dark Souls, and each one feels unique with its moveset and attack patterns.
The multiplayer interactions remain the same as in the previous installment (‘Try Jumping’ apparently never gets old to some people). Invasions are still a real threat, and there are still people willing to lend a hand slaying that big thing that just pounded your face into the pavement for the twentieth time.
In the end, Dark Souls 2, while largely considered inferior to its predecessor, is still Dark Souls. If you enjoyed the first game, you will not be disappointed by the end of this one. You might get frustrated at dying, though. That has not changed a bit.
Justin enjoys most games. He is currently learning the ins and outs of competitive modern Magic while enjoying all sorts of other gaming mediums, assuming he can find the spare time.