Dark Souls II

released on Mar 11, 2014

The unique old-school action rpg experience captivated imaginations of gamers worldwide with incredible challenge and intense emotional reward.
Dark Souls II brings the franchise’s renowned difficulty & gripping gameplay innovations to both single and multiplayer experiences.

Immerse yourself into mind-bending environments filled with new twisted monsters and deadly bosses that could only come from the imagination of from software. A wide range of threats will prey on human senses & phobias - auditory hallucinations, vertigo, acrophobia, etc.

Reviews View More

talvez seja pior que o primeiro mas tenho fé q n seja tão ruim assim

+ Feel of venturing into the unknown; strong atmosphere
+ Demanding difficulty and combat
+ Consistent level design compared to DS1
+ Better direction in progression; never lost
+ Fantastic DLC levels
+ Excellent performance in Scholar of First Sin (60 FPS!)

- Emphasis on mob encounters
- Some enemy placement feels like it wasn't thought out
- Healing system ruins careful balance

I neither understand why people hate this game so much nor do I understand why people love it so much

Idk sometimes I say to myself “it’s not too bad”

Dark Souls II's greatest strength and weakness is being a sequel to one of the most influential games of all time. The original Dark Souls is a classic that I've grown to respect more than love. I like Dark Souls. I love Dark Souls II.

Development of Dark Souls II was, to put it bluntly, hell. Like a lot of major projects in the video game industry, Dark Souls II suffered from mismanagement; it was a project that fell apart midway into its development, with key members of the team having to leave/join in order to salvage the follow-up to the 2011 hit.

If I'm being vague on the details, it's partially to save time, but mainly because it is hard to find details on what went down between the release of Dark Souls 1 and 2. All we know is what's available publicly, with the key detail that every Souls fan latches onto being this: Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of the original game, was not involved in Dark Souls II's development in any major capacity. The reason being he was making Bloodborne (his magnum opus imo).

I've spent two paragraphs describing all this history because it plays a key role into people's perception of Dark Souls II. In short, a little bit after release and for years afterwards, Dark Souls II was seen as the black sheep of the series (both the Souls series and the Soulsborne/Souls-like genre that spawned as a result of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls). Even before touching the game, people I follow on Twitter talk about Dark Souls II with little nuance: either it's an underrated gem that deserves its spot in the sunlight or a maligned mess that only contrarians would enjoy.

Well, one of my friends routinely calls me a hater for disliking a lot of mainstream art. Since I think Dark Souls II is a lot better than the first game, I guess I know where I stand in all this.

Yeah, the game isn't as polished as it could be. It can run like ass on an Xbox 360 sometimes, the loss of an interconnected map was something I initially missed, and the additions made as a result of the Scholar of the First Sin update are not that good (I think I like that DS2 originally had the one ending, and Vendrick is such a pain in the ass it dissuaded me from pursuing the alternate ending).

Where I disagree on are the biggest criticisms this game got at launch and over the years. "The game is sluggish and plays worse than the original" is only half-true. The game is a little bit worse to play and a little bit slower than Dark Souls 1. BUT, hear me out, the game compensates that (most of the time) by being a lot more balanced and fair compared to DS1. DS1 starts hard but turns into a cakewalk about halfway into the game, not to mention that its level design falls off a cliff towards the end. Dark Souls 2, for all its development troubles, sacrifices the non-linearity of Dark Souls 1 in order to provide the player with a much more intentional experience. Perhaps more out of necessity than original intent, Dark Souls II's linearity is not a fault but a strength. You know exactly what you need to do and where you need to go, with some areas providing just enough wiggle room to maintain the sense of exploration and wonder from the first game.

Where Dark Souls II shines the most in a way Dark Souls 1 did not is its narrative. Dark Souls 1 may be about the cycle of life and death, inherently interesting themes, but I wasn't motivated by the world itself. What few characters were present, with some exceptions, were whatever. As the game rolled credits, I was happy to be done with my journey, though any sense of closure or satisfaction was non-present. Mainly, who cares?

Dark Souls II is about answering that question. Why should I care about what's going on in the world? In Dark Souls 1, you were merely a vessel to be persuaded or manipulated by different forces in order to accomplish said forces objectives. In Dark Souls 2, the game is about you, the player, rather than the world and its few inhabitants.

Yet, I cared way more about the lives of these poor souls. Most characters you meet have their own little tales; they're trying their hardest to get by in this decaying husk of a kingdom. And as you progress you come to learn and/or understand that Dark Souls II is as much as a sequel to Dark Souls as it is a response to the reception of Dark Souls. For every right the game could've taken, it takes a left. The game knows that you've probably played the first game, so why not make things feel different? Why not get a little risky? A statement that's been lodged into my brain is this: a good game bounces away from the original work and produces something new while a bad sequel wallows in the original's shadow. I don't fully agree with the quote, especially when it applies to video games, but I believe it's apt for Dark Souls II.

I get that plenty of people still don't like Dark Souls II and that's fine. What I hope is that those people at least tried to meet the game on its own terms. Because I think Dark Souls II, even if you find it unenjoyable, is at least fascinating. And I also think it's one of the best games I've ever played. May update this later after I beat the DLC.