When Dark Souls came out in 2011 its success was somewhat out of the blue. When a game as hard as Dark Souls achieved the status of one of the most popular games of all time, creating a real fandom, many game developers were baffled. One of the main principles of the new world of gaming was that popular games were highly accessible and not too difficult. Probably the best description for Dark Souls was the relative metaphor – the usual commercially successful games are like the nice grandma that feeds you sweets and generally spoils you, while Dark Souls is the drunk uncle that shoves you into the pool and comes back after a few hours to check if he’s got to call the police.
This is why when Dark Souls 2 was ready to emerge many feared that the game would be made easier in order to attract a larger audience. Well, rest assured, you will have to learn to swim the hard way. What every player experiences in the game, especially over the first few hours of play (the game offers 60 hours of gameplay), is its sheer brutality. You will watch your hero be crushed, stomped upon, poisoned, be eaten alive, stabbed, fall, hit by magic missiles, and so on and so forth. It is really entertaining at some point to wonder how you will spectacularly die the next time. And most of the time you will still be surprised.
One of the major charms of the game is that it holds no narrative. You won’t have to save a damsel in distress or anything like that. You are just a lonely lost soul in a really savage world that is trying to survive. The player roams around the giant world of Dark Souls 2 finding new places and setting himself new challenges. There is really nothing to give you an initial direction or advise you where you should go. The best way to find out is by getting killed a few times until you realize that either you tactics or direction should be changed until you are good enough to face the foes and geographical hazards that are proving too much for you.
The graphics are again great and the monsters terrible, the landscape beautiful and the shadows dark. So if you are up to the great challenge that Dark Souls provides you can try it.