DARK SOULS II RRP: $ 89 ( Reviewed on PlayStation 3)
FANS of the first Dark Souls – and
Demon Souls before that – will know all too well its unforgiving difficulty level and the countless times your character gets killed. This earned it critical praise with hardcore gamers.
This follow- up action role- playing game plays out much like the original, in that you start out by creating and customising your character. You choose their physical features, gender and the type of class they will be, such as a warrior, swordsman, cleric or sorcerer. Each class is skilled in different abilities and uses different weapons, which brings plenty of variety to the gameplay.
The lightweight storyline sees you needing to free yourself from a curse, but really this is just the vehicle for collecting the souls of each enemy you take down along the way.
The variety of locations you travel through have a Lord of the Rings feel about them and they all look stunning.
The free- roaming environments and combat arenas have been well designed and each new area you come across is different to the last.
A noticeable improvement on the previous game is the cast of friendly characters you meet along the way. Each has a story to tell and the voice acting is surprisingly good. Some will also offer useful items that can be used later in the game. The key to succeeding in Dark
Souls II is keeping a cool head and picking your battles wisely. Most enemies and bosses have a specific weakness and attack pattern which you must figure out before you can defeat them.
This is where the multiple deaths come in, as you try different techniques until one finally succeeds.
Naturally, the further you progress the tougher the battles, so you must continually improve your character. Depending on the class you chose at the beginning of the game, you’ll be able to upgrade skills and spells, plus purchase better weapons and shields.
Dark Souls II doesn’t stray far from the hunt and gather formula, but for anyone that thinks video games are way too easy these days, this franchise is here to set you straight.