Praise the Sun: Dark Souls 2 Review

A sequel that is everything a hardcore fan can ask for... and more.
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Dark Souls was a brutally hard game; it punished your overconfidence and forced you to adapt to a world that did not welcome your presence.

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However, it awarded your patience and your determination. The game never cheated you, but it trained you to get better through brute force. But what the game did better than anything else was give you the greatest sense of reward and accomplishment. The game received worldwide critical acclaim with a large fan base to boot.

Can Dark Souls 2 live up to the hype,continue the challenge, and be the true successor fans are hoping for?

New world, new adventure

One of the concerns for Dark Souls 2 was the difficulty. With developer From Software trying to make Dark Souls 2 easier for new players to jump in, old fans worried that the difficulty would be toned down as a result.

Well, I can assure you that this is not the case. Not only is Dark Souls 2 difficult, but its more difficult than its ever been.

The world of Drangleic is around the same size as Lordran from the first game. However, the areas within feel different. One minute you’re in a dark ominous cave where your torch casts creepy shadows along the old dusty walls. The next you’re on the top of a tower fighting an epic boss as a storm clashes over head.

The monsters in the game look like they came straight out of your worst nightmares. Each of the enemies’ designs also reflect their behaviours and personalities. The world of Dark Souls 2 has such an impressive look that you may find yourself taking it slow to admire dark yet truly imaginative style.


Dark Souls 2 has the same incredibly difficult action RPG style gameplay that was found in its predecessor. You’ll explore an open environment at the pace you want, and fight increasingly challenging monsters that will test your skill and wit.

There’s no set order to what areas you’ll explore first; where you go is up to you and your skills. If enemies in one area are too challenging, you can go level up in another area and come back. Backtracking is easier this time around, with fast travel being unlocked right at the beginning of the game between any bonfire. Which is great since the only place where you can level up is in one of the starting areas.

Challenge is everything

Like I said before, though, Dark Souls 2 takes its challenging gameplay to the next level. This time dying has even more consequences. If you die in this game you lose all your souls and your humanity like before. Souls are what you use to level up and buy new weapons and equipment. Humanity is what keeps you human, and without it you’re left in a weakened state.

However, in Dark Souls 2 dying also decreases your max HP–the more you die, the more your overall health bar shrinks. The only way to restore your health and humanity back is by consuming an item called Human Effigy, which is not as common as humanity was in the first game.

The enemies in the game are also more aggressive, parrying and backstabbing more often than they did in the previous game. This makes every enemy encounter tense and exciting, and every victory rewarding and gratifying.

However, while dying is sad, it can also be beneficial. When you die, you learn enemy placements and strategies, and you can die on purpose while running past enemies to get an item they’re guarding. While death is punishing, it can also be a tool to help you get through the game if you know how to use it.

Multiplayer is back in Dark Souls 2, and gives you two ways to use it. Help or hinder others. You can summon or be summoned to help other players take down brutal challenges, or be a little mischievous and invade other players games to assassinate them.

Summons are a nice way to interact with others while also getting some much-needed help. However, if you sign into the internet, be warned. Over the course of the game you’ll most likely get invaded a few times. This adds more danger to an already tense experience, and invaders can come out of nowhere and at the worst times.

Final Thoughts

Dark Souls 2 is a worthy sequel that improves and expands on what made the original such a treasure. Fans who worried about the game being easier can rest assured that Dark Souls 2 is one of the hardest games ever. Even someone who played Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls like myself will find plenty of death throughout their journey.

If you loved the original, then Dark Souls 2 is a must own. If you missed Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls, now is the perfect time to jump into this wondrous nightmare. With tons of re-playability and a strong fan base that will support the online play, Dark Souls 2 has plenty of content to satisfy. 

Praise the Sun: Dark Souls 2 Review
A sequel that is everything a hardcore fan can ask for... and more.

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Gamer for life. I love all genres of games. I listen to every genre of music especially Katy Perry. I love pizza as much as I love games. Superman/Supergirl super fan. Chinchilla lover.Komodo dragons and tickling are my weaknesses. Have spent 1000 hours in Skyrim and DCUO (don't tell my mom). I am the Walking Dead!