With From Software’s sequel to the grim Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, launching soon, gamers may get a bit… frightened. After playing the first one, I told myself that I will be prepared for the sequel, but here I am, trembling in both excitement but also fear, as I know that nothing could prepare me for the journey I am about the embark upon. Those of you who have played other Souls games in the past know what I’m talking about, but if you’re a total newcomer – you’re in for a treat. So I thought that it would be a good idea to highlight the title’s qualities and also its flaws, mostly about what has changed compared to the previous game in the series.
A VERY good thing is that now you can heal while walking. True, it will be a very slow walk, and the healing items will take a while to consume (not to mention that they’re a bit scarce) but at least you’ll be moving while doing it. This, in my opinion, is an amazing feature, I don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve died in the previous game because of my character halting while healing. And this way is more realistic as well, no one in their right mind, no legendary warrior or overpowered wizard would stop for a couple of seconds in order to eat some grass while fighting a hideous gigantic armored pig.
Another good feature, although it’s more of a fix than a feature, is the ragdoll physics improvement. I’m talking about the way a dead foe’s body reacts to your character’s movement. You may have stumbled upon some occasions where fallen enemies would just stick to your feet and you find yourself running with dead wolves attached to you. Well, no more of those hilarious moments now. You may think that this isn’t such a great thing, worthy of this list, but I found this problem to be very annoying and distracting, especially when in combat.
Most enemies will stop respawning after they have been killed several times. Now this, oh… this. This feature tastes so sweet I could just get diabetes. Probably one of the most frustrating things in Dark Souls was the fact that all enemies (except bosses) respawned every time you would go back to the bonfire, whether you died or you traveled between them. So if you were to die in the middle of a map you would have to start from the beginning, fighting the same sons of bitches all over again. But now, after a number of defeats, they will not respawn any more, at least not all of them. ‘tis one of the best things ever!
Finally, the last good feature (of this list! There are more, but not so worthy of mentioning) is that players will now have three left-hand and right-hand weapon slots per character, which means that it will allow for more versatile weapon builds. I think it’s a sweet feat, for the world of Dark Souls is filled with all kinds of strange and interesting weapons and this will allow players to personalize their fighting style with much more detail and variety.
Now, for the bad things. Uuhhh… there are none. Seriously, I really don’t know what to write here. I mean, the Souls saga has been incredibly difficult and frustrating and annoying, the pajama-tearing, controller-smashing, hair-pulling type of games, but this adds to the satisfaction. I even think that Dark Souls 2 has gone softer that the last one, proven the features mentioned above, but not much softer anyway. And that’s good. You see, From Software created a game where they can literally change everything in order to make it more difficult and it still wouldn’t turn up to be a bad game. Players have already set their minds to this, they already know it’s going to be terrible and painful, so there is nothing that could make them say “oh, I can’t believe the bastards did that, it makes the game too difficult, I’m just going to give it a bad review and sell this motherf***er”. It’s never going to happen, instead they will say “oh, I can’t believe the bastards did that, it makes the game too difficult, I could make love to it right now and here, it’s the best”.
And apart from the difficulty, they changed nothing that could be interpreted as a downgrade. It has a new engine, which means better graphics, it is still a huge and vast open world, the online component did not change to anything worse and they certainly did not eliminate some of the great elements from the previous games, a rare thing these days where developers change things that should remain unchanged.
Dark Souls 2 is set for release on March 11 for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 and April 25 for PC.