Dark Souls II is hard. Plain and simple, just as its predecessor caused rage amongst gamers through pure infuriating difficulty, this sequels looks set to blister you’re hands and smash your dreams to pieces.
Somehow though, thats just great. I throughly enjoyed being the whipping boy of Dark Souls many punishing enemies. Presenting a sequel to such a huge success of a game is indeed a difficult prospect that once faced the team at From Software. As with any sequel, you cant just repackage the same idea over and over while expecting critical success (some might agree considering the success of other franchises but lets leave that for another day) but if you go too wide of the mark and change it up more than needed, you risk losing the very fans who have shot your game to the top.
Thankfully From Software have done good and kept things familiar yet somehow making the next instalment feel refreshed. Visually Dark Souls 2 looks almost like its been rebuilt from the ground up, with character animation look much more detailed and smoother than our first encounter with the series, colours seem brighter and darks seem darker which is never a bad thing.
Boss battles are thankfully here to stay, with the main attraction at this years Eurogamer being the aptly named Mirror Knight, who towers above you in a blinding silver suit of armour, including a huge mirror as a shield all while controlling the power of lightning to burn you to a cinder should he so choose. Oh and then theres the mystery knight under his control, just incase you haven't had enough.
While watching others play as I eagerly awaited my turn, I thought of so many different tactics to end the knights reign of terror. My mind filled with thoughts of victory I eagerly stepped on, and within seconds died. The challenge is still there, every step I took I had to plan for as the Mirror Knight sent bolts of electricity my way while the mystery knight swung for the rafters to the side of me.
In the end I had to give up, defeated I slumped away, my twenty minutes up but I didn't feel too rough for losing to such a widely renown challenge. Such a challenge in fact that From Software were offering some pretty huge prizes to those who could best the Knight in their twenty minute slot, thats how convinced they were the game would best everyone by the best of the best.
From the time I had with Dark Souls II its clear that if you’re a fan of the series you’re going to love this and if you’re new to the series then you need to play this game. It will challenge you and suck you into its world full of rich lore and great stories to be had (if you are willing to look for them)