By Jennifer Tan AKA Mrs Fett
Everyone in gaming gets angry. It’s just science. Laggy gaming, losing connection to hosts and, in the cases of Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, it’s the sheer terror of in-game death. I blame the game developers, who obviously love to see things break. For instance, Dark Souls is the only game I’ve encountered in my career that caused me to break a controller. I was halfway through the game, and after slaughtering almost everything in my path, I was killed by a meandering skeleton I didn’t see behind me. Normally, you just start at the previous check point, but the Dark Souls titles don’t utilize these to your benefit. You don’t get any.
This highly anticipated sequel developed by The Software, jumps right back into the story where Dark Souls had left off. You start by choosing one of eight characters, slimmed down from the ten choices offered in the original. Different enemies will provide many challenges and possibilities in game play. Pay attention, most enemies will give you clues to your survival in your first encounter with them. Some whimper from specifically forged weapon, and cower at the sight of the torch next to you.
Full character customization is a key development tool in your early success. Agile characters might move faster, but you will not have the comfort that the Knight’s armor would provide you. There are plenty of things to pick up on your exploration, and it’s imperative that you do so. Explore early, and find things to boost you to max HP.
As an ode to Dark Souls, dying early can be a harsh, blood boiling feat. You now have an additional penalty to dying. After one or two deaths, you will learn patience is a virtue. It isn’t that big of a deal, until you are stuck on a boss, and dying over, and over, and over, until your HP is just a speck in the distance.
In all, Dark Souls II is what sequels should strive to be: Seamless story integration, challenge, creative enemies and environments, all encased in a challenging marriage of art and ingenuity, and trimmed of excess nonsense. I loved playing Dark Souls II, and fortunately, I did not break a single controller