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Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 134 Ratings

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  • Summary: Embark on a journey to reclaim a crown that Drangleic's King Vendrick once owned. This perilous quest will lead you through an entirely different world within the Dark Souls II universe, where stepped pyramids span a vast underground cavern. It is said that one of the ancient crowns lay buried deep within these dark caverns; but surely such a valued item cannot sit unguarded. Explore in search of a crown that holds the strength of lords from times long past. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Aug 3, 2014
    90
    Dark Souls II was easy; Crown of the Sunken King is the real challenge.
  2. Jul 25, 2014
    90
    Suitably self-contained and demonstrating some of the best level design in Dark Souls 2, Crown of the Sunken King suggests that FromSoft’s DLC team may well be up to the daunting task of creating three essential add-ons.
  3. Satisfying content, harder enemies (you probably miss old enemies), Sunken City looks glorious... Crown of the Sunken King is the first step of a big DLC trilogy If you like Dark Souls series, you shouldn't miss this adventure.
  4. Jul 22, 2014
    85
    Even when it's frustrating, Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Sunken King balances out its rough patches with a sense of unbridled satisfaction. It's a perfect example of the interplay between tension and relief that the Souls series has become famous for. Crown of the Sunken King may be an optional expansion, but it transcends its own status.
  5. Aug 13, 2014
    80
    While there were certain aspects of this DLC that felt rushed or outright lazy, the content addition for it felt just right.
  6. Jul 28, 2014
    80
    The hunt for the crown is a great addition with lots of secrets and puzzles to uncover.
  7. Jul 22, 2014
    60
    A competent but unsurprising slice of downloadable content that features a solid challenge and plenty of content, but too little in the way of new ideas.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. Jul 23, 2014
    10
    4 hours atmosphere in Dark Souls is far more than 30 hours of kitsch in Divinity:Origin of Sin. 10/10 again. DLC is harder than the original game. Best DLC since Artorias of the Abyss. Expand
  2. Aug 28, 2014
    10
    Much better than the first, so so good! Bosses are relatively easier than the first dlc's, but the items on offer for exploring dlc are excellent. Recommended. Expand
  3. Jul 23, 2014
    9
    Probably the best DLC I've seen in a while. Being a Dark Souls freak, I've loved the series returning to Dark Souls 1 long ago. Ever Since Dark Souls 2 returned, I've felt like Dark Souls 2 wasn't as good as the first, and lacked something. To be honest, this DLC was what it needed. Walking in, you see a huge temple in the distance, and looking below reveals a swampy area with Toad-Demon things. This area also included the type of exploration you expected Dark Souls 2 to have. The single player had a mostly straight path, this DLC doesn't as far as I'm concerned. It let's you explore as much as you want. To be honest, I retraced my steps a bunch of times to find all of the loot, not much of what I did in the Single Player. To twisting mazes, to puzzles, to moving structures, this DLC really shines. This DLC also does something that the Dark Souls 2 Single Player didn't do: Shortcuts. There are a multitude of shortcuts to different areas in the DLC, and it really feels like Dark Souls 1 in this sense. There are some good spells that you get in this DLC, as well as armor and weapons, and the boss fights are tremendously hard. The first one wasn't so bad, but the second one...I'll tell you this, just summon a player, at least 1 player. Otherwise, you might call yourself dead. To be honest, this DLC almost feels like they made it too hard for some reasons. I like how they spaced out bonfires, so it feels refreshing to finally find a checkpoint, but they've hidden them way too much. Even after beating he DLC, I still didn't find the last one in an area, I had to look up a guide to find the other. I also feel that either the Bosses had Too much health, or Too high resistance to damage. This DLC isn't perfect, but it's damn sure a great one, and a great start to From's DLC series. I can't wait for the next one. Expand
  4. Aug 10, 2014
    7
    I decided to revise my review of Crown of the Sunken King after playing it through. Dark Souls 2 had really disappointed me. I played it through to completion and one NG+, but too many problems and bad design choices turned me off from a game series that I really enjoy. The DLC is better but still plagued by problems.

    The maps are better layed out, the creatures populating the area better help characterize the world and mood, tying into a background story, and are mostly fun to battle, and there are some secrets and items worth taking some risks for. It's challenging, but not always just for the sake of being difficult.

    But there are still problems with the DLC. Mostly useless bonfires are hidden around the map (but at least they are more difficult to get to instead of appearing too often and too soon). The enemy AI can be - well - weird; it might decide to target someone in a party that could be in the back of the room while more immediate threats are ignored. And the controls don't always behave, especially when you need them to be responsive or respond correctly. Also, the story is a bit lackluster, most likely because the base games story wasn't well developed to begin with.

    What bothers me most is when the story and design lack, the game compensates by sometimes throwing spastic enemies with nearly hyper-aggro, unreasonable attack behaviors, or they gank. The enemies don't always play by the same rules the gamer is held to, either, such as when a Razorback Nightcrawler does no damage to a charging foe but deals plenty out to you. Or an enemy seems to have nearly endless stamina. That's cheap and a cover for poor or lazy high-level design.

    Crown of the Sunken King is better than the base game, Dark Souls II, which the game really needed. But the game still doesn't deliver a solid experience like the previous two titles.
    Expand
  5. Aug 4, 2014
    6
    150 hours Demons Souls
    400 hours Dark Souls (cross platform)
    80 hours Dark Souls 2

    I cannot stand behind this DLC, it has too much of the
    "recycled" feel to it. As many other reviewers have added the majority of the trash mobs are just uninspired. There is a large section much like Lost Izalith that serves no other purpose than "filler" content. 2/3 boss fights are unoriginal to the point where they actually reuse major assets from the core game. At one point in the DLC you traverse a hive where the NPCs within all break your armor, I feel like this was a terrible idea. The PC version of Dark Souls 2 already had major issues with decreased weapon durability, so this was kind of a slap in the face for us. I think it was just something nobody was willing to deal with so soon. "Too soon, etc etc"

    The mage boss fight is unremarkable in every way, the AI is lazy and weak, if not for the ability to summon additional things to attack you it would be completely trivial. It's unfortunate From has to fall back on this multiple enemy boss fight strategy so often, because they rarely do it right. Dark Lurker was probably the only great multiple enemy fight in all of Dark Souls 2.

    The NPC red phantom invasion in the DLC appears to have unlimited stamina, attunement slots, and a casting speed that is through the roof. He just has unlimited everything, it's not exactly anything new or remarkable, the AI is not improved, you can still walk it through doorways and use the same exploits to your advantage. Which is fine I guess, I wasn't exactly expecting improved AI, but I feel like this kind of blatant stat padding is a step in the wrong direction for From. This method of increasing difficulty will eventually cross the threshold from hard to "unfair", which is exactly what this game doesn't need.

    The other "red phantom" NPC encounter is a boss fight, where you face three NPCs. Enjoy dodging a dragon tooth wielder whose attack animations skip frames. This fight was cheese through and through, and it really made me wonder where From was going with it. Is this satire for the direction the series is heading? I feel like this type of thing is exactly what these developers do not want.

    The last fight is a dragon, and I refuse to spoil it. It's a well done fight, at times it feels like the hitbox on the tail suffers from the same issues that the Last Giant had, but that just may all be in my head. Otherwise it's a wonderful fight, and easily the only worthwhile boss in the DLC.

    Level architecture is satisfying, often impressive to me. I enjoyed exploring much more than I did fighting anything in the DLC (except the dragon). There are a few neat weapons added with the DLC, I was satisfied with the loot choices, even if a piece or two did feel gimmicky. I want to leave this bit somewhat vague, because nobody likes spoiled loot.

    All in all I just found this DLC mostly unremarkable. There is a little bit of awesome sprinkled over a whole lot of filler/reused material. I was left unsatisfied with the mage fight, mostly from a mechanics standpoint, but also in a little of every other way. I do not like what From did with the NPC phantoms in this DLC, it's a step in the wrong direction. I also do not like how this DLC has been broken into 3 parts, I feel it would stand much stronger as a whole. I probably wouldn't judge these throwaway bosses in the first section so harshly if I still had half a dozen more to fight later on. I am left feeling that the split of the DLC into three parts wasn't the original idea, because this section (part 1) feels more like a teaser or demo with introductory or "warm up" bosses than anything else.

    I don't want to sound melodramatic, but at times I felt like I was watching a good series die. It really seems like the fans are being milked with mostly mediocre content.
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  6. Aug 8, 2014
    6
    figured I would review this DLC even though I beat it the first day it came out.
    When Dark Souls 2 came out I gave the game a perfect score,
    I later changed my mind about that after a few playthroughs realizing that the game is still a good game but noticed how lazy the game was compared to the first game.
    The DLC is an improvement from the main game, the level design is a lot better than anything we see in the main game. The bosses were not very good in my opinion, we basically got two reskinned bosses and a final boss that a lot of people like but I just thought it was annoying to fight and boring.
    There is new weapons, spells and armors but the DLC as a whole felt lacking to me. They added more lore but also didn't answer any questions from the main game that a lot of people were hoping for..
    The enemies are ok but nothing really innovative.
    I did like that NPC phantoms will now use gestures if you summon them or if you get invaded by this certain invader he will mock you. I really liked that.
    The DLC is not on the same level as AoTA at all, but I'm hoping that when all 3 DLCs release that we will get something on par with that DLC..

    The DLC is ok, but you are not missing much if you decide not to get it. I was on NG+++ and I gimped myself for the play through and beat it in about 2 hours solo. However I went back and explored and got all the items that I missed which added another hour and a half.
    So the dlc took me 3 hours and 1/2 to completely finish, with all the items.. Mind you I was lucky and enemies dropped rare items for me without having to farm for them.
    Expand
  7. Sep 4, 2014
    0
    Some problems with posting review, so lets go to it- no DLC EVER will change godly-awful core and game mechanics of the game, especially that announced 3 DLCs in a row, some days after game release, is just jump on cash... Commercial, commercial, commercial.... 0/10 Expand

See all 22 User Reviews