Universal acclaim - based on 69 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 831 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Prepare to die... Again. Dare yourself to engage against intense gameplay in a vast world powered by a new engine. Immerse yourself into mind-bending environments filled with new twisted monsters and deadly bosses. A vast array of threats will prey on human senses & phobias - auditory hallucinations, vertigo, acrophobia, etc. More intricate customization options provide weapons and armor tailoring to player style. [Namco Bandai Games] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 69
  2. Negative: 0 out of 69
  1. Apr 16, 2014
    At the end of the day, Dark Souls II uses more subtle changes to find its own flavor and place in the series as a whole, rather than reinventing the wheel.
  2. Mar 11, 2014
    Dark Souls II is a true hardcore challenge, and the weak of will and spine have no place in its cruel and unusual world.
  3. Mar 11, 2014
    Loyal to its roots and perfectly executed, Dark Souls II is not only a worthy sequel: it is the worthiest homage to the mettle and spirit of hardcore gamers.
  4. Mar 10, 2014
    Everything that made Dark Souls into a cult success carries over: complex game mechanics, punishing but fair gameplay and a richly detailed setting if you dig a little deeper. To keep things fresh, this is peppered with a mix of new elements, from improved graphics and game engine to a better designed starting sequence and new mechanics. Dark Souls II is a perfect sequel to Dark Souls.
  5. Mar 13, 2014
    The core gameplay and basic design sensibilities have been retained, and while there are some concessions to player ease, they don't interfere with the gameplay
  6. Mar 11, 2014
    Otherwise, Dark Souls II is outstanding, still a world better than most games and a worthy successor to a game that was, essentially, impossible to follow.
  7. Mar 11, 2014
    Dark Souls 2 won't change anything: if you liked the experience FromSoftware offered in the former episodes, then you will like it again. But if not, you won't start liking now. The great atmosphere, the feeling of loneliness, the intriguing soundtrack and the difficulty still make the quality of this game. But Dark Souls 2 begins to fall behind from the technical point of view, and it's far too demanding for such old-school gameplay.

See all 69 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 177
  1. Mar 11, 2014
    Easily one of the greatest RPGs of this generation. If you are a gamer that wants to explore and figure things out by yourself you will love it, if you aren't then you won't like it. Like Dark Souls, this game does not hold you hand. It encourages to seek answers for yourself. But it has a more advanced tutorial section than Dark Souls. So it will be helpful to newcomers of the game.The difficulty level is even higher, and the penalty of death is even severe than its predecessor. But if you have the will, you will overcome it. The combat is excellent. It is more fluid and smooth than DaS. I have played almost 20 hours and haven't felt so excited and terrified at the same time playing a game ever before. The enemy design is quite intimidating. You won't just rush into enemies, like other games, before planning what are you going to do. I think this is the most unique game I have played in a LONG time. If you don't have the patience or just play games casually I won't recommend this game. This game needs your time. But if you overcome the challenges of it you will experience a sense of accomplishment like never before. I yelled when I beat the second boss, because he was tough and I died like 15 time trying to beat. But when I did I was overjoyed. So be prepared to die, again and again. Expand
  2. Mar 25, 2014
    This sequel, of Dark Souls & Demon Souls is many times better than it's predecessors. Not only is it larger and more immersive, than the two previous games; it's much more user friendly. This game introduces fast travel, despawning of enemies and much more weapons. I would recommend you play this game whether you're played the previous 2 games of not, this game is a masterpiece and really should be under your radar. Expand
  3. Mar 11, 2014
    I am long timer Souls fan. I enjoyed the original Demon Souls and Dark Souls. I own a copy of Dark Souls on every platform and have logged over 100+ hours. Dark Souls 2 does not disappoint. Art direction is amazing (lots of light, lots of color, lots of variation), combat is fluid and executes quicker, enemies set traps for you (very creative From!), etc. I could go on but I won't. Most reviews cover the good stuff anyway. Most importantly though, you need to buy a copy of the game and immerse yourself fully. This is the game I have been waiting for. Expand
  4. Apr 15, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. [Condensed]

    All in all, truth be told it is the atmosphere and not specifically the difficulty and challenge that makes the title a blast to play- although I am sure those other factors rank highly up there as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the greater sense of freedom I was given in my approaches to combat and exploration, as well as the rare helping hands reaching out to help as well. We are only a third of the way through this year's impressive games list, and yet I already feel as if Dark Souls II will maintain its large impact all the way through despite the stiff competition it will surely be facing. One thing is for certain: I'll still be playing it come next March. After all, I'm still playing the original!

    Concept: Explore a new yet familiar and similar setting- akin to the story and exploration of the first Dark Souls title, and embark upon a quest to rid the world of its misery and to gain power through it as you progress. Engage in challenging combat and experience an intriguing and engrossing story- experienced, not told.

    Graphics: Impressively detailed and varied, both in environments and character models.

    Sound: Between the epic scores for momentous occasions and stealthy segments to the general ambiance, the sound work is quite impressive and even the little creaks and tremors were impressively detailed in there fullness.

    Playability: The challenges will be difficult, yet it isn't anything that can't be overcome through patience and a general grasping of the firm handling of the controls set before you. After you establish a solid foundation, you'll progress slowly but surely regardless of overall skill. But that doesn't make it any easier on you or your character, be warned.

    Entertainment: This is not only a highly anticipated sequel but an amazing stand-alone title and it must be played to be enjoyed. Challenging yet fair, firm yet helpful at times. An impressively detailed and epic adventure in an expansive and deadly world.

    Replay Value: Very High.

    Overall Score: 9.5
  5. Mar 11, 2014
    I was apprehensive, how come Namco pull it off 3 times in a row? They did.

    One or two areas look pretty poor and unimaginative, but the
    gameplay makes them interesting. The rest of the game looks amazing, and will look even better on PC. Expand
  6. Mar 15, 2014
    If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    That's the advice From Software ignored when making this game. Dark souls style may not appeal to a lot of
    people, but it was such a masterful game, damn near perfect. Dark souls 2 "refines" the experience with lots of changes to gameplay, balance issues, and lack of accessibility from the previous game.

    While playing DS2 it IS clear that From is on top of every little detail about their game. The issues I have with this game are nothing that was overlooked, but rather, deliberate changes to the formula that almost completely ruin my enjoyment of the game. While they admirably address things from the previous game that seemed redundant or flawed, the changes they made create new problems in themselves.

    By far, the biggest issue with the game is the finite enemies. This is no doubt a measure that was implimented to stop people from grinding to get souls. After you kill an enemy a certain amount of times, they stop respawning. It seems like a glitch at first, until you notice the pattern. It feels like a slap in the face and goes against what the game is all about, to a degree. I legitimately killed enemies, died, respawned, and repeated, without making my way to the next bonfire. However, since I had killed the enemies enough times, they began disappearing, which made getting further easier, since there was much less in my way. I didn't feel like I earned it. The other issue with them disappearing is that I ended up losing lots of souls in the process. With enemies being finite, I now have to play every second of the game stressed out. If I lose some souls, those are souls I can NEVER earn back. So essentially you could run the risk of digging yourself into a huge hole that you can't get out of, forcing you to start over. This is a long game, having to start over is not fun at all. With finite enemies, this also complicates loot drops, a staple in RPGs. Now the loot is also finite. Farming titanite is a thing of the past. Now the decisions you make on upgrading your weapons are more stressful than ever, since it's not so simple to just go get more. DS1 kept the stress where it was fun, in the combat. I didn't have to fear that I was playing the game wrong and making things harder for myself hours down the line.

    Item durability has been expanded and tweaked. Weapons, armor, and now rings have durability and will break from overuse or damage. In DS1, items breaking was sort of a non issue, as they took a long time to break and were simple enough to fix, since the souls to do it were always around. This time, they break REALLY fast, and cost you precious finite souls to fix. Plus you must progress a bit to unlock the blacksmith who can provide the service. In the early go of it, I nearly was left with no useable weapons, since I couldn't buy any yet and had broken some.

    Some features of the game that aren't meant to be hidden are needlessly obtuse. It took me a while to see how to activate torches, and I still choose not to use them because they don't last long and are hard to come by. I had to look online to find that I had the ability to post messages the WHOLE time, I just wasn't able to do it because I wasn't in living form. I don't play in living form because I will most certainly get killed, as that is the nature of dark souls, and the item needed to become living is hard to come by, once again. I also didn't know how to level up for a while, unfortunately. I didn't like how it has to happen through some weird lady.

    Now, when you die, you lose a portion of your max health, up to 50%, until you use a finite item to revert back to living form. It's stupid, stressful, and a$$ backwards. You die, and the game gets harder?

    Combat feels more cheap this time. So often you'll find battles where you're pitted against a group of enemies, which is always challenging, no matter how "weak" they are. DS1 rarely made you fight more than one or two at a time, if you were patient enough, allowing you to concentrate on the fundamentals. The very beginning woods section of this game was full of these encounters and was enfuriating. This, coming from a guy who beat dark souls. I know how to play.

    The game was made "more accessible" by including fast travel between bonfires and has a supposedly easier world structure to get started in. First, getting started was not easy at all. Like I said, the woods, which is first, were unbelievably aggravating, since you barely have any gear, and you get swarmed all over. I can't imagine that to be more accessible to a newcomer. Second, fast travel, it's does have its perks. It saves lots of time, but the gameworld is built so sprawling and disjointed. Nothing like the masterful interconnected puzzle that DS1 was. Plus having to go to the main hub area to level up and such is annoying.

    On a good note, the frame rate in this game is Super smooth compared to DS 1. At its best, this game IS great. But not DS1 great.

    I could say more, no more room.
  7. Sep 10, 2014
    Terrible game, it's a downgrade from Dark Souls. The game feels empty and typical and getting the lordvessel first thing completely kills the experience. Melee is nice, Story is boring, every boss was unmemorable and they all attacked the same. All the 5 main bosses were garbage and a copy of previous bosses in the series, the scorpion boss made me realize this is such a **** game. The multiplayer is also still broken. The concept of an arena is nice but stupid when people can still hit you 5 metres away. This is the coding of the game's fault not a connection issue. Also invasions are dumb because you have 10 minutes to kill the player so everyone waits by the bonfire. In addition soul memory is also dumb but they've updated it so it's not so bad now. I have all souls game, and I got Dark Souls 2 the week it came out, black armour edition. I've put in around 400 hours into the game and it still makes me sad knowing I got hyped for this **** Waste of my 60 bucks, I should sell it now, screw it I will Expand

See all 177 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. The Most Anticipated Video Games of 2014

    The Most Anticipated Video Games of 2014 Image
    Published: January 13, 2014
    We preview 2014's most notable upcoming game releases, including major new titles like Titanfall, Watch Dogs, and Destiny, sequels to popular franchises like The Witcher and Elder Scrolls, and a few key indie games.