Average User Score: 9.1Jul 15, 2014I'm not going to retread too much ground already spoken but let me be clear when I say this is a must-play for any RPG fan, not just fans of the old school games. Aside from a somewhat uninspired main story the game is really a standout above it's peers. Not since Dragon Age 1 and The Witcher 2 has RPG gaming been this good.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0May 6, 2014I can't speak to any problems with Steam as I've had none but am keenly aware so many of the negative reviews here are specifically related to people who had issues with getting the client to run after downloading through Steam.
That being said, the game itself is everything a Dark Souls fan has come to know and love. At times there are very clear attempts to recreate certain areas of the original. You will pointedly play the game and say "Oh, this is Blighttown Part 2, this is Undead Burg Part 2, this is Anor Londo Part 2, etc." Ordinarily I'd penalize a game for some obviously trying to reprise it's predecessor, but given just how great the original was "more of the same" is more than welcome. I don't think the game makes any leaps ahead of what the original provided, it just provides another hundred hours of a very similar experience. Generally speaking, your feelings about the original will be mirrored with this sequel. Sure, there may not be quite as many iconic bosses, though I think some of that is simply a function of the formula and tone is not as fresh as it once was - much like many things in life, something can only be "new" once. This is an absolute must play for any Dark Souls fan.
For people who are unsure whether they would enjoy the series, I tend to think so long as you are willing to commit to it and put some time in on the admittedly steep learning curve you'll find a lot to love. While the first half dozen hours of this game are more approachable than the original they still aren't exactly welcoming. But that is part of what makes the longer journey that much more rewarding. Any individual disillusioned with the trivially easy games of this generation will find this a much needed breath of fresh air.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Feb 26, 2014Anyone reading these reviews be wary - a lot of them seem to be fake positive reviews (you can see if you look at how many reviews these individuals have submitted - there are many brand new accounts that have only reviewed this as a 10 - for that to happen within a day of release seems deeply suspect).
That being said, I want to voice my opinion having just finished the game. In particular, I want to voice it in the context of a lot of the critical reviews you've likely read.
Stealth: All the critics have cited this as the games major flaw. Let me be clear, the stealth is mediocre at best. But, it does not account for more than 10% of the game (at most, probably more like 5%). So my broader point is it's just not that big a deal. I agree it wasn't done well, but it's an afterthought in the game, not a core mechanic. People have cited one sequence as particularly awful (it involves a maze) - conversely I found it a novel concept, not super well executed, but still easy enough that it took me ~5 attempts over the course of 15 minutes. Hardly "game breaking" as one reviewer argued.
Environments: Again, I think 70% of the game takes place in classic Castlevania environs - the ones we all know and love. All the reviews I read are complaining about too much action in sewers and office buildings - I don't think this is more than 15% of the game? At most? And yes, more could have been done with the opportunity to modernize the Castlevania environs but again this is something I read in critical reviews as being awful and it seemed a blip on the radar to me.
With that being said, the game feels very much feels like a continuation of LoS1. If you liked the first one, this is more of the same. The world is not as open as we were led to believe leading up to release which is a shame but not too big a loss. The actual combat is good, the enemies are creative, the scenery is gorgeous and the story is appropriate for a Castlevania game - that is to say, if you like Castlevania stories, this will work well. I think it is pretty strong relative to nearly every other entry in the series. It's not a perfect game - I'd rank it the exact same as LoS1 - so if you liked that you're probably going to like this.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Feb 4, 2014Not nearly enough press coverage on this game - unfairly got overlooked. As otherwise noted, it's derivative of Symphony of the Night and other great Metroidvania games. Personally, I feel it stands head and shoulders above other recent entries like Dust: An Elysian Tale and Guacamelee Relative to both, the story is more interesting, there is materially more life breathed into the characters. Similarly, combat is much, much deeper (in exponential terms) and crisper in this game. The game is about three or four times longer than Guacamelee and Dust, and has more replay value due to better difficulty scaling and multiple characters. Further, the RPG elements, in terms of leveling, a host of items to find and upgrade, decisions in the game with substantial consequences, etc. are all present. I haven't enjoyed a Metroidvania this much since SoTN. If you don't like the genre then invariably it's not for you, otherwise strongly recommended. It's an injustice that IGN/Gamespot etc. have not given this more coverage.
One small negative, upon rare occasions the game froze on my computer and proceeded to crash. This happened about 5 times in roughly 20 hours of play so definitely not game breaking, but was annoying nonetheless.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Dec 2, 2013I generally wait a long time after playing a game to write reviews. As with anything in life, I think time can change the opinion dramatically. Starcraft 2 is one such game where, unfortunately, it just does not stand up well upon further reflection. Failing to do anything memorable to change the RTS landscape, and in general providing a fun but not engrossing single player campaign, the game does little more than represent a fine example of using an established formula well. It's a good game, but when compared to other games that have moved their respective genres forward (and thus warrant higher ratings) Starcraft represents more of the same. Assuming you like what has come so far, you'll like this. If you don't, this will not change your mind.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Dec 2, 2013I played this relatively recently so wanted to point out to readers that they should be mindful of the date of the user review. There have been very simple patches released that make this game easily playable on the PC with mouse and keyboard. It took a solid couple of hours adjusting to the controls but from there on out there was another 100 hours without any meaningful problems (camera was fine, frame rate fine, resolution fine, etc.).
That being said, as I am sure one can discern based upon the critical reception, the game is fantastic with one caveat, if you go into it expecting hand holding consistent with how most games have been made over the past decade it's something of a rude awakening. The game is difficult but not as awe inspiringly challenging as some would have you believe, rather it just has a steep learning curve. Once you figure out the fairly basic mechanics of how the game works where it punishes you and where it doesn't it's no more difficult than playing another game in it's "hard" mode. If you're like me, you'll appreciate the challenge.
A complaint of mine has been that too many games you fly through the game without ever pausing to really take in the surroundings. Not so with Dark Souls in large part because the game forces you to proceed cautiously rushing into any area generally will mean a fairly quick demise. Overall though, your experience of the game hugely benefits because of this. And in terms of getting bang for your buck, pulling 60 hours out of your first playthrough is not an entirely unreasonable expectation depending on how thorough you choose to be.
I will not go into the minutiae of the game itself other than to say it's the most fully realized and engrossing dark fantasy world available on the PC. The only other that comes close is the Witcher 2 (another game I would strongly recommend, though for different reasons). If you like action RPG's and don't mind a challenge, this is the ticket.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Nov 12, 2013I first want to address the most popular topic of conversation; the length relative to the price.
I think the shortness of the game is a bit overblown. I suppose it depends what difficulty setting I played it in 1999 Mode my first run through (so accounting for being rusty) and was quite thorough making sure I got all the gear/plasmids/etc. That being said, I clocked in at just about 5 hours.
I view the price as $10 since anyone who is a big Bioshock fan is generally planning on getting both story DLC's. In light of that price, I thought the amount of game was good a bit light, but when I compare it to many other games that are $60 and have ~$12 of campaign play and are vastly inferior story-wise and gameplay-wise I don't find this pricing particularly offensive.
Putting that issue aside, the game feels very much a continuation of Bioshock Infinite and certainly has more in common with it than Bioshock 1 or 2. This is very much Infinite in Rapture, as opposed to Bioshock 1 with some Infinite mechanics. I personally actually liked Infinite more than the predecessors, thus I'm thrilled with that being the case, but I could see how some people hoping for something else might be disappointed.
As for story, it's typical Bioshock quality, thoughtful and not without a surprise or two despite us as the audience being conditioned to expect these surprises throughout. It serves as a worthy continuation of what took place in the main game, though simply by the nature of the issues risen in the original the plot requires you to take Irrational at their word that the universe makes sense (spend too much time overthinking it and it is sure to show some holes).
In summation, the game is not perfect, but it's every bit as good as Infinite if not for the relative brevity. As noted, it's not as bad as some would have you believe if you're playing at a high difficulty and being thorough, but you could certainly speed through it in an hour and a half if you so desired. Then again, I've seen people play a game like Dark Souls in 5 hours whereas it took me almost 50 on my first play through, so it really is a matter of how you wish to play the game and how thorough you are. For these really well crafted games I take my time and enjoy the sights and sounds and would suggest you do too.… Expand