Dark Souls II Image
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91

Universal acclaim - based on 69 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1441 Ratings

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  • 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 - auditoryPrepare 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
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Dark Souls II - TGS 2013 Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 69
  2. Negative: 0 out of 69
  1. Apr 16, 2014
    100
    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
    100
    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
    95
    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
    90
    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
    90
    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
    90
    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
    70
    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 228
  1. Oct 24, 2014
    10
    To save you some time I'll start with this: if you enjoyed or didn't enjoy the first Dark Souls and, to a lesser extent, the spiritualTo save you some time I'll start with this: if you enjoyed or didn't enjoy the first Dark Souls and, to a lesser extent, the spiritual progenitor of Demon's Souls you will probably feel the same way about Dark Souls 2. Dark Souls 2 is a little less punishing, a little less dreaery and slightly more upbeat at times but is the same basic experience of learning through trial and error.

    In terms of presentation Dark Souls 2 falls under the good, not technically great category much like its two predecessors. The world is rich and fun to look at with varying landscapes that range from jagged cliffs overlooking a sea to half destroyed castles to cavernous harbors. The enemies, especially the bosses, are a delight to see during combat. The sound effects are for the most part well done, and the voice acting is, again, mostly well done. The cast of characters in the world are well acted but occasionally speaking to an NPC they don't quite sound right. The sound effects are the same, weighty and well done, but occasionally just won't sound right, such as when you hit your weapon against a wall. While stylistically the graphics are well done, they aren't technically amazing.

    But the Dark Souls games aren't about the technical prowess of the graphics or the sound effects, they are about the sharp, responsive combat and hostile world that it takes place in. I have never encountered a game with the same level of responsiveness to what you want to do, or more accurately what you press on the controller. The responsiveness makes the game feel fair and balanced despite the challenge the world presents. Enemies are powerful and varied, forcing you to learn to adapt to each one as you encounter them. While the enemies are challenging, none of them are hard enough to prove frustrating once you learn how to deal with them. The game does a good job of feeling difficult while rarely crossing over into feeling unfair, DLC aside. At a certain point you learn how to beat the enemies, you have the responsiveness in the controls to beat them, and enemies are generally not dense enough for you to be swarmed if you're smart. The game is challenging, but gives you all the tools to succeed if you learn as you go.

    There are a good variety of weapons, armors and spells at your disposal to figure out how you want to play the game. To me, this is the games greatest strength. You can play how you want and how fits you. There are a variety of weapons that all act differently, various armors and shields with different bonuses and a magic system broken into three categories. There is the more standard magical spell fair, miracles which are lightning based attacks or support spells powered by faith instead of intelligence and hexes which are black magic spells that focus on death and destruction. As you progress you can gain more powerful legendary, unique items and spells and upgrade those and the more basic and legendary items and spells. There are also various stones that you are able to imbue items with later on in the game that allow those items to gain certain properties. From the interactions I've had with various people online everyone ends up playing differently, with their own gear and combat style preferences

    Online is well done, but very atypically. You are able to both help or hinder other players by putting down soapstone markings to allow players to summon you to help them in combat or you are able to invade the worlds of other players in an attempt to kill them and steal their souls. Invasions are a duel style combat where you can possibly steal whatever souls the other player has on them. Cooperation is rewarded through gaining souls alongside the person you are helping, which can be a great way to gather a lot of souls quickly by helping another player slay bosses. The interactions are combat focused with little communication unless you send a message outside the game to the other person which is possible since you see their username. The communications are generally friendly ("Hey, thanks for helping me") but can occasionally be nasty, but it's nothing a block user can't solve. Online has been thinning out, as it does with each of these games, as time passes so it's not as easy to interact with other players online.

    The story is fairly barebones and mostly communicated by speaking to NPC's and reading descriptions, as the series always has been, and somewhere along the line the story dissipates. You start off with a vague task of returning back to the world you know, but along the way that is lost in "doing stuff" to try to survive and progress. By the end of the game the goal you had is different from what you do and really there is little cohesion to the plot, though you probably won't notice.

    The game has great replayability. After each game you can start over with the game changing a little, with slight changes in the world and carrying over gear and progress. The game is an immense value, worth a definite buy.
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  2. Mar 19, 2014
    10
    This is one of those games that will go down in history as a legacy and never die. It will be something you can play years from now and enjoy,This is one of those games that will go down in history as a legacy and never die. It will be something you can play years from now and enjoy, not just some once and done waste of time game. With Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, Dark Souls II is one of the greatest games ever created. Expand
  3. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    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 loveEasily 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
  4. Apr 5, 2014
    9
    I just want to say this is the best money I've spent in a very long time for a great game. I am an obsessed gamer and could probably open aI just want to say this is the best money I've spent in a very long time for a great game. I am an obsessed gamer and could probably open a shop with all the games i have. The mood of darks souls 2 just brought me into the goth/medievil heaven i loved when i played demons souls.The graphics are timeless and amazing. The gameplay is fluid and extremely realistic and i have to admit that demons souls was more difficult and this felt a little less difficult but at the same time it lets you learn your flaws to do it over with a better idea of what to do. The only thing i would like a little more is definitely more cinematics because it feels like playing for a very long time without a progression of a storyline. An extended cinematic experience would have made you feel like even moving towards a greater goal. I am crazy about stories so for me this was the only flaw the game had. That is my only reason for going it a 9 and if you don't like this game it probably means your just not as good as us hardcore gamers!LOL.I really hope they make a dark souls 3 for PS4 because that will be one of the greatest moments in gaming history. Expand
  5. Apr 19, 2014
    8
    Let me open by saying that Dark Souls II is a plenty good game, so take what you hear here with a grain of salt. Firstly the game plays as youLet me open by saying that Dark Souls II is a plenty good game, so take what you hear here with a grain of salt. Firstly the game plays as you would expect having played the souls series before, and is a challenging game in many respects. However, there are problems I feel must be addressed. Starting with the campaign. The story in my opinion isn't nearly as strong as the original dark souls. It manages to be much more generic than the original, but if you're here for the gameplay this shouldn't be a problem. There are several bosses that rely on gimmicks to increase their difficulty instead of having actually challenging ai. In addition to this, several bosses are VERY similar to ones in the previous game. Not that that's a bad thing, but it does make you wish for some variation. The ideas on the whole feel less inspired, as we have more knight bosses than ever. Including one that appears twice, only this time with TWO of them instead of one. I feel like that's definitely a failing on the creativity front. But I'm going to address my biggest problem with the game now. It's multiplayer is heavily flawed. The new director seems to heavily dislike invasions, as invaders are punished harder than ever before. The host can heal, but you cannot stop them. They can usually roll out of the way, preventing any sort of reasonable punish. In addition, lloyd talismans are limited, and you cannot ever get an infinite invasion item of any kind. The PVP has several balance problems, including absurd levels of stunlocking, the inability to punish hosts from healing, and certain stats soft cap so early on everyone is going to have a very cookie cutter build. Weapons do not scale well at all, so you are essentially encourged to go to the soft caps for your stats, then enchant and buff your weapons with spells to get any sort of damage out of them. If you wanted to play a pure str/dex character, prepare to be disappointed. Not only are invaders punished, as the host will almost always have the advantage now, but they get nothing meaningful from actually invading. For the host, death is a slap on the wrist, as they can equip the ring of soul protection and lose nothing if they die. The invader however is doomed to an uphill battle, and faces constant invasions from this game's equivalent of the dark moon covenant, which becomes extremely tedious. If one of your main draws for the series is PVP and invasions, prepare to be extremely disappointed.

    As a singleplayer game however it is fine. Not as good as the original, but certainly a solid game in most respects. What I do not understand however, is the design decision to make certain item sets nearly unattainable without hours of farming. This is a determent to the series, and has no place in the game itself.

    on the whole we have:
    - A poorly balanced PVP system that punishes players for invading
    - A more generic storyline than the previous games
    - a poorly balanced stat system that encourages users to spread their stats everywhere instead of specializing
    - a ridiculous item farming mechanic.

    however, despite this games myriad of problems, it is still a solid title if you're looking for a single player experience. Just don't expect it to be nearly as good as the last game. between the pvp being broken and skewed against the invader, to death being a slap on the wrist. I can't honestly claim this to be as good as dark souls or demons souls. However if you just want more of the series itself, than look no further.
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  6. Mar 17, 2014
    7
    I'm going to say that this is way over rated. Not hard at all, I just run passed goons to bosses. Goons take too many hits and give youI'm going to say that this is way over rated. Not hard at all, I just run passed goons to bosses. Goons take too many hits and give you barely anything, plus they can one hit you like any boss. I bought the game because of reviews say so good and hard, same old game little different graphics, unneeded annoyances that don't increase difficulty as much as the perception of difficulty. I die because ledges and bad camera angles. Expand
  7. Feb 6, 2022
    0
    This game is not bad. It has its own pros and cons. But this is by no means worthy of such a high score. Higher than DS1 and DS3? Come on,This game is not bad. It has its own pros and cons. But this is by no means worthy of such a high score. Higher than DS1 and DS3? Come on, critics. You guys are suck and just spoiled it. Now no one will pay any attention to what you flirt with. Expand

See all 228 User Reviews

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