Summary: " Crown of the Sunken King " made me excited for the rest of the DLC trilogy set to launch over the next couple of months. It's well thought out design and interesting enemies more than make up for a couple of rough spots that tested my patience, and I came away wholly satisfied about buying my way in to an all new wing of Drangleic's ever expanding world.
Conclusion: A fantastic sequel that lives up to its namesake, Dark Souls 2 is an action RPG that's challenging and rewarding in equal measure.
Pros: Overcoming difficulty provides a fantastic sense of achievement, Fascinating world that feels like a character all its own, New gameplay elements make the Dark Souls experience more convenient, but not easier
Excerpt: There are few games that challenge a gamer’s sanity, patience and skills more than the critically acclaimed Souls series by developer From Software. I learned this firsthand with the release of the original Dark Souls a few years ago, so when I heard they were making a sequel to an already legendarily hard game I was both intrigued and instantly filled with a certain level of anxiety at the thought of its release.
Summary: The " Dark Souls II " team had a daunting lineage to live up to, and under new leadership too. It's nothing short of incredible, then, that they have not only delivered a game worthy of the Souls name, but a truly worthwhile entry. Dark Souls II is an expertly crafted experience that doesn't rest upon the shoulders of the giants that preceded it. It strikes out on its own, successfully iterating upon a proven premise and delivery a wholly unique title.
Conclusion: A grand sequel and one that adds to the impressive nature of the first game immensely. It looks better and offers a smoother passage for newcomers, while still retaining the wonderful ability to kill you in a heartbeat. Each boss is a thrilling battle against the odds and each new area is something to drink in and then explore with pleasure. Dark Souls II is still as unforgiving and brutal as ever, and that is a great, great thing.
Conclusion: Dark Souls II is a smart, massive, and incredibly rewarding sequel. It’s crammed with deep systems, tense encounters, and enough clever multiplayer and New Game Plus elements to make me want to restart the second I saw the end credits. Not all of the tweaks and additions worked out for the best, but with such great enemies and levels to fight and explore, Dark Souls II made 60 hours of pain and agony so much fun they flew by in a heartbeat.
Pros: Rewarding challenge, Tough but fair combat, Great enemy design, Smart multiplayer
Pros: +Familiar yet refined and satisfying gameplay, +Great level design, +Fantastic art direction, +Varied enemies and environments, +Hours upon hours of gameplay, +It never gets old, +Great sound design that adds to the empowering gameplay
Cons: -Buggy AI, -Disappointingly "safe" at times, -Presentation is a little lacking