Over the weekend at EB Expo 2013, we had the chance to check out the painfully hard game, Dark Souls 2 on the PS3. This demo build chucked you straight into the games action, and after picking a starting class you are one step closer to being killed over and over again.
Each class was given a decent range of equipment, which meant you were able to try out a multitude of different weapons and spells for the magic users. With only four classes to choose from it’s unclear if there will be more coming in the full game, but if not, it seems like a very streamlined version of the character progression.
Gameplay is exactly what you would expect of a Dark Souls game. The controls were identical to the original Dark Souls game and I picked the rhythm of attack, roll dodge, roll dodge very quickly. This isn’t a game where you can carve through wave after wave of enemies. Each encounter can be even more difficult than the last, and in Dark Souls 2 it’s no different.
The enemies have been given a larger move set, which means you have to know what’s coming the next time they swing a blade at you. While the enemies where mixed between your standard fighters and behemoths, the real challenge came when I was face to face with the dreaded Mirror Knight. I died… A lot. It doesn’t look like the game has become any easier from what I have played. If anything it is harder, thanks to the better AI and larger move sets of the enemies.
One noticeable difference between the games was that the “backstab” hit box seems to be a bit larger than the previous. This means that the pinpoint accuracy of backstabs in Dark Souls 1 might not have the same feel as it does in this game. The original sword through back tactic has been replaced with a combo slash and while it seems to do more damage, it takes longer to pull off and if you are with a group of enemies, you are prone to be hit a few times while attempting this. The invulnerability from this move is a bit patchy, and could be the difference between killing the enemy and getting myself killed in the process.
All in all, I had a blast playing the portion of Dark Souls 2 that I did. Everything that I loved from the original is still there and even after being killed for the 5th time, I knew it was because of something I did and not something that was caused by the game. With a March 2014 release date for the current gen consoles and PC, I ‘m hoping there will be an announcement for next gen consoles soon.