Dark Souls II
NA: Bandai Namco Games, JP: From Software, PAL: Bandai Namco Games
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date:NA: March 11th 2014, JP: March 13th 2014, PAL: March 14th 2014
Dark Souls II is an upcoming and globally anticipated title that is in development for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows by “From Software”, the team behind the Armored Core series, the Tenchu series as well as Demon’s Souls (an unrelated game, but said to be the spiritual successor to Dark Souls) and Dark Souls series. Dark Souls II is currently set to be published by Namco Bandia Games (Tekken X Steet Fighter and Tekken Revolution) in North America and all PAL (Phase Alternating Line) regions and “From Software” will publish it in Japan.
The title is an action adventure role playing video game that is set in an open world. It is a direct sequel to the 2011 smash hit game, Dark Souls. This will be the third video game entry into the “Souls” series. The game is currently slated to launch on March 11th of 2014 in North America, March 13th of 2014 in Japan and March 14th in PAL regions. The Multiplayer component of the game will be making use of dedicated multiplayer servers.
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Dark Souls II was announced during the Spike Video Game award on December 7th of 2012. It has been announced that the game’s control scheme will remain the same, with no changes or evolution of current button mappings being changed, this will make series veterans considerably more comfortable as well as introducing new players to the full experience as they will be dropped into the deep end (so to speak) and have to learn and survive by merit of skill. “We do not plan on having an Easy Mode since we are creating this game with a thought that challenge and difficulty are core elements of the game.”
Dark Souls II will be running on a more powerful graphics engine than its predecessor. As mentioned above, a lot of time has gone into increasing the potency of the enemy AI, giving them a much wider rang of reactionary abilities, as well as making them less forgiving when it comes to pursuit of the player. The PC version of the game has also been delayed, this matter was addressed in September of 2013. After the poorly ported PC version of Dark Souls, the sequel is being held back until it’s ready. “From Software” has also confirmed that they will not be adding any DLC to the game as they believe in releasing a “full game” that doesn’t require expansion. A move that has garnered much respect from the gaming community.
Gameplay for the Dark Souls games has already been thoroughly established, and is considered by some modern gamers to be a “trial by fire” for players who claim to have accomplished greater feats in lesser titles. The combat mechanics work like most any other third person action title. Players move their character through the stages whilst enemies try to kill the player, who must defend and evade attacks as they rain down. This emphasis on blocking, evading and other defensive strategies is rooted in the game’s harsh but fair approach to player combat.
This isn’t like most other action RPG games, when your character takes a hit from a gargantuan monster wielding a pillar as a club, they won’t grunt, bleed a bit and then continue on. You will instead be squashed and killed. Or you could be impaled by a trap, riddled with arrows, have your armour rent and your innards exposed. A skilled player can defeat most enemies without much bother, and even look impressive whilst doing it. The Survival RPG elements that were present in the first game (Dark Souls) taught players to learn from their deaths and to change their playstyle when it was necessary.
The role playing game elements comes in the form of points that you allocate to individual attributes abilities and skills which make the game a bit easier to manage without dropping the difficult level. Combat approach alone is enough to alter the game; dual wielding sacrifices defense for maneuverability and a weapon in each hand, sword and shield is balanced but is a master of none, two handed lets you deliver crushing blows but slowly and cumbersomely.
But with all that being said, Dark Souls II is expected to be more difficult than Dark Souls by quite a margin. And that’s really saying something. An example of this would be: In Dark Souls, the player can finish certain slow foes by getting behind them and performing a back stab. These slow foes are generally cumbersome because of their armour. But as any avid historian can tell you, armour is as much a weapon as it is a defense. So when the player positions himself behind the enemy to perform a backstab, the foe uses the weight of his armour to fall back and crush the unsuspecting hero. More unpredictable deaths to test your mettle will be included, like rope bridges being severed by dragons when you least expect it or being crushed by a chariot being led on by ghost horses.
Psychological horror will be present in parts as well. “The Mansion of the Dragons” will have no enemies in it, but you will be at some time attacked and be left facing down the gaping maw of a dragon. Environment design will make you weaker this time as well. Not through the use of gas or poison, but by the all encompassing darkness. If you just so happen to use a sword and a shield and you want to find your way through a cave, then you’re going to have to un-equip something to hold a torch leaving you that little bit more vulnerable.
In some games, players exploit barriers to great effect, but no more. Total Xbox got in on a demo build and has said that “the player casually fired an arrow at a troll-like creature through an iron door. Enraged, the beast broke through the adjoining wall, chased its attacker down and exacted swift and brutal revenge.” This unexpected evolution of enemy AI is definitely going to take its toll on players.
The story of Dark Souls II revolves around a character that has been cursed and is currently seeking a means to cure themselves of this ailment.
Players choose a pre-set class at the beginning of the game before they begin to refine it via levelling up, the six classes we know of at the minute are:
- Sorcerer – Various projectile magic attacks, an energy sword of sorts and starts the game with a dagger and bell shield.
- Warrior – A great sword, bearded axe, longsword and a shield that blocks all incoming physical damage.
- Temple Knight – Starts with a variety of miracles, but details are vague.
- Dual swordsmen – The dual swordsman carries a rapier in the offhand and a longsword in the main.
- Hunter – armed with a dagger, short sword, shield and bow.
- Soldier – Plate armour, spear, short sword and kite shield.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.