With the release of any DLC, the first question that comes to mind is almost always of the same nature: is it worth it? It’s a valid question, particularly for those who have already plunked down their cash on the full retail value of a game to begin with.
The titles of From Software have always been known for their staggeringly difficult boss battles. From Demon’s Souls’ False King Allant, to Dark Souls’ Ornstein and Smough, to Dark Souls II‘s dreaded Sir Alonne, each of From’s pitch black action-RPG sagas have been rife with a bevy of controller-smashingly relentless encounters. However, From may have outdone themselves this time. The …
In a land devoid of everything it means to be human, humanity becomes a priceless commodity. And those who cling to their humanity have lost all sense of what it means to be human. The beloved Saint Astraea lost her humanity to the scourge of the Deep Fog like every other peasant, merchant, knight and …
All In explores the rewarding, ego-gratifying and often tedious journey to reach a Platinum, 100% a game, or otherwise achieve every major task in a title. It’s a series that I’ll be spear-heading solo for the foreseeable future but guest writers may take up the mantle as time passes. When it comes to the notion …
Ever since last week there have been little nuggets of dark fantasy floating around the annals of the internet which suggest that 2016 is not too early to expect Dark Souls III, the latest in From Software’s wildly challenging action-RPG series. With IGN and VG24/7 backing the story and two promotional images leaked today, it …
From Verdite to Boletaria and from Lordran to Drangleic, death and curses have been prevailing themes of the universes created by Japanese developer From Software. From returns to Sony exclusivity with Bloodborne, the spiritual successor to the Souls series; the same series that made it fun to die over and over again.
When my co-editor suggested we do a monthly theme exploring the concept of long-form gaming, and our most treasured journeys therein, it took almost no time for me to seize upon the opportunity to write about not just my favorite game of the previous generation but very likely the most important and influential gaming experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of enduring: From Software’s Dark Souls.
In the brutal gauntlet of boss encounters in Dark Souls, there are an almost daunting amount of epic and memorable battles to consider. From the soul-crushing difficulty of battling four undead kings in the darkness of the void, to the haunting duel with a fallen hero in a blasted coliseum, to the tragic encounter with a giant wolf who is simply guarding his master’s grave, this is a game rife with intense boss moments, but none carry more nerve-racking danger than the encounter with the former heroes of the kingdom, Ornstein and Smough.
Following in the footsteps of its divisive forebears, Dark Souls II is an incredibly challenging and endlessly atmospheric action-RPG. Now, with three expansions under its already sizable belt, Dark Souls II is about the most bang a player can expect for their buck for this gaming year, and even though it lacks the power and punch of the original Dark Souls, it has enough new elements and content to easily justify itself. A brutal and beautiful ride, Dark Souls II is an easy pick for my favorite game of the year.
It’s time to check your backs for the Darksign because with the release of Crown of the Ivory King, From Software has essentially closed the book on Dark Souls II. This final episode in the Lost Crowns DLC takes place amid the snowy vistas of a frozen kingdom, and levies some of the heaviest challenges yet.
It’s pretty well known by now that the mantra of the Souls series is “Prepare to die.” Yet, one finds one’s self continuously shocked at the near-trolling levels of effort that From puts into killing the player via tactics of shock, awe, and fear. It would seem that the most appropriate citation is that of the opening cutscene of Things Betwixt, where the three former Firekeepers just laugh at you before you even begin your journey…almost as if they know what kind of horrific traumas are to come.
From the very first trepidatious steps of the new Dark Souls II DLC, the notoriously tough series once again reminds players where they are, and what they can expect from such a terrible place. Crown of the Sunken King, the first of three planned expansions to be released this summer, begins in an area filled with gaping chasms, a dozen different paths, and a waiting cavalry of brutally clustered enemies (many of which are playing dead). Talk about a welcome mat!
So it looks like Sony and From Software have made nice. After the rift between the two companies, caused by Sony deferring on publishing a Demon’s Souls successor, From cut a deal with Namco Bandai and Atlus, who have published the spiritual successors: Dark Souls and Dark Souls II.
Few games in this era have had the cojones to challenge gamers in the manner that the Souls series has dared to, and fewer still have allowed players to have so much freedom to build and define a narrative. Who is your character? You decide. What are his/her goals? That’s up to you. Who will live, and who will die among the supporting characters? The choice is yours.