From Curse To Hearse: Dark Souls II

After 45 seconds of slow build, the new Dark Souls II trailer delivers exactly what I’d hoped for. Vaguely poetic death threats and glimpses of the hideous creatures that will be performing the executions. There’s a particularly unpleasant fellow who seems to have the screaming, writhing corpses of the damned instead of a waist. It looks good on him, I have to say, and I fully expect the look to feature on the catwalk this summer. Whether or not you consider the Souls games to be horror-RPGs, it’s hard to argue that the creature designs in this trailer aren’t more horrific and imaginative than anything we’ve seen of The Evil Within so far.

The trailer does show a lot of the game’s larger enemies and I think it’s only fair to consider the possibility that some people will consider that to be spoiler territory. I certainly wouldn’t want to ruin the look of terror that will cross many a face when the [redacted] spews [redacted] that crawl and shiver over the hero until he’s reduced to [redacted]. A great moment for trouser merchants.

Dark Souls II is out on March 14th and I’m considering a swift cryostasis session to reduce the waiting time. Take a look at Agent Stanton’s hands-on preview for more information.


  1. Volcanu says:

    Is it just me or have the art department been watching Lord of the Rings a bit too much? In this trailer we have something that looks like the Cave troll, a Balrog, we even have the moody- Aragorn-door- push. Then some Harry potter-esque death eater things at the end.

    To be fair I cant wait for this and it does look like there are more twisted and imaginative monstrosities in there too. But couldnt help but notice…

    • Prolar Bear says:

      I think the door push was in the first one as well.

    • Mondaik says:

      Well, it’s hard to be creative and inspired all the time. I don’t blame them for making the game more generic than the last one, they had so many cool ideas that there can hardly be much left to do.

      • Volcanu says:

        Oh I agree. It wasnt meant to be an attack, I love the souls series dearly and have played both ‘Demon’s’ and ‘Dark’ to death. It was just an observation that there was a number of LOTR moments in that trailer.

        I’m sure there will be plenty that’s original in there too…and I’d rather be (un)pleasantly surprised by it all in game than in a trailer..

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Sounds like you’ve been watching it too much.

  2. shaydeeadi says:

    Looking good indeed, looking forward to raising my blood pressure when this drops.

  3. Fiyenyaa says:

    I think the release date is only for the console versions – I remember reading an article on Eurogamer saying the PC version was going to be delayed to “sometime in march”.
    A longer delay would probably make me buy a console. I really cannot wait for the dang game.

    • Reapy says:

      If there weren’t a PC release coming down the pipe this game would probably make me break my ‘no more 360 games, not paying for live gold’ thing I have going on.

  4. darkChozo says:

    But can we really call it a Dark Souls 2 trailer if it’s not set to an awful nu metal soundtrack?

    • Suopis says:

      Forget that Bartholomew launch trailer. The epic Dark Souls trailer with in-game music was spectacular as well as this one.

      • dE says:

        What are you talking about? The Bartholomew Trailer for Dark Souls I set the mood perfectly. The E3 Trailer for Dark Souls II was the one with the dreadful music in it.

      • Kaira- says:

        If you hated Bartholomew, you have no soul. Also, it’s very far from “nu metal”. Did DaS even have any “nu metal” tracks in trailers?

          • Kaira- says:

            Nitzer Ebb is nu metal? In what world?

          • Eight Rooks says:

            Yeah that’s not remotely nu-metal and it was a far, far better trailer than this. This had terrible cutting, it managed to make the visuals look worse than the original, the audio mix was atrocious and the music was dreadful.

            The Bartholomew trailer is still one of my favourite promo videos for anything and it baffles me anyone can prefer From Software’s usual dreadful cod-operatic tuneless wailing. Southern-fried blues (yes, I know they’re Canucks) with biblical themes of suffering and penance and futility captures the ambience of the game(s) far better than From’s terrible soundtracks have ever done, and while I’m not mad keen on that Nitzer Ebb song it’s also a far better fit (“Again and again I come back…”) than anything the developers have come up with.

          • darkChozo says:

            Well, I am kinda regurgitating vague memories of discussions held at some point in the distant past, so maybe I’m off base. Idle googling suggests that I might have absorbed information from a PCGamer article at some point, but who knows! Memory is crazy like that.

  5. Bishop99999999 says:

    Are the dragons friendly?

    • shaydeeadi says:

      You might even be able to talk to some of them, wouldn’t that be something.

    • Scumbag says:

      “Dark Souls” and “Friendly” don’t seem that compatible.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        “Do the dragons hate you and wish you nothing but death in a foetid swamp, yet not actually attack you in the face with fire during the course of the game?”


    • Voidsheep says:

      Nope, the dragons are aggressive.

      Except the one you attack. It was friendly, but will now remain hostile for the rest of the game and you can’t get an important item from it.

      /s, but it honestly wouldn’t be at all surprised.

  6. Nevard says:

    I couldn’t hear some of the narration over the sound effects but it was pretty

  7. Shapey Fiend says:

    I was expecting the PC port to come out 6 months after the console version (like GTA5).

    My main concern is hopefully the game is a little better optimised than the first. I can run Dark Souls 1 tolerably well. There are other PS3 ports like Metal Gear Revengeance that run silky smooth so it’s possible that would be the case without me needing to get new hardware.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      Its not a PC port tho, it was developed on the PC first.

      • Mondaik says:

        After the blunder that was the PC version of DS I believe it when I see it.

        • derbefrier says:

          To be fair we got exactly what they promised with DS. A straight port in the most literal sense of the word within a few months of the petition taking off. They never tried to pretend they were doing anything extra for the port. They were upfront and truthful about that.

          They said this will be a proper port though and based on their past honesty with the state of the first game we have no reason not to believe them.

          • Reapy says:

            Truthfully the port was just fine for me, a wired 360 controller, and the awesome dude that had the resolution patch in and the game was perfectly playable. I think it was a great precedent to see a big Japanese console developer attack the PC like that, even if they didn’t quite know what they were doing.

            But yes, they have promised to think of the PC more this time around, but I guess they will have to prove it, still, I think I am pretty all in on this, I love their games.

      • Unclepauly says:

        ^^^^ +1

        I can see where people are coming from but the devs have plainly stated they are developing this one for the PC 1st and porting over to consoles unlike last time. This should make a drastic improvement to the playability and we might even get some bonus features (oh lawdy that would be nice).

  8. Casimir's Blake says:

    This seems rather more gung-ho than DaS. I hope From haven’t gone “Modern Warfare 2” on us.

    • darkChozo says:

      Well, Artorias of the Abyss did add a dog companion…

      • altum videtur says:

        that you already murdered previously.
        look, its confusing

        • darkChozo says:

          So the dog does die! Ah, will die. Has already died. Did die but hasn’t died yet now.

          • aliksy says:

            If you do the expansion content first, and then go meet the dog in the present, you get a different scene.

          • Dezmiatu says:

            Great, next playthrough I got to get smeared by the DLC first.

          • kalirion says:

            Yeah, but it still doesn’t stop you from having to murder the dog :(

            Unless you cheat

          • HothMonster says:

            Can I recommend Dr. Dan Streetmentioner’s Time Traveler’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations? It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be described differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is further complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations while you are actually traveling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father.

            Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and in fact in later additions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs.

            The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term “Future Perfect” has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be.

          • Viceroy Choy says:

            Prepare to cry.

    • Renfield says:

      I remain quite worried/skeptical about DS2, despite absolutely adoring the first one. Or perhaps because I adore the first one. It’s on record that the director whose brainchild Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls both were was taken off the project for a ‘change in perspective’, and I can’t help but feel that new perspective is a lot less serious.

  9. ArtyFishal says:

    If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
    Time after time
    If you fall I will catch you I’ll be waiting
    Time after time

  10. Suopis says:

    Can not wait for this.

    I am getting this Berserk and Black Company vibe from it.

    • Dogsbody says:

      Still waiting for a Berserk game. Dark Soul’s combat engine would fit pretty well…

      • Splynter says:

        Well, Souls games seem to release about as often as Berserk chapters, so they at least have the waiting aspect down pat.

  11. amateurviking says:

    I WANT TO WATCH THIS. But I shall not. I wish to go in blind.

    • meepmeep says:

      I wish I hadn’t watched it. Too many boss spoilers.

    • CyberPunkRock says:

      Stay strong! Don’t give in! I’m doing the same. I managed to play the first game without having seen any videos. Just some screens in some 360 reviews. I have to say it’s definitely worth it. Surprise and wonderment is a cornerstone of the design.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      I watched it. The fetish nuns were in poor taste, but apart from that the Black Dildo of Necrothane looks like an awesome weapon.

  12. derbefrier says:

    March can’t come fast enough.

  13. skyturnedred says:

    Guess I’ll give DS another go then. I always just get my ass kicked, throw the controller to the wall and proceed to cry in the corner. Though it’s not like I got anything better to do.

    • Davie says:

      If you’ve made it past Ornstein and Smough, almost everything else seems easy. If you haven’t…may Gwyn have mercy on your soul.

      • Emeraude says:

        I’ don’t get what people find so difficult in that fight. If anything I found it barely an afterthought. Maybe I just had the right build for it.

    • Niko says:

      That’s a perfectly normal way to play Dark Souls.Well, except maybe throwing the controller at the wall. Unless you are super rich and can buy a new controller every day.

  14. Megakoresh says:

    What this trailer doesn’t show is hours upon hours upon hours upon hours upon hours upon HOURS of boring, annoying and tedious slaying of boring annoying and tedious mobs, to get 2-shotted by one of these beasts and start again with the boring and tedious slaughter hours upon hours…. Until you beat that boss and feel like you’re the best person in the world and life is wonderful, but what;s this? Oh, it’s our old friend: hours upon hours of tedium until the next 2 minutes of brilliance…

    Ney, not this game. Not me. Unless someone manages to mod in a quick save feature or a proper checkpoint system, I don’t care how good the bosses are or how interesting the lore is. The price in grind and tedium one has to pay to reach this it too high.

    • aliksy says:

      You might just not be very good at the game. It’s okay. I am bad at sports and strategy games, and some shooters. There shouldn’t be hours of tedium or grinding.

      • Shooop says:

        He’s referring to how returning to a fire means all the enemies you’ve killed are back and most of them you can’t simply run past.

        Plus you loose all your currency unless you’re lucky enough to get back to where you were killed previously. Otherwise you do in fact have to grind, and grind, and grind to get your stuff back if you’re killed again beforehand.

        • meepmeep says:

          If fighting mobs is feeling like a grind, then you need to change strategy. The third time you meet any non-boss mob should be a cakewalk, and the point of the bloodstain mechanic is that you should reliably be able to do slightly better each time.

          The key thing is to learn from your death and not repeat the mistake.

          The usual Blightown disclaimers apply.

          • darkChozo says:

            Or, better yet, try going to a different area and fighting different enemies. Part of the magic of Dark Souls is that if you’re getting your ass kicked by skeletons or whatever, you can always decide to go somewhere else and get your ass kicked by ghosts instead. Or maybe dragons. Or trees.

          • Shooop says:

            Fighting enemies once you’ve figured them out isn’t hard, but it’s time-consuming. Which is what grinding is – repeating things to get stuff you need.

            Loose all your stuff by dying twice in a row, and you’re back to grinding – killing enemies who you know you can beat over and over again – to get some of it back.

        • The Crane says:

          There’s a difference between ‘grinding’ and ‘failing to progress’.

        • aliksy says:

          Not sure what to say that doesn’t sound terribly judgmental or elitist, but you shouldn’t be dying that much. Most of the mooks are pretty simple. Take your time, upgrade your equipment, kindle bonfires. Learn to parry and backstab. Block. Dodge. Buy a bow. Run away. Summon help if you need it.

          You can practically put the game in easy mode by starting as a priest (or whatever the one that starts with the heal spell), putting most of your points into vitality and endurance, and maybe using the ring of favor and protection (available after the 2nd boss). Get an elemental weapon and you’re set.

          • Shooop says:

            The problem isn’t the garden-variety enemies are tough. They’re not once you figure them out, the problem is dying means they reset and you have to slog through all them all over again (some are placed just so or behave in a way to be impossible to avoid fighting).

            The worst thing is if you need items to progress, but die twice guess what you have to do? Grind. Which is fighting easier enemies over and over again to get items which will help you clear the harder parts – which then if you fail you’ll probably have to grind again to get more items to help you in that harder part.

            It’s way too easy for the game to fall into the trap of monotonous “once again from the top” loops just from one screw-up because it punishes you not just with starting an area over like most older games, but cripples you to boot.

          • aliksy says:

            I think you’re overstating the “crippling”. You only lose the souls you’re carrying, so if you spend them before you die you don’t lose anything.

            There are some places where player knowledge is a huge deal. Like there’s a route through new londo to get back to the bosses where you don’t have to fight anything, and it only takes a minute. Before someone pointed it out to me, after every 4 kings death (it took me a bunch of tries on my first melee guy) it’d be a 5 minute slog. I also missed a shortcut in Anor Londo the first time I was there. There are a lot of shortcuts like that. Hell, imagine if you got to the gargoyles and hit neither the elevator nor the blacksmith bonfire? That’d be a hell of a run.

            Also, not sure what items you need to progress? The crest for the woods’ shortcut, maybe?

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            IIRC I started to struggle when I got to about level 53, because the amount of souls needed to get to the next one was greater and greater (again my memory might be shonky) so deaths in between were a massive ballache.

            Thankfully I found that picture world place which seemed to be great for soul farming. I think I stayed in there for ages so I could get the level (or maybe it was strength) to use the Sword of Artorias (??? maybe?). After all that though it turned out I had crafted the poo version, curse my ignorance.

            Anyways, yes I did do quite a bit of grinding, but I didn’t find it that bad. It was like a way of avoiding that next scary boss.

      • Megakoresh says:

        I agree, there shouldn’t be, which is why this is not the game I will ever enjoy. Throwing heaps of boring and annoying mobs at the player every time he gets killed by a boss or a mini boss is plain bad design. I am not sure what me not being good at the game has to do with it though or where that implication comes from. I always found Dark Souls to be quite easy, as it’s combat is so diabolically slow-paced, that the only challenge is figuring out the one and only way of efficiently slaying.

        It’s a puzzle game way more than it’s an action game. Fighting any boss or enemy is a matter of figuring out and repeating the exact same moves over and over again until their health depletes, which is not particularly challenging and only serves to increase the tedium. I will never forget how I spent 30 minutes killing a single golem somewhere (I still have no idea WTF am I doing there or what the plot is), just because I was apparently under equipped (had low damage weapons) and the thing didn’t have a crit point. It never did manage to lay any damage on me, just kept doing the exact same jumps and attack sequences, never adapting, never changing strategy…

        I also think, judging by many comments here, that the game attracts a lot of disgusting and quite socially challenged individuals, which is in itself a criticism.

        • Volcanu says:

          Are you just trying to be contrarian here?

          Im not really sure which comments here lead you to state that this game attracts “disgusting and quite socially challenged individuals.”? That’s a very strong statement and one that I cant see supported by any evidence. Even if this were the case, I fail to see that this “in itself a criticism”. So in your opinion a piece of art (or design) shouldnt be judged on it’s own merits, but rather on the basis of whether anyone unpleasant happens to like it? Well that would rule out most things in the history of the world then. Wagner was in vogue with the nazi’s. The Manson family loved the Beatles. Some racist thugs also like football. You can see where I’m going with this.

          Your statement that there is only one way to efficiently kill a given enemy is also just plain wrong. One of the nice things about this game is the way you can succeed through genuinely different playstyles. You can succeed as a tank with a greatsword and massive shield, or you can play as a quick and lightly armoured thief with a quick weapon. Or you can play as a spellcaster. Or use ranged weapons.These are all viable ways to play and each feels very different and makes the best strategy for each encounter or enemy type markedly different.

          No one says you have to like something just because others do of course. I dont like lots of popular things. DOTA? Not for me. But I wouldnt hop on a post about it and say words to the effect of “it’s crap because I dont like it, I played it for a couple of hours and from this extensive experience there is only one way to play it. Furthermore it is bad because I find some of the people that like it obnoxious. Oh and it’s badly designed, because I didnt like it.”

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      Get gud.

    • derbefrier says:

      What this boils down to is “there’s no quick save feature to abuse so I have to either face the fact I am terrible at video games or blame it on bad design, let’s go with bad design.”


      • Shooop says:

        Right, not being able to tell an environmental hazard will one-shot you like the old Sierra games with the added benefit of not being able to save before it happens isn’t bad design.

        Go back to bragging out how I Wanna Be The Guy is a cakewalk for you on /v/ and fuck right off.

        • sub-program 32 says:

          Except generally environmental hazards either don’t one-shot you, or are pretty obvious about it. For example, the first Sen’s dart-trap has plenty of clear space for you to roll away, and a clear cue noise to warn you something is going down. Then you can look for other plates like it throughout Sen’s, having been warned by the first time. The first trap is also very close to a bonfire to help mitigate soul loss. The most dickish things in there are mimics, and even they only really work once.

        • xao says:

          To which hazards are you referring? I can’t think of any that get sprung on you without warning. Like the rest of Dark Souls, they tend to be unforgiving but the game usually builds up to them. Once you’ve encountered one, they have tells allowing you to avoid them.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            There are none except for the first encounter with Seath. If you’re getting one-shotted you’re not paying attention.

          • aliksy says:

            Catacombs. That fucking guy. But let me tell you, the one time when I set off that trap and managed to dodge-roll onto a nearby ledge I felt like such a badass. I knew the trap was coming so I was ready, but it shows someone with lightning reflexes could avoid dying if they’re quick enough.

            I can’t think of too many other traps. Oh! The depths. There’s a big glowing treasure. And then you probably die. I couldn’t even be mad. I just put the controller down and said, “Ok game. You got me.”

    • Nenjin says:

      In the context of Dark Souls, you’re basically asking for a cheat.

      Perhaps its style of gameplay isn’t for you.

    • Archangel says:

      Megakoresh: hours and hours and hours and hours of boring, annoying and tedious slaying

      A million times this.

      I didn’t even make it past the merchant in the first burg — in two separate attempts at a playthrough, no less — before realizing how much this game had no respect for me or my time. I’m very thankful that the game was ported to PC, but I’m absolutely baffled by the amount of praise heaped upon it.

      • sub-program 32 says:

        You spent hours over two playthroughs and failed to even get past the merchant at the burg? 0_0 after the tutorial there is basically only the weakest most pathetic creatures in the game, and some of the same with firebombs. I am almost amazed you even got past the asylum boss…

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        I know right, I mean Super Mario Bros is a shit game because I fell in a hole one time, no respect for my time, just tell me what the story is and stop killing me wow.

    • drvoke says:

      I don’t know what this “grinding” is in Dark Souls. You should never technically have to “grind” for better weapons or better character stats in the game. You can choose to do so, but as you say, it’s so tedious that I think very few people do it. The point is, this is a SKILLS game with RPG elements. You could, theoretically, beat the entire game without getting hit once if you play well enough. Any grinding you do is optional to make up for where you might be lacking in personal skill, whether you invest your souls into equipment or character skills. Yes, it’s annoying to start over from some of the bonfires when you die, but I suppose the only advice there is… don’t die. The amount of grinding you have to do to progress is inversely proportional to your skill as a player, so a less charitable way to put it is that if you’re complaining about grinding in Dark Souls, it’s because you’re not very good at the game. Not an insult, it’s a hard game. But the reason you hate it is the reason so many people love it.

      It punishes me for my mistakes, nobody else’s, which means I also get all the credit for overcoming its obstacles. When I defeated Ornstein and Smough, no amount of grinding was going to help. I probably played that battle a dozen times until I finally figured it out. That was my victory, not the character’s. The character didn’t have any all-powerful ultimate magic fire summon super godly power to call on that I could grind for to put it on easy mode. The only difference was my skill as a player getting better as I practiced. Very few games of this depth and breadth can say that, which is why it is so beloved and considered so special.

      • Emeraude says:

        Well, grinding is kinda made a necessity by the save system if you’re like me and want/enjoy to experiment with the crafting system.

        Contrary to other games, you can’t craft a new weapon, test it, find it wanting – for example great stats but a move set that doesn’t fit your play style – and then reset. When it’s done it’s done, and you have to get the materials again.

  15. CookPassBabtridge says:

    My DS game is left languishing before the Terrible Twins. I just couldn’t go on.

    Also sewers. I hope this game does sewers as well as the first. Its the only game to really make me feel nauseous as if a big eggy smelling poo really had just floated past me.

    Basilisks. *shudder*

    • aliksy says:

      If you summon help for the anor londo boss, it should be easy. Of course, you’ll have to live with the fact that you couldn’t do it on your own, and didn’t really, properly beat the game. But you can move on.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:


        If you need me, I will be in my sad room

        • Geebs says:

          Don’t worry about it, the Four Kings are much worse than Ornstein and Smough.

          That’s where my game is currently languishing :-(

          • aliksy says:

            I didn’t find the four kings to be that bad. You can dodge most of their sword swings, and if you get a good magic resist shield (like the crest shield or the dark hand) you don’t take much damage from their homing missile.

            Also: Time to brag! I killed the four kings on my first attempt ever. Crystal Soul Spear is a boss killer. I also got them after 3 or 4 tries with a level 1 pyromancer. I’m sure there’s someone who got them with a ‘no-leveling naked using only their fists’ guy out there, but I’m not that good or patient.

          • dE says:

            Generally there are two problems with the Four Kings, you need to overcome.
            1) Getting killed by the homing magic attack.
            2) Not doing enough damage quick enough.

            Use a shield with high magic defense. The Dark Hands which are dropped by the wraiths just prior are perfect for this (they weigh little). Alternatively you can use the Crest Shield or any shield with 80% magic resistance for that matter. Next is buffing your damage. Use Power Within, Weapon Enchantments, just plain upgrade your weapon, apply gold pine resin or use a lightning based weapon. Two Hand it. Summon Beatrice. The trick is to do enough damage so they don’t spawn in multiples. No grinding needed, this can be done with a starting level character.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            “I killed the four kings on my first attempt ever”.


            If you need me, I will be in my angry and ashamed room

          • dE says:

            Don’t be. Everybody has their personal nemesis in the game. Some can’t pass the capra demon without issues, but take down Ornstein without fail. Others fail horribly at Queelag but can do a zero death run otherwise. Personally, my nemesis is named Artorias. And I’ve beaten the game on a starting level character. But that boss? Gets me everytime.

          • Shooop says:

            Beatrice the witch has a summon sign just before you go into the abyss. It’s hidden behind a wall the camera won’t let you see which means you’d have to have read a walkthrough to actually know about it.

          • Viceroy Choy says:

            Brag time: I killed Four Kings first try by punching them in the face and not using magic because WIKIS ARE FOR THE WEAK. ;b

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            I never completed Manic Miner.

            K thanks. Just needed to purge.

          • xao says:

            Shoop, that’s not accurate. If you explore the ledge prior to the abyss, you can find Beatrice’s sign easily enough. There’s also a darkwraith placed in a corner that guides you toward the summoning sign if you track it down. Keep in mind that someone had to find the sign in order to write the walkthrough…

          • tatties says:

            I finally beat Four Kings by putting on heavy armour and sprinting up to them and slashing away with a big 2-Handed sword, after many attempts using the usual dodge & slash tactic.
            Sif was my pet hate.. took me ages to learn the attacks and I kept getting smashed by the double spin.

      • CyberPunkRock says:

        I never considered summoning help as “not really beating the game”. For me, it’s a essential part of the experience. The relief of getting help in a desperate situation or the joy of helping (or invading) others is just great.

    • mukuste says:

      Yeah, same for me currently… I was progressing through the game at a good pace, never feeling that it was too unfair to me, but those two guys… fuck them. I’ve stopped playing it for now. Still want to finish it at some point because it’s a fantastic game, but that boss fight always makes me want to break my controller whenever I have another go at it. It’s just unfair.

      • aliksy says:

        To be fair, I rage quit for a few days the first time I got there. The combination of being new at the game and new at playing with a gamepad was brutal. I eventually got it, and eventually got decent at the fight. (I’ve only done it on my first try maybe twice out of two dozen goes), but man, that fight.

        I’ve started being more aggressive in the first half of the fight. I used to hide behind my shield and wait and wait for a perfect moment, and usually get smashed. Now I focus on killing the little one as soon as possible, because he’s not actually that sturdy. You can stagger him with enough hits, even. Once he goes down, the big one is much easier to dodge.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Thats how it was for me too with respects to being new to the gamepad. The sum total of my pad experience was an abortive run through of AssCreed 1.

          I was surprised that I did pick DS up, and no matter what anyone says there is a definite e-peen element to being able to play, and beat, The Hardest Game On Earth or whatever. Whilst I know its a shameful thing to admit that some element of my self esteem might actually be tied to my capacity to defeat an animate electronic fantasy tree, as A Gamer I am quite proud I even got that far to be honest.

    • Nenjin says:

      Don’t feel bad. Chubs and Beanpole are the reason I stopped playing too. I didn’t even really get into the groove of it, I just kinda looked at the fight, watched some videos (of grossly twinked out players beating them) and retreated in shame. I’ll have to go back before the new one releases, and either beat them by myself or spend the next month dying to pass the time.

      • sub-program 32 says:

        If you want some encouragement, there was a let’s play by someone called MaximusBlack who deliberately never summoned anything, and beat that fight with a non-twinked character (he was on a blind run) just by sheer persistence and learning patterns, all by himself. And he was by no means a particularly skilled player, so I hope that helps make you feel more okay!

        You can find said fight on the playlist here. Around the 50-mark on the list. The actual win is labelled specifically because it was such an achievement for the guy. It is long to say the least, but still more motivating that what you seemed to find. :)

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Thanks chaps

    • Prolar Bear says:

      After a very large number of tries I did manage to beat them and it felt GREAT.
      As someone has said above: beat Beanpole first, then Chubs is actually fairly easy to manipulate around the pillars. He’ll just attack and whiff. Rinse and repeat.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Thanks all for the tips and encouragement, maybe I will go back one day and give it a shot. Its been such a long time I will have probably forgotten how to play, so it will be a full restart.

  16. altum videtur says:

    Dark Souls II: Defeatist Boogaloo

  17. skyturnedred says:

    I hear the PC version is also slightly delayed, though will follow soon after the peasant versions.

  18. Shadow says:

    Yay, 2008 graphics! Thanks, consoles!

    Sorry, I had to say it. Let’s hope it runs at full speed and has proper controls, unlike the first one.

    The linked hands-on article began with “In my opinion – and let’s leave all those arguments about the poor PC port out of this – Dark Souls is the greatest game ever made.”, which is like saying Hitler was a great person, if you ignore the Holocaust and WW2. Yeah, I read they’re allegedly making a proper PC game out of Dark Souls II, but let’s see what they deliver.

    • mukuste says:

      Oh god, cut out the PC gaming master race crap already. The game looks and works just fine, especially with DSfix, if you use a controller.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      DSFix was great, and From are simply … er, from a part of the world that gets all confused when it sees a PC, so I saw it as less of a “we hate PC gamers” move and more of an “Oh we had no idea you were there. You want our game? Oh bugger. Anyone know how to turn that beige box thing on in the corner?”.

      Maybe I am letting them off too lightly with Clueless Grandad Syndrome, but meh. We did have to beg them with a petition before it even occurred to them.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        This is more or less what I assumed, yeah. They’ve (as far as I’ve seen) admitted to their mistakes and learned from them. Give ’em a chance, I say.

        And while they’re at it mayhap they can finally give us some Armoured Core on PC…

    • Jenks says:

      What was wrong with the controls? I played it on 360 and PC and it’s far better on PC. Blighttown was nearly unplayable on 360. I think anyone who whined about a poor porting job after the resolution fix has an inferiority complex.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Controls on a gamepad on PC were great.

        Controls on mouse and keyboard on PC were like trying to steer a boat from 20 feet away with a time accelerating rubber stick whilst viewing through a strobe lamp.

    • Shadow says:

      I can be as pro-PC as I desire on a PC gaming news site. Just saying.

      I played Dark Souls for a bit, before DSFix, locked at a terrible 15fps while being forced to use a borrowed PS3 controller through MotionInJoy. Unbearable. I might try said tool (which being unofficial and community-made doesn’t excuse the poor official porting), but even if the thing ran at 60fps, 1920×1080, I profoundly dislike being forced to use a non-PC control device to play a PC game properly.

      Is it really too much to ask for PC performance and proper mouse & keyboard (especially mouse) support on a PC game? Of course it bloody isn’t.

      PS: Apparently even getting the game to disable the 30fps cap is wonky and due to memory modification might even get you banned from GFWL. An unsavory proposition, to say the least.

      • Jenks says:

        Yeah that sounds horrible, you must have played the shit out of the game for the 1 day it was released before DSfix. And try using the proper input device for the genre, using KB&M for a 3rd person action game is no different than using a gamepad for a FPS. And unless you’re under 20 or have a massive inferiority complex, gamepad doesn’t mean “console input device.”

      • Freud says:

        Non-PC control device? Are you serious? If so, whatever gaming pain you experience with DS and DS2 will be self inflicted and well deserved.

        You’re like a person complaining about how hard it is to eat soup with a fork. Get a ******* spoon.

      • dE says:

        You’re not Pro-PC. You’re pro artificial platform divide.
        Before people like you deemed it necessary to attach a fixed input device to a machine, the PC was and (still) is all about different input methods. A racing wheel for racing games, a Joystick for Flight Sims, a Gamepad for Action Games, a Mouse for Shooters.
        You’re using hacked up drivers to run that PS3 Gamepad and complain about games not recognizing said hacked up drivers properly. These drivers were specifically made for motioninjoy, yet you complain about using motioninjoy. Bllglllargbl? You complain about 15 FPS, yet performance wise the port can run on some really crappy machines, are you sure your machine isn’t just really bad – or judging from your other words – set up bad? Why would you unlock 30 FPS anyways, if your machine can’t run more than 15 FPS? Let’s also not forget, not a single person was banned from GFWL for this. By the looks of it, Dark Souls did zero banning at all. Which is a valid criticism when it comes to the cheaters left and right. There was one person claiming to have been banned by the FPS Unlock thing, but never came through with any actual proof and basically never showed up again.

        TL;DR: You’re not Pro-PC. You’re just regurgitating the same old tired clichés about console games and PC Gamers.

        • Philotic Symmetrist says:

          +1…I mean….Like….I mean…..whatever it is we do around here to show appreciation and support for a post without meaningfully contributing to the discussion…..

        • Emeraude says:

          Add another +1. PC was always about versatility and generally the possibility to custom-tailor your play experience to your needs/wants – provided you are willing to extend the effort.

          That modern fetishistic encroachment on kb+mouse feels very weird from where I stand.

      • Fiyenyaa says:

        This isn’t a game that is ideally played on a mouse and keyboard.
        The bad port was not excusable, but it was not as bad as you make it out to be (considering the hyperbole on display in your post – unsurprising). As others have mentioned, the fix was available very soon after the release.

        You’re letting an irrational viewpoint prevent you from trying out an amazing game.

    • DanMan says:

      That’s what I thought as well. Those are some very low-poly and washed out graphics. Looks even worse than the first title, at least with all the fixes applied. There’s hope that the PC version will look better though – at least texture-wise. I won’t cut them much slack this time around though. This better be a good port – and I don’t mean gamepad controls. Those are perfectly fine with me.

    • Viceroy Choy says:

      Yes, it is exactly like saying Hitler is a great person. You are correct.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        Apart from when Berlin was a burned out husk with most of the buses on fire, he made the transport run on time. He sorted out the whole “my parents screwed me up” issue by gradually doing away with families completely, which would mean no more expensive therapy sessions moaning about mum and dad. And apart from spending all their money on tanks and it ultimately coming to pass that most of the bread in Germany was exploded with bombs so you couldn’t buy it anyway, at least it no longer cost 4 million Reichsmarks for a loaf.

        Economic genius.

        Also he liked dogs, where I believe Stalin was a cat man. No more need be said.

    • TheBarringGaffner says:

      After downloading DSfix I didn’t notice any problems. But maybe I’m not a true part of the PC master race.

  19. dethtoll says:

    I’d actually classify Dark Souls as a blend of survival horror and RPG. In a great many ways it reminds me of old-school surhors from the late 90s-early 2000s, back when they were actually good.

  20. Viceroy Choy says:

    I absolutely love the vibe I’m getting from this, very Demon’s Souls.

  21. Shooop says:

    The art of Dark Souls is easily my favorite thing about it. Sadly its flaws were great enough I couldn’t be bothered to finish it and just watched videos.

    I’m thinking of buying the first game’s art book.

  22. Wauffles says:

    Huff, it’s going to get harder and harder to keep away from this stuff until the PC port comes out, isn’t it? I think that going in cold as I did with Dark Souls is the best idea.

    I’m only waiting for the PC port because since doing a side-by-side comparison of the PC version of Dark Souls looking gorgeous rendering in 1920×1080 with lots of AA, and a locked 60fps, and the PS3 version….there’s no going back there, I don’t think.

    • In Zod We Trust says:

      Just remember that while the experience of seeing a boss/environment/thing for the first time while immersed in the game is a great thing, it is only one level on which to enjoy a game. After that initial introduction of a thing there are lots more things going on like the art design, encounter design, music and all the things that go into making a game like Souls a great experience.

      What I’m trying to say is that avoiding spoilers is a great way to get to experience that thing in-game for maximum impact, but don’t let being spoiler-averse ruin any experiences you might have. I know I have remorse over having seen any of the above stuff (especially the tragic re-death of Artorias’ dog) but I also know DS2 is going to deliver so much more in every other part (well, I hope it will) of the gameplay experience.

      That being said I still always try to watch the Gaping Dragon’s appearance all the way through as that is one of the best boss intros in my gaming history.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Good thing its not a pc port then. It’s being developed for pc and being ported to consoles this time round.