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Have You Played... Dark Souls 2?

A wild ride

A huge armoured enemy smashes through a warrior's shield in Dark Souls 2.
Image credit: FromSoftware

It's easy to place Dark Souls 2 in your crosshairs and take aim at its differences. Its map doesn't intertwine like Dark Souls 1 or 3. Lots of bosses do that thing where they summon in some mates and it's quite annoying. The atmosphere lacked that magic glaze. And yet, its quirks and frustrations make it one of my favourites.

Cover image for YouTube videoDark Souls II - PS3/X360/PC - The Curse of the Dark (EU Launch trailer)

Like I mentioned in our 2014 Time Capsule, the game takes a scattershot approach to Dark Souls' traditional world order. You shoot between dark forests and ancient peaks and there's even a point where you ride a spooky ghost ship. But it's this lack of cohesion that makes it so memorable, as you're just some undead warrior going on this odyssey through a ravaged land, encountering all its weird and wonderful beasties.

The DLCs elevate the game's status as a concept album, whisking you off to three forgotten kingdoms to reclaim crowns from ice-blasted cities and sunken Aztec-inspired temples. And while a lot of its levels are fairly linear, you wonder whether they set the stage for Elden Ring's open world. I mean, Elden Ring certainly resembles the DS2 experience out of all FromSoftware's offerings but ups the intricacy levels and ties things together better.

Cheers to Dark Souls 2, a wild ride.

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Dark Souls II

Video Game

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

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About the Author
Ed Thorn avatar

Ed Thorn

Reviews Editor

When Ed's not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he's likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he's very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.