Be prepared to cry

This handy dandy Xbox will let you play this awesome game.

This handy dandy Xbox will let you play this awesome game.

Why you should be excited for Dark Souls II

Article: Koby Schwab – Contributor

[dropcaps round=”no”]D[/dropcaps]ark Souls is a hard concept to sell; it’s a Western-style role-playing game from Japan that favours skill and finesse over numbers and stats, featuring a vague plot with even more obscure mythos, and a brutal difficulty that could shatter the resolve of the most diligent of persons. In short, it’s a meticulous exercise in the preservation of controllers and televisions. Dark Souls was such a fulfilling experience that most fans were surprised by the announcement of a sequel, the aptly named, Dark Souls II.

Reviewing Dark Souls II in a traditional manner would be the most professional thing to do, but I’d rather unprofessionally do an anticipation piece to convince those of you who have never been onboard with the series to do so now!

Developer From Software has really been playing up the accessibility of this sequel, not to say that they’ve made it easier, but the progression and combat systems have been refined to accommodate whatever play style works for you.

There are multiple new classes, each touting unique skills and abilities to confront the brutal difficulty with. That has always been the most interesting aspect of Dark Souls, you can sink hours into a character and get quite good, but you can get too confident or miss a dodge, and the game always reminds you that it’s your fault you died. As brutal as the game can feel, it urges you to be better.

Then there is the exploration. The scale and beauty of the world design is overwhelming. The obvious reward for trudging through the difficulty is the sense of accomplishment, but the biggest reward is simply being able to see where you’ll go next and how it will connect with where you’ve been. From what I’ve seen of the game so far, the level design will be even more involving than the first.

Perhaps the most integral part of the Dark Souls experience is the community. It quickly garnered a huge following and became a rite of passage for gamers, bringing people together to talk about boss strategies, exchange hidden secrets, and recant the times when they almost threw their Xbox out of a window because that one part was absolute bullshit, but they overcame it in a moment of clarity (but they really looked it up on the Wiki).

With the release of a new game, that cycle begins anew. I played the first game two years after its release, and I really felt like I was retreading old ground, so it will be so much better to be a part of the discussion as it happens.

By the time you read this, Dark Souls II will be out, most fans will have already beaten it, and already contributed to the Wiki. Don’t let that discourage you, because the game won’t be about beating it as fast as you can.

The souls series has always been a responsible parent that makes you work for your dues, and is all about the immersion in a fantasy world. To draw a relatable comparison, playing Dark Souls is like graduating from high school and being dropped head first into adulthood…with swords and demons.

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