Dark Souls II – what changed since the first game?

Gare – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 5:34 PM
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The first quarter of 2014 will see players dying over and over again once more – indeed, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Dark Souls is almost upon us. As we have learned, Dark Souls 2 will not necessary take a complete 180 in terms of gameplay, yet there are a number of notable changes to the core formula that will no doubt have a significant impact on how gamers will experience this latest installment. Let's take a look at some of them.

Perfect dark

As one would expect, the game was altered in order to forcefully take even veteran Souls adventurers out of their comfort zones and instill the very same fear into players that they had experienced upon plunging blind into the first installment. In one demo, we could see an unseen monster burst through the walls and into a seemingly safe corridor, demonstrating the brand new gameplay element of destructible terrain; in another situation, the crafty player's backstab attempt was brought to a halt via the sudden counterattack of a larger monster.

Dark Souls IIPlatform: PC, PS3, XBox360Genre: Action, RPGDeveloper: From SoftwarePublisher: Namco Bandai GamesRelease: 03/11/2014Rated: TESRBDeath in Dark Souls is something virtually every single player of the franchise has experienced countless times. This time, it's underwent a series of tweaks: dying in Dark Souls 2 results in a small portion of our maximum HP being eroded away, which will continue to drop with each consecutive death (going as far as 50%, consequently putting players at only half health). Although this condition can be remedied with an item called a Human Effigy, the developers at From Software told interviewers that they are nonetheless interested in seeing how players will handle an obstacle of this caliber. On the flip side, however, resurrection is no longer bound to Bonfires.

Dark journey with friends

Online co-op play underwent certain changes as well: back in the original Dark Souls, the death of a partner meant the end of that particular co-op session. Not in DS2: instead, co-op play uses a time limit -as well as dedicated servers-, allowing players to journey together with friends as long as the allotted time remains – one thing to note here, however, is that the remaining co-op time is reduced with each consecutive enemy defeated. Online communication in the world of Dark Souls 2 is made easier, as it is no longer dependent on a special item in our inventory: instead, it will appear as a simple system menu prompt. To go one step further, From Software attempts to make online play a core element of gameplay, even more so than in the prequel: DS2, as we have learned, will allow invaders to enter our worlds even when we are in our undead forms. A new Covenant was also introduced, going by the name of „Way of the Blue”, members of which will gain an additional partner during hostile invasions. The combat system was re-worked as well, introducing three separate pieces of gear to be equipped for each hand, as well as 10 additional items usable via a „quick access” inventory. Brand new items include the Witching Urn, which is practically a grenade, as well as a new spell called „War” that will serve to strengthen our co-op partners.

Dark Souls 2 is expected to hit shelves on March 11 (US) and March 14 (Europe) on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.More videos

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