Put aside any anxiety you might have about Dark Souls II being watered down for a mass audience, because I can promise you its not.
Throughout the entirety of my 10 minute demo, I never made it past the third room and failed more often than every other game I played today combined.
Getting into the game’s mindset came very naturally through the age old tradition of trial and error.
You just can’t hack your way through! DIE! Go back and use a shield properly.
You can’t block everything with your shield! DIE! Learn to dodge and roll.
Dodging and rolling cant do you any good if you are not dishing out damage! DIE! Learn to backstab.
Demo is almost up! You’ve got an iron plated turtle monster blocking your way. Remember what you’ve learned. Oh no! Four of his fire breathing buddies showed up! DIE! Mind your surroundings and don’t forget your torch, dummy.
LAST CHANCE! The iron plated turtle monster is right there. Block! Dodge! Mind the friends! Backstab!!!!! Huh?
Turtles have shells. You can’t backstab them. Oh yeah, they can also recognize when you are behind them and can fall on their backs, crushing you like a bug. DIE!
Dark Souls II is a punishing game, but it’s a good kind of punishing. The kind that makes you laugh at your own forgotten logic, just like its predecessors. Dark Souls II is designed for people who prefer to learn with trial by fire rather than have text explain the rules
It’s also more beautiful with better textures and lighting effects, but gone is FromSoftware’s budget feel. Can’t have both, I suppose. In the end, this is a good looking game.
Dark Souls II will be available on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC next year.