IM PLAYIN – Dark Souls II

The first Spring Break of my college career was epic. Not only did my birthday fall smack-dab in the middle of it, but Dark Souls II, the sequel to my favourite game of all time, came out as well. Who wants to pay for a trip to Florida when I can take a stroll through Drangleic? At this point, I would probably prefer the trip to Florida. This game is brutal. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m loving every second of it. I’m about 30 hours in and I’ve died 113 times, which, honestly, isn’t too bad considering my death count was probably triple that in the original.

But as hard as it is, there are so many things that I love about Dark Souls II that it’s hard for me find a place to start. The combat is tight and intense, boss encounters are epic and challenging, and the environments are beautiful and anxiety inducing. There’s not much to complain about so far either. The only minor gripe that comes to mind is that they really increased the number of boss fights, and some of them aren’t quite as challenging as I feel they should be. Any boss fight that I can just walk in and kill on the first try, isn’t hard enough in a Souls game. The reason that boss fights are so great in these games is because they are lethal. Like, one-hit lethal. You have to dodge and block their attacks like there’s no tomorrow. However, with every death you experience you learn a little more about your adversary. You find chinks in their armor, and openings to attack. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of tough fights so far, and there are a couple that I found more epic than any I experienced in the first game, but these easier boss fights are a bit confusing. It’s also a possibility that these weaker bosses are meant as more of a filler between the big boys. I suppose I’ll have to wait until I finish the game before I can make that assumption, though.

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Between classes and my two jobs, it’s going to take me a while to get to that point. For now though, I’ll have to take this game one step at a time, which is fitting, because this game is gorgeous. When I was walking across a raggedy wooden bridge toward what’s known as the ‘Undead Purgatory’ I found myself enjoying the beautiful tint of the sky as crows circled overhead. Unfortunately, even the slightest drop in defenses brings death. I didn’t see the hole in the bridge, and fell into a bottomless chasm; screaming all the way, both in the game and outside of it. The land of Drangleic is a beautiful place regardless of the horrors that reside within it, and I can’t wait to explore every nook and cranny.

I wish I could go more into the online play, but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet. It’s a pivotal part of the Souls experience, and it’s a shame that I can’t take part, but the experience is still a blast without it. It’s also a bummer in the sense that I can’t summon players for help with bosses, but that makes my victories all the more sweet and satisfying. Anyway, there’s a quick look at what I’m playing, and probably what I’ll be playing for the next several weeks!