Dark Souls II (Xbox 360) game review
A return to the Dark Souls roots
- Retains the same challenging yet addictive gameplay
- Hub layout helps to streamline the experience
- Very difficult and frustrating at times
- Solutions and directions are not always clear
Dark Souls II does little to tone down the tough gameplay the earlier instalments were renowned for. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed, though newbies may also want to get in on the action.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
The original Dark Souls quickly gained a reputation for being a punishing and yet a rewarding game experience. Its spiritual predecessor, Demon’s Souls, continued the tradition of combining medieval adventuring with a steep learning curve that often concludes with a crushing death.
The series now returns to its roots with Dark Souls II. Some games may become progressively approachable with each new instalment, though that rule does not apply to this gaming franchise.
Back in black
Like the earlier two titles, Dark Souls II is a third person role-playing game set in a fantasy themed world. You are cursed with the fate of losing your memories and becoming one of the many undead that populate the landscape and feed off the souls of the living.
Hope for you lies in a distant land, where there may or may not be a solution to your dilemma. It will not be an easy journey, and suffering defeat at any point means restarting your adventure over again.
Dark Souls II makes the tough adventure more manageable with a hub area that allows you to keep track of the various zones and boss fights. Bonfires act as warp points, so you can return to completed zones and bosses for further levelling up if needed.
Past games tended to be a bit overwhelming due to enemies constantly respawning, though Dark Souls II provides you with a bit more breathing room. Defeating enemies a number of times temporarily stops them from reappearing; however, this can be circumvented by returning to the area if you intend to level up.
The game provides as little support as possible to strengthen the already prevalent feeling of isolation. The narrative itself is told through the various people you encounter throughout your journey and not through commonly used cut-scenes.
This minimalist approach lends to an atmospheric setting, though it can be a difficult at times to know what the next objective is, as well as where it is located. Some aspects of the game require you to interact with your surroundings in a certain way, which will likely push you to look at online message boards for troubleshooting.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 3 Tech21 Evo Xplorer iPhone case review
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Latest News Articles
- Divinity: Original Sin II preview: Choose your own reactive, gloriously chaotic adventure
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole preview: With great farts come great responsibility
- Konami's Metal Gear Survive is a co-op zombie survival game
- Microsoft wants all your devices to run on Xbox One’s proprietary wireless signal
- Warning: No Man’s Sky's PC port is broken and buggy
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- FTDefence Network EngineerACT
- CCChange Communications ManagerNSW
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- CCTechnology Specialist Networks & SecurityVIC
- CCSolutions Architect - Office 365/Sharepoint/Project OnlineQLD
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL) 160824/AP/531Asia
- CCSenior IT Project SpecialistVIC
- CCAnalyst Programmer/Snr. Analyst Programmer 20160817/vedAsia
- CCContract Senior Systems Analyst (C++/JBoss) 160819/SSA/892Asia
- CCContract Senior Web Developer (PHP/Drupal/JAVA) 160808/SWD/vtdAsia
- CCMainframe Application ArchitectNSW
- CCPersonal AssistantVIC
- CCSenior Technical Specialist - Active DirectoryVIC
- CCSr. Project Manager- Infrastructure- Data Centre,VirtualizationNSW
- CCChange LeadsNSW
- FTContracts ManagerVIC
- CCSenior IT Assistant (Office Automation/PC LAN) 160817/SITA/902Asia
- CCChange AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Integration Specialist - IP NetworkVIC
- CCProject Manager - Operational TechnologyQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- FTPython Data EngineerWA
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/JBoss/SQL) 160831/AP/994Asia
- FTTest EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Java DeveloperVIC