5 Reasons I Love: Dark Souls II

With more than 50 hours through, I can earnestly admit that I am completely smitten for Dark Souls II. While this may not come as a surprise to many considering the general quality of the Souls Series of video games, I am willing to go as far as to say that Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (SotFS) is my absolute favorite in the series thus far. Granted I have not played the third installment (Dark Souls III) yet - I am awaiting the complete edition - I am more than happy to place Dark Souls II on the top pedestal for the time being. Why? Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Gameplay
Dark Sols II is fun. Scratch that, Dark Souls II is extremely fun! Not being a newcomer to the Souls Series, I was not completely wet behind the ears when it came to dealing with Dark Souls II's perilous world and enemies. In fact, I found things to be rather straight forward and, dare I say, easy too. But Dark Souls II has a way of lulling you into a sense of false security and just when you least expect it, bang, "You Died". Delve deeper into its depths and Dark Souls II steadily becomes tougher and tougher all the while producing tension so palpable you could cut it with a knife. Now, I do not mean Dark Souls II is fun in a masochistic manner whereby I enjoy my countless deaths and humiliations. Rather, I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from conquering a tough enemy or segment. In a way then, Dark Souls II is one of my best ways of letting go off a bit of steam.

2. World
The second reason I love Dark Souls II so is for its beautifully dark yet varied world. The world of Dark Souls II is so rich with lore and history despite actually having very little readily available lore to begin with. Character dialogues are often vague and your best bet are often item descriptions offering what little explanation there is of this decrepit land. Still, piece everything together bit by bit and a tragic tale of epic proportions unfolds open itself. With its distorted sense of time and even more distorted creatures, Dark Souls II's world has me coming back more as I yearn to push forth and discover every new area it has installed. 

3. Multiplayer/Online Interaction
Many experienced Souls players would tell you that much of the fun comes from the multiplayer. Having played the entirety of the first Dark Souls offline, I was skeptical about this statement to say the least. Worst of all, after I was beaten into a pulp by invading hackers during my first few hours of play. I felt so bitter, I contemplated playing the entire game offline. Yet, I persisted and fought on through resisting the urge to "Hollow". A few invasions later and, oddly enough, I was starting to get the hang of things. I may not win every time but, knowing I tried my best and learned from my mistakes helped me improve as a player. Then, I started exploring other aspects of online interactions such as, leaving messages and helping others in cooperative play. And what do you know? They were right, online play is incredible! And that is another reason why I love the game so.

4. Graphics & Art
In terms of outright graphical fidelity, Dark Souls II cannot claim to be the best. But if you play it on the PC/PS4/XONE, you would find the game still holds up incredibly well graphically. Much of this has to do with Dark Soul II's downright gorgeous art. The first (Demon Souls) set the foundation for the art-style that we so closely associate with the Souls series today. With its blend of medieval Western and high fantasy with a touch of Japanese whimsy, the art of the Souls Series still remains to be one of my all time favorites when it comes to video games. So when the fighting gets a little too heavy and you just need a brief moment of respite, just take a look around this beautiful world. Just do not forget it is out to get you with every step you take.

5. Role-Playing
Saving the best for last. By far, my biggest love for Dark Souls 2 has to be its role-playing aspects. Because of the difficulty and treacherous environment, often I feel as if I am in the role of my character fighting for their survival. Especially when my back is against the corner or I am severely outnumbered, survival instincts kick in and you frantically decided if it is time for Fight or Flights. This "rush" is something very few games manages to incite in me and when they do, I hardly ever forget them. As if that was not enough, Dark Souls 2 has a huge selection of items and customization for your character. From armors to weapons and rings to consumables, Dark Souls has hundreds of items for you to utilize with each and every one having an impact towards your character's performance. When the game has me spending this much time caring about my undead's well being, you can be sure I feel the pain every time she falls in battle.

So, there we have it, the 5 reasons I love Dark Souls II. For those of you who have finished the game, I am sure you would have found those relatable. For those of you struggling with it, I hope this serves as motivation for you to push on. And for those of you who have not played the game, I hope this inspires to give it a shot because there is little experience quite like it. Now if you would excuse me, I have an appointment with the punishing world of Drangleic. Until then, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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