Dark Souls 2 is often known as the black sheep of the Soulsborne family with many people outright disliking the game as a whole due to the level and enemy design and some people just hating it because Miyazaki wasn’t involved. Well Luke and Salman don’t fall into this category and decided to write this piece in argument FOR Dark Souls 2.
So I’ve done a lot of thinking… like a LOT of thinking about Dark Souls 2 ever since I played it. To give everyone some background I played the Souls series as backwards as I possibly could since I just didn’t get into them at the right time. I played Bloodborne first, then got really antsy to play something similar and the only thing out at the time was Scholar of the First Sin which I had mixed feelings about initially, then it was a weird blur of me playing that whole game in just a few days and then replaying it because of issues I’ll go into later and then just feeling empty and burnt out. Then I played DS3 which was… okay I guess. And then Dark Souls 1 which I think is fantastic but I also think that out of all three of the Souls games I think the one that stood out to me was Dark Souls 2.
To me Dark Souls 2 is special for the same reasons why a lot of people hate it. It’s different. Yes, there are some really, REALLY dumb things in that game but when I played it I was hooked. Then I got burnt out, then hooked even harder. It had this weird pull that no other Souls game had on me besides Bloodborne (Which is still my favorite)
I love how weird and clunky everything is in DS2, it’s the one Souls game that I think actually feels slow and more technical than the rest. There is definitely some dumb stuff in that game like the bosses. The bosses are straight up stupid at times, they have this weird lock on to you that isn’t in other games, you can cheese them super easy sometimes they are hard just for the sake of being hard. In fact, this whole game is just hard for the sake of being hard. While DS2 did fan service wrong by just making it stupid hard I still have more respect in it than DS3 which was Metal Gear Solid 4 levels of fan fellatio without any of the hype. I respect that Dark Souls 2 did something different and played around with new systems even if they kinda sucked ass. And to go back on difficulty I also believe that although bullshit, it made a much more memorable experience for me, I still remember the 3 sentinels boss fight because of how bullshit it was, the big spider dude, the Throne Watcher and Defender. Because of how upsetting, and stupidly difficult they are I ended up looking back on it much more.
Dark Souls 2 is just a special game to me, it’s the only Souls game I’ve played more than twice besides Bloodborne and it’s because of how different everything feels. Although it has it’s hiccups it’s still cool seeing a team try to recreate the same lightning in a bottle feeling DS1 had and ultimately making something different and still good.
I am about to hear the cry of a thousand fanboys with my next statement: I think Dark Souls 2 is the second best Soulsborne game only second to the original.
There I said it.
I don’t really know what it is about the game but Dark Souls 2 is the Soulsborne game I have played the most. I have done all 3 souls games a minimum of 3 times each (Bloodborne only once and I don’t know why I didn’t want to go instantly back to it) but Dark Souls 2 sticks with me and it is the one that I always go back to first.
There is just something familiar and comfortable about the game that draws me back to it constantly. I recently started the Scholar Of The First Sin edition for the first time and loving how it has changed JUST enough to keep me on my toes whilst not ruining the integrity of the game. This has also given me the chance to play through the DLC for the first time which manages to fix all the level design issues I had with the vanilla version.
One of the coolest things about the original Dark Souls was the process of inching ever closer to the goal whilst opening shortcuts along the way so you could cut out pain in the ass sections of the game – this is something that was admittedly missing about Dark Souls 2 but thanks to the DLC this was fixed for a huge chunk of the game whilst adding a whole new level of challenge with the bosses.
The bosses in Dark Souls 2 are another thing, whilst many people have complained about the generic enemy design throughout the game, I honestly feel that Dark Souls 2 has some of the finest bosses in the series, I will never forget first coming up for the first time against the Demon of Song or the Guardian Dragon. I get that these are not many people’s favourite bosses but as a Fire Sword wielding Pyromancer these 2 were my first real challenge with the game that really hit home that I couldn’t be comfortable with just one build and I loved it.
All in all, I just think Dark Souls 2 should be given more of a chance.