Eurogamer Expo: Hands on with Dark Souls II Ben Rayner 28 September, 2013 Eurogamer 2013, News, Previews Dark Souls II is hard. Plain and simple, just as its predecessor caused rage among gamers through pure infuriating difficulty, this sequels looks set to blister you’re hands and smash your dreams to pieces. Somehow though, that’s just great. I throughly enjoyed being the whipping boy of Dark Souls’ many punishing enemies. Presenting a sequel to such a huge success of a game is indeed a difficult prospect that once faced the team at From Software. As with any sequel, you can’t just repackage the same idea over and over while expecting critical success (some might agree considering the success of other franchises but let’s leave that for another day) if you go too wide of the mark and change it up more than needed, you risk losing the very fans who have shot your game to the top. Thankfully From Software have done good and kept things familiar yet somehow making the next instalment feel refreshed. Visually Dark Souls 2 looks almost like it’s been rebuilt from the ground up, with character animation looking more detailed and smoother than our first encounter with the series, colours are brighter and darks seem darker which is never a bad thing. Boss battles are thankfully here to stay, with the main attraction at this year’s Eurogamer being the aptly named Mirror Knight, who towers above you in a blinding silver suit of armour, including a huge mirror as a shield all the while controlling the power of lightning to burn you to a cinder should he so choose. Oh and then there’s the Mystery Knight under his control, just in case you haven’t had enough. While watching others play as I eagerly awaited my turn, I thought of so many different tactics to end the knight’s reign of terror. My mind filled with thoughts of victory I eagerly stepped on, and within seconds I died. The challenge is still there, every step I took I had to plan out as the Mirror Knight sent bolts of electricity my way while the Mystery Knight swung from the rafters to the side of me. In the end I had to give up, defeated I slumped away, my twenty minutes up but I didn’t feel too rough for losing to such a widely renown challenge. Such a challenge in fact that From Software were offering some pretty huge prizes to those who could best the Knight in their twenty-minute slot, that’s how convinced they were that the game would best everyone bar the best of the best. From the time I had with Dark Souls II it’s clear that if you’re a fan of the series you’re going to love this and if you’re new to the series then you need to play this game. It will challenge you and suck you into its world full of rich lore and great stories to be had (if you are willing to look for them) and with a refresh in its visuals, there’s never been a better time to jump in.