DARK SOULS II
I was really excited to delve into Namco Bandai’s newest, soul-crushingly difficult RPG, Dark Souls II. Yet I lost my appetite all too quickly.
Before the question arises, YES— I am a fan of the previous abusive titles Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. The problem here isn’t the combat. After all, that’s what you’ve come to crave of this series, right? A game hard enough where you find that you ask yourself all too often, “why am I enjoying dying so much?” Trust me, you’ll die a lot here too; there’s even an achievement for your first death (This is Dark Souls!), which was chuckle-worthy. However, I was largely unimpressed with, well… nearly everything else.
Before we continue, let it be known I played the Xbox 360 version. Some issues I had with DS2 may not be found on other platforms.
Upon starting the game, we’re treated to a great cutscene. The quality was on-point and, as a graphics person, this got me pumped for what was to come. Yet when my character jumped into the swirling pit of souls and switched to in-game visuals, I was sorely disappointed. The textures were so horrible, I thought I was playing Two Worlds III (I hope they’re not making that). Blades of grass were all exactly the same, every stone and column featured the same bland grey, and the main character’s cloak constantly had a breeze blowing it, even if they were laying on the floor. The character models of the witches you encounter in the first hut were downright unappealing. This is 2014, and if other recent RPGs have been able to show us better graphics than the 2009 buffet Dark Souls II has spread out, there is no reason they couldn’t do the same.
Getting into customizing my main, the options were incredibly vast and appreciated. I chose the Knight class, although you can pick from several options, one being a vagrant with no armor, weapons, or clothes for that matter; just a big “F-You” class. Once I was content with my appearance, I set out into random encampments of mist.
And things just didn’t get better…
(Cont. on next page!)