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Platform PS3, 360, Win Publisher Namco Bandai Developer From Software Release Date 2014-03-11

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9.0

Dark Souls 2 review: not the end

This may not come as a surprise to fans of the notoriously challenging Dark Souls or its spiritual predecessor, Demon's Souls. But it's not just the difficulty that had me wincing in fear during my playthrough. Dark Souls 2 is unflinchingly ambitious in a way that few games are. Yes, the world is massive; yes, there are far more bosses than the last game; yes, I've spent dozens of hours playing, and I'm sure I still haven't seen close to everything. But where other open-world RPGs use that overwhelming size as an invitation to lose yourself in their world, with Dark Souls 2 it's a threat. From Software has embraced the challenge they're known for while simultaneously cutting away a lot of the fat — bits of previous games that were more annoying than they were difficult. The...

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The modder who fixed Dark Souls' PC port scrutinizes Dark Souls 2

Peter "Durante" Thoman, the modder who took it upon himself to vastly improve the visual quality of the Windows PC port of the original Dark Souls, has weighed in on the technical merits of the game's sequel at PC Gamer, calling it "a better experience and a more beautiful game." In his look at the pre-release version of Dark Souls 2 for Windows PC, Thoman breaks down the forthcoming version's graphical options, its performance and the sheer size of its assets. He provides a handful of comparison screenshots, showing the PC version's leap in shadow, texture and model quality. "While it is not quite the (almost generational) leap which was initially shown in previews, Dark Souls 2 on PC is a better experience and a more beautiful game than even a fully modded Dark Souls 1," Thoman...

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Dark Souls 2 speedrunner uses glitch to complete the game in just over an hour

Speedrunner and YouTube user Noobest completed a playthrough of From Software's punishing action role-playing game, Dark Souls 2, in about one hour and 15 minutes using the Shrine of Winter skip glitch. The Shrine of Winter skip, which must be done with the game's 1.00 version, allows players to skip gathering four Great Souls before venturing to Drangleic Castle, effectively cutting a large portion of the game. You can watch Noobest fly through the game's levels in the video above; more videos are available on the streamer's Twitch channel. Dark Souls 2 launched for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last month. The Windows PC version of the game is slated for launch April 25. For more on the game, read our review.

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Is Dark Souls 2 an entry point for the non-believers?

If this is your first episode, Friends List is a daily web series where we have one-on-one talks about a single question related to video games. The goal is to give both Polygon's many team members across the globe and those involved in covering, designing and releasing games, an opportunity to speak with you. Today on Friends List, Senior Editorial Producer Griffin McElroy and Editor-at-Large Chris Plante ask: Is Dark Souls 2 an entry point for the non-believers? The episode will begin at 2 p.m. ET (or thereabouts!) and will be available via YouTube following the recording. While you wait you can watch the previous episode: How can game jams rekindle your love for games? Enjoy Friends List anywhere, anytime: Bookmark the Friends List video page. Subscribe to the audio-only...

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Dark Souls 2 on PC - Overview video

If you're one of the folks willing to hold off from indulging in Dark Souls 2 until its reportedly improved PC version launches, your moderation has not been in vain. Across the board, the PC version of the game performs better than its Xbox 360 and PS3 counterparts, which suffered from a cornucopia of performance and graphical issues at launch last month. On PC, the game's framerate holds steady. Load times are drastically shorter. Water looks wetter. In this Overview, I go solo to showcase the performance improvements you can expect from the PC version of Dark Souls 2, which launches April 25. I also showcase my unbeatable PvP-focused character build, which is designed entirely around sporting a remarkably fashionable monocle.

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Dark Souls 2 lighting and textures are a 'delicate balance' for 'continuity,' dev says

Dark Souls 2's lighting and textures on consoles differs from pre-release footage to allow for "continuity in graphical quality, gameplay dynamics and balance within the game," a representative at From Software told MCV. After it was released last week on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, players noticed differences between the pre-release versions of the game and its retail release. The game's lighting effects were on display when we played Dark Souls 2 at E3 2013. An area filled with dangerous enemies was pitch black. We could only see our surroundings and adversaries if we swapped our shield for a lit torch in our left hand. That Dark Souls 2 section was also part of the gameplay reveal last year. Although the same area appears in the retail version, it's only dimly lit and does not...

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We play Titanfall, TowerFall and Dark Souls 2 in this week's Polygon Live

How often do we get three hugely anticipated games on single day? And yet, here we are. There's obviously been a boatload of enthusiasm about Titanfall on the web at large, and TowerFall has been dominating our office for months. And wow, Dark Souls 2...well it's a new Dark Souls, which is generally considered a good thing. Chris Plante is out in the wilds of Canada, so we're joined today by Jeff Bakalar, Senior Games Editor and Host over at CNET. Please make him welcome! As always, we'll start streaming as close to 12pm ET as humanly possible. If we're a little late, be patient. There are cogs and things. Feel free to send questions via Twitter with the hashtag #polygonlive and we'll try to answer them on the show.

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Dark Souls 2 trailer promises certain death, plays Jethro Tull

A trailer released this week to celebrate the release of From Software's action role-playing game Dark Souls 2 explores what might be the series' defining component: sure and certain death. "You will die," says the narrator. "That much is certain. Death will define your journey." Press play above to see the trailer, listen to Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath" and watch the twisted characters hellbent on causing your death. Dark Souls 2 launched on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 March 11 in North America and will arrive on European consoles March 14. Dark Souls 2 is headed to PC April 25 with "an enhanced framerate option." For more on the game, be sure to read and watch Polygon's Dark Souls 2 review to find out why the RPG is "unflinchingly ambitious in a way that few games are." You...

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Dark Souls 2 - Overview video

There are definitely a lot of tally marks you can give to the "love" column — its open world is enormous, ready to be explored in any direction of the player's choosing. Its system of character development, while occasionally inscrutable, is one of the deepest that games have ever offered. It offers so many elements to master, so many secrets to learn and uncover. In the "hate" column — Dark Souls 2 is a stone-cold bastard. In today's Overview, Phil Kollar and I jump right into Dark Souls 2, eager to vanquish foes and destroy furniture in search of dank loot. In doing so, Phil only dies every ten minutes or so, which is way, way under par for this franchise.

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Dark Souls 2: tips for beginners and returning masochists

Character creation After a short introductory sequence at the start of Dark Souls 2, you'll create the hero you'll be spending the next 50-100 hours with. Choose your class carefully but also don't get too worried. Class choices work differently in Souls games compared to most role-playing games. Every time you level up, you'll choose which stat to pump points into, so even if you start as a magic user you can build yourself into a beefy, sword-wielding knight eventually. As far as starting classes, sorcerer is a great choice for beginning players who are a little bit cautious about wading into combat. You begin with a powerful spell, and you can take out a lot of enemies just by keeping at a distance. On the other hand, a lot of fans will tell you (rightfully so) that the real joy...

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This 40-minute video will teach you how not to die in Dark Souls 2

Publisher Bandai Namco is offering a hand to those new to the famously difficult Dark Souls franchise, with a new 40-minute video that will help users prepare for Dark Souls 2. Presented by Good Game host The Junglist, alongside Australia-based Dark Souls expert VaatiVidya, the "Dark Souls 2 Comprehensive Guide" video explains what is needed to survive in-game. That includes everything from basic statistics, combat details and when to use health items. Dark Souls 2 launches on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this week, followed by a version for Windows PC next month. The game received a 9 out of 10 from Polygon, in a review that explains: "It's still a stressful experience, but it's easier than ever to recognize the brilliance in those moments of triumph that make it more than worth the...

Dark Souls 2 Releases
North America
  • PlayStation 3
    • Released 2014-03-11
    • Publisher Namco Bandai
    • Developer From Software
    • Score 9.0
  • Xbox 360
    • Released 2014-03-11
    • Publisher Namco Bandai
    • Developer From Software
  • Windows
    • Released 2014-04-25
    • Price at Launch $49.99
    • Publisher Namco Bandai
    • Developer From Software
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