Dark Souls II is a third-person role-playing game developed by Japanese developer FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Games Inc. for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 on March 11, 2014. A PC version is expected for release April 25, 2014.
It is the third game in the Souls franchise and the sequel to cult hit Dark Souls. However, the game is not a direct sequel to the original game and instead takes place in a new land, 'Dragleic.' Dark Souls II is also the first Souls game to not be directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki. He instead acted as a supervisor and the game was directed by Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura.
Dark Souls II was announced during the 2012 SpikeTV VGAs on December 7, 2012 with a CGI trailer. FromSoftware confirmed that the game would be released for PS3, X360, and PC, via their official Twitter page and website.
The new directors stated that the game would be 'more straightforward and more understandable.' This lead many to believe that the game would be made easier or 'dumbed down' but Miyazaki, followed up these statements and reassured fans that the 'core' of the series would be protected.
- As in Dark Souls, a player may be in human form or undead form; but, in Dark Souls II, each successive death while in undead form will incur a cumulative penalty to the player's maximum health, up to a maximum penalty of 50%.
- While in undead form, the player's character will gradually decay in physical appearance, including skin going green, face becoming disfigured, and hair falling out.
- Players may now be invaded in both human form and in undead form.
- The first covenant has been revealed, called the Way of Blue (name may not be final), which, if you belong to it, will automatically summon another player as a blue phantom ally to defend you when you are invaded.
- Summoned ally phantoms now have a limited time duration before they are automatically dismissed; a phantom's time limit will decrease faster the more enemies they kill.
- Stats have been altered in many small and large ways, such as removing Resistance, adding Agility, transferring spell casting speed from Dexterity to Attunement, adding scaling for Bleed and Poison effects to Dexterity, seemingly adding elemental damage scaling to Intelligence and Faith, and other unconfirmed changes.
- The speed of the player's rolling is no longer dependent on their equipment weight, but depends instead on their Agility stat, which is described as affecting "swiftness of movement," including parrying speed, shield readying speed, and possibly more.
- Player inventory has been made denser, with more information on screen at once and a grid view of items instead of a list view.
Dark Souls II does not feature preset classes. Instead, the player allocates points into stats of their choice and the game will then reveal the 'class' the player has chosen.
The six available classes are:
- Temple Knight
- Dual Swordsman
Dark Souls II: Black Armor Edition
Free upgrade for pre-orders
- Standard Game Disc
- Steelbook Case
- Dark Souls II Original Soundtrack
Dark Souls II: Collector Edition
- Standard Game Disc
- Steelbook Case
- Dark Souls II Original Sound Track
- 12" Knight Warrior Figurine
- Authentic Cloth Game Map
- Collectable Art Book
'The Black Armor/Weapons Pack' was made available to those who pre-ordered the game from Gamestop, Amazon, EB Games Canada and Steam. These items can be found later in the game and only offer early game bonuses.
- Black Flamestone Dagger and Black Flamestone Parma: "A dagger and shield encrusted in Black Flamestone both found in the Gutter at Black Gulch. Even though they are heavier than a normal dagger and shield, the Flamestone crystal's unique properties make the dagger extremely sharp and give the shield high resistance to damage."
- Transgressor's Staff and Transgressor's Leather Shield: "A staff and leather shield entwined with an unknown and seemingly lackluster element; these items are found in the Dark Chasm of Old. They have become a catalyst for sorcery and hex and cause an effect known as Darkness."
- Yellow Quartz Longsword and Yellow Quartz Shield: "A straight sword and small shield hardened with yellow quartz both uncovered at the bottom of the Iron Keep. Even though these items can break easily due to their high level of corrosion, they are exceptionally light and their power to inflict damage has not declined."
- Bound Hand Axe and Bound Wooden Shield: "A brutal hand axe and shield found in the Undead Purgatory. Both items are wrapped in chains and thorns to cause additional bleeding on enemies. Both the axe and shield have diminished in overall slashing power but their ability to deliver pain has been deliberately increased."
- Homunculus Mace and Homunculus Wooden Shield: "A mace and shield with spherical protrusions found in Aldia's Keep. Although heavier-than-normal maces and shields, the hard protrusions greatly increase the striking power of the mace as well as the shield's defensive capabilities."