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Dark Souls II Beta Preview

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After spending Friday and Saturday ensuring that everything was downloaded properly, I got to wake up early on Sunday to the Dark Souls II Beta. I may have needed to make some extra coffee, but it was totally worth it to see what they’ve done with Dark Souls.

Dark souls huntsmans copse

This beta took place in Huntsman’s Copse, a wooded area with ambushes and death around every corner. But then, it’s Dark Souls and we wouldn’t want it any other way. As usual, the multitude of blood stains were a vivid warning of imminent danger, often more useful than the messages scrawled on the floor.

There’s a reason they don’t call the game “Light Souls” – parts of the game are so dark that you can barely see. In fact, the sequel adds a new functionality for this. After kindling the bonfire, you can light a torch. In this way, you can run around and actually see where you’re going. However, you can’t carry a torch and shield, so be prepared to block with the torch, and probably meet a bloody end. But at least when you go back to retrieve your souls you’ll have a better sense of the lay of the land. Of course, you can swap back to your shield, but then your torch is extinguished and you are plunged back into darkness.

Dark souls torch

Other bon fire activities still include leveling up and attuning spells. During the beta, there was no option to repair equipment. At this point, I can’t tell if that’s simply to streamline the beta experience, or if equipment deterioration has been removed from game play.

First impression of Dark Souls II? It’s a lot faster than the first one. Enemies are more agile, something particularly noticeable when that weird double-wielding chain-clinking monstrosity emerged from the woods to attack.

The backstab has changed in Dark Souls II, as well. Whereas previously the animation was pretty standard and led to massive damage, the new backstab can involve some kicks to reposition the back – this means you don’t have to be perfectly behind the enemy to execute this move. However, the amount of damage done with a backstab has been dramatically reduced. It is still an important attack, but it does not have the same impact as it did in Dark Souls.

Another change seems to have taken place when it comes to Dark Phantoms, of which there are tons in Dark Souls II. Really, there are a lot of them. One area had four just waiting for an ambush. In another section involving a small, narrow path and a precipitous drop, two double-wielding Dark Phantoms seemed to come out of nowhere and surround me. Yeah, lots of death.

Dark phantom dark souls

For the most part the Beta test went well. I never got kicked off by the servers, nor did I encounter any Error 37 issues. In fact, I logged in and out of the server test on multiple occasions just to be sure. However, the beta is still showing some unfortunate frame rate issues. I hope that these are resolved before launch – the new environment looks great, but if the PS3 can’t handle it that doesn’t do a lot of good.

Last Updated: October 28, 2013

54 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief Ninja

    October 28, 2013 at 14:35

    Proof that I need sleep and/or my meds are acting against me, misread “multiple occasions” as “multiple orgasms”, and I thought Darryl wrote article, then luckily saw it was Zoe, then saw my misreading.

    I need to go lie down or something.

    Reply

    • TiMsTeR1033

      October 28, 2013 at 14:49

      Getting old man!

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        October 28, 2013 at 14:51

        Tell me about it, once you hit 26 it’s all downhill. How far do you have to go?

        Reply

        • TiMsTeR1033

          October 28, 2013 at 14:57

          Dude I will be 26 on Sunday lol

          Reply

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            October 28, 2013 at 15:30

            Alien Trevor is right, it’s all downhill after 26… (actually 24) and then when you hit 30… le sigh…. you might as well go on top of a mountain and wait for the end. At least the vultures will have a good meal of old man flesh.

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 15:31

            Are you a bergie?

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            October 28, 2013 at 15:40

            No, I’m afraid my class is probably hipster. :/

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 15:44

            Ag nee sies piesang!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            October 28, 2013 at 15:56

            Sometimes healing only comes through introspection and acceptance. Accept your hipster status. For the greatest hipsters are those who say they are not hipster….

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 28, 2013 at 15:46

            If Hipster is a class, would that make the alignment Ironic Evil?

      • Admiral Chief Ninja

        October 28, 2013 at 14:53

        Nah, flu and flu meds got me. But yes, big three-oh in a couple of months

        Reply

        • Rincethis

          October 28, 2013 at 14:54

          Young wipper snapper!

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 28, 2013 at 14:55

            They grow up so quickly don’t they?

          • Rincethis

            October 28, 2013 at 14:55

            They do. One moment you’re vomiting up lunch for them, the next they’re flying away…

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 14:55

            So lemme get this straight, you’ve been out ninja’d by someone younger???

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 28, 2013 at 14:59

            Out ninja’d maybe, but not out Hitman’d πŸ˜‰ Who’s that person wandering unobtrusively through your offices?

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 15:04

            Lol

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 14:55

            Old ass #foreverSP ginger!

        • TiMsTeR1033

          October 28, 2013 at 14:56

          thank god I am only turning 26! Hope you feel better man!

          Reply

        • Her Highness the Hipster

          October 28, 2013 at 15:10

          only old people complain about their meds πŸ˜›

          Reply

          • TiMsTeR1033

            October 28, 2013 at 15:11

            You forgot to add BOOM!

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 15:12

            FLU MEDS DAMMIT

          • TiMsTeR1033

            October 28, 2013 at 15:13

            I’ll donate you a walking stick for your birthday..

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 15:14

            I’m sure it will fit nicely, horizontally, in your throat

            πŸ˜‰

          • TiMsTeR1033

            October 28, 2013 at 15:18

            So much love!! I know that means alot to you the walking stick.. Ill crave on it Admiral Oupa…

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 15:20

            Seems like Rince and Trev and Saintsrow are the old ass folk here

          • TiMsTeR1033

            October 28, 2013 at 15:22

            They are…. One day will the oupas on LG….

          • SaintsRowNigri

            October 28, 2013 at 15:27

            Old ass my ass. At least I am not crying like a little girl about the sniffles I have. Oh poor Admiral. Bring him his teddy… Want hy is nog ‘n kinders.

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            October 28, 2013 at 15:29

            Still being a doos I see, well at least you are consistent in that

          • SaintsRowNigri

            October 28, 2013 at 15:34

            OK. Shall we blame your calling me a doos of all things also on the flu meds? Why don’t you just call me a c_nt and get it over with?

  2. Dean

    October 28, 2013 at 14:51

    One of the stranger changes I found is when locking on a target your movement speed goes down. Sort of like a concentration debuff, which make rolling around bit more finicky.

    Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    October 28, 2013 at 14:51

    Damn it Zoe, you’re just teasing us with this. :/

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Ninja

      October 28, 2013 at 14:54

      She is quite the tease yes

      Reply

      • TiMsTeR1033

        October 28, 2013 at 14:59

        Would be more of a tease if could make her some new Indie Zoe headers lol So many Ideas…. Not a single new image to work with sent to me..

        Reply

        • Her Highness the Hipster

          October 28, 2013 at 15:06

          LIES! i emailed you last week!

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 28, 2013 at 15:09

            He’s fishing for more photos. He’s a cunning one, our Tim.

          • TiMsTeR1033

            October 28, 2013 at 15:11

            If only that was the case!

          • TiMsTeR1033

            October 28, 2013 at 15:10

            no you didn’t!

          • Her Highness the Hipster

            October 28, 2013 at 15:11

            did too! do you check your spam? apparently i end up there sometimes… because americans like spam?

          • TiMsTeR1033

            October 28, 2013 at 15:12

            hmmmm I didnt get it at all… I checked spam!

          • Her Highness the Hipster

            October 28, 2013 at 15:15

            I would send you a DM on twitter to confirm the address i sent it to, but apparently you don’t follow me. so much wrong right here…

          • TiMsTeR1033

            October 28, 2013 at 15:20

            Then I shall follow you! It is DONE!

  4. Rincethis

    October 28, 2013 at 14:52

    So looking forward to this game!

    Reply

    • TiMsTeR1033

      October 28, 2013 at 14:58

      Yet another game still need to get!! Dark Souls!

      Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      October 28, 2013 at 15:00

      Me too, and it won’t be a shitty port this time. WOOHOO!

      Reply

      • Rincethis

        October 28, 2013 at 15:02

        It’s going to be on the PC? 0-O Talk about braking precedents!

        Reply

      • Umar heartless

        October 28, 2013 at 15:02

        Dude, the Frame Rate was the worse on console, with some hacking the PC version was the best. It’s gonna rock!!

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          October 28, 2013 at 15:05

          If by hacking you mean 2 minutes downloading a mod & changing a few settings in a text file, sure.

          But you never got to experience the full pleasure of crap controls lol Press red button to perform action – but..but… WHAT’S THE RED BUTTON? And my backlighting is blue, I don’t HAVE a red button πŸ™

          Reply

          • Umar heartless

            October 28, 2013 at 15:07

            Not hacking on our part. Someone had to check the DLL file out and change a few things along with the txt file editing. and Xbox control man, best way to go. But PC always get’s crappy ports, sometimes it’s get’s the best version though

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 28, 2013 at 15:14

            They should be seriously embarrassed by that hey. One guy took 2/3 weeks to create a DX mod for their game that made it look 100 times better.

          • Umar heartless

            October 28, 2013 at 15:16

            Indeed, I don’t blame them though, it was ported shitty, was never developed alongside the console versions. But DS 2 is and it’s going to be awesome. You should watch EnB preview of this game.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 28, 2013 at 15:16

            I’ve seen it, looking forward to it.

  5. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    October 28, 2013 at 15:28

    (Trolling)

    But it looks exactly like Dark Souls? Call of Duty Ghost looks and will play just like Call of Duty: EVERYTHING? WHY DO YOU HATE BATMAN SO MUCH LAGZ? WHY DO YOU HATE BATMAN!!!!!??

    Reply

  6. Axon1988

    October 28, 2013 at 16:33

    What were the areas like? I mean size wise compared to DS. Sure DS is one large map, but it’s broken into smaller areas. So how large are these areas?

    Reply

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