Everything You Need To Know Before Starting Dark Souls II

Want to get into Dark Souls II but feeling a little intimidated? Oft-Kotaku contributor The Junglist has teamed up with YouTube Souls-celeb Vatti to create an incredibly definitive, 40 minute long instruction manual for the game. This will be helpful for noobs and Souls veterans alike.

Despite being completely fresh from a playthrough of the first game, I was surprised by just how much I don't know about Dark Souls II. After playing for an hour yesterday much of the game felt familiar, but so much was new. Even small details, like combat subtleties, really threw me off guard. There's gonna be a lot of learning (read: dying) involved with this game.

If you're planning to start playing the game this Thursday, I reckon this is about as good a primer as you'll find.

Great job guys!


    I was going to watch, but them remembered that going in to games like Demon Souls and Dark Souls was much more fun (and infuriating) without any knowledge what so ever.

      Yeah, I thought the point of the game was finding it all out for yourself.

      You always need to know core mechanics in a game like Dark Souls as it tends to get quite technical when you get to stat builds and equipment sets.

        But thats part of the package. For someone to have come to these conculsions of stats and loadouts etc, it means they tested and played, made mistakes tried new things.....so why do many of us refuse to do the same.
        Understanding the core mechanics and letting someone else clue you in because you can't be bothered working it out on your own are two very different things.

        Many of us complained that modern games started holding our hands too much, obvious tutorials, easy difficulty, auto saves and checkpoints so frequent you could simply start 10 seconds before you died.
        But then when we are given a game that challenges us to actually put our money where our mouth is, we just go to the wiki or find a video on Youtube.

          For me honestly, PVP is king. The amount of worlds I will try to invade at level 1-5 will be ridiculous.

            I can understand that.
            Afterall PvP is as much about having the best toys as having the skill to use them.

          You are arguing entirely different points that have no merit being used together.

          First of all there are very few games that abuse tutorials in such a manner, at worst most of them are overly long or keep "features" from you until X point in the game. So much so that i can not remember a single game that has told me stuff in a tutorial that wasn't needed for a person new to said game.

          You are also incorrect in your assumption that "many of us" complain that games are basically too easy/dumbed down that is an EXTREME minority because very few people actually enjoy being punished for "dying", they play games to relax/ have fun/escape. Yes to some people that will mean beating their head against a brick wall until something "clicks" or they get better but most are just annoyed and want something to enjoy. This is also a wild variable, just the other day I heard someone complain about lost odyssey, one of the easiest jrpg's I've ever played as being too hard and as someone who plays most games on medium (because most difficulty bumps are cheap tactics increases or just %damage increase or less loot which is just annoying not rewarding) I would have preferred the game more difficult.

          However personally there is not a single game taboo in this world more rage inducing than dying, (be it from lack of skill/ improperly explained area or glitch) and then being forced to repeat 10-30 minutes or content that you JUST DID. Which seems to be a staple of "hard games" in the sense that sadists or the people who complain about difficulty ad nauseam want this kind of extreme punishment compared with the other 99% who hate it. (obvious generalization)

          I still remember when i first tried the first game in this series, I did the tutorial got to some weird ass boss in a tiny ass room and died and basically got kicked to the real game. That right there instantly aggravated me, because that is not the purpose of a tutorial. It should have informed me that this "boss" was a sadistic prank meant to feed on noobie souls and not to bother, or it should have explained how to beat it, anything other than the nothingness that was shown.

          Annoyed I proceeded to the first level and promptly died going up stairs from a boulder, I could not avoid said boulder because if i rolled off the stairs the drop would have killed me at my current health and it turned out i couldn't run from it either and died. It was a cheap kill at its very core, the 2nd annoyance. So i head back in and am told i lost all my stuff and had to get it, annoyed already at this point i tried to rush and died just before i retrieved my belongings. Which would have been fine but now they were permanently lost. So again, yet another set back entirely the fault of the designers because it wasn't explained. At this point I rage quit and returned the game.

          Maybe the new games aren't as pathetic with their information, maybe they have real tutorials that give you needed information, my guess is no. So if I ever wanted to try this game again I would watch this video and I'm sure many others who have heard about the games difficulty would watch it to get ready too.

          You are trying to dictate how people enjoy games in their own damn time and that because you like to go in with no information and learn the hard way that anyone who does it differently doesn't deserve to play the game. This is essentially what you are saying, so maybe you should get off that horse and stop taking a minor video out of proportion likes its a trucking deluxe PRRIMA guide to unlock easy mode dark souls with rainbows and puppies holding your hand each step.

            Wow, show me on the doll where the bad comment touched you huh?

            It was coming from opinion and personal preference dude. I sure as hell have not dictated how someone should play the game but I am allowed to question it am I not?

            While I admit my use of the word MANY is a large generalisation, but It isnt far from the truth considering how common the discussion of difficulty is across many games and I really aren't speaking about the multiple nuances.

            You do outline something though that I personally find isn't an excuse and only serves to highlight a mentality I disagree with.
            I see no reason to be warned about the sadistic prank boss whatsoever. If you are talking about Demon Souls then there was no need for the tutorial. The first "boss" was the device that killed you to begin the entire basis of the story. Can't exactly be an undead wandering soul if nothing made you undead in the first place, they just chose to make you experience it physically rather than via a cut scene or text.

            If you are speaking of Dark Souls then I guess you are talking about the Asylum Demon. He can be beaten, but the game perfectly shows you that he isn't some tutorial boss you can walk all over to make you feel powerful. The entire point of that fight was, run or prepare for one hell of punishing battle which I think was perfectly conveyed.

            Either game or boss I think both sum it up perfectly: "This game is hard and you will learn that very quickly"

            Something I don't get is. If this type of game uses mechanics that you hate so much, then why do you play it? Demon/Dark Souls makes no excuse and prides itself on being a frustrating grind fest that kicks your ass with every step.......there is no reason to expect something more from that or demand it change.

            Last edited 12/03/14 2:20 pm

      Do you have to be a glutton for punishment to enjoy this kind of game? Dying makes me mad, especially if it's one of those deaths where you have to fall for it the first time, only after that will you be prepared for it the next time around (e.g. a spike trap that's invisible, or a block that falls on your head).

    Something something handsome something.

    I have to watch a 40 minute video before playing the game?
    What is this, Metal Gear Solid? ;)

      Oi none of that. Metal Gear Solid movies are awesome. xD

    One of the most important tips in these games is to not kill or hit NPC's. I always disarm when leveling, or at the blacksmith or talking to NPC's just so I dont acidently hit the R1 or R2 buttons.

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