Dark Souls II Diaries: The End

55 hours. That’s how long it took me in the end. By some accounts, compared to most people I’ve spoken to, I breezed through Dark Souls II. It wasn’t easy but, in the end, it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. Or as memorable.

I sit here at my desk, asking myself a single question: what was noteworthy about my experiences with Dark Souls II. How did I feel when I finished the game? What is worth writing about?


A blank page. A blank mind. I feel emotionally flat. In a weird way, I feel nothing. Stranger still, I remember little.

When I look back on my memories of the original Dark Souls, am I struck by how memorable they are — by how memorable that game is. I feel as though I can drag every square inch of that game’s landscape from my memory. Almost as though I could draw it. Replicate it on a blank piece of paper.

I remember every boss battle, I remember my favourite moments, I remember how I felt when I finished the game. I remember how I felt when I started the game.

Already, I can feel Dark Souls II fading from memory.

There are a few reasons for that, I think. The first is the game’s structure, which essentially eliminates backtracking. Some appreciate that kind of structure, it harks back to Demon’s Souls, so there’s that. Another is the sheer volume of content in the game: the endless boss fights, the endless areas and their multiple bonfires. I wonder if the original Dark Souls half as long, but twice as strong in that regard.

I’m not going to get into the multiple different areas in which Dark Souls excelled where its successor failed — jump in any gaming forum on any site and you’ll find a thread dedicated to that discussion — but I will say this: from now until the day I die I will hear the music from the Firelink Shrine in Dark Souls and I’ll feel a weird, warm nostalgia for the many deaths I died, for the souls I spent and the souls I lost. I will remember the battles I fought, the battles I lost. I’ll remember the moments of despair and those short bursts of joy. I’ll remember the people I met along the way.

Dark Souls II was,is and will always remain an incredible video game in its own right, but I don’t think I’ll remember any of that. I’m already beginning to forget.


    I concur! I'm some 100 hours + into NG+, and yet I'm feeling the same sentiment, devoid of any real tangible memorable moment. Save for Vendrick's hollowed form haunting the space he locked himself away in. Would have been a sight to see him in his prime!

    Last edited 12/05/14 3:07 pm

    Yeah I'm struggling to keep motivated with 2. I guess I'm enjoying it? But only enough to revisit it every third night or so.

    Like I've said, they played it too safe. Despite the fact that Demon and Dark Souls both were really risky.

    It seems more like the game was focused on PVP and replayability.

    That being said, it's still leagues ahead most game franchises. A lesser version of Dark Souls is still really good and still worth playing over many games released in the last 5 years.

    I agree the world and story are less memorable but I feel that game play is massive strides forward, with a wider variety of play styles viable for both PvE and PvP

      Not to mention the sheer joy of dual wielding caestus to pummel everything into oblivion

    I guess there's only so many times u can fight the same enemy in a different location.. The dragon knights up on the peak were my favorite enemy.. apart from that it just seemed like I was fighting the same dreglings in the Forrest of fallen giants over and over, just with bigger swords.

    My only downside to DS2 is boss variety. I miss ridiculously cool and creative boss fights and I'm sick of fighting dudes with swords, spears and shields.

    Note: I only just beat the Gargoyles so I might be in for a surprise yet though.

    Last edited 12/05/14 3:40 pm

    I bought the strategy guide with the aim of diving back in once I had finished but I haven't be able to muster the desire to go back. I am very keen to see what the original creator produces I hear there has been some footage of his upcoming game. Been loving Bravely Default instead and hitting the boardgames. Mage Knight solo what a masterpiece of a boardgame, plus the new card game boss monster is a hoot. Dark Soul's II is still a very good game but felt watered down, Metal Gear if ground zero's is anything to go by feels the same bring on the Xenoblade sequel.

    Last edited 12/05/14 3:44 pm

    You guys should add an upvote button for articles.

    I'm so bored with Dark Souls 2. This is something I never thought I'd say.
    I think all the time about Demon's and Dark Souls, but I don't think about Dark Souls 2 when I'm not playing it. And when I am playing it, it's just making want to go back to either of the other two.
    It's a great game, but I don't think it has the same heart and soul as its predecessors.

    I think I am nearing the end (50 hours in) and now I just want it to be over. It's dragging on too long, Dark Souls 1 was "Oh wow, another area!" and Dark Souls 2 is "Oh god, another area..." and I'm just not finding it anywhere near as interesting.

    Still a great game, but I will be glad when it is done.

    Man I hear you Mark. fortnight ago I got the platinum trophy on ps3 and right now I cant even remember my most favorite parts. I guess I played it to death that much it kinda just felt like a chore but hey I got the PLATINUM baby! So nothing left to do. Thinking of even firing the old dark souls up just for giggles.

    Couldn't agree with this article more.

    I spoke to a friend yesterday, and he wanted to know how I was finding Dark Souls 2. Having played the original, he wanted to know whether he should pick up Dark Souls 2 straight away, or wait for it to drop in price. Despite how much I've been playing it, I honestly found it hard to recommend as a must buy title.

    The combat is definitely enjoyable, but the world, story and characters feel completely dull and flat. The atmosphere in Demon's Souls and Dark Souls was so thick and palpable that it sucked you right in. The world design in both titles was incredible, and really helped to sell the locations as being part of this big interconnected place. This was coupled with interesting bosses that actually felt like they belonged there.

    By contrast, Dark Souls 2 had very linear level design for the most part, and the locations often felt cobbled together. I had fun making my way through them, but it never really drew me into the setting the way the first 2 games did. I was always very conscious of the fact that I was playing a video game, which is a real shame.

    You could chalk this up to poor direction overall, but I think a large part of it was simply the sheer amount of recycled content, which can be really immersion breaking. There were so many reused enemies and boss fights that I felt like I was playing Dark Souls DLC rather than a new numbered title. Actually that's a bit unfair. The DLC for the original Dark Souls was actually pretty tops. Dark Souls 2 just comes across as a copy paste rush job.

    I think you hit the nail on the head Mark. It was completely lacking in memorable moments. The kind of moments that make you want to grab your friends, shake them, and then force them to play just so you can see their reaction.

    Look it's because of all you people going on about DS2 that I was motivated to make a serious attempt at the first game!

    Now 45 hours later and having just set foot in Blight Town - I'm hooked I can't play anything else!

    And frankly I can't wait to try the sequel either!

    Firelink theme definitely brings the memories and the haunting feels.
    Majula's theme holds its own though, I think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yJd0sogxHo

    as someone who has not played either DS1 or DS2. I`ve been interested in picking up 2, but now I`m not sure. Do you think DS2 would be better if you haven`t played DS1?

      I would recommend going 2 first, for the game play if not the world, DS2 is still very very harsh but ultimately fairer than DS1

    My experience so far;
    2 hours, 59 minutes of swearing at my game, wondering how the heck anyone could even land more than 3 blows on the pursuer.
    Clock ticks over 1 minute.
    Something in me clicks: stay calm. Take your time. Button bashing is not your friend. Taking advantage of openings is.
    3 hours: I am dying, but I am learning.
    3 hours 15 minutes: I beat the pursuer. I think I get it.

    Last edited 12/05/14 6:42 pm

      A mate told me early that everything in a bosses room is there to make the fight easier- I saw the ballista straight up and shot him for 90+% of his hp on my second try! Nearly every boss has environmental exploits...

    55 hours? what are you some filthy casul?

    I'm approaching 80 hours with my current playthrough. I've very nearly got all achievements, and then I'll probably give it a rest, like I did with Dark Souls.

    I did have a big lull in the middle when I felt kind of bored, but I got a second wind, and I love it almost as much as Dark Souls and Demon's Souls.

    I played it for 4 hours, and I concluded that it's basically a continuous barrage of cheap tricks, and annoying clipping issues that result in unfair combat. Like I was 5 meters away, and clearly nowhere close to the giant's foot, but I still got hit and died. I just don't find that very fun or satisfying...

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