Everything Dark Souls II Gets Wrong

Despite its shortcomings, I like Dark Souls II a lot. Not everyone agrees.

In the video above, the very smart critic Matt Lees gives his comprehensive take on where he felt that Dark Souls II failed and succeeded. On a lot of points, I'm totally there with him. The texturing and lighting belies a game that had to be significantly altered to simply run on consoles, and the world does not make sense, especially when you look at how it fits together. But on other points I differ vehemently from him.

For example, I don't agree with his argument about self-critique — that the cyclical nature of the plot implicitly means that Dark Souls II is a game about games. While I think the plot is a statement about the universal pull of entropy and decay on all things, I don't think that means it's an existential statement about sequelitis. Also, I'm increasingly leery when a game critic assumes that a game is making a meta-statement about its own existence.

I have a lot of affection for Demon's Souls, and a lot of the design choices made in Dark Souls II attempted to capture what worked about it. And of course, Matt's take on it is smart. I'll probably never tire of talking and thinking about the ups and downs of the Souls series.


    I like Matthewmatosis critique.

    He also states that while he does believe it to be the weakest of the games, he would rather still play it over many modern games released in the last 4 years.

    Most of his complaints are obviously because Hidetaka Miyazaki was working on his Sony brown nosing title with a completely different team. While the story was disjointed lets be fair, in both the predecessors to DS2 you weren't pushed forward by story, but by the thirst for a different kind of game. I honestly do not remember anything about any of the story lines in this franchise.

    There are so many people who complain about exiting one area into another that doesn't make sense, like windmill -> castle in lava. The Souls series has always had disjointed timezones and areas, it is part of the universe's mystery and quite frankly, fucking awesome. Things don't always need to make sense, this is what fantasy and suspension of disbelief is all about!

      The areas in Dark Souls 1 fit together much better thematically (even if there might have been collisions between areas), but in Dark Souls 2, I distinctly remember a submerged area that ended with an elevator that went DOWN (and I think it ended in an area high above a forest).
      Why not just make the elevator go up?

        Probably a call-back to how the 'underground' area deep beneath Blighttown (The Great Hollow being the 'elevator down' - more like a series of branch-hopping inside a tree), the Ash Lake, is actually the 'real' ground, where you can see nothing but world-trees for miles.

      One of my favourite things about Dark Souls 1 was how un-disjointed (jointed?) the areas were - how you could imagine the rest of the world stretching out beyond the area you were currently in.

    with every souls game, these type of critics will increase. DS2 had a good balance in difficulty with having new players in mind, if you have played souls games for 4 years then making the game hard for you will made it impossible for others.
    my only issue with the game was the locations were not joint together in a good way, maybe because of the warping, and that to some degree hurt the game design.

    He wasn't arguing that the plot was a self-commentary, he was saying that's one interpretation, and if it's true it's amazing and if not it's hilarious.

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