Dark Souls II - Preview @ US Gamer
USgamer the american version of Eurogamer has a new preview for Dark Souls II.
Even though I only had the chance to see one possible use of Dark Souls II's multiplayer, just how easy it is to join or pull in other players -- based on my experience with the single-server Demon's Souls -- will hopefully make for some interesting scenarios. The first Dark Souls certainly attempted to broaden the possibilities of multiplayer with the covenant system, but the anemic peer-to-peer network setup made all but a few of the options completely unviable. Based on what I saw in the beta, From has thought a little harder about the opportunities a readily available pool of players can bring.
There's no denying, though, that Dark Souls II feels a bit different than the past two games. It features some head-slappingly obvious improvements, like allowing you to jump with a simple click of L3 instead of the completely unintuitive method from the last game, and sorting your vast inventory into different item categories, rather than a long and cumbersome list. But combat feels a little mushier, as enemies and yourself take a little more effort to kill, rather than a few quick slashes -- though this could just be how the pre-built beta characters were meant to play. And despite their history with the platform, From still hasn't gotten that whole "frame rate" thing figured out; Huntsman's Copse doesn't turn into a Blight Town-esque slide show, but it's jittery enough to be slightly annoying. Like Dark Souls before it, Dark Souls II will no doubt see some major improvements when the PC version arrives a bit later.
Assessing a game based on a random two-hour slice is like trying to determine if a book will win a Pulitzer after reading only a single chapter. That said, after playing 200 hours of Dark Souls, and 100 of Demon's Souls, my all-too-brief session with the Dark Souls II beta had me running around like the panicked idiot I was during the early stages of the past two installments. While I can't say if the area offered in the beta is representative of the challenge found in the rest of the game, From Software still seems to understand the essential elements of the Souls series' rewarding uphill climb.
Information aboutDark Souls II
SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development