need to know
Price: $10/£8, $25/£20 for Season Pass
Release date: Out now
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: From Software
Multiplayer: Online co-op and PvP
Link : Official site
The biggest criticism leveled at
Dark Souls 2
was that it was too easy. Players who had spent hundreds of hours in the first game found that many of the same tactics worked in the sequel. Maybe you had to dodge left instead of right to get past the Pursuer's sweeping arc, but generally speaking, the old tricks still worked.
I thought about this as I died—again—while playing Crown of the Sunken King, the first part of From Software's three-piece downloadable content set. My old tricks failed time and time again, forcing me to relearn enemy patterns and try new tactics. For Dark Souls diehards, that's a good thing, though you'll have to slog through some drab environments.
Sunken King adds a new item to your inventory: a dragon claw with a cryptic clue in its description. That item should lead you to the new content area, grafted onto the Black Gulch, behind where players fight The Rotten. That means you can't get into Sunken King until Dark Souls 2's halfway point, and even then, you might want to hold off until you have better gear. Use the dragon claw at the new altar beyond the Rotten's arena and you'll be brought to the new area. If you drop a summon sign here but don't own the DLC, you can still be summoned in as a phantom. Think of it as a demo.
The new content is split into three areas, starting with Shulva, the Sanctum City. I cross narrow ledges, activating platforms to reach areas, and spend more time jumping than in the base game. It never approaches platformer status, but I like the new emphasis on verticality. Enemies attack from above or below more frequently than before, and some of the best secrets in the early areas are discovered by trying to access rooms far above the ground. There are new environmental dangers here, too, and a better focus on puzzles and switches.
Sunken King's enemies are all brand new, too. The basic Sanctum Soldiers are so heavily-armored and tightly grouped that I quickly had to abandon my magic-based build for a sword-and-board approach so I could parry attacks and do more damage. There are insects that spit corrosive gas and are far easier to kill, and undead witches that are strong against dark damage. Massive, blind bipedal dragons guard a later bonfire, and take a tremendous amount of effort to kill. If I aggroed two at a time, one was guaranteed to chew on my bones.