Dark Souls 2

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The most baffling Steam reviews

Christopher Livingston at

Before buying a game, it's a good idea to visit several different sources to determine if it's worth your time and money. Read reviews on gaming sites. Watch your favorite YouTube personality play it. See what people are saying on Twitter. Ask random people on the street. Call up your elected political representative. Buy a copy of the World's Number One Gaming Magazine. Buy several copies, in case something happens to your first copy.

You can even check out reviews on Steam, written by people who have played the game. Just use caution. While there are plenty of great writers filing reviews on Steam, there are also, shall we say, not-that. Here are a few of the weirdest, silliest, and worst reviews we've seen on Steam.


Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King DLC review

Cory Banks at

The first add-on for Dark Souls 2 restored some of the original Dark Souls’ legendary difficulty, but The Crown of the Old Iron King, part two of From Software’s trilogy of DLC, doesn’t follow suit. Instead, it evokes the sad, forgotten, wistful feeling I got in the first game’s world. It’s built to be explored, with lots of optional areas that branch off the DLC’s main path, and that comes at the cost of difficulty.


Dark Souls 2 'Crown of the Old Iron King' DLC is out today

Shaun Prescott at

Just when you thought you could relax and play something a bit less stressful, comes the second DLC pack for Dark Souls 2. Entitled Crown of the Old Iron King, it follows last month's Crown of the Sunken King pack, which offered "a whole new challenge for diehards, and a lot of content for your money," Cory Banks wrote.


Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Sunken King DLC review

Cory Banks at

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.


Dark Souls 2 patch 1.08 removes health items during PvP

Shaun Prescott at

A massive Dark Souls 2 patch has just gone live, and along with a long list of changes and refinements comes the news that “Health Recovery Items can no longer be used during any PvP”. What this basically means is that you can’t chug Estus mid duel, which is a change the Dark Souls 2 community has been requesting for a long time. After all, a duel should be an honorable fight to the death, right? Right.


How to access Dark Souls 2's new DLC in-game

PC Gamer at

If we’ve learned anything from our time in Dark Souls 2, it’s that the game doesn’t hold your hand for anything. Its first DLC, Crown of the Sunken King, is no exception. Unlike Borderlands 2 or Fallout: New Vegas, where installing new addons immediately give you a new quest and a map marker, Crown of the Sunken King simply puts a mysterious item in your inventory and leaves you with a cryptic clue. If you're stumped on what the new item means, or how to get into your newest challenge, we can help.


Dark Souls 2: The Lost Crown footage emerges, promises plenty of death

Phil Savage at

Last week, From Software announced their planned Lost Crown trilogy of Dark Souls 2 DLC, starting with The Crown of the Sunken King in July. Now, through the magic of video capturing, you can see how it will play. Well, you can see how it will play with someone competent at the controls. I dare say, for many people, the actual experience will feature a whole lot more dying.


13 haunting Dark Souls 2 GIFs

Ben Griffin at

Dark Souls 2 looks beautiful by any stretch, especially at 4K resolution as I've demonstrated in my Screenshot Showcase, but there's nothing quite like seeing it in motion. The oozing lava, the flocking birds, the ash clouds swirling through the air. I got the idea from cinemagraphs—still images that contain moving pieces. Confessedly it's a term I find a bit pretentious, so I'll continue calling them GIFs. Now, anyone can make a video clip. The aim here was to create a series of living photographs. Personally, I think it's the closet you can get to Dark Souls 2 without playing it, which you should, because it's great.


Dark Souls 2 DLC The Lost Crowns announced, season pass available on Steam

Cory Banks at

Chances are high that, if you love Dark Souls 2 as much as I do, you've uncovered most of Drangleic's secrets by now. You've found King Vendrick, you've killed in the name of the Rat King, you've participated in some jolly co-operation. Maybe some of you even finished the game in 20 minutes, thanks to some amazing glitches. But that doesn't mean you're done dying: From Software has three pieces of DLC on the way for Dark Souls 2, called The Lost Crowns, and you can buy a season pass on Steam for it right now.


Dark Souls 2 can be beaten in just over 20 minutes

Shaun Prescott at

It took me 60 hours to complete Dark Souls 2, so when I heard about this 20 minute Dark Souls 2 speedrun I was very angry. How dare they, I thought. It just isn’t fair. Never mind though, because this run utilises a series of glitches allowing the player to skip a pretty huge portion of the game. Oh, and did you know rolling while using the binoculars makes you somehow faster? It does. With a combination of these, YouTube user Distortion2 gets to Aldia’s Keep in less than six minutes.


4K Screenshot Showcase: Dark Souls 2

Ben Griffin at

Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

Learning the ancient art of Cheat Engine and downloading pox911's mystical free-cam mod gave me a dramatic new perspective on Drangleic. I particularly love the way camera focus follows your character, so positioning him in certain places allowed me to manipulate depth of field. I didn't get as many action shots as I'd like - it's hard when most enemies can take you out in a few hits. Will someone do me a 'stop time' mod, pretty please?

Dark Souls 2: ultimate armour guide

Ben Griffin at

Dark Souls 2 is one big fashion parade. Whether you want to resist fire, boost intelligence, or up the intimidation factor online, what you wear matters. Others have already written exhaustive checklists of the game's armour sets, so instead PC Gamer’s resident fashionista Ben has devised some fabulous custom ensembles - some for form, others for function. Check them out below.


The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Tim Clark at

Every Friday the PC Gamer team revisits the week that was, turning the wheat into delicious bread and the chaff into… What even is chaff? Can it be burned? Anyway, you know the drill: good stuff on page one, less so on page two…

The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Tim Clark at

Every Friday the PC Gamer team shines a torch into the dilated pupils of the week that was. As usual, read about the good stuff first, and then the not so good stuff on the second page…

Dark Souls 2 developer From Software acquired by Japanese publisher Kadokawa

Cory Banks at

From Software, the Japanese developer best known for the Dark Souls series—including the just-released Dark Souls 2—has been purchased by Japanese publisher Kadokawa Shoten, a company known for publishing manga such as Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion.


The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Tim Clark at

Each week PC Gamer probes the previous seven days to scientifically establish what rocked our world and made us despair for its future. As usual, we begin with the good stuff…

Dark Souls 2 review

Cory Banks at

I am not going to die before I get my corpse. I can make it, despite the hordes of hollows lying in the shadows, just waiting to hoist themselves up to my eye level to snack on my face. I used my last estus flask after a fleshy dog-thing lunged at me from the shadows, mistaking my bone staff for its chew toy. But that’s okay: I can still get to the edge where I fell, while trying to cross a chasm by leaping through the air. I missed.


Dark Souls 2 modded: Durante's GeDoSaTo enables downsampling, texture modding

Wes Fenlon at

In 2012, Peter "Durante" Thoman wrote the popular mod DSfix for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on PC, fixing its locked 1024x720 resolution and other issues. In 2013, he released a similar fix for Deadly Premonition. We asked Durante to analyze the PC port of Dark Souls 2 in a series of articles. He also modded the game. The image above is an in-game texture, not a Photoshop.

My first two articles about Dark Souls 2 investigated the PC port’s features and how generic PC tweaking tools like SweetFX can be used to further improve its graphics. Now it’s time to look at the full extent of what can be achieved by modifying Dark Souls 2 on a deeper level. First, I’ll provide a short overview of the general avenues available for PC game modding and how each applies to Dark Souls 2. Then I’ll detail the modifications I have implemented so far with a new tool I’m calling GeDoSaTo, which enables texture modding, arbitrary downsampling, and more. Consider it the successor to DSfix and DPfix—except its final goal is to work with any 3D game, not just Dark Souls 2.

Dark Souls 2 secrets guide: shortcuts, estus shards and more

PC Gamer at

Like Dark Souls' Lordran, Dark Souls 2's Drangleic is a world packed with secrets. There are secret paths to ferret out between areas. Bosses that you may never face in a normal playthrough. Estus flask shards and Pharros' Contraptions and Souls Vessels to find. We've compiled a guide to Dark Souls 2's most vital secrets. If you're just starting out (have you read our beginner's guide?) or a seasoned veteran, you'll find a wealth of useful information for your journey through Drangleic.


Dark Souls 2 PC tweak guide

PC Gamer at

In 2012, Peter "Durante" Thoman wrote the popular mod DSfix for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die on PC, fixing its locked 1024x720 resolution and other issues. In 2013, he released a similar fix for Deadly Premonition. We asked Durante to analyze the PC port of Dark Souls 2 in a series of articles. Here he explains how to wring the most performance from the game…

We previously investigated what Dark Souls 2 delivers out of the box, and it certainly has a nice selection of options. However, due to the unique strengths of the PC platform, we can try to go further in order to enhance our visual experience. In this article we will be relying entirely on generic, freely available tools. No hardcore hacks required.