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Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Sunken King DLC Impressions: Yep, it’s Still Difficult
Time for more pain in suffering in Dark Souls 2 with its new DLC, Crown of the Sunken King. This time, it takes us deep below Black Gulch and back into the past as we get some new areas such as Shulva, Sanctum City, all in that hopes to keep stoking the bonfire that is our interest in the game. Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Sunken King manages to deliver and give us some new areas and ways to distract ourselves for a little while longer.
To start with I feel like the DLC is quite a bit harder than the normal game in terms of normal monster difficulty. As you quickly leave Black Gulch and enter into the first DLC area, Shulva, Sanctum City, you’re quickly introduced to some new enemies who, while they may seem like normal dudes, have very big hammers. These enemies make very good use of said hammers and like to pummel you into the ground. I was pleasantly surprised actually; a lot of people from what I’ve come to understand felt that the main game of Dark Souls 2 was a bit easier compared to the first game. Even I have felt that way at times, although I’ve always chocked it up to me being ready for the gauntlet of pain whenever new content for these games comes out. Which is why I was happy that the DLC felt quite a bit harder, as I was trudging on through as the number of enemies that engaged me was a lot higher than I expected and I was quickly worn down by arrows while dealing with the hammer brigade who were on the front lines. This is a good thing. Call me a masochist, but anything to increase the difficulty curve while still maintaining that oddly fun aspect is a win-win in my opinion when it comes to content.
Before anything else, it should be mentioned that the content of the DLC can be a bit on the short side, and if you are some sort of dark souls demigod who wrecks everything on the first try and you can finish the content in a couple hours. But for the rest of us cursed undead, it will take a bit longer. Thankfully there is more to do than tha,t and more vague tidbits have been added, which plays around with the lore as well. Boss fight-wise, I felt the bosses we did get in the DLC actually weren’t bad. Although one fight can be a bit annoying, since the boss seemed to cause serious weapon degradation just via me attacking him. Another boss specializes in summoning and casting dark magic and I found it to be absolutely hilarious when it summoned a boss from the normal game to fight for her and having roughly the same amount of health.
Naturally we get some new gear as well because it wouldn’t be Dark Souls 2 if we didn’t get the chance to play dress up with our characters and make them look more crazy or badass in whatever ways our cruel hearts deem fit.My one complaint about the content and story of the DLC is that one of the big bads is just another piece of Manus, which was the case with the normal game’s final boss as well. Not to mention the two are relatively similar fight-wise. Besides, the summoning it kind of bummed me out that they could have at least spiced her up aesthetically.
Additionally, the patch that came along with the DLC changed the game up a bit when it comes to what is functional and what is not. A lot of weapons across the board got either some big buffs or some big nerfs. But, that’s life I suppose, in the Dark Souls franchise. When people complain about things enough things change. This is not always a bad thing thankfully. Dexterity as a whole got a buff which was kind of cool to see. I can only hope it won’t cause a resurgence of katana spammers, but only time will tell on that. After Dark Souls and the dominance of dexterity weapons, it seems that From Software is willing to give a little bit back to the dexterity users again. A lot of weapons that focus on dexterity have had their base damage increased, which is a nice halfway point since I don’t expect From to have dexterity scale as well as strength for a while yet. Its nice to see From throwing a bone out at least once in a while.
I liked the DLC and the content patch, but there were a few issues I had with them. Mundane builds kind of took a big nerf if you weren’t using a dagger. Especially specific weapons that made a lot of mundane builds functional like Santier’s Spear, apparently From cannot allow the twinblade moveset to be functional in almost any respect. Additionally, and this one is rather silly, but I find it rather dumb that instead of giving us a new chest with some reskinned weapons they just change the contents of a chest which had a fairly useful item. Not entirely sure what they were going for when they thought that, but apparently it was something along the lines of “screw those people who want more soul vessels.”
Is the DLC worth your time? It’s more Dark Souls 2, if you liked the normal game than you will like the DLC as well most likely. Its only $10, so its not like you’re investing heavily for what you’re getting. Its a bit on the short side unfortunately, but for $10 it’ll give you a couple hours of gameplay at the very least.