These 12 minutes of gameplay footage should help you prepare to die all over again.
Dark Souls was a lot of things - deep, brutal, unforgiving - but one thing is certainly was not is predictable. Knowing that, you may find it useful to watch the first 12 minutes of Dark Souls II gameplay revealed by developer From Software. In addition to showing off a few of the improvements that have been made for the sequel, we get a glimpse at combat with some new enemies, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one taking notes: I want to know what to expect when I run into those monsters myself.
The most immediately noticeable change is that the graphics have received a tune-up. It still looks like Dark Souls for the most part, but the small changes to the lighting leave it with a more immersive look and feel. Combat hasn't changed much, but the dual-wielding looks much more fluid than the awkward system from the first game. We also see a pitch-black area where the player needs to sacrifice his offhand item to light the way with a torch, leaving him vulnerable to the monsters lurking in the darkness. These minor additions don't add much to the high-stakes trial-and-error combat system of Dark Souls, but it's just enough to keep things fresh while staying true to the feel of the original.
There's visible improvement to the enemies you'll be facing, as well. They continue to use efficient tactics to frustrate players as much as possible - we see a hulking brute of an enemy leave its back open for attack, but as the player moves behind it, the monster falls backwards and crushes the player. Your opponents will also have a greater impact on the immediate environment in the sequel, from demolishing stone pillars with their swings to breaking down doors to reach unsuspecting players. The gameplay demo doesn't show any of the game's intimidating boss fights, but you can expect those to be as challenging as ever.
The demo concludes with a series of humiliating player deaths at the hands of a variety of enemies, because it wouldn't be Dark Souls without a brutal disregard for the well-being of its characters. Dark Souls II is slated to frustrate gamers on PC, PlayStation3, and Xbox 360, though we're still in the dark as to its release date.