Dark Souls 2 Review



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Sean D Knight

I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to read the review and offer their opinions on it and respond to the queries and criticisms surrounding my focus on the mouse and keyboard. The reason for this is that I focused on that because I only played Dark Souls II with those input devices. I’ve never liked playing a third-person action RPG or shooter with a controller. I’ve always found it limiting compared to the response and capabilities of the M/KB.

Some of my examples of this were included in the review: The Witcher 2 and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Both examples are of third-person games that worked perfectly with the M/KB. Other examples I could add would include the Mass Effect franchise and the Batman Arkham series.

I am highly critical of From Software’s failure to optimize the M/KB because that is my primary input device. And the same goes for many PC gamers on this platform. The developer, and fellow gamers, can’t just sweep it this under the rug by saying that a game controller is recommended or that the game was optimized for a controller. That is just an excuse and not a very good or convincing one.

There were several issues I had with the game’s use of the M/KB that spending some time reconfiguring the controls wouldn’t solve. The most egregious of the reasons was input delay and the inability to bind keys to my additional mouse buttons.

The fact is that the third-person action rpg genre (shooters too) works great with a mouse and keyboard. Everyone is entitled to play the game the way they want to play. And if the input device for the PC platform isn’t fully optimized or properly used, then I felt that needed to be reflected in the score.





While this is just my opinion and I am sure the game is great I am just not interested. I dislike 3rd person games and just find them frustrating to play.



Not sure why there's such a focus on the bad KB/M implementation when Dark Souls is clearly better played w/ a controller... Any PC gamer surely has a Gamepad included in their setup, along w/ their joystick, steering wheel and any other gaming accessory. (seriously... what gamer would ever play StreetFighter 4 on a KB/M????)

You don't use a screwdriver to drive in a nail anymore that you use a KB/M for a game designed for a controller.

Right tool, right job.



FromSoft said they are designing the game separately for PC. so the controls should at least be playable.
No doubt that the game is good and after a little tweeking you can easily play it on keyboard and mouse.



I have played both dark souls 1 and 2 on pc with a keyboard and mouse and i loved it.
I don't think its a fair review and the reviewer needs more experience with the soul series.
I totally agree that the controllers are lackluster for pc it took me one whole day to calibrate controls for the dark souls 2
but what i get after that is totaly mind blowing.
This game is meant to be hardcore with tight controls and accurate combat. The combat system is so damn accurate. Which part of your weapon connects to the enemy also decide the damage you deal.
Which other game have that much realism.
Now coming to the plot of this game. You have o figure it out though the various NPCs and the item description and then you will realise how great it is.

PS- This game doesn't hold your hands throughout the game like those Call of duty shits. If you don't improve u are f****d.

My review. Challenging and frustrating but equally satisfying and rewarding.


Arthur Dent

Why the focus on KB/M? While obviously better for FPS and RTS games, for games like this a controller is the better option.



I have some issues with this review. It really doesn't sound like you've played enough of the game, or the Souls series, to give a fair and informed opinion.

Why all the focus on KB+M? It's a console game, designed for a PS3/Xbox controller. So get one, and play it with that. Steam is making a big push towards controller gaming, and support for gamepads is better than ever. It just sounds like you're bitter and clinging to the past, there really is no need to use KB+M all the time now.

You talk about the plot being "boring and vague". Are you sure you just didn't look very hard? Dark Souls 1 had a "vague" story that was actually just beautifully hidden, waiting to be fleshed out by fans. The amount of lore was staggering, and it looks like just as much effort has been put into the second game. Go and have a look at some of the various lore discussion threads on NeoGAF etc, people are finding all kinds of stuff.

Glitches, that's fair - they are annoying. But there has been a patch already that fixes a lot of issues. People are saying the vast majority of PC issues are gone now.

And a "limited" combat system? Careful now. This is what the Souls series is famous for. The combat is fantastic. I know it's hard for newcomers, I was a beginner once too, but you should have been aware of this beforehand.



Ok, that opening few paragraphs is the same kind of "Gameplay on rails" BS that has ruined computer games like the new Thief. Waa, I can't win unless someone installs all of the Big Brother safeguards in existence and my mommy stands over my shoulder to have a stern chat with the AI every time I don’t pay attention to where I am, and fall off a cliff.

Frustration is the name of the game with good games. Not due to errors of the games themselves, but because they leave you open to failure. I'll never understand how people can fall for games that are little more than prompting the next cutscene.



I'm on the last boss on the Ps3 died like 250+ times after playing some day I'll backtrack and get the bosses I missed like the Charriot horseman. Saving the ending because waiting to see if they have DLC for this game like in Dark souls I.



I love the mouse and keyboard as much as anyone else here, but let's not kid ourselves...

The game was designed for a controller, it's more fun with a controller, and it should be used with a controller. Just because your a PC gamer doesn't mean you can't use a controller. Some genres and series are simply better with a different input device whether it be mouse/keyboard, arcade sticks, game pad, wheel, joystick, and so forth.

I think it's really childish that PC gamers scream about controllers when the whole appeal of the PC is the adaptability and openness to choose any option. Fact is, it should NOT be a frustration for PC users. The game is actually a ton of fun using a controller, and there wouldn't much much of an improvement to using a keyboard and mouse.

This game is a ton of fun, and highly recommend. I'd rate it a (8.5/10) .

Side notes:

* I agree the plot could be better.
* You can use a PS3 controller with the PC easily with motion joy ( http://www.motioninjoy.com/ ) and supports bluetooth connectivity if you have a bluetooth adapter.



Plugging the 360 controller in directly is even easier.

I agree about the controllers, I use 'em for PC fighters and twitch platformers like Tomb Raider. That said, I also agree that the keyboard controls needed some serious work.



I hate the horrible design of the Xbox controllers, it does not have an integrated rechargeable battery, I have a PS3 already so I don't have to spend 50 dollars on a new controller, it's ugly, bulky, and blends in with PC gaming desk better.

I've used a Xbox controller before for PC actually, and didn't quite work very well.

Actually I would say once you sync your PS3 controller to a Bluetooth dongle on your PC it's even easier to use a PS3 controller.

> Open MotionJoy(or justhave it auto-run it when you start PC)
> Press Playstation controller PS button.
> Play Game

It works perfect, and just as easy, if not easier. I am using a dongle that was like 50 cents to a dollar on Amazon.


Yeah, the PC controls on Dark Souls 2 are really bad, and I just cannot manage with them. I really doubt there will be any real improvement though from the developers, it's up to the modders I guess?



Since I, sadly, had to get a 360 (non optional social convention) I have some 360 controllers lying around. The lack of rechargable batteries isn't a problem for me as my controllers are wired.

I once experimented with PS3 controller on PC but it didn't work out very well. No bluetooth then or now on my PC (I have a dongle lying around but...). I have to say that I like the 360 controller more than the PS3. The PS3 d-pad is superior, but that doesn't come into play much.



A much fairer review then your sister site PC gamer gave. For all the talk of being a better PC port, the game still falls short in many aspects. The game simply still is very frustrating with mouse and keyboard. I'm still going to enjoy the heck out of the game, just when my controller comes in the mail.