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Dark Souls II |OT| The Dark Souls of Dark Souls

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Psycho_Mantis

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I've only seen a couple of hours of the game but I've caught glimpses of a ton of areas/enemies/bosses and yeah, that about sums it up.

I don't know if I saw anything that was cooler than the best of what the series previously offered to be honest but some of the stuff was definitely good/great.

The lows were incredibly low though, some of this stuff looks really questionable from both a design and a visual point of view.

At this point I'm just starting to accept the fact that many aspects of this game won't satisfy me but I'm still looking forward to playing it. It still looks like a fun game, just not something I can entirely feel good about. Bittersweet.

I'm sure some people will be very happy with the game though, I tend to be more critical and demanding when it comes to games.



here's a stream screen I took of that fight, it's entirely gray now with none of the atmosphere of the demo footage. Like they literally removed the color.

Holy fuckkkkkkk. WTF happened? This is some serious bullshit FROM is pulling.

When I fought him at the expo it was like this:

 

Toxi

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May 29, 2013
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I don't mind if its grey unless its just a boring level. I mean if it fits with the theme of the level for instance, Shrine of Storms is pretty much all grey but it had a really cool theme and the colour palette kind of went well with it.
Boletarian Palace and Shrine of Storms both did a very good job with a grey color palette.

However, again, I haven't actually seen Dark Souls 2 footage and it might not do grey nearly as well. The Mirror Knight picture doesn't look near as good as the boss fight we saw earlier, but it doesn't look too bad to me either... The entire atmosphere is different, and definitely less exciting.
 

Toxi

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Perhaps these lighting issues are supposed to be fixed on a day-one patch? I can't see From releasing a game so vastly different than what they've been marketing.
If this happens, fuck you From. Day 1 patches should not be for things that don't need patches.

On a side note, I'm wondering why From didn't implement the uber powerful red phantoms before release Dark Souls had.

Are reviews usually embargoed, even for games that turn out to review really well?
Yes. Review embargoes are the norm.

Review embargoes until launch day are very worrying.
 

JoeFenix

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From your posts I was under the impression you'd actually played it.
No, sorry if it came off that way.

Again, I'm not the kind of person who usually watches streams but I wasn't entirely happy with what I played in the Beta and wanted to see if they fixed some of the things that bothered me. I was just kind of in shock at the lack of quality of some of the environments/level designs so I felt compelled to keep watching on and off.

I haven't played the game beyond the beta and my impressions are purely from watching that stream. That's why I don't touch on how the game feels (obviously) to play and all that good stuff.

I've expressed my thoughts pretty thoroughly at this point though, I think I'll stay out of here until I've played the game to completion next week.

Again, I don't think anyone should cancel their pre-orders or whatever. I was just surprised and disappointed about certain aspects of the game from what I saw of it. Your mileage will vary, I expect some people will be really bothered and some won't care or even see any problems at all.

It looks like a mostly fun game regardless of any issues it has.
 

Vesper73

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Perhaps these lighting issues are supposed to be fixed on a day-one patch? I can't see From releasing a game so vastly different than what they've been marketing.
The part of me in denial wants to believe this.... But the rest of me knows better.
 

Curious_George

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Oct 7, 2011
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True, but Bethesda actually got realtime shadows working on consoles in Skyrim, and that was a few years ago.

The argument against two lighting engines is still valid even today. Can you imagine having to test/balance twice just so the PC version could provide better lighting?

I can't think of a single game where the console doesn't have realtime lighting but the PC version does. Course that could just be that I'm tired. Any takers?
Well, they have like almost an extra two months to do that for the PC version, so maybe they'll put that time to good use and touch up some of this stuff.
 

SargerusBR

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Jan 23, 2013
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My biggest grip right now is the color palette, most environments are either gray, moss green or dirt brown, but that's not in every area of the game. Dark Souls 1 suffered from this same problem IMO
 

Garcia

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Don't worry guys. When you're fast traveling around everywhere you'll barely notice the ugly environments.
Which stream have you been watching? Or have you been playing the game lately? I'm very interested to confirm that all these graphic issues are indeed taking place in the console version even if I spoil myself to some extent.

If the game is as broken as some people are stating over here I might completely skip the console version and wait for the PC release.
 

JoeFenix

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Boletarian Palace and Shrine of Storms both did a very good job with a grey color palette.

However, again, I haven't actually seen Dark Souls 2 footage and it might not do grey nearly as well. The Mirror Knight picture doesn't look near as good as the boss fight we saw earlier, but it doesn't look too bad to me either... The entire atmosphere is different, and definitely less exciting.
Ok so I'll clarify one last thing since I was actually going through world 4 in Demon's Souls earlier today.

That it actually my favorite place in DeS, sure it's gray but it oozes atmosphere. There's dust blowing in the wind, it feels desolate and melancholic somehow. It's not lazy or unfinished or boring looking. The architecture is cool looking, there's a sense of place and history that's tangible.

My complaint with DS2 is that the gray areas feel unfinished, unpolished and lazy. Alot of mostly empty rooms with repeated gray textures and no distinct features. Nothing in Demon's Souls feels pointless to me from a visual standpoint, the level design is still incredible and the atmosphere is thick.

DS2 looks and feels cheap alot of the time. My complaints run alot deeper than being hung up on a lack of color. I just want to make that clear.

Which stream have you been watching? Or have you been playing the game lately? I'm very interested to confirm that all these graphic issues are indeed taking place in the console version even if I spoil myself to some extent.

If the game is as broken as some people are stating over here I might completely skip the console version and wait for the PC release.
Broken is a really strong word and I don't think it applies here. I would say it feels and looks heavily compromised.

Part of me wants to hold out and wait for the PC version but at this point I'm locked in with the PS3 version. I have to see this through!
 

Garcia

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My complaint with DS2 is that the gray areas feel unfinished, unpolished and lazy. Alot of mostly empty rooms with repeated gray textures and no distinct features. Nothing in Demon's Souls feels pointless to me from a visual standpoint, the level design is still incredible and the atmosphere is thick.

DS2 looks and feels cheap alot of the time. My complaints run alot deeper than being hung up on a lack of color. I just want to make that clear.
Very gloomy panorama you portray right there. . . It's exactly the opposite of what I was expecting from them.
 

Psycho_Mantis

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Which stream have you been watching? Or have you been playing the game lately? I'm very interested to confirm that all these graphic issues are indeed taking place in the console version even if I spoil myself to some extent.

If the game is as broken as some people are stating over here I might completely skip the console version and wait for the PC release.
Your being delusional if you think the Pc version will have a new lighting system and change of colour palette.
 

Gator86

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This game should have been PC, PS4, and XBO only if this is true :(
It doesn't seem like they had the resources to even pull off a current gen game much less deal with all the eye candy next gen demands. Not sure how they would be able to put together ps4/xbone levels assets when the ps3/360 ones are as barebones as they apparently are.
 

Toxi

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Ok so I'll clarify one last thing since I was actually going through world 4 in Demon's Souls earlier today.

That it actually my favorite place in DeS, sure it's gray but it oozes atmosphere. There's dust blowing in the wind, it feels desolate and melancholic somehow. It's not lazy or unfinished or boring looking. The architecture is cool looking, there's a sense of place and history that's tangible.

My complaint with DS2 is that the gray areas feel unfinished, unpolished and lazy. Alot of mostly empty rooms with repeated gray textures and no distinct features. Nothing in Demon's Souls feels pointless to me from a visual standpoint, the level design is still incredible and the atmosphere is thick.

DS2 looks and feels cheap alot of the time. My complaints run alot deeper than being hung up on a lack of color. I just want to make that clear.
Disappointing. I'll see if I agree when it comes out.
This game should have been PC, PS4, and XBO only if this is true :(
Or it could have just used the old lighting system, which was pretty great in certain areas; see the Tower of Latria and Oolacile Township.
 

JoeFenix

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Your being delusional if you think the Pc version will have a new lighting system and change of colour palette.
Well these areas have been playable in an infinitely more appealing state for months before this downgrade happened so I guess anything is possible.

It's a strange state of affairs.
 

Necromanti

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DS2 looks and feels cheap alot of the time. My complaints run alot deeper than being hung up on a lack of color. I just want to make that clear.

Broken is a really strong word and I don't think it applies here. I would say it feels and looks heavily compromised.
This makes me all the more happy that the PC version was delayed if that's what it takes to bring it up to what it deserves. (Hopefully. Unless we need another Durante.)

Are you enjoying the game, regardless? It's disorientating to hear such starkly opposite opinions, but it's good to get a dose of reality. I wonder how divisive this game will end up being.
 

Toxi

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This makes me all the more happy that the PC version was delayed if that's what it takes to bring it up to what it deserves. (Hopefully. Unless we need another Durante.)

Are you enjoying the game, regardless? It's disorientating to hear such starkly opposite opinions. I wonder how divisive this game will end up being.
It's going to be extremely divisive however it comes out. Just the gameplay changes we know about (like bonfire warping) are already divisive, never mind level design, enemy variety, graphics, etc.

Only reason why Dark Souls wasn't that divisive was that Demon's Souls wasn't very popular and a lot of new people came into the fold. I doubt we'll see the same increase with Dark Souls 2.
 

JoeFenix

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This makes me all the more happy that the PC version was delayed if that's what it takes to bring it up to what it deserves. (Hopefully. Unless we need another Durante.)

Are you enjoying the game, regardless?
I've only SEEN the game and haven't played it other then during the Beta phase.

Feels weird to say that because I normally wouldn't want to spoil any of this stuff but I've explained my position in previous posts.

I'm still looking forward to actually playing it next week, it looks like a fun game.
 

MilkBeard

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You can get invaded in any form now. Just seems pointless to me. If you're not having trouble, you don't need to worry about it. If you're new to the game or bad, they add an extra thing to frustrate you. Seems to be less about challenging core players and grieving newbies, as I mentioned earlier.
Not really...in Demon's Souls you play for most of the game that way, in fact. Going human is more rare because it only happens when you beat a boss, until you die one time...so it's always there, and it's just meant to be an extra challenge. It's tied into the human/hollow idea. If the game is balanced with that in mind in DSII then it won't be a huge deal. I barely noticed it in Demon's.
 

Necromanti

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It's going to be extremely divisive however it comes out. Just the gameplay changes we know about (like bonfire warping) are already divisive, never mind level design, enemy variety, graphics, etc.
I don't know anything about the latter yet, so I guess I'll find out for myself in more than a month from now. Some things aren't that starkly different from Demon's Souls on paper, but how it plays out in the game will remain to be seen.
I've only SEEN the game and haven't played it other than during the Beta phase.

Feels weird to say that because I normally wouldn't want to spoil any of this stuff but I've explained my position in previous posts.

I'm still looking forward to actually playing it next week, it looks like a fun game.
Oh, so you've only seen it through streams? Sorry. I thought it sounded like you meant from direct experience. On that note, it would be helpful if people playing the game right now could also chime in and give their opinions as well.

It seems developing the game for such old hardware really forced them to limit certain things in the game, unfortunately, but since they stated that they developed the engine with next-gen in mind, hopefully that will be evident in the PC version.
 

Ellite25

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Man I think a lot of people are thinking the worst right now. Earlier people were excited because word of mouth from people playing early and reviewers sounded good and now the lighting doesn't look as good so the game in bland and uninspired. The first two games are some of my favorite ever, and I trust From to make an amazing game. Maybe the lighting won't look as good but to be fair I never thought the Souls games were all that good looking anyways and I never cared. Keep in mind, most of the negative impressions are from the JoeFenix guy and he hasn't even played the game, just watched streams (I don't mean that to offend him).

This game is going to come out and people are going to love it like they have the other games, I have no doubt about that. Let's not get caught up in the negativity.
 

Psycho_Mantis

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Oh, so you've only seen it through streams? Sorry. I thought it sounded like you meant from direct experience. On that note, it would be helpful if people playing the game right now could also chime in and give their opinions as well.

It seems developing the game for such old hardware really forced them to limit certain things in the game, unfortunately, but since they stated that they developed the engine with next-gen in mind, hopefully that will be evident in the PC version.
We have said time and time again that we have seen the demoed version run on PS3's fine. Don't kid yourself into thinking that Dark Souls 2 is such a graphically intense game that PS360 can't handle it lol.
 

Garcia

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Are you gonna play offline?

Cause you're gonna have to deal with invasions all the time. I know there are priority queues in the game, help from covenants and so on but it's not like you can just run hollow and bypass that altogether. So it's not really a choice, unfortunately.

I only hope there's less lag, less lagstabs and I'll be cool with it. Just don't wanna have to deal with bullshit all the time while I'm trying to make progress. In dark souls I'm getting invaded every 5-10 minutes and it gets boring fast, but at least it happens cause I choose it. Training and all, you win some and lose some.

But when it's due to lag it's really really frustrating to lose progress. When I see the invasion message I backtrack so I don't have to fight all those enemies again to reclaim my shit in case I lose. Considering the amount of griefing, lagstabing and pyro spamming in this game, it's bound to happen often.

It's the only aspect of DSII that I'm not feeling right now but I hope it's more balanced and doesn't detract too much from the fun.
I will be playing online.

I'm aware of the constant threat of being invaded but I also want to experience it in order to emit a judgment. When I wrote that I don't care about the PvP aspect of DS2 I meant I won't be focusing around that single mechanic like plenty are.

The majority of people who have invested over 100 hours in the first game focus almost exclusively on PvP matches.
 

K.Sabot

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Probably a matter of "loading/running this small demoable piece of a game" vs "loading/running this entire, sprawling open world"
 

Necromanti

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We have said time and time again that we have seen the demoed version run on PS3's fine. Don't kid yourself into thinking that Dark Souls 2 is such a graphically intense game that PS360 can't handle it lol.
Perhaps they had to make compromises for other elements in the game or a certain performance threshold. I don't see why they'd "downgrade" the game otherwise. Then again, the only people who have (noticeably) complained about it thus far are those who have watched the game second-hand through streams (since those playing the game are probably too absorbed right now), so it will be interesting to hear their opinions as well. (Then again, they'll probably mostly have positive impressions this early on.)
 

MilkBeard

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I've only SEEN the game and haven't played it other then during the Beta phase.

Feels weird to say that because I normally wouldn't want to spoil any of this stuff but I've explained my position in previous posts.

I'm still looking forward to actually playing it next week, it looks like a fun game.
So, have you seen it in person (i.e. on a tv sitting in front of you playing) or are you just watching streams? Because if it is the latter, then I think your comment about the game looking worse than Lost Izalith is really hyperbolic. I have in fact watched the streams myself and haven't seen anything to that degree of sloppy. Seriously, you should go back and play that area again on console, as well as Dark Root Basin climbing up to Dark Root Garden. Nothing in the streams, even with their shit quality looks even remotely that bad.

Not only were those areas ugly, but the frame rate was terrible.
 

SargerusBR

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I get the feeling the game will be inferior to DaS in terms of art and technical aspects but superior in gameplay. Still hyped though.
 

Mutombo

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We have said time and time again that we have seen the demoed version run on PS3's fine. Don't kid yourself into thinking that Dark Souls 2 is such a graphically intense game that PS360 can't handle it lol.
The demo is not the final version; it's a different code. Yet I see your point.

All this talk actually makes me wish DS2 was made for the next-gen. I was glad at first, but I would've bought a ps4 eventually and a slick DS2 just would've made me bought one sooner.

Tearing is forgivable, as are fps-dips (since I'm used to them because of DS1) but when the world itself feels rushed prematurely I think it will hurt somewhat. It was the world that always made you want to push farther and farther into the, er, world.
 

derwalde

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Man I think a lot of people are thinking the worst right now. Earlier people were excited because word of mouth from people playing early and reviewers sounded good and now the lighting doesn't look as good so the game in bland and uninspired. The first two games are some of my favorite ever, and I trust From to make an amazing game. Maybe the lighting won't look as good but to be fair I never thought the Souls games were all that good looking anyways and I never cared. Keep in mind, most of the negative impressions are from the JoeFenix guy and he hasn't even played the game, just watched streams (I don't mean that to offend him).

This game is going to come out and people are going to love it like they have the other games, I have no doubt about that. Let's not get caught up in the negativity.
well i prefer elaborate criticism (even from watching streams) much more then blind two-sentence-hype ala "its awesome. so much fun".

im huge fan myself, but i like to keep my expectations in check. if the game lives up to the hype, then thats awesome. but im too old to hype myself in delusional states.
 

Mutagenic

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Playing 360 version. Some real noticeable screen tear, but the game seems without question sharper overall than it's predecessor. I've only made it to
the outdoor town by the sea
and it looks really nice to me.
 

Toxi

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So, have you seen it in person (i.e. on a tv sitting in front of you playing) or are you just watching streams? Because if it is the latter, then I think your comment about the game looking worse than Lost Izalith is really hyperbolic. I have in fact watched the streams myself and haven't seen anything to that degree of sloppy. Seriously, you should go back and play that area again on console, as well as Dark Root Basin climbing up to Dark Root Garden. Nothing in the streams, even with their shit quality looks even remotely that bad.
Hrm... I think the elevated area of Darkroot Basin isn't that bad. It's a bit empty, but it still has the hunter armor set, a crystal gecko, a black knight, the Grass Crest Shield, and a bonfire that leads to the Valley of the Drakes.

Lost Izalith on the other hand is wretched.

I'd also like to give a shout to world 3-2's swamp, which nearly ruins an otherwise good level. The idea is good, but it's way too dark even with maximum lighting settings and it's confusing trying to find the way up so you spend half your time in an empty swamp after you kill the man centipedes.
 

NaturalHigh

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Ordered my copy for 360 from Amazon. I'm staying away from all streams and am going in day one with a fresh, open mind to the game. No guides but maybe asking you guys stuff on my way through. I am so excited despite the critics on here. I don't see how this game can be less than anything but great after what FROM has given us so far. The limited reading I've seen from the critics in here hasn't led me to any position of doubt or less expectations for greatness. Seems like there are a few people that can find something to be cynical about. But none of it sounds like it will detract from the game too much for me. Will it be as amazing as Dark Souls or deliver just slightly less? We will find out soon but either way it will be a nominee for my GoTY. Here is hoping for GoAT. Please be GoAT DS2. Please.
 
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