DARK SOULS II is an extremely difficult action-RPG, taking place in a dark fantasy world. You play as an undead human, looking for a way to escape their curse.
Pro Expansive fantasy settings
Dark Souls II offers a wide variety of locales to explore, all within a fantasy setting. The amount of differing locations does give a feeling of lack of cohesion though but does have the benefit of locations that are wildly different from each other, which can be refreshing at times.
Pro Slow and deliberate fighting with reward/risk mechanics
Each enemy encounter needs to be calculated and precisely timed, as any mistake will most likely mean death. An added level of complexity to this equation is enemies that can be ignored but will then gang up on the player once a boss is beaten. This creates a risk/reward scenario that the player needs to weigh with a lot of thought.
Pro Branching gameplay with plenty of choices
The branching gameplay within Dark Souls II makes for not only a great way to tailor each adventure to each player keeping everyones experiences unique, but also a reprieve from many difficult points in the game. If one area has become to tough or something has the payer stuck from advancing further, an alternate path in the game can be taken to wholly different areas. This allows for a multitude of options on how to level up as well as well as many different options in finding and equipping that found gear.
Pro New lighting system
Before the original Dark Souls II was released the developer had shown off a lighting system where areas were pitch black and a torch was necessary to see. This was eventually removed before the release. Now with the release of the DX11 version, DARK SOULS II: Scholar of the First Sin is able to actually have this lighting system working on par with what was shown of years ago pre-release.
Many areas will now be completely dark and in order to traverse them the player will need to use a torch to see and light static torches throughout the level to keep it lit. This will then allow the player to go through the level without the aid of the torch in order to battle all enemies that lay within. this overhauled lighting system creates a whole new play mechanic that will force players to tackle levels in a completely different manner than the original game.
Con Difficulty that requires a lot of time and patience
To be honest, difficult is a nice way of putting it, this game can destroy ones will to live. It is not even worth counting how many times one dies, as it will be in the hundreds if not thousands. Only through patience and sure determination will many reach the ending of the game. So much time is needed in order to replay many areas and bosses over and over in order to learn the exact timing and what moves to use that not many people can spare it.
This is not a game for casual players, that is for sure.