The first entry in a DLC trilogy for Dark Souls II, Crown of the Sunken King, has arrived. After not making much of an impression on us at E3, the DLC went live this week, and with it, the first reviews.
Crown of the Sunken King doesn't shy away from being difficult, and you won't be able to jump right into it without having played a good portion of the main game. Provided you've done enough to stand a chance against the new enemies the DLC introduces, you'll find an entrance to its new areas in the Black Gulch. Depending upon your approach (i.e. how many times you die), it may take anywhere from four to ten hours to complete.
Two more DLC packs are still to come: Crown of the Old Iron King on August 26 and Crown of the Ivory King on September 24. Each DLC pack is priced at $10, or you can get all three in a bundle for $25. As the names might suggest, the overall story entails players being tasked with recovering crowns, specifically those belonging to King Vendrick.
Check out a selection of Crown of the Sunken King reviews below. Let us know if you plan on picking it up or, if you already have, what you think about it in the comments below.
- Game: Dark Souls II: Crown of the Sunken King DLC
- Developer: From Software
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
- Release Date: July 22
- Price: $9.99 (individually) or $24.99 (season pass)
GameSpot -- 8/10
"Dark Souls II by itself is so rich and robust in its challenges that I still feel the afterglow of having beaten it months ago. Yet that also comes with psychological scabs from the dozen replayed battles against the likes of the poison rat king and the smelter demon. As I began my eight-hour playthrough of Crown of the Sunken King, a line from The Shawshank Redemption echoed in my head: 'And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further.' I was willing and, with every Souls playthrough to date, I have been rewarded accordingly. Crown of the Sunken King's standout exploratory design and abundance of engaging enemy encounters make it a terrific adventure, though a hair short of being essential. Equally significant is that it succeeds at raising the stakes for the next installment." [Full review]
Polygon -- 8.5
"Even when it's frustrating, Dark Souls II: Crown of the Sunken King balances out its rough patches with a sense of unbridled satisfaction. It's a perfect example of the interplay between tension and relief that the Souls series has become famous for. Crown of the Sunken King may be an optional expansion, but it transcends its own status. It ranks among the best Souls levels I've ever played--and damn near beaten." [Full review]
Eurogamer -- 8/10
"It's a strong start for this series of add-on chapters for Dark Souls II, then. There are no standout battles--save, perhaps, for the grim final encounter--but the cumulative effect of its fights, puzzles and secrets is memorable: Sanctum City and its offshoot areas lodge in the mind like so many of this series' locales. It's exciting to see the team return to the ingenious, interlocking layout of Demon's Souls and the first Dark Souls and there are enough novel ideas to be found in this shantytown of pillars, temples and chipped blocks to reassure you that this is a team that has run out of neither inspiration nor vigor." [Full review]
IGN -- 8/10
"Dark Souls II: Crown of the Sunken King is a brutal, but entertaining opening to a coming trilogy of DLC. Though I wasn't wild about some of the level design, the emphasis on puzzle solving added a welcome new layer to the already-deep Souls gameplay. Within its four hours, I played through a handful of encounters that were as tense, challenging, and rewarding as anything in the entire Souls series, and that's saying something." [Full review]
US Gamer -- 4.5/5
"From Software went above and beyond with their Crown of the Sunken King DLC: invest in its tiny asking price, and you may find yourself getting just as much time out of it as you would a $60 game. But it's more than just the amount of content that makes this DLC irresistible--it's what From did with it. The amount of surprises and fresh ideas Crown has to offer should make any Souls fan salivate over the prospect of two incoming DLC packages developed (hopefully) with the same amount of thoughtfulness." [Full review]
Game Informer -- 9/10
"The zones themselves are among the most labyrinthine in Dark Souls II and include a huge amount of dead drops and lethal traps, which are often served up under duress from unwavering foes. This creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and keeps an uncomfortable pressure bearing down on the player throughout the entire DLC experience. The content of The Crown of the Sunken King seems small in comparison to the Artorias expansion for the original game, but with two other pieces coming to expand upon things (and the promise of additional secrets when all three have been cleared), I can't wait to die again." [Full review]
|Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX|
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