Monday, 15 July 2013

Dark Souls:Artorias Of The Abyss

Gamespot Score: 9.5 (Editor's Choice)

My Score: 9.0

(+)Pros: - New areas are interesting and absolutely mesmerizing, - A LOT more difficult than the rest of the original game, - Great new bosses, weapons, spells and enemies, - New PvP arena allows for PvP specific fights, - Come on, its more "Dark Souls", we all love "Dark Souls".

(-)Cons: - Needs a little bit of balancing in my opinion.

Gameplay time: 10 hours or so

I'm not the kind of guy that gets too much of a kick out of DLCs for games. If I buy DLC for a game, its probably going to be characters for a fighting game (Makoto, Valkenhyne and Platinum for "Blazblue:Continuum Shift" cost me $20), and nothing else. Unless of course, the game for the DLC is badass, in this case, "Dark Souls". Easily on my top 5 favorites list and easily one of the best PS3 games ever released....I'll be damned if I don't get it. So, you don't need my influence to buy this if you own "Dark Souls", hell you probably already played this if you have the game. If you don't what are you waiting for, this is one of the best DLCs for a game to date!

In the DLC, your character finds himself sucked into the realm of Oolacile, the entire area of the Darkroot Garden in the past. It was a sanctuary used for its residents, and people there lived in harmony, until they dug up the pilgritive pigmy. The abyss spread, and the denizens of Oolacile fell into a terrible state. Infected by the abyss, they lost all sense, and became nothing but a horde of mindless savages. Dusk of Oolacile was kidnapped in the distorted time, and your character is tasked by a giant mushroom to rescue her from the clutches of Manus, the father of the Abyss. Looks like shit is getting real for our hero after all.... 

Have a taste of dark magic!

As you step into this DLC, you will immediately feel a chill running down your spine. You haven't played "Dark Souls" for 2 years, and you're suddenly back in this new environment that you've never been to before. Everything looks surprisingly different, and the very moment you step into the fog of your new playground, you are greeted by a massive manticore that lunges at you with all its might. You look around, you see trees, you see a great grove, and many other things. Oolacile looks amazing, and it absorbs you in, just like every other new area in "Dark Souls". You'll feel immersed again right from the get go, and you'll love the feeling of being in "Dark Souls" again.

Fans will be glad to know that the DLC is no walk in the park. In fact, I think its actually EVEN HARDER than most parts of the original game can offer. The denizens of Oolacile hit harder than you'd like, and they don't really give a lot of souls for the effort you need to put in to kill them. Like in most areas in the original game, the enemies in Oolacile gang up on you. Exercising caution is a must, and it doesn't help that in NG+, you'd probably get one shotted by those pesky black phantom mage enemies. Every single boss in the new DLC is rage inducingly difficult (I'll cover them in my boss profiles when the time comes), making most of the bosses in the original game look like pansies.


Of course, when you walk into a new area, you expect many new things. The crazy enemies and insane bosses are just part of the overall package. You'll be meeting new NPCs, some that you'll find intruiging if you are into the "Dark Souls" lore. You'll find your bout of exclusive new loot, weapons and armor included. This in the end, opens up more builds for players in the long run. A staff that scales of strength? Yes please! Dark magic for my mage? Why not? More than anything, this just opened a bigger set of possibilities for player builds.....Also, who wouldn't want Chester's armor? You'd look like Hazama with V for Vandetta's mask, its awesome!

The new PvP arena is also a sweet addition to the game. Tired of getting invaded when you don't want a fight? Or tired of trying to invade someone when you want to test your new PvP set? Never fear for now you can pair up against other battle hungry fighters thirsting for a good fight. The battle arena pits you and another opponent in a single arena where you can duke it out. Stats are recorded, your wins, loses, so on and so forth. This is a small addition to me, as I'm not a huge fan of PvP, but it might be bigger to others.

Yo, why the hate?

There's not much to bash about a DLC, especially if there are flaws with the DLC, they would probably be the same flaws as the ones in the original game. However if I were to iron out something, it would be the un-balanced difficulty of the DLC. It seems like Oolacile enemies and bosses have some mighty high resistances to anything that isn't raw physical damage, which is beyond. Its like they are trying to punish INT/FAITH builds, because I don't deal nearly HALF the damage that I can deal to other bosses, which is bull. If only they'd balance out the resistances of the bosses, or make their raw physical defense higher, it'll be more fair.

I don't really review DLCs often, so forgive me if its a tad shorter than normal game reviews. End of story, ITS MORE "DARK SOULS", there's nothing more you can ask for here to be honest. At the end of the day, you get to play more new content for one of the greatest games ever made for the PS3, which is in my opinion, something that's already all too amazing. It provides more of that hair-pulling sensation that we all know and love, what more can you ask for?

Happy gaming!