Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King – Review

I’m always down for more Dark Souls. It’s another chance to explore new areas, fight new bosses, gain new equipment, and uncover more of its lore. Crown of the Old Iron King (CofOIK) is the second installment to Dark Souls 2’s DLC trilogy, and provides more of everything that fans will enjoy. CofOIK will certain provide more of a challenge, continuing the trend Crown of the Sunken King set with even more intense boss fights.

Crown of the Old Iron King focuses on the story behind the Old Iron King, extending beyond the Iron Keep area in the main game through a warp point. Only this time, players will explore ash covered towers link by great chains. This new area takes full advantage of it’s verticality by cramming in all sorts of hidden, narrow hallways and passages. Although the level design isn’t as good as the Sunken King, it’s still better than most of the core game.

Old Iron King took an interesting direction with the combat this time around. Expect to be more strategic in an almost puzzle-like scenario when facing mobs of deadly enemies. Explosive barrels litter certain areas and they can be used to your advantage. A new enemy carries one of these barrels to be used solely as a walking bomb. When timed at the right moment, these barrels can be ignited dealing devastating damage, that usually one-shots most enemies. The level primarily consists of narrow passages, so there is little room to run. With the swarms of enemies you will encounter, these booby traps are highly useful.

Boss fights in CotOIK disappointed me a little bit, but at the same time they are some of the most satisfying challenges in the entire game. I was hoping for more unique bosses, but instead we get the usual ironclad giants, and a recycled boss I had hoped to never face again. That being said, from a lore standpoint, one of those ‘ironclad giants” had me super excited when I discovered who he really was. Despite some disappointment, boss fights can still be ranked as a positive.

In the first DLC I complained about the lack of new NPCs (with one exception), and here isn’t any different. Interacting with an additional character could have added a lot more to the lore, but it was a missed opportunity. However, the existing lore is expanded this time around, and like I said before, it had me excited when formulating new theories.

GRAPHICS

dark-souls-2-crown-of-the-old-iron-king-02

Dark Souls II Crown of Old Iron King

Not as visual appealing as the ancient pyramid setting of Crown of the Sunken, but still has some highly impressive scenery.

SOUND

Voices can be heard near specific objects adding a creepy atmosphere. The music is much of what can be expected from a Souls game.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Of the two DLCs out so far, the edge is given to Crown of the Sunken King. Crown of the Old Iron King is still another solid addition to the Souls series, and worth the $9.99 price tag for any fan of the series. In the end, the setting wasn’t as interesting, and the boss variety was a bit on the disappointing side.

Pros

  • Lots of hidden areas to explore
  • Expanded lore
  • Boss fights are satisfyingly rewarding

Cons

  • Lack of boss variety
  • Visually not as appealing
  • No new NPCs

Style – Single-player/Co-op, Action RPG
Publisher – Namco Bandai Games
Developer – From Software
Release – August 2014


JUNKIE SCORES
  • 4.5 – Gameplay
  • 5.0 – Graphics
  • 4.0 – Sound
  • 4.0 – Entertainment
  • 3.5 – Replay Value

 

 

 

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