Dark Souls II
The Dark Souls series (and its spiritual predecessor Demon’s Souls) are action RPGs which are known for their difficulty and old-school design philosophy.
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Story & Themes
The Souls series seems to be pretty big on being cryptic. Much of the story isn't really spelled out, instead being merely hinted at in scraps of information gleaned from item descriptions and conversations with NPCs.
Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2 have very similar stories for reasons that can't be explained without spoiling some plot points. In both games, basically the player character has been cursed with Undeath as many others have been in each game's respective era. The Undead can never truly die, and are forced to feed on souls in order to maintain their sanity. It is said that in a far off land, there exists a way to put a stop to the Undead curse. And so, feared by humans, the Undead are drawn there like a moth to a flame
Sometimes, the messages are deliberately misleading in a way that will lure the player into dangerous or deadly situations. It can be kind of fun trying to figure out which messages inciting you to jump off a cliff will legitimately lead you to treasure, and which will just lead you to jumping off a cliff.
It is possible to engage in cooperative play, being summoned to other players' games in order to help them defeat a boss or progress through a particularly difficult part of the game. Summoned players tend to be genuinely helpful the vast majority of the time. The phrase "jolly co-op" seems to be used a lot on the internet when referring to this part of the game.
It is also possible to engage in PvP. There seems to be a widely agreed upon code of honor for PvP in Dark Souls:
1. Do not heal during a duel.
2. Bow to your opponent before starting the fight. Give them time to do the same, and to buff their weapon if they so choose.
3. Try to make it a fair fight. Don't ambush your opponent, don't engage them while they are busy fighting something/someone else, don't try to lead them into groups of enemies or environmental hazards, etc.
However, it seems as though a good portion of players completely disregard these guidelines, and there are sections of both games that seem to be designed for underhanded play. In Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, there are NPCs that will reward you for defending their territory as part of a small army of attacking NPCs. In Dark Souls 2, it is possible to booby-trap these areas, giving the defending player an even greater advantage.
Action/Adventure, Role-Playing (RPG)
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