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Dark Souls II  



Reviewed: 9/10: Superb
( xbox360 version reviewed )





Updated 10-16-2014
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Dark Souls II

Today in news that made me squeal like a fanboy, From Software has released a Design Works book for Dark Souls II just like its predecessor in Japan. It features over 200 pages of the darkly beautiful art of the Souls world, including illustrations and concept work from both the main game and the DLC chapters. You can find pages for it on both From Software's site and Amazon Japan where it is available today.

No word on an English version yet, but given the popularity of the Souls series and the success of the English version of the first Design Works book, it seems likely that we'll eventually see one. Even so, considering the original's heavy emphasis on illustrations and concept art as opposed to written content, you might not miss out on much importing the Japanese version anyway.

Supplemental material like this is especially interesting for the Souls series as they often help illuminate the mysterious story and strange world of the games, or at least provide some extra insight into the dev team's thought process. The original Design Works book for example hinted at some areas that were cut from the release version and a much larger role for Andre the Blacksmith, who was intended to be a pivotal character, but wound up as little more than a merchant (who can box and dropkick like a boss if provoked!).

You can check out a sample of what the book has to offer on an Imgur gallery. I may not have loved Dark Souls II as much as the first one, but it still had some of the most striking designs I've seen in a game; those From Software folks definitely know what they're doing.

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