Quantcast
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King  




Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King photo
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King

4:00 PM on 08.27.2014

That white hot light


While Dark Souls II brought me back to that special place that I found with Demon's Souls in many ways, the first DLC pack, Crown of the Sunken King, didn't go far enough with its concepts.

It's really hard to give us a worthwhile add-on with Artorias of the Abyss looming over it, but the second pack, Crown of the Old Iron King, does a much better job of distilling the Souls experience.

Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Iron King (PC, PS3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Released: August 26, 2014 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
MSRP: $9.99 ($24.99 Season Pass)

Iron King starts off exactly the same way as Sunken King. This time around you'll make your way through fire and brimstone to the Primal Bonfire of the Old Iron King, which will allow you to enter a door and enter the DLC. Almost immediately the zone draws you in, kicking off with a vast expanse of castles, clouds, and a giant imposing chain that leads to the core part of the add-on -- Brume Tower. From there you can touch the bonfire and teleport around to any area at will.

Unlike Sunken King where I had no real attachment to the zone, Old Iron King exhumes lore and nuance. Ghostly whispers in the dark, melted and ash-ridden corpses, and even the types of enemies you'll encounter all tell a story that's relevant to the area you rode in on. Don't expect anything new or mind-blowing -- it simply fits, is all. The imposing bronze-kitted skeletons feel like natural denizens, as do the hulking giants that spew lava from their arms.

One of my favorite new enemy types are the harmless barrel-holding imps, who you can "corral" into fires to blow them up and dish out damage to other baddies. In addition to a set of brand new foes you'll also find the Ashen Idols -- mysterious demons that are impervious to damage unless you strike them with special items called "smelter wedges." You'll get a handful of these items at the start of the DLC, then you're on your own after that.

If you're the type of person who rushes through zones in Souls games, you're going to be disappointed when you conquer the main path in just several hours. But fortunately as someone who loves the spirit of exploration, I found a number of sidepaths, including a giant optional zone that is one of the biggest tests of skill in the entire game. Everything in Iron King thankfully gels with rest of the game both aesthetically, and in terms of overall level design. While there were a few parts of Sunken where I became frustrated and didn't feel as compelled to go on, Iron King sucked me in.

Bosses however are still a problem, re-iterating the biggest issue from the first DLC. They simply either aren't memorable enough on their own, or they're complete re-skins of prior encounters from the core game. That's not to say that they aren't just as satisfying at times as their predecessors, but for a piece of $10 DLC it would be nice to have all-new content. 

Crown of the Iron King didn't blow me away, but it's a very nice zone that feels like a natural extension of Dark Souls II, and it's meaty enough to feel like a real DLC and not just a bonus area. Now that there are two DLCs down and one to go, it's hard to really recommend the Season Pass unless the third zone really knocks it out of the park. Stay tuned in September for our coverage of The Crown of the Ivory King.



THE VERDICT - Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King

Reviewed by Chris Carter

7.5 /10
Good: A solid game that definitely has an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun. Check out more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Old Iron King



10:00 AM on 10.12.2014
Dark Souls II's DLC bosses are HARD

Dark Souls II players aren't doing so hot against the Fume Knight from the Crown of the Old Iron King DLC. According to stats released by From Software, 93% of attempts against him haven ended in miserable, abject failure. GG Chosen Undead.more



1:00 PM on 08.26.2014
Dark Souls II 'Crown of the Old Iron King' DLC out today

When From Software announced the three-part Lost Crowns DLC for Dark Souls II, it all seemed so far away. But here we are, already on the second release. Time is flying. Crown of the Old Iron King hits today on Steam, PlaySta...more




Role-Playing Games

12:15 PM on 10.24.2014
Treat for Sony fans: PlayStation gets temporary Costume Quest 2 exclusivity

This ain't no trick -- things are lookin' pretty sweet for PlayStation owners that want to do battle with some Grubbins just in time for Halloween. Sony's announced that it has a temporary console exclusive for Costume ...more



12:00 PM on 10.24.2014
The Witcher 3 intro cinematic: Yep, still want this

Eye-boring crow! Eye-boring crow!  Gameplay, of course.more



11:30 AM on 10.24.2014
Review: Fantasy Life

One of the biggest gripes I hear from friends interested in but hesitant to play Japanese role-playing games is that they're too "complicated." It's a sentiment I've never understood; several take great pains to be accessible...more



View all Role-Playing Games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more