And by terrible, I mean awesome
See that screenshot above? That’s me, in Hollow form (read: after dying), “enjoying” The Gutter zone from Dark Souls II. In the shot, I’ve just taken respite on a spare platform (while poisoned), only to find that a giant demon dog has leapt down from the area above — in mere seconds, I’ll be thrown off the platform to my death. This is The Gutter.
Appropriately named, this area is dark, dank, and has tons of creepy things crawling about in it — with one giant pit underneath. It’s basically a mix between Blighttown/Valley of Defilement and Tomb of the Giants from previous Souls games, albeit a little easier to manage, and without the frame-rate issues of the former location.
Here are some of the things you can expect from The Gutter:
- Complete darkness.
- Tons of narrow bridges.
- Screaming, exploding zombies on a few of those bridges running at you at full speed. These zombies don’t die when they explode (haha).
- Poison-shooting traps that seemingly blend into the environment, and cause poison in just a few shots. Sometimes they’re in groups of five or more, and around corners. Depending on your poison resist rating they can practically instantly afflict you with a debuff.
- Fake ladders that plummet you to your doom, and feeble patchwork roofs that you can fall through.
- Giant dogs that block said narrow hallways and bridges, and do half life damage around the time you’re supposed to enter the area.
- Trolling pots — when smashed by a melee attack, corrosive acid comes out and breaks most of your armor, weapons, and accessories.
Is all of this manageable? With practice and patience — of course. That’s what makes the Souls games so great, and conquering it is half the fun.
But keep in mind that Dark Souls II is very much still true to its nature, in case you were worried about the “streamlining” talk close to when the game was announced.