The latest and final piece of downloadable content for Dark Souls 2, entitled Crown of the Ivory King, is coming to America today after a short delay. This trilogy of Crown content has introduced new lore, gameplay elements and enemies with the previous two entries, and that trend looks to continue with the details released on the Ivory King pack. Concrete information on the content has also begun to spring forward, giving players a compass for the expansion’s blustery snow and ice storms.
The Crown of the Ivory King is rumored to close the book on the lore and gameplay that has woven through the land of Drangleic. A newly implemented gameplay element called “followers” makes an appearance in this pack and acts as a different kind of difficulty curve for what is called the hardest part of the game by the developers themselves. In the main game, undead players could use summon signs to call in up to two players to help with a particular area or boss fight, but followers are fundamentally different. Instead of summoning, a group of these A.I.-controlled compatriots can be found amongst the snowy landscape and will follow throughout the entire area, helping against enemies and playing a part in the final boss. The developers have outright said that going against that final fight with none of the characters is deemed “suicidally hard.”
Dark Souls 2 is a game that forces players to adapt to what is presented, and the Crown of the Ivory King content released today will have gamers adapting to a blinding snow storm and the associated disorientation. Yui Tanimura, the game director, revealed other details, such as a planned implementation of a cold-based decrease in health, that were cut from the game to keep the fun factor high. He went on to say that a particular boss fight was one of the hardest ever created by From Software and would present a “high-level challenge.” King Vendrick, the Hollowing ruler of Drangleic, was also mentioned for possessing a surprise for those who collect all of the crowns and visit his memory in the Undead Crypt.
Some details and tips have begun to come out for the Dark Souls 2–Crown of the Ivory King content from those who played early versions and have already posted reviews. It is highly recommended that when players enter the area, the path to the left is to be ignored at the beginning as that leads directly to Aava, The King’s Pet. This first boss of the content is invisible and, thus, quite difficult without a particular item found later in the area. The challenge route for this Crown entry is said to be filled with powerful enemies that hide in the constant blizzard, bringing player reflexes and intuition to the forefront; even with the allowed summons. The final boss of the area is also said to include more characters than ever before, breaking the normal scale of any boss fight in the game so far. The Dark Souls 2 content is out now for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC through Steam for $9.99 with the console stores to be updated sometime during the day with the available pack.
By Myles Gann