Mark Buckingham: I, like many others I presume, hated Demon's Souls when I first played it. This game punishes players in a way not seen since the NES days. But if you stick with it and come to understand its world and what it's trying to do/say, it becomes utterly rewarding in a way I've not experienced in a game in quite some time. It defies gaming conventions and sets out to do things its own way, which is refreshing and difficult all at once. The sequel upped the ante and tweaked the formula to become a favorite among fans of the original. DS2 (technically the third game in the series) should hopefully deliver more of the goods with a few devilishly clever twists thrown in for good measure.
Reggie Carolipio: FromSoftware's brutal series is a beautiful kind of terror that instills a sense of dread and foreboding that can grind even the most prepared adventurer into bone meal at the smallest sign of carelessness. There's always a method through its gothic grit that keeps players pushing deeper into each experience. FromSoftware's talent for ambushing its audience with the unexpected still has me within its grip.
Chris "Atom" DeAngelus: The Souls franchise has put an end to the idea that hard games can't find a fan base. Brutal, intense and atmospheric, both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls push experienced gamers to their limits as they struggle to survive in the horrifying world. Don't be fooled by the "two" in the title, as Dark Souls II is said to be a stand-alone game with an atmosphere similar to the first title. Dark Souls II is also the first game in the franchise not to be helmed by director Hidetaka Miyazaki, but there's still a lot to be excited about. Two excellent games in a row have proven that From Software has a good grasp on the Souls formula, and it's hard not to imagine the third game living up to that legacy.
Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen: You are now dead. (Have a nice day.) Seriously, there's just about nothing I can say about From Software's sequel. Well, I can say it's not connected to the first, it's got a new director, and Windows PCs are in the plan from the start.
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