After the smashing success of the original Dark Souls, creator Hidetaka Miyazaki made the only sensible decision imaginable: bailing the hell out of the sequel. The development of Dark Souls 2 fell on the heads of two directors with different visions, which resulted in one of them leaving the project after a huge chunk of the game had already been made. The game was was in bad shape, and Yui Tanimura, the remaining director, wasn't left with enough time to redo everything. The solution? gluing the good sections on top of the bad ones and hoping no one would notice. The result was a beautifully cobbled-together mess we all know as Dark Souls 2.

We could mention the weird story,  the lackluster cast of characters, the uninspired looks, and the repetitive bosses, but the game's main problem is its level design. It exchanges the very intricately connected world of the original for a larger and streamlined open world. We don't know whether they thought that would make for a better game, or if it would just make for a better option in terms of keeping players busy, but we gotta believe it was the former because the result ranges from uninspired to straight-up nonsensical. For example, From the start of the game, players learn they need to kill a bunch of big bosses in order to gain access to the big baddie's main castle. But instead of having an impenetrable wall blocking their path from the very beginning, the only thing stopping players in their tracks is... a dumb pile of rubble you should be able to climb.

A pile of rubble that blocks the final area of the game since the very beginning

Bandai Namco

One doesn't simply walk over one rock.

It's impossible to go over it, at least by conventional means. Speedrunning Dark Souls 2 is very tempting because defeating that dumb pile of rubble feels ultra-satisfying – and is naturally ultra-easy for those with the necessary know-how. Players just need to exploit the game a bit to get to some terrain high enough to allow players to jump over the rubble – just as the Dark God intended.

a jump that skips over 70% of the game

Bandai Namco

5 minutes in and on our way to the final boss.

Whereas the toughest foes in the original game were Ornstein and Smough,

The toughest boss battle from the original 'Dark Souls'

Bandai Namco

The biggest opponents in Dark Souls 2 are waist-high wall

a dumb invisible wall

Bandai Namco

And..ankle-high wall.

a dumb blockade

Bandai Namco

The best showcase of Dark Souls 2's unnecessarily atrocious design is Earthen Peak, a huge poison-filled windmill whose name seems to state it is located on top of the world.

Earthen peak, a windmill with nothing above it

Bandai Namco

Inside, the game expects the players to just know that they have to burn down a mechanism that seems like it's made of either metal or rock.

And that's not even the dumbest part. to reach the next area, players take an elevator that will take them from the top of the world all the way up to.. a castle on a volcano that was somehow sitting atop the windmill this entire time. 

a volcano sitting on top of a windmill

Bandai Namco

The climate change deniers of Dark Souls 2 have our sympathy.

Get ready for the weirdest non-lethal elevator ride of your life. Hackers have managed to unlock the camera to reveal what can only be the weirdest level design ever put to a game.

 An x-ray of the two areas helps us picture the impossible merger.

Bandai Namco

Maybe this is what Don Quixote was seeing the entire time.

Top Image: Bandai Namco

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