What’s it like meeting Dark Souls 2 Mirror Knight? Hard. Really, really hard.

Dark Souls 2 Mirror Knight

“That’s the best anyone’s done so far.” These words from Namco Bandai’s PR are meant to come as consolation, but of course they don’t. It’s the game equivalent of your mum telling you that the only reason you didn’t win at sports day is because the other boys are bigger. Yeah, Mum, they’re also faster and stronger – that’s kind of the whole point. Well Dark Souls 2’s Mirror Knight sure is stronger and a whole lot bigger, but I know I can beat him.

Meeting Dark Souls 2 Mirror Knight

I know I can beat him. I just need to use my shield better. And maybe roll left instead of right. And this sword isn’t exactly to my taste. And what’s with the air conditioning in here? In fairness, I was warned against picking the Warrior class: apparently spells and long-distance combat are the way to go against the 50ft metallic nightmare and his enormous reflective shield. But that’s not how I play Dark Souls. It’s all about up-close melee attacks and dodging for me. That said, after the fifteenth time he’s crushed me with his lightning-infused sword, the phrase ‘horses for courses’ is taunting me mercilessly.

It’s also taken over an hour to even reach the shiny bastard, fighting through waves of variously armed knights and two of the new turtle-style enemies who hit you with an instadeath backsplash if you try to sneak up on them for a cheeky spine-stab. Of course, every failed attempt sees me sent back to the demo’s opening bonfire, frustration and impatience mounting.

Eventually I make it to the next fiery checkpoint, using the all-new Warp option to travel through the ether to my final foe. Or so I think. Because the entrance to the boss battle is guarded by nearly 20 ninja statues who spring to life, and a mage who’s flinging black magic at me. Discretion is most definitely the better part of valour here, so I sprint to the mist-shrouded doorway and tentatively step through.

Despite the fact he must weigh the same as a plutonium pile the size of Snowdon, the first thing the Knight does is leap at me, bringing his blade down hard on my head. Death soon follows. Another trick he likes is sending a shadowy helper out from his giant mirror, who’s easily killed but provides a most unwanted distraction. Still, it’s those huge sword swipes that are the biggest issue: almost impossible to dodge, and stamina-draining to block.

My only criticism so far is that,with slow-
healing Lifegems in addition to Estus
Flasks, these items are now too abundant

Eventually I find a tactic that at least semi-works, making use of multiple first aid items (my only criticism so far is that, with slow-healing Lifegems in addition to Estus Flasks, these are now too abundant) to grind his enormous health bar down. But it never gets much past halfway. I know he can be beaten – he will be beaten – but not yet. Not by this Warrior, anyway. Hard? You bet. Too hard? Not a bit – I haven’t enjoyed punishment this much since my last visit to Torture Garden.