Dark Souls 2 – 6 new things we’ve learned from the first hour (apart from dying)

My time with Dark Souls 2 last night confirmed that, even though I may have the distinction of killing the Mirror Knight several months ago in a separate demo, I’m still appallingly bad at Dark Souls 2. It takes more than a couple hour-long sessions to learn how to crawl, never mind walk, in a new Souls game, but what I can report is that the journey is worth it.

More on Dark Souls 2

Dark Souls 2  – 6 new things we’ve learned

The Souls series is my favourite thing that the videogame medium has ever produced, but it’s horribly unconducive for the game-preview ritual of today’s industry. It requires practice and repetition and you die so many times in such quick succession that it begins to look like success isn’t your goal at all. You look suicidal.

If you persist, however, the emotional bounty lies in the fact that eventually, in a fascinating mirror of biological evolution, something inside your muscle memory undergoes a tiny mutation. There’s no trumpet fanfare. You simply survive one second longer, land one extra sword blow on whatever disgusting foe it is that you’re fighting, figure out you can evasively roll beneath an attack that killed you the previous encounter. Each time you die, you become slightly more fit. You evolve into a competent player, by such subtle, incremental degrees, you didn’t even notice it happening.

After several hours dying here are 6 crucial new things I’ve discovered.