Better weapon handling, specifically dual wielding
All the games have had dual wielding, but it was never done this well. The left hand weapon could only make one move and it was difficult to use two weapons in conjunction with each other. Dark Souls 2 has stepped up and even created a new starting class for dual wielding. Obvious improvements to the system can be seen from the seconds long clip of the dual wielder with both weapons striking at once and different swings being used for both hands. It may not sound like much, but it greatly enhances the way players can customize character builds.
This sounds so small and insignificant, but listen to the explanation first. The Souls series is easily one of the best for allowing complete customization for a character. Armor choices mean very little compared to how skilled the player is at utilizing them allowing for a very rare occasion where players are free to dress as they want without taking massive penalties to defense. Clothing in gaming has always been fairly static, and if it ever moved it was usually fairly boring and pre-rendered. The way things move on characters in Dark Souls 2 is new and versatile and will let players better attain the look they want. It is a small thing, yes, but it is something new.
These were the words that had most people up in arms and shouting in fear when they were first uttered. What is a Souls game if it isn’t difficult? Those fears seem to have been alleviated after the first few rounds of gameplay videos surfaced which look to be as excruciatingly difficult as earlier games. The accessibility, later elaborated on, is more to help players understand exactly how to use everything in game. The first two games pretty much throw players into the deep end and force them to have a guide pulled up just so they can understand concepts like “world tendency” or how covenants work. Dark Souls 2 will hopefully nix this complexity and allow players to go through the game without constantly checking a Wikipedia page to avoid doing something that cannot be undone.
So far in the Dark Souls 2 trailers giant scenery skeletons have attacked players, enemies have crashed through walls, and wyverns have vigorously flown over a bridge leading to a floating castle making the trip rather perilous. For all the difficulty of the past two games, the environments were fairly static. Walking down a straight hallway no one ever had to worry and enemy would break through the walls and get them or that the scenery would come to life and make a one shot attack. Yes, there were poison swamps and traps throughout the series, but those were straightforward and unsurprising. Dark Souls 2 will drastically up the difficulty with this new aspect and give players something to anticipate as they carefully take steps forward wondering if they very ground they walk on is safe.
Dark Souls 2 is scheduled for March 2014. So far it is still slated for current gen systems, but who can say for sure that it will not be bumped up for PS4 and Xbox One? Either way, make sure to have a nice period of calm relaxation beforehand so there is plenty of rage and frustration left inside for the game’s release.