Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Ivory King Review

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Posted October 9, 2014 by Bryan Boshart in Video Games

Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Ivory King

Available for: PC, PS3 (reviewed for), Xbox 360

Release Date: 9/30/2014

*possible spoilers, though I’ll keep it at a minimum*

Crown of the Ivory King is the final DLC of Dark Souls 2‘s Crown trilogy. It’s probably the most difficult and atmospheric piece of Dark Souls 2 content, but does it hold up against the first two pieces of DLC?

Crown of the Ivory King throws away the dark dungeons of the main game for a quiet, snowy castle. The snow is technically impressive; it sticks to your character and lowers your visibility in a way that feels natural without being cheap. The weather also helps to highlight the melancholy nature of Frozen Eleum Loyce. Many of your paths are barred by large blocks of ice, making the early part of this DLC function like a long corridor. If you manage to slay the first boss, all of the ice that blocked previous paths and chests before will shatter. The obstructive winds of Chaos stop and treat you to the stunning view of the whole city and castle below.

ds2 crown3

The broken ice allows you access to new areas, enemies, and of course treasure. Additionally breaking the ice helps turn what was formerly one long corridor into a maze similar to the one in Crown of the Sunken King. You’re even given an important reason to re-explore these areas as knights are hidden throughout, and releasing them will aid you in the DLC’s final confrontation. Possibly the most interesting area is the Frigid Outskirts, where you must navigate an open field during a blizzard, avoiding both ice horses and losing your way.

While there is a lot to do, Crown of the Ivory King only takes about five to six hours to beat.

Generally speaking, I enjoyed the enemy design in Crown of the Ivory King, despite some main-game rehashes. I liked the Crystal Knights who can form weapons out of their body. The standard enemies in this DLC are about on par with the standard game, but the bosses are much harder. I’ve always been impressed by Dark Souls‘ ability to make the smaller bosses just as intimidating as the large ones, and the final boss is no different. The last confrontation feels appropriately climactic and is a satisfying conclusion to Dark Souls 2. 

Frozen Knights

Frozen Knights

 

It’s a bit upsetting that only a few of the rewards you get are worth the dungeon crawl. You’ll find tons of armor, but there aren’t really any pieces that are worth equipping. There are three new spells to find for your caster, yet only Dark Dance seemed good from my experience. Luckily, the item haul is saved by the dozen plus weapons you’ll find throughout Eleum Loyce. Greatswords, Bone Fists, lances, a bow, and a staff guarantee something to experiment with regardless of character type. The actual crown is pretty solid too, as it can prevent curse status.

Crown of the Ivory King is a fitting end to the Crown trilogy. Ivory King is at it’s best when you are both at awe of the massive world around you while being simultaneously scared of what’s around the corner. My biggest complaint about the DLC as a whole is that it feels detached from the main game; otherwise, the Crown trilogy, including Ivory King, is pretty good and will help sate your Dark Souls fix.

*The portal to enter Frozen Eleum Loyce is in the Shrine of Winter, which requires you to activate all four primal bonfires in order to access*


About the Author

Bryan Boshart

Hey, I'm Bryan. I write video game reviews here at We The Nerdy. In my spare time I mostly play fighting games, but play almost anything.

 
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