Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King review

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Posted September 4, 2014 by Bryan Boshart in Video Games

I thoroughly enjoyed the last DLC for Dark Souls 2 and was excited to sit down and yell at my television in frustration again. After downloading the Crown of the Old Iron King content I sat down and sent my mage into the new area.

In Crown of the Old Iron King you’re given three new areas to explore. Brume Tower is where you’ll spend the majority of your time and the design of the tower is imposing. Sadly, the vertical level design is also part of the problem. The tower will be mainly a series of corridors until you unlock the elevators, which doesn’t happen until about two-thirds of the way through. While Brume Tower is a pretty large area, the other two, Iron Passage and Memory of the Old Iron King are vastly shorter. Iron Passage is very similar to the area the led to the boss fight with the three warriors in the last DLC. For the most part, it’s a shooting gallery that you need to have allies to draw the attention of the bowmen constantly targeting you.

For the most part, this DLC has some pretty decent enemy design. Ashen Warriors who hide in the sands and can leap out at any moment and for the standard enemy are pretty well designed and fairly difficult. My personal favorite enemy from this DLC is the Fume Sorcerer. The Fume Sorcerer for the most part will lob lightning orbs at you until you close in; however, when you get in close she’ll begin to teleport and attempt to attack you. Luckily, when you get in close she doesn’t deal a large amount of damage, but I liked the fact that she wasn’t worthless in close range. Another cool enemy is the Iron Warrior, these behemoths function like Theseus’ Minotaur. Iron Warrior’s can pretty much kill you in one hit, even if you’re blocking. The only way to effectively battle them is to lure them into the oil barrel undead that litter the level. The two new bosses, Ser Alonne and the Fume Knight are both fairly entertaining variations of the classic warrior style boss fight, but nothing particularly special.

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Iron Warrior’s are huge and durable opponents

Sadly, there are some less than impressive enemy designs. First off, I was a bit annoyed that they wasted one of the three boss slots on another Smelter Demon. Yes, one of the most annoying bosses in the game is back, but oddly enough they decided they should make him take less damage from magic attacks. The possessed armor that was added swings his flaming sword awkwardly, which makes it a tricky fight. What annoyed me more than anything with this enemy is that he can make his great bow fly into the sky before shooting you, allowing him to shoot from behind walls.

Crown of the Old Iron King is about the same length as Sunken King was. These five to ten hours are filled pretty well with a ton of items to find, including three new pyromancies. I particularly like the Pharros’ Mask which coats you eternally(while worn) with water so you take less damage from flames.

The towers look pretty impressive

The towers look pretty impressive

One of my biggest problems with this DLC was how unbalanced the difficulty felt. For the most part, Old Iron King was pretty simple. The basic enemies aren’t that hard, and thanks to the vertical level design you can often snipe their foot repeatedly until they die. The next  moment you’ll be walking outside toward some treasure only to have three of those Iron Warriors burst through the ground and likely kill you. Some of the deaths felt pretty cheap, especially thanks to the terrible design of the Iron Passage area.

Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King doesn’t live up its predecessor, but is still a decent upgrade for anyone like me still engrossed in the Dark Souls 2 world.

*To access Crown of the Old Iron King content you’ll need to slay the titular character in the Iron Keep. Afterwards, just go into the room behind the Primal Bonfire*


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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