Dark Souls 2 beta: what to expect

PS3 owners will be able to sample Dark Souls 2 before the game's March launch. But, what's actually in the beta?


PS3 owners will be able to sample Dark Souls 2 before the game's March launch. But, what's actually in the beta?

The beta will feature about 90 minutes of gameplay (assuming you don't die over and over), and will actually have two boss characters to fight. One will be at the end of the "main route," while the other can be discovered by traveling down the "sub route."

Unlike the main game, the beta will only give you access to six pre-defined characters: soldier, warrior, sorcerer, temple knight, dual swordsman, and hunter. And unlike other "betas," Namco Bandai promises that this is a real beta, testing the game's online functionality before launch.

The main features to be tested are blood messaging and blood stains. Their purpose remains largely the same as in the original Dark Souls. However, in Dark Souls 2, you don't have to use an item to leave a message. Instead, you can simply press Start and choose "Blood Messaging" to place messages at any time.

The beta will also test summoning and co-op play. By using the "white sign soapstone" item, players can summon others to help--but the amount of help you'll get will be determined by the size of the soapstone and the number of enemies you're encountering. The more enemies the game expects you to fight, the longer the summon should last.

Covenants will also be tested. In Dark Souls 2, if you get invaded by another player, you'll be able to automatically summon a sentinel to assist you and "rescue" you. This will theoretically prevent abuse by high-level players that repeatedly invade the games of new players. However, there will also be other covenants to encourage you to be an invader.

Finally, the beta will give players a chance to see how being undead is changed in Dark Souls 2. Dying consecutively will actually lead to the depletion of maximum HP. As you constantly revive at the bonfire, you'll notice your health bar steadily shrinking. In addition, your appearance will start changing. The more often you die, the more haggard you'll look--until you look like a zombie. You'll be able to undo the effects of undeath by using a human effigy--but do note that those are a finite resource. "There is no easy way out this time," From Software pointed out. "Generally speaking, players want to stay alive, not undead... the intention is the struggle to stay alive."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 18, 2013 6:15 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Dark Souls 2 beta: what to expect.

    PS3 owners will be able to sample Dark Souls 2 before the game's March launch. But, what's actually in the beta?

    • reply
      September 18, 2013 6:40 PM

      Wow. Sounds like they are striking an awesome balance between Dark and Demons souls if this works out. The HP loss over time on revives especially is crazy hardcore lol. Online play should also be so so much better because of them using a centralized master server instead of peer to peer. Even now if you fire up Demons souls you see ghosts all over the place because it is all centralized.

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      September 18, 2013 7:02 PM

      The death penalty stuff sounds great, as long as you can still become human by helping someone else defeat a boss in coop. They mention the human effigy consumable which is limited, is that supposed to be similar to humanity?

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        September 18, 2013 7:28 PM

        Probably the equivalent for it in dark souls 2 although it kind of sounds like it's not a case of human and undead/soul form in DS2. Instead it kind of sounds like you slowly slide into undead for over the course of many deaths with a health penalty akin to demons souls that grows the more undead you become. If it is a more gradual transition I could see them making these "human effigies" more uncommon than humanity is in dark souls. Probably more akin to the items you could get in demons souls to flip you human outside of beating a boss...and those were pretty rare.

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      September 18, 2013 7:15 PM

      That death penalty sounds crazy. I wonder if it will be something inbetween Demons Souls and Dark Souls? I'm pretty sure you had more health when you were human in Demons Souls.

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        September 18, 2013 7:32 PM

        You had your health cut in half when not human in demons unless you had the cling ring, in which case you only had around 3/4 max health

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      September 18, 2013 7:50 PM

      Can I still sign up for the beta? I missed the sign-ups from a week or three back.

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