Dark Souls II DLC was recently announced. It's a three-episode expansion, with the first episode set to release on July 22nd, and my hands-on time with the DLC proved to me that Dark Souls II is still capable of surprising.
The demo starts out in a ruined city full of dilapidated buildings that's based in a giant underground cave. I was able to choose between sorcerer, cleric, or warrior builds, all with soul levels in the range of 140. Given that I never used magic much in Dark Souls II, I chose to play as a warrior.
While the ruins I was in were completely new, the weapons and armor I used were well worn from the original title. A PR rep from Bandai Namco assured me, however, that there would be new weapons, armor, and even spells to be found in the DLC's new areas.
As I cautiously worked my way through the ruins I was attacked repeatedly by green-skinned, hallowed warriors in steel armor. They were slow and easy to dodge, but their inherent stability threw me for a slight loop when they couldn't be staggered easily. I also came upon some large insects with sacks on their backs filled with the yellow corrosive liquid that is the bane of every Dark Souls II player's Third Dragon Ring.
Overall, the enemies were not really what excited me about this DLC. What did was a puzzle homage to a classic Zelda mechanic. Switches throughout the ruins could be activated by swiping a sword (or shooting an arrow) and doing so would move platforms up and down. This was a pre-requisite to moving forwards as it made previously blocked paths passable.
Whether or not From Software should have DLC like this so soon after the game's original release is up for debate, but I came away from my demo hopeful that these episodes would be worth the money. Perhaps this is simply because the core Dark Souls II gameplay is so strong, but I can't wait to have some new areas to explore and new bosses to battle.