The Dark Souls 2 weapon pack for pre-orders is not game-breaking

dark souls 2 weapon pack preorder bonus

[The following is an opinion piece]

Giving players an incentive to buy early at full price is nothing new. Many publishers have chosen to offer costumes, gameplay modes, levels and characters to early adopters (and then selling those items later as dlc). Dark Souls 2 will be giving players who pre-order the game a voucher code which will allow them to receive a set of weapons and shields, which is causing some fans of the series to cry fowl. After all, the Souls games are about suffering, aren’t they?

dark souls 2 suffer but happy about it

I can sort of understand where they’re coming from, as the “Souls” series is known for rewarding players for their accomplishments. The items in the game are generally received only after you’ve explored an area thoroughly and/or defeated (or outsmarted) a tough enemy. Giving players five sets of shields and swords (that can be found in the game in their respective areas) seems to go against this.

It makes me wonder if perhaps this was a way to ease newcomers into the game by assuaging their fears of the series’ difficulty. Maybe potential players will figure that they should hop in right away for the best opportunity to experience the game, rather than completely avoiding it.

While seasoned players may fear that the weapon pack could break the balance of the game, perhaps the balance will come with level requirements for each item. Perhaps these weapons and shields aren’t even all that powerful to begin with. We won’t know until we actually experience them for ourselves.

At worst though, it seems that these weapon packs (for those who choose to use them) will make the starting areas of the game easier. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing considering that new players can’t choose a lower difficulty level. If anything, maybe these weapons will allow new players to get used to the game, and the increased difficulty of areas just past the starting point will negate the weapons’ usefulness. If their inclusion expands the series’ reach to new players while retaining the overall challenge, as a Souls fan, I don’t have a problem with that.

What say you, fellow fans of the souls of dark? What verdict have you?

Oh, and by the way, for those of you who want a long-term advantage in style should pre-order Dark Souls 2 over at Namco-Bandai’s site to get your brand new Dark Souls 2 T-shirt.

Dark Souls 2 will release on PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 11th in North America, and on March 14th in Europe. The PC version seems to be releasing at a later date (potentially May 31st).

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