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With Namco-Bandai’s highly anticipated epic sequel, Dark Souls II, to the infuriatingly difficult but infinitely rewarding Action RPG Dark Souls due to be released today in North America, and later this week in Europe, reviews for the game have started to pour in.

How then will this new entry into the series live up to the hugely acclaimed original, which holds a hugely impressive 89 score on Metacritic? The answer seems to be emphatically clear – it’s even better! Below are 5 scores from the top reviewers around the world.

Dark Souls II

The Guardian: 4/5
“‘You will lose everything’ warns Dark Souls II in its opening scene. What it omits is that you won’t care. Indeed, you’ll gladly sacrifice at the altar of this addictive gothic adventure. Beyond the endless deaths, there is always a hunger to explore further, and a thrilling sense that next time you can do better. A unique, if demanding, title.”

Eurogamer: 9/10
“A tough, often brutal role-playing game that requires intense concentration and persistence, but it sets about its business with more equanimity.”

IGN: 9/10
“Dark Souls II is a smart, massive, and incredibly rewarding sequel. It’s crammed with deep systems, tense encounters, and enough clever multiplayer and New Game Plus elements to make me want to restart the second I saw the end credits. Not all of the tweaks and additions worked out for the best, but with such great enemies and levels to fight and explore, Dark Souls II made 60 hours of pain and agony so much fun they flew by in a heartbeat.”

GameSpot: 9/10
“Dark Souls II is loaded with secrets and surprises, and even though I have finished the game once, there are so many elements I am still uncovering. I may not have yet unveiled all there is to know about this beastly game, even after 80 hours of play, but I do know this: I will be adventuring through Drangleic for many months to come, sure to be haunted nightly by the disturbing gazes of the faceless titans that tenderize my flesh with their two-ton hammers.”

The Escapist: 4.5/5
“Everything that made Dark Souls into a cult success carries over: complex game mechanics, punishing but fair gameplay and a richly detailed setting if you dig a little deeper. To keep things fresh, this is peppered with a mix of new elements, from improved graphics and game engine to a better designed starting sequence and new mechanics. Dark Souls II is a perfect sequel to Dark Souls.”

Are you looking forward to picking up your copy? Let us know in the comments below.

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