Masochistic is a word often associated with the Souls games. Though they’re known to be incredibly difficult for anyone who may be new to the series, they’ve become only mildly challenging for veterans. However, Dark Souls II is no pushover, proving to be difficult as soon as the journey begins. Even in the most basic tutorial area, players will find death waiting for them. Whether you fall into a hole you overlooked or walk past an enemy who is able to catch up to you for an easy backstab, Dark Souls II isn’t afraid to kill you mercilessly. Although the game never feels cheap, it always finds a way to lure me into a well sprung trap in which I am ill-prepared for. Difficulty isn’t the only thing in which the Souls franchise is known for though, and Dark Souls II gives us another beautifully crafted world that’s perfectly ripe for exploration with rippling lore waiting to be uncovered and dissected.