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[DLC Review] Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss |

I’m a great fan of Dark Souls for so many reasons I can’t even quote them without making a huge paragraph about it, so if you’re actually interested in my opinion, you can read my review of it HERE. When Dark Souls was announced for PC, it also brought another piece of news that kindled my heart: the extra content would be available for PS3 users as DLC. Of course that was the only excuse I needed to get back into the game, and while preparing a new character (or in my case four) for the new challenges to come, I spent about another 100 hours playing this game, and that’s pre-DLC. Obviously, I was super excited about it, but what did I actually think? Read on and find out!

Dark Souls is an excellent game, and one of the many things that make it stand out is the superb environment design. I can say this is even more true in AotA. There are at least four main areas in which you can wander about. They’re all seamlessly connected and filled with shortcuts so you can go back and forth once you make some progress. All these new locations are full of secrets to be found and feel different and unique from most other locations available on the original game. It’s important to mention you can still use bonfires to fast travel, and besides, the new ones in the DLC have a few other areas that were previously not accessible that can be warped to now.

One of the aspects that may also interest fans of the game is the fact that this DLC provides some very interesting lighting to the back story that moved you forward originally. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a very cryptic and mysterious game, but at least you can understand a little bit more about what happened to the world and why it’s such a hostile place. Set many years prior to the events in Lordran, you’re sent to the land of Oolacile to witness some historical characters and events related to the ever sinister Abyss.

One of the new bosses, Artorias himself.

Of course, the most important thing about Dark Souls is its near perfect combat system and it obviously hasn’t changed, but you’ll have access to some cool new spells, weapons, and armor, and that’s never a bad thing. Some of them have new move sets that make for interesting new mechanics, but they’re mostly for show. I believe this is a design decision in order not to unbalance the game and its multiplayer. Even though Dark Souls has some awesome multiplayer features, the main focus of the game still is a PvE setting, and to quench that thirst, the game offers several new types of enemies for you to slay (or be slain by). One of the strongest features of this DLC are its bosse; all of them are a lot more difficult and interesting than the original ones and will certainly make you feel incredible when defeated, that is until you’re killed over and over by the next one.

Another great addition to Dark Souls are the new PvP arenas, a more direct way to find others to play against, and most importantly, a new free-for-all deathmatch that is really fun. I had some issues connecting to players here, but I’m not sure if its due the fact that not that many people are playing it overall, or because of the lack of available players in my region. Still, it is a significant new aspect of the game. The only bad thing is you still can’t directly connect to a friend; one thing I was really hoping they’d come around.

There are no major flaws, but unfortunately, the sum of them slightly decreased my initial excitement about AotA. First and foremost, I wasn’t too keen on the updates made with the new patch, mostly because they really messed up some builds I had, but hey, at least they fixed some exploits that were really annoying when playing low level PvP. The biggest problem I had with this DLC is the fact that it was too short and it all came to an end kind of abruptly. Please note that I’m the kind of player that leaves no stone unturned. Obviously this wouldn’t be an issue, if it wasn’t for the fact it costed $15. For this price, I really expected more meaty content, comparing to what some other games offer for that price. I was also disappointed that one particular frame-rate issue present in the original game wasn’t fixed and it also made its appearance here, which is a shame.

Apparently, forests need gardeners, too. Evil ones.

Overall Artorias of the Abyss is a great addition to Dark Souls, and if you’re a fan, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t delve right back into the game to experience it. However, if you’re just looking for something new to play or maybe to get some closure on the story, you might want to hold on a bit and wait for a price drop. Regardless of your choice, it is certainly good to be back playing one of the best games available out there.


New reasons to play Dark Souls
New content all around
Epic boss fights
Enhanced PvP options
Short new journey
Expensive for the content offered
Framerate drops here and there
  • Cons needs-The abilty to even get into the dlc is a drawn out nightmare with no direction on how to acess it what so ever. lol The game fps issues have been fixed on pc with a fps unlocker finally. I miss the critical hits that this dlc destroyed but who really want to backstab everything and then suffer against boss’s. Did you go back to the area where you fought the lion thingy? Theres 2 there you have to kill. Theres also hidden features if you re-visit the dlc areas that add more time. 🙂 I have had it longer then you Im sure you simply didnt see all there was do to the complicated nature of the dlc. Great write up bro!

  • It really sucks to access it, it’s practically obligatory to look it up online, specially if you’re going into it from an existing save file. And yes I went back to fight them but it is impossible to do it alone, so you need a blue phantom friend. And what do you mean by “adding more time” I didn’t get that.

  • I agree with Jason that the DLC isn’t that short.It took me about 6ish hours to do every thing in the DLC.Most games this gen are 7-8hrs so 15.00 for a 6hr DLC was worth it to me. I mean,it’s better than buying a Crap of duty map pack for 15.00.Plus this DLC you can get a blue slab and that saved me of having to do another play through!..all in all this DLC was the bomb 🙂

  • fine review! sounds interesting. someday I’ll have to check out dark souls! rented demon souls and found it to be tedious, so I never got into dark souls. but I hear good things, and clearly you’re really invested in the game!

  • great review, i played dark souls for about 15 hrs when i first game out about a year ago, i haven’t liked it nearly as much as demon souls. I’ve yet to get back into it. Reckoning, and now borderlands 2 have my time.

  • I meant more game time. Finding the wolfs ghosts and other hidden areas and trying to take down those 2 beats solo. But I agree with Hestar. I got about 7hrs out of the DLC. With the right build Pedro you can kill those guys in a couple hits 🙂 Hint resis-Str 🙂

  • Ah, Sif’s ghost was a cool cameo, he’s summonable at the final battle did you know? He helps A LOT!

    I don’t really enjoy Str-Res builds, but I’m leveling up one char to do just that. My Int based build is having trouble with those two pricks lol

  • Damn I didn’t know you could summon him HOW DID I MISS THAT!!.That final battle was one of the hardest I faced (4 kings on new game + was my no.1)..Damn I kinda wanna pop in the game and go summon him 🙂

  • @Hestar his sign is at the center of the place you fight Manus. And yes, 4 Kings on NG++ and forward is down right infuriating, I think I had to do it about 10 times.

  • You need to go for an all out str build one time. Its a joke. You simply kill each king in a few hits and dont even take any damage. you can plow through each ng+ with little trouble. It is more of a trophy build i would say. I found it boring once i became invincible.

  • @pedrolabate nice I never knew that.When I play the PC version I’ll have to summon him..and yeah,I hated 4 kings no ng+ they stomped me out!

    @Jason Really I was using a character with 55 str 55 vit with the moonlight sword and 4 kings still gave me problems

  • I must admit I’ve never tried a pure Str build. I usually do Int or Fth which are my favorites. I loved Dex builds on Demon’s Souls. What weapons do you use for Str builds? My lvl 300+ char has high Str but wields a Occult Great Axe, I’ve tried playing with a Dark Knight Axe and its pretty awesome, but it has been nerfed on the latest patch.

  • Hestar-resis is what you wetre probably lacking dude. Cast iron flesh and 2 hand and whack away game over for the kings. I go to painted world and kill those spear guys to lvl up fast.

    I use black knight sword until its not useful then do gargoyles halbred fire then knight axe. The leaping move is just a life saver. Still the most dps for a str build. Cursed atorias is what i use for my all over the place chars.

  • goukhon

    Hi to all!
    I just downloaded the Artorias of the Abyss dlc for ps3.

    Now how do you begin to play the add on??

    It only appears in the Game data area.

    Waiting for your help.

    Thx in advance

  • @goukhon : Hi, in order to access the DLC you need to :

    1 – Beat Seath the Scaleless
    2 – Get back to the 1st bonfire on Duke’s Archives and go a little further into the level, you’ll find a Crystal Golem (inside the archives, near the first Enchanter). Kill it and loot it.
    3 – Go to Darkroot Basin and Kill the Hydra
    4 – Go to the cave behind the lake the Hydra lives
    5 – Kill the Crystal Golem and save the girl
    6 – reload and you’ll see a dark hole, get close and get sucked into it

    That’s pretty much it, if you’ve already done all the stuff just kill the golem in Duke’s Archives and go to Darkroot Basin.

    Hope it helped.

  • goukhon

    Thanks Pedro

    I will do that!