If you're an American Dark Souls fan, let me preface this by saying: I'm sorry. Being told that you won't have access to the worldwide, three-hour stress test after weeks of eager anticipation most likely sucked. And while I can't fast forward time so we're once again on the cusp of the next test, I can do the next best thing: ladle oodles of community-driven assets onto the open wound. Because why wait to see it on your own? Live vicariously through the Internet.
(Needless to say, spoilers abound. Should you be the sort who finds joy in exploration, I recommend proceeding with gratuitious amounts of caution.)
How do the classes play?
Dark Souls 2 currently boasts of six different classes: the Soldier, the Warrior, the Sorcerer, the Dual Swordsman, the Hunter and the cool-as-penguin Temple Knight. More, I suspect, will follow. But that's something to worry about in the indeterminate future. Enjoy these gameplay videos in the mean time.
What are the bosses like?
Given the fact the game's still in beta, only a minimal number of bosses have been revealed so far. Nonetheless, what has been divulged is rather tantalizing. In case you were curious, here are two people duking it out with the big guys.
Oh, heck. Why not? Here's some bonus footage of the Mirror Knight boss battle that was leaked a few months back.
What will the slow, inevitable disintegration of your Humanity actually look like?
If this image gallery created by redditor kurtrusselfanclub is any indication of things, 'terrible' is the perfect adjective to utilize. And on the off-chance that the gallery doesn't leave you mildly appalled, here's an excerpt from Jeremy Parish's experiences during the Tokyo Game Show.
Un-life as the undead sucks in Dark Souls II. For starters, it makes you ugly. The longer you play in an undead state, the more your character's appearance degenerates. Bad enough that your skin turns green and your face becomes ugly; over time, though, your hair falls out -- and according to director Yui Taimura, even worse things than that can happen as well. One of those things is that, if you re-die repeatedly in an undead state, your character's maximum health will steadily degrade. "You thought that griffin was slaughtering you quickly while you were at full health," From is sneering. "Try it with half as many hit points, sucker."
We're only in it for the loot.
Once again, Reddit prevails. This time, an industrious redditor called diaze1 took the trouble to take pictures of every single item description they stumbled over. How many photos did they take? 84. That's how many. 84.
Take a bow
Dark Souls was, among other things, famous for its sense of oppressive loneliness. However, even in such an environment, human beings tend to find reason to be sociable. While Dark Souls 2, much like its predecessor, won't provide traditional forms of communication, it does have a decent array of gestures that can be used to express exactly how much you'd like to ram a broadsword into your friend's rib cage. For those curious as to how many ways there are to relay your feelings in Dark Souls 2, check out this handy-dandy compilation from flamedbaby.