I was waiting to look into this thread until the game released on PC, to avoid any kind of spoilers and such obviously. I became a massive fan of Dark Souls the first about two months or so before the second one came out. When I heard there was a sequel on it's way I figured it would be the best time to give the original a chance, since it's just been sitting there on my Steam list for so very, very long. And it was great! Loved it a lot.
Then came Dark Souls 2 at last, and I was so incredibly hyped that I felt all but bored doing anything else, but I had to wait for the PC release, because I don't really have the money to throw at a playstation just for a single game, no matter how much I want to get my hands on it.
And then came the disappointment, and it genuinely breaks my heart to say this, but I feel like it's overall not a very good experience, compared to the original, or even on it's own.
The gameplay feels much, much slower, and the rolling and dodging plays a minor part now because all other animations take so long to finish that it's usually too late when you try to get out of the way. Even when you do get a roll off in time, the extreme tracking that enemies will do makes it far less effective to even attempt doing this, rather then just keeping up a shield, or simply backstepping. Apart from the tempo having been slowed to a crawl, there is the issue of bodies, at least in the PC version, living a life of their own as soon as you look away. I know, I know, the Havok engine Shenanigans were also very present in the first game, at times being rather silly, but now you can turn your back on a fresh kill, turn around again, and find him dangling from a wall that his head has apparently gotten stuck in, which really breaks the immersion for me.
That's not even the worst part though, as the difficulty of the game has been somewhat artificially inflated by stuffing unreasonable amounts of enemies into cramped spaces, making for tedious and rather unfair encounters with groups of enemies that will completely rush you. Taking a singly hit this time around is a massive deal of course, since your poise is just broken, leaving you open to countless attacks before getting a chance to react. And then there is the biggest, most heartbreaking issue in my book - The hitbox. The player hitbox is off by quite a bit, compared to how tight and precise it was in Dark Souls the first. Originally you would be able to do all sorts of hair-strand maneuvers, and still avoid taking hits. This time around attacks that are visible not making any kind of contact with hit you and do full damage.
I'm so sad right now, having really tried my best to give this game a fair chance, but with 8 hours played, and a fresh bundle of boss-souls lost because of hitbox issues and enemies doing 180* turns mid-swing.. I just can't bring myself to keep at it. :/