More Dark Souls. That's really all you need to know. The viciously difficult action/RPG arrived on consoles over a year ago. The game's popularity led to a PC port dubbed the "Prepare to Die" edition, which released in August. This version featured extra content not available in the original game. A whole new area was added to the world of Dark Souls, including new enemies, armor, weapons, spells, and bosses. We knew this extra content would make its way to consoles eventually, and it finally arrived last week.
The "Artorias of the Abyss" DLC takes place long ago in the land of Oolacile. Like most of Dark Souls, much of the story is implied through sparse dialog. Truthfully, I rarely know what's going on in this game. Everyone seems to be speaking to you as if the history of the dark fantasy world of Lordran is common knowledge. It doesn't really matter. What you need to know is that stuff is trying to kill you. Avoid it, when possible.
The new content isn't accessed via an in-game menu or a fast travel system. That's far too simple for Dark Souls. You'll have to jump through several hoops. These "hoops" being metaphors for horrible creatures (who are still trying to kill you) and a few random tasks that will take you across most of the land of Lordran. We posted a handy guide that will help you enter Oolacile here. Once you've made it to Dusk's homeland you can use the Lord Vessel to travel between the worlds at will.
I put together the following video from some of my latest adventures in Oolacile. It's pretty much spoiler free. I don't show anything that hasn't been seen in the promotional trailers. At first I'm playing as a level 60 strength build in the middle of playthrough one. I also spend a little time with a level 124 sorcerer on playthrough number three. If you've read this far, I'm sure you already know enough about Dark Souls to know the enemies get more difficult with each completion of the game. So if it looks like I suck, it's actually because I'm really awesome. Make sense? Too bad! Enjoy the video.
As you can see, the "Artorias of the Abyss" content fits well into the Dark Souls universe. Since it's a new area, everyone who's still playing the game is hanging out there. There are plenty of opportunities for cooperative play. Of course, all of the PvP players are in the area as well, so you can expect frequent invasions. That's part of the Dark Souls experience. It's not for everyone, especially for players looking for a purely cooperative gaming experience.
The new content costs $15, or 1200 MSP. I think it's easily worth it for the amount of time you can spend in Oolacile. Some gamers might balk at the price, considering PC players got the whole package at a reduced price. If you stopped playing Dark Souls before reaching Anor Londo, you'll want to pass on "Artorias of the Abyss." If your looking for more pain for your buck, there's a lot to love here.
Dark Souls supports three player online co-op. Playing cooperatively opens up your game to hostile players, creating a PvP environment. No, you still can't turn this feature off. Check out our Co-Op Review and FAQ for more information.