Hmm, finally beat it. I had to rush through due to having a ton to do next week and no time to play. Prepare for a blog, because I feel like I need to get this out of my system.
This is the first Souls game I don't quite feel like immediately starting a NG+ on. This is mostly because I find the areas and bosses terribly polarizing; I love some, loathe others, there's no real middle ground. I'll be blunt: this game has the worst area in the entire series, and not just because of poison or bad FPS. It has pre-patch Izalith's problem in that enemies agro from halfway across the area, paired with a few other particularly annoying traits that I won't spoil for those who haven't been there. I do think they'll patch it and make it easier, like Izalith, but for now it's miserable.
In the end, I wasn't too happy with the way Sorcery was handled. To even kill bosses in the second half of the game I had to level Faith so I could use Hexes for halfway decent damage. Also hoping for a patch here, because I do think it hindered my enjoyment.
I was a bit cautious about the limited respawns at first, but ended up appreciating this in a few areas. I don't quite understand why people are complaining so much about this.
The main story is actually very well shown this time. It's far less obscure. You do have to exhaust everyone's talk options, though.
I find the cycle of Fire and Dark to be the most interesting part of the lore primarily introduced here, but otherwise didn't find it as
interesting as Dark 1's or Demon's.
I was very impressed with the frame rate overall compared to Demon's and Dark 1. I was expecting dropsdropsdrops in two particular wide, open areas but they never really happened. I had a few drops in more enclosed, later areas, though.
Kudos to From for adding new, brutal boss mechanics on NG+. I haven't done them myself, but hearing about them seems brutal. They silenced everyone who complained about a lack of replay value with that. (Do people actually complain about lack of replay value in these games? I find part of the fun is trying out new builds).