By: Jeff Cater
Crown of The Ivory King is the final piece of DLC in the Crowns Trilogy for Dark Souls 2. As you visit this frozen land, you will notice that the most prevalent enemy is actually the weather! That alone is probably the coolest twist that the DLC provides, as we have never before seen severe weather effects in a Souls game.
Not only does the constant storm in one area try to force you to another, but you can choose to try to brave the elements in a vast field of snow and constantly contend with blinding sheets of ice (as well as infinitely respawning enemies!). You can also choose to go ahead and fight the final boss of the DLC right away, as long as you can successfully brave the storm.
Crown of the Ivory King sends you to the icy kingdom of Eleum Loyce, a lost land that stands atop the snow and is wrapped in the usual mystery of the series. In another rather unique twist for the series, Ivory King actually feeds you a bit of story. Forcefully. It was quite a nice change of pace from the usual storytelling of the game.
Fans of old, do not fret! There is still loads of room for speculation as to what this place even has to do with the original storyline, and item descriptions are still written in fresh, Souls-y flavor. Ivory King doesn’t offer too much in the ways of new enemies — many of them are re-skins — but how they are placed within the environment provides the real challenge.
In another very cool addition, if you spend enough time exploring the stages you will eventually run into several knights that can join you in your fight against the boss. It almost felt like gathering a small army to take down the tyrannical king (no spoilers there), and it proved to be a fun and invaluable new strategy for the game.
This may well be the best DLC for the game; it just feels so fresh in comparison to the usual grind. Although there are few new enemies, Crown of the Ivory King takes what it needs and utilizes the chosen elements very well while still providing an experience that feels unique without straying from the challenge that the series is known for. You’ve slain dragons, slug beasts and capra demons in your days… what’s a little bit of snow going to do?