Dark Souls II: Crown of the Ivory King
Top Critic Average
It's familiar, but Crown of the Ivory King is still another gorgeous five-hour helping of Dark Souls 2. Cherish it—it's your last.
Still not quite essential, but the best of the three downloads and an effective final chapter for the most successfully difficult video game of the modern era.
Dark Souls II, in all its epic designs, fittingly concludes in the harshness of winter.
If you've been playing through the Dark Souls 2 DLC up to this point, Ivory King offers plenty of reasons to see the last of what FromSoftware has to offer. It features the same focus on new experiences and terrifying boss fights as the past two Crown installments, tucked into a setting that's atypical for a Souls game. Once you tie the bow on Dark Souls 2, the only thing left to do is start counting down the days until Bloodborne.
Crown of the Ivory King is exhausting, but at the end of it all, the predominant emotion swelling inside of us was sadness. We wanted more: one more boss fight, one more tucked-away room – not because the DLC is lacking, but because we didn't want to leave. This may be the last we hear of Dark Souls II, but it went out with a bang.
Crown of the Ivory King's snow-swept ramparts are an exemplary example of intricate, looping level design. This third and final release wraps up the most consistent set of DLC I've played since Fallout: New Vegas.
Dark Souls II ends in an icy bang with the Crown of the Ivory King DLC. Despite a few weaknesses, the scenario in the frozen city of Eleum Loyce is fun, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding.
Dark Souls II desperately needed Ivory King's detailed frozen wasteland.
Deception's always been an implicit facet of Dark Souls' architecture. With Crown of the Ivory King, it steps out of the shadows and transitions to a palpable theme. Paired with Crown of the Sunken King and Crown of the Old Iron King, it's enough to wish From Software could extend Dark Souls II's life with interminable rounds of additional content.
To be clear, if you only buy one of the three DLC, then purchase this one. It's the strongest of the three, and actually might be better designed than the game proper.