When Dark Souls was released in the fall of 2011, it was met with near-universal critical acclaim and a strong reception from gamers. This dark fantasy action role-playing game from Namco Bandai and From Software, the spiritual successor to the equally successful Demon’s Souls, also gained notoriety for its downright brutal difficulty. Formerly an exclusive release on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, the PC platform received a port in the form of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition back in August 2012. A stellar port in every way, it also included substantial content not previously included on the console versions. If you have been hoping that this content will find its way onto the console, you definitely have something to look forward to.

The “Artorias of the Abyss” expansion pack was included with the Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, and it added significant content to the game. Set in the world of Lordan, this new adventure tasks you with finding and destroying a dark force that is enveloping the Oolacile forest and is putting the entire kingdom at risk. Included in this expansion are new quests, enemies, NPCs (friendly and otherwise) and weapons to enhance the experience. The difficulty that ran deep through the rest of the game is ever present here, and new bosses and challenges will challenge even those who think they have mastered the original game. Also included is an improved peer-versus-peer system for up to four players, as well as a tweaked system that makes jumping in and out of a game easier.

Dark Souls, despite being a successful game in almost every way, has been light on the additional content. No DLC was released post-launch, which definitely bucks the trend for most games today. As such, “Artorias of the Abyss” is the first expansion we will be getting, and quite possibly the last. Fortunately, it adds plenty of content and about 10 hours of solid gameplay. Your mileage will definitely vary depending on how often you die, so there should be enough value to justify the $15.00 (1200 MSP) asking price. The release date for both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions is October 23, 2012 in North America, October 24 for Europe and Australia.