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Now with a ton of cool stuff ready to use and your spirit near completely crushed because you barely have the ability to beat up a thorn bush, stop by a bonfire in the town of Majula and talk to the Emerald Herald, a hooded female who never wants to shut up.

Now you can start leveling up through her (via a menu option) as you cash in souls and tweak a collection of nine main attributes, ranging from vigor to vitality and strength and intelligence.

Guess what? The game is not so hard now, is it, Mr. Big Shot? You started at the lowest possible depths and are now crafting a character whose attributes can eventually take the role of powerful warrior, sorcerer or swordsman, to name a few.

So wield that Bluemoon Greatsword, proudly wear elite knight armor and show off that ring of restoration. You deserve it.

A player’s goal is to work through the kingdom of Drangleic and forbidden lands such as the Forest of Fallen Giants, Undead Purgatory and Grave of Saints while fighting a host of formidable minions and bosses with colorful names as the Covetous Demon, Belfry Gargoyle and Baneful Queen Mytha.

This immersion can be enjoyed alone or also shared by others online as a player taps on bloodstains to watch the ghosts of other adventurers that reflect parts of their fate.

Or an online co-operative or player-versus-player combat mode eventually opens up, tied to being part of a covenant with more complex matchmaking.

So with too many hours to count along with fingers and thumbs calloused, I have lovingly embraced Dark Souls 2. Devilishly awesome as well as a punishing experience, it’s a beautifully macabre game worthy of taking the time to appreciate.