After having played through Dark Souls 2 now, I have to strongly encourage everyone with a controller to pick up the game and give it a go. If you don't have a controller, buy a decent one and get the game - or simply get the game for console!
The rewarding feeling of beating some of the challenges in the game is simply the best I've had as far as I can remember. Whenever I die I "learn" something and improve my game - and I think this is the first game I can remember since Knights of the Old Republic 10 years ago where I finished the game and jumped straight into a new game. The added difficulty playthroughs are also very well done and ensures challenges and actual replayability.
The PvP in this game is also a lot more fun than I initially anticipated. I should record some of my way over the top backstabs with my strength character and put it out there, but in short, this game is probably the first of its kind where I actually *really* enjoy 1v1 duels.
The start of the game is slightly harsh, but once you get into the mechanics and realize the customizability of your character, you're in for a very fun ride!
I decided to challenge myself slightly and pick up Dark Souls 2 a short while back, and after watching and laughing at everyone getting slaughtered in Dark Souls, I decided it was my time now.
I have to say, this is actually an extremely fun and rewarding game. I'm trying to remember the last time I felt the same sense of accomplishment that I do when I kill one of the bosses in the game. It's also very weird coming from an mmo-mindset how they've managed to balance out stuff fairly well in the sense that levels aren't really that important, but knowing mechanics and reacting to events is.
I played my first Cleric-character for a bit, and then decided to try more of a straight up sword/shield fighter, and it's just really cool to see how quick and efficient I was able to bypass most of the tricky parts, through my past experience, not really due to any difference in gear/playstyle.
I strongly recommend this game if you're able to persevere through some adversity, and, if you have a controller. The keyboard/mouse controls are quite horrible, but it's quite decent with a controller.