The Dark Souls community is a surprisingly tight group of video game players, drawn together via the shared experience of From Software’s punishing gameplay and deep lore. Yet there is a black sheep in From Software’s library of Souls-like games. Dark Souls 2, which wasn’t directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki like From’s other Souls games, is much more heavily criticized. And yet because of that, Dark Souls 2 has an even more dedicated fanbase, one that’s once again preparing for its annual Return to Drangleic replay event.
Return to Drangleic is, as its name implies, an opportunity for fans of From Software, Dark Souls games, or anyone curious to participate in the community, to partake in a rush of players all playing Dark Souls 2 at the same time. It’s been organized by the Dark Souls 2 fandom annually since 2017, initially intended to create an active multiplayer experience like when it first launched in 2013. Return to Drangleic is yet again back for 2022, but its schedule will be different than typical.
For the past several years, Return to Drangleic has begun in late February. That’s changing in 2022, however. The team of community members running the event have changed the starting date for Return to Drangleic to January 16. It’ll still last as long as it typically does, which is around 16 days. The event will officially end on January 16.
As for why the Return to Drangleic team has decided to move the event up a month and a half earlier than expected, From Software fans already know the answer. From’s next game, Elden Ring, officially launches on February 25. Moving Return to Drangleic to mid-January will allow everyone who wants to play Dark Souls 2 with the community plenty of time to participate. It’ll also allow plenty of time afterward for players who may not have had the time to finish in the 15-day time frame.
Everything else about Return to Drangleic should be as expected. Dark Souls 2 players are encouraged to make a new character to play through the game with. Players are also encouraged to partake in as much co-op and PvP as possible. Once in-game, players should post a message reading “Don’t give up skeleton!” by the Majula bonfire, if only to share a message of camaraderie with other players.
Dark Souls 2 may not be a favorite even among From Software’s biggest fans, but the community of fans of Souls-like titles still pays tribute to it once a year. For fans both new and old, those anxious for Elden Ring and those wanting to try Dark Souls 2 for the first time ever, it’s a rare and very fun opportunity.
Dark Souls 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.