Dark Souls II bits

I'm already bored by Dark Souls II. I'll try and metabolize my experience with it and produce a coherent post, but let's say my dissatisfaction has to do with one of the most subjective ingredients: atmosphere.  In the meantime, Mr. Joe has written up his thoughts on the game (link) and posted them for all to see:
The basic tone and gameplay haven’t changed hugely.  Once again you are a cursed undead dropped into a mysterious, ruined world for reasons unknown, having to harvest the souls of small monsters, middle sized monsters, and flipping enormous monsters in order to improve your stats, assisted by messages from other players and occasionally by those other players themselves as you wrestle your d-pad in a slightly clunky 3rd person action adventure style through assorted dark forests, dark ruins, dark towers, dark caves, dark castles, dark temples, and well-lit toy emporiums.  One of those is a joke.  Can you guess which?
His thoughts on smoothing out the rough edges align with my own. Here's Adam Smith, over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, with more words on the same subject:
Here’s a bigger criticism – the quick travel detracts from the sense of claustrophobia, and of being lost in a cursed world. That feeling is central to my admiration of the Souls series and the quick travel softens it. You’re never more than a few minutes from a teleporter that will take you to the beginning of the game, which makes the world overlap itself and obliterates the sense that it has been left unfolded, Origami-like, or opened up like a ribcage before surgery. That’s how Lordran felt, spires like cracked ribs in the distance.
The rest of Adam's article is HERE. (It also points to his review of the original Dark Souls (link), and that is worth a read as well.)