Gamers are being asked to “prepare to die” all over again as dark fantasy RPG, Dark Souls II finally launches this week for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and, a bit further down the line, PC. It's the top retail game highlighted for this week's The Drop on the PlayStation Blog, alongside the likes of indie arrow-flinger, TowerFall: Ascension.

“Steel yourself. One of the most punishing names in gaming makes a brutal return to PlayStation this week, igniting a joyous fire in the hearts of hardcore RPG fans,” said Ryan Clements in the official blog announcement. “Dark Souls II comes to PS3 this week, bearing the haunting aesthetics and teeth-gnashing difficulty that gamers have come to expect.”

In Dark Souls II, players take on the role of a cursed adventurer, drawn to a mythical land like a moth to a flame. And as is usually the case in that particular type of encounter, the moth is going to get burned time and time again.

Like in the previous Dark Souls, players will have the ability to freely journey to several main regions from the game's onset. From there, the maps are a twisting, turning, interlocking maze of enemies, traps and hulking boss monsters, all waiting to pulverize, smash, stab, burn, fling and cut you until your frail human (or hollow) body crumbles to the ground for the millionth time.

Persevere and you'll slowly grow stronger. Falter, and you'll simply become the latest in a long line of adventurers who simply could not take another step, opting instead to finally roll over and die for good.

If that's a bit too heavy for you, then maybe you'll want to check out TowerFall: Ascension on the PlayStation 4 instead. A highly enhanced version of what was originally an Ouya exclusive, Ascension maintains the same bow-and-arrow-fueled arena battling goodness that made players fall in love with the game originally, complete with some new maps, new modes and more. Those who have played the game sing its praises, the only negative being that there is currently no online multiplayer. Ascension is best suited to couch play, though, so grab some friends, fill up those quivers and get to enjoying all the madness TowerFall has to offer.

The PS4 is also getting Putty Squad this week, a family-friendly platformer full of puzzles and fun.

Vita pickings are a bit slim, however, with a single title making its way to the portable's virtual marketplace this week. Fort Defense North Menace gives you the chance to prepare your town to stand up to a pirate attack, upgrading defenses and pulverizing wave after wave of baddies in this tower defense romp.

Finally, the PS3 gets a couple more titles to keep Dark Souls II company, including the latest in the long-running RPG series, Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, as well as the liquid-based puzzle game, Vessel.

Look for all of that and more to become available Tuesday afternoon when the PlayStation Network weekly update goes live.

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