Dark Souls Reviews

  • TheEpicPandemicTheEpicPandemic351,776
    18 Oct 2011 18 Oct 2011
    112 18 84
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    Let me begin with a small disclaimer: Dark Souls is an unforgiving game. To truly get the most out of it, you will have to be prepared to die, learn and then die some more. However in doing so you will be rewarded with a truly incredible experience.

    Dark Souls starts you off with a tutorial area which explains the basics of combat and exploration, however from then on you can expect to have to teach yourself. This presents a fairly steep difficulty curve in the beginning however once it clicks it will be second nature.

    Time those strikes!

    The combat system is fairly unique; twitch reflexes and button mashing will not work. Instead, you will have to use your surroundings and time your strikes. Dark Souls uses a stamina bar which works in the way that for every action it depletes stamina i.e swinging an axe or dodging.

    In addition to this there is a magic system which features spells labeled as Miracles (Primarily Defensive/ healing), Sorcery (Offensive / buffs), and Pyromancy (Primal magics like poisons and fire). However I haven't delved far enough into this aspect to comment further on it.

    This quickly recharges and so the combat revolves around watching your opponent and waiting for an opening to strike. There are numerous combat techniques such as jump attacks, kicks and counters.

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    Its a vast world out there...

    The enemies in Dark Souls are very creative and range from grotesque to beautiful with very few re skins. However, this is not a game where you can autopilot straight to the boss. Each enemy hits hard and as such each encounter requires focus.

    The game itself revolves around exploration, you are almost never herded into a specific direction so exploring the vast world is a treat in itself. For those worried about the size of the game, I am 40 hours in an only halfway through the main story not counting all the optional areas and bosses. Even once you beat the game it doesnt stop there! The game features a New Game+ mode to start again keeping your level and equipment while the enemies scale. As far as I can tell you can do as many NG+s as you want until the game becomes too difficult and with a max level that goes way over 200 you can really pour some hours into the game.

    Creating the ideal warrior

    Dark Souls also has a lot of RPG elements, such as levelling, classes and gear selection. The main currency are souls, which can be used to level up or purchase new equipment. The catch is if you die you will lose every soul and the only way to get them back is fighting back to your corpse to reclaim them. If you die again, they are lost forever. For some people this will be a very frustrating aspect though places emphasis on being careful and learning from each death.

    There is an extensive crafting system which you can use to increase the power of your weapons and armour. This ends up being relatively complex in order to get certain effects on your weapons (especially rarer ones such as occult effects will probably require you to look it up)

    Dark Souls also includes a faction system in their "Covenants" which is a fairly standard system in that when you stay faithful to your covenant, you can expect some nice rewards. However some of these covenants are very difficult to find without help, some being behind random hidden walls or hard to get to areas.

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    Learn from your mistakes

    The game also employs a checkpoint system in the form of bonfires. Here you can regain health, level up and so on. If you die, you will be sent to the last bonfire you visited. This can act as a double edged sword however - as all enemies will respawn meaning the section has to be done in one go.

    There is also a secondary currency called Humanity which plays a role both offline and online. Primarily it is used to restore you from a hollowed state (after dying) back to a human. While human, other players can invade you however you can summon help both human and NPC for bosses or just clearing a path.

    Pulling the community together!

    The online functions of the game can seem fairly limited; you cannot play with specific people as the game puts you into random games. This adds to the idea that From Software have disabled the party chat in Dark Souls to add to the vibe of loneliness in the game although for many people who enjoy playing with friends this will be a turn off.

    In addition there are messages which allow players to write messages on the ground to help other players, warning them about dangers ahead or tricking them to get them killed. It adds a nice community feel to the game showing everyone pulling together to push forward. (However you do get the odd message that tries to trick you into jumping off a cliff)

    Another source of information comes in the form of bloodstains. When you touch them you get to see a short clip of someone dying which gives an idea of what is about to happen and adds an nice layer of tension to the atmosphere.

    In summary, for those who persevere Dark Souls is a truly amazing game with extremely fulfilling exploration with gameplay elements that go back to the oldschool.

    + Massive open world with plenty of side areas and optional bosses
    + Unique combat system which makes you think about every encounter
    + Extensive RPG elements
    + As many New Game+'s as you can handle with scaling difficulty
    + Intoxicating atmosphere

    - Level of difficulty and lack of direction may confuse people
    - No co-op with friends
    - Covenants can be difficult to find

    Gameplay : 5/5
    Story : 3/5
    Graphics : 4/5
    Audio : 4/5
    Atmosphere : 5/5

    Overall : 5/5
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    Living LegendsO deevius o co-ops broken as your internet connection is as well. I have played enough times invading and helping on PC and 360 with little to no issue. I have helped people in Aus and Europe with bosses and weapons. PS3 has issues at times tho. Game does lack a story and lore but I found more fun fighting bosses as a level 1 after my completion of the game. Your opinion does not affect the feeling I received from this game. Your feelings are negative mine are positive. Played this series since Demons Souls as well.
    Posted by Living Legends on 12 Aug 15 at 05:54
    TheGreatKoalaI agree with Deevius about the story(the same can be said about the other games too) and some of the glitches(if you haven't been hit through a wall with an arrow or spear, you're lying) but disagree with regards to the rest of the game. I enjoy it.

    I think deevius is also referring to playing with his mates, not with random people. Connectivity with randoms is fine, but trying to connect with a friend is an absolute nightmare.

    But the lack of a story couldn't be more true
    Posted by TheGreatKoala on 20 Jan 17 at 15:59
    vSullyDoes anybody else remember several years ago when I argued with some doofus about how great this game was? Well, I guess I was right after all.

    “Ultimate game of all time” as awarded by the 38th annual Golden Joystick awards:

    Posted by vSully on 27 Dec 21 at 18:37
  • geckothelizardgeckothelizard100,198
    09 Jan 2012 15 Feb 2012
    60 28 22
    “Ooh, it’s hard isn’t it, that Dark Souls? Hardest game ever, I’ve heard! It’ Every enemy can kill you with one hit and it has this thing where it deletes your save if you ever press the left bumper!” - that’s what you think, isn’t it? You and your idiot friends. You think that Dark Souls is some sort of sadistic voyage through gaming pain, admired by sadomasochists in the same breath as Ninja Gaiden, IWTBTG, and that stupid Japanese bullet-hell shoot-‘em-up you like so much.

    Well, you’re wrong. I mean – you’re right – at times it can seem like some sort of elaborate self-trolling device, but Dark Souls is so much more than its difficulty, and to dwell on it achieves nothing but to put people off a fantastic game. So we’ll have two paragraphs about the difficulty, and then we can move on and never mention it again, right? Right.

    So here it is: you start the game dead, and things get worse from there. Dark Souls takes place in a world where sunlight is a rarity, and everything is fucked. The undead (“hollows”) outnumber the living, and demons, fallen gods and various nasties populate the impossible buildings of long-dead civilisations. Needless to say, the opening section where your be-ragged hollow shambles through the hostile streets of Undead Burg is something of a trial by (and often on) fire. The standard enemies hit hard, able to quickly relieve you of your health bar in 1 or 2 swings of a rusted blade. Boss creatures almost always possess some sort of one-hit-kill attack, and their encounters play out more like a puzzle game, with you probing them for weakness, via death after death after death.

    And it doesn’t stop there. Death isn’t just a trip to the reload screen; there is no reload screen. If you die, you start back at the last bonfire (quasi-safe zones), but you lose all your souls (in game currency, picked up from dead enemies, spent on items and levelling-up). You get one chance at going back to where you fell to retrieve them, but if you die trying, those souls are gone forever. This isn’t as painful as you might think, as to get back to your corpse is to fight all those enemies again, so you often end up with a similar soul-balance regardless, but should you be carrying around a surplus (because you’re a leather jacket-wearing risk-taker) you may find yourself staring at a 0, and hours of wasted play.

    But Dark Souls doesn’t want you to fail; Dark Souls wants you to eventually feel like you’ve won. Every death is some sort of lesson, and our inherent instinct to ‘game’ the various mechanics holds no water here; you can’t beat Dark Souls without playing well. The constant cycle of death, death, progress, death, does introduce a certain amount of repetition, but that is soon replaced with The Knowledge. Rather than repeat areas again and again, you’ll start to take them slowly, with your shield up, and really take in the intricate environs. Remember that favourite level in that game you like? The one you could draw out on a napkin, several decades after the fact? Everyone who has played Dark Souls can do this with every area.

    Dark Souls is the antithesis to sprawling RPGs like your Skyrims and your Witchers; there are 3 quests in the entire game, all of which are essentially window-dressing for the overall objective to just explore. The lack of saving means you aren’t able to simply repeat areas and scenarios to achieve a perfect, or different outcome – this is true role playing, and it’s the game of the year.
  • LavindatharLavindathar1,971,859
    29 Oct 2011 24 Jun 2013
    37 17 9
    As always, this review was written by me for GamerEuphoria.com

    Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to the Playstation hit, Demon Souls. I’ll be honest here, you’ve probably read a review already. Or heard the hype about the difficulty. Well, I decided I didn’t want to push out a fast review, I wanted to play this for a month, rather than the usual ‘two day review time’ that reviewers allocate. Let me just say, I’m glad I did.

    You start out alone in a prison cell. You are hollow, or well on your way to becoming so. The prison you are contained in is a prison for the undead, guarded by all. However, you break free from your cell, and make your way outside. Led by visions, you conquer the prisons demon guard and break free to the clifftops, whereby a giant raven carries you to Firelink shrine.

    Yes, the intro sounds pretty surreal, but Dark Souls does not seem to have the worlds strongest plot. It’s an action RPG yes, but not a story driven one. At Firelink Shrine, you’ll meet a human NPC who vaguely guides you to your next destination. The whole plot of Dark Souls is vague. This is both a good thing, and a bad thing. It’s a good thing as it promotes a more realistic approach. You’ve just escaped from the prison, its down to you to make your own way in the world, just picking up tidbits of information from people and hopefully you’ll end up going the right way ; it’s a bad thing in that you can essentially spend hours ploughing in completely the wrong direction with no-one to let you know. From looking at both sides of the coin, I think I’d have preferred a more guided approach. I don’t want my hand holding don’t get me wrong, but just a little more of a nudge would have been appreciated.

    You play with the setup you want, as long as you meet the stats requirement. The characters are fully customisable from the start, with both gender, hair, facial features being chosen by the player.

    Now lets get to the major talking point. The difficulty. Is Dark Souls hard? Yes. Is it insanely hard? Yes. Is it impossible? No. And this is where the beauty of the game lies. You will die a lot in Dark Souls, an awful lot. Probably more than you ever have, in any game you’ve ever played. The thing about this is, it isn’t frustrating. Each death is a lesson, offering you the chance to go back and put what you’ve learnt into practice. I know your asking yourselves how dying over and over isn’t frustrating, and the best comparison I can offer is in the way I never found ‘Super Meat Boy’ frustrating. When a game is that finely balanced, when there are no ‘cheap deaths’, then every mistake is your fault. Sure, you may have the odd moment where you rage at yourself, but never at the game. It’s down to this mentality, that it was YOUR fault, that you go back and try again. It’s an incredibly strange mechanic, but it’s beautifully executed. It’s also incredibly refreshing that a game offers a challenge. There is no ‘casual’ mode, in fact there is only one difficulty setting. You can’t pause the game when you’re being over-ran giving yourself time to think or calm the nerves. You can’t even use party chat in co-op, instead communicating via in-game gestures. Everything that can be done to make this one big immersion experience has been done. You are there, and you are alone.

    Dark Souls features a class system, but like the plot it’s a loose one. There are ten different classes, from the Cleric to the Pyromancer, the Knight to the Thief. It’s a loose system though, as any class can use any item, weapon or armour. The only thing that the class choice effects, is starting stats and starting spells/items. For example, the Cleric will start with the miracle heal where as the Pyromancer will start with the fireball spell. They will have similar stats, but the Cleric will have more faith and the pyro a higher magic attribute. Throughout the game, they can both use the same weapons from greatswords to small axes. This is not like typical RPGs as there are no restrictions whatsoever. You play with the setup you want, as long as you meet the stats requirement. The characters are fully customisable from the start, with both gender, hair, facial features being chosen by the player.

    Within the game, Dark Souls features bonfires scattered around the world (and usually not that close together). These act as your safe haven and your respawn point should (when) you die. They are also the hub where you will level up and change your magic spells, and also offer you the option to ‘revert hollow’ (revert to human form) and ‘kindle’ (double the amount of Estus Flasks you can refill at that bonfire). In short, bonfires are your life line. Whatever your objective is at the time, you’ll find that you will put ‘finding the next bonfire’ at the top of the list. It’s that ‘just in case’ mentality that makes Dark Souls so intense, so exciting. The chance of death is that high, that panic is constantly there forcing you into perfection, and looking for that safe point. You’ll find yourself going a bit care-free once you’ve found a bonfire, until you realise progression will be lost until you reach the next one safely. Then it’s back to being careful.

    Currency is exceptionally important in Dark Souls, and as luck would have it, the currency is actually souls. Souls are reaped from enemies that you fell as you progress throughout the world. The bigger the enemy, the more souls you will reap. Souls are the lifeblood of the game, as not only are they the currency with which merchants will sell you wares, they are also the games ‘xp’ system. You spend the souls at bonfires to level up certain stats. This is just another fine example of Dark Souls offering you a very tough choice; do you go and buy that awesome armour from the vendor, or do you gain two or three levels? Ultimately, the choice is yours.

    It’s at this point that the bonfire and currency system intertwine. If you die whilst roaming the landscape, you then drop all your souls on the ground and you’ll then respawn as mentioned earlier at the bonfire with no souls. If you can get back to the spot where you died, you may pick up your souls and they will add cumulatively on the souls you just earnt getting back to them; die along the way, and those souls you dropped are lost forever. It adds a tactical element to the game, in that death is not just a case of respawning at a checkpoint. It’s a case of respawning and losing all your XP and money. This only applies to souls you haven’t yet spent, as spending the souls on anything removes them from your person. Just another tactical element, as now you have to choose WHEN to bank your souls.

    The whole system is just brilliant.

    The combat in Dark Souls is based more on your positioning and timing than most other action-rpgs. Gone are special strikes, super abilities and player buffs. That may make the combat sound shallow, and in a way it is. But if you scratch beneath the surface, the fact you have to swing your sword exactly when required adds an element of realism. Depending on your weapon you can thrust or sideswipe, sometimes both to get around your enemy. An awful lot of enemies in Dark Souls feature shields or heavy armour, and generating that extra split second to flank an enemy is something a player will really have to work on. Dodging and blocking incoming attacks is just as important, as it offers the chance for either a parry/riposte counter or a dodge-roll counter. It might take a little while to get to grips with as players may be used to spamming their ‘insta-win special melee gib attack’ in other games, here you have to think on your feet, and act accordingly.

    The game does feature boss battles against some spectacular creatures.

    There are many different kinds of enemies within the game, from small insignificant hollowmen to enourmous dragons, and although I’ve not finished the game (may I point out, the only game I’ve ever reviewed that I didn’t complete first – it may take me weeks) I know I’ve not seen everything it has to offer in terms of enemies. Skeletons, Dragons, Drakes, Giants, humanoids, slimes, grotesque ogres with huge clubs,rabid dogs, cloaked assassins, suited black knights, the list is huge and each enemy fights differently. In fact, the same enemy can fight differently just depending on his weapon loadout. A normal hollowman with a sword and shield will fight totally differently to a hollowman with a polearm. It’s not only a case now of knowing thine enemy, it’s a case of looking at his equipment and anticipating the attack.

    The game does feature boss battles against some spectacular creatures. I don’t want to give any spoilers in this review, so I’m just going to leave it with this : every boss I’ve fought so far has a)been hard and b)amazingly epic.

    Items and armour do play a big part in Dark Souls, with a multitude of weapons, armour and consumbles at your disposal. The weapon choice is astounding with everything from dirks to great axes here, with the choice for each weapon to be dual wielded or used in conjunction with a shield or your talisman (the item required for casting spells), which poses the choice of damage versus defence. Every weapon has a different base stat for damage and speed, and you’ll find out for yourself if you prefer the quicker weapons or the larger slower weapons. Weapons can also be upgraded in the traditional +1 sense as well as being turned into ‘divine’ weapons that deal massive amounts of damage to certain members of the undead horde.

    Just like weapons, there is also an awful lot of armour contained within the game. The choices posed to the player are manoeuvrability versus damage protection, with heavy steel armours causing you to lumber around slower than the lighter cloth pieces. The great thing about armour is, in Dark Souls the weight of an armour suit actually effects your character in game. Wear a lightweight cloth suit and you’ll run faster and roll with ease; stick on a set of chain mail pieces, and your movement is slow and cumbersome with rolls taking an eternity to execute. It’s a great touch, and one that really effects the decisions you make.

    There are many different kinds of enemies within the game, from small insignificant hollowmen to enourmous dragons.

    There are also plenty of consumables within Dark Souls from the prominent Estus Flasks (health potions) to firebombs, weapon oils, poison cures. The choice in weapons, armour and items is phenomenal and as currency is so valuable its definitely a major decision each time you purchase something.

    Dark Souls does look great. There are better looking games in the genre, with Dragon Age 2 springing to mind but that’s not what Dark Souls is about. That nice polished look just wouldn’t feel right here. Dark Souls is, as the name suggests, dark. It’s gritty, and this is resembled in the game. The enemy creatures look and move fantastic, as does your own character until you zoom in far too close. Some creatures are tens of feet tall, and they fill the screen majestically and all look proportioned just as they should.

    The characters movements are fluid where they should be, and the combat looks realistic. There are no over the top moves, just combat as it would happen if you were placed there yourself.

    The audio in Dark Souls is pretty good too. Once again, it’s dark. It generates the atmosphere well with its ambient music and the enemies/combat sounds are spot on. Nothing here will get repetitive, except maybe the little ditty that plays everytime the ‘You Have Died’ screen pops up. You’ll probably hear that one a lot.

    Dark Souls does feature multiplayer although not in the traditional sense. You can join other peoples worlds via the use of items within the game itself to be transported or summoned to your partner. However, party chat is disabled and you can only communicate via in game gestures.

    There have been many great games so far in 2011, but this is the best of the bunch yet.

    When in other peoples worlds, you have the option of being a help or a hindrance, and there are rewards and consequences whichever way you choose to play it. Kill another player in their world and you may be blacklisted by that player, which leads to serious repercussions. It’s a nice touch to the game, but it’s definitely a back seat thing over the single player. The lack of party chat removes the ‘banter’ had with friends, and the intense difficulty means its a game you concentrate with not chill out on.

    This is not a game for you achievement hunters. The achievements here are hard, just like the game. They are not given out easily, and you will have to fight for every single point you earn. The full 1000g I would say is nigh impossible (although I’ll be proven wrong eventually), but no matter how possible its still very hard and going to take an awful long time to complete. I think your given three easy achievements near the start, but after that, your on your own.

    The game has flaws, it does, but that’s ok as no game is perfect. I’d like a little more guidance from time to time so I don’t waste countless hours for example, but as I said, no game is perfect. Dark Souls comes very close however, and I can’t rate it highly enough. It’s difficult. It’s dark and gritty. It has epic creatures to fight against. It’s brilliantly balanced. It’s a truly exceptional title in an era where the masses are catered for, but by going against the grain it has swallowed up gamers in a way like nothing else has done since the 90's.

    There have been many great games so far in 2011, but this is the best of the bunch yet. It’s got a few strong contenders yet to come for Game of the Year, and whether it takes the title officially, From Software can take solice in the fact that it will be Game of the Year for the large majority of people that play it.
  • AltergigoAltergigo54,686
    01 Aug 2012 01 Aug 2012
    19 2 4
    .:Dark Souls - The Review:.

    Imagine your worst nightmare, multiply it by ten, have it last 150 to 200 hours and you will realize that you aren’t actually asleep but wide awake at 4 am playing Dark Souls while repeatedly dying just trying to progress to the next area to reach the level boss. That’s the punishment you are in for should you decide to invest your milk money in this game.

    Once you dive into this madness, you will find that it will absolutely consume you especially while you are not playing. Dark Souls is a shining example of what Action RPG’s should be. It’s a dark, gritty, unforgiving environment with so much content that will keep you busy for a long time coming. The game in my opinion has the highest replay value of any game I have experienced. Add in the PVP aspect and you will find yourself enjoying this title for quite some time.

    .:The Story:.
    I am not going to summarize the story behind Dark Souls but talk about the story presentation instead. Most RPG’s have long, cutscenes with sometimes overdrawn dialogue. With Dark Souls, the developers have taken a different approach. They adopted a “less is more” attitude and it has paid off. Although there are several cutscenes at pivotal points in the game as you progress, they are short and the dialogue is non-existent. This adds to the games lonely feel. It really conveys the message of “you against the world” and does it magnificently. As an RPG fan, I too am a sucker for all the eye candy and drawn out cut scenes. However, I really enjoyed how the game keeps it short and sweet which allows you to stay engaged in real time.

    Having said that, there is quite a bit of lore in the game and it’s cleverly displayed in certain treasure, armor and weapon descriptions which gives you incentive to collect all the items in the game so you can learn as much as possible about the story. Personally, I like this approach because once you collect the items, you can always go back and brush up on your lore within the game at any time.

    As usual, with any game, there are set events you must complete to advance and reach the conclusion. However, this game delivers when it comes to “other content.” There are a plethora of optional bosses you can take on, as well as side quests you can complete that are not relevant to the main story. I think it shows much confidence in the creators to add so much optional content that you really don’t have to touch in order to finish the game. However, I strongly suggest you take advantage of all the optional content. You owe it to yourself to do so and take in the full experience of what Dark Souls has to offer.

    .:Character Creation, Gameplay and PVP/Online:.
    You've taken your first step on this long journey. You’re on the creation screen, and you decide on a melee build. You start the game, and after investing a few hours of gameplay, you think to yourself, I wish I tried a caster class. This is one area where Dark Souls shines. There are no class restrictions, you can start off as melee and end up as a caster as well as switch back and forth between classes. All you have to do is equip the right items for your build for maximum results, and you are in business. The game does not have a restricted character tree. It allows you to customize your character to your liking as you level up. In some cases, if you are an achievement junky, you will need to level up certain stats anyway if you want to complete all 41 achievements. The true beauty of this game however, although you don't need to create new characters to play different classes, you find yourself doing so anyways and reliving the experience.

    The combat is set in real-time, not turn-based with time to decide what item to pick from your drop down menu while in a boss fight as the game conveniently pauses or slows down to a crawl to allow you to make a decision. In Dark Souls, all your preparations should be done beforehand and that weapon, shield and armor you chose to equip, it’s what you have to work with. You can still access the menu and make changes but you have to be very quick because any mob or boss you’re fighting will continue pounding on you in real time.

    The gameplay requires patience, strategy and trial and error. If you try to fly through this game, three things will happen. First you will die a lot. Second, you will not get very far, and third...you will die a lot. Yes, it’s worth mentioning twice. The game will test you at every level and is very good at achieving what it set out to do...Kill you. It also makes it that much more rewarding once you reach and defeat the final boss. Should you also feel that you weren’t brutalized enough in your first walkthrough...Try it again with a NG+ where...you guessed it...The difficulty level is raised.

    The PVP aspect of the game is truly ingenious. There are no lobbies to join or matches to start. As long as you are playing online with a gold membership, at any given time, another player can invade your world and attempt to take you down. This puts you at a disadvantage depending on what you are currently doing in the game as well as raise the level of difficulty and challenge which makes it that much more fun.

    There is also a small element of co-op where players can be summoned to aid other players in boss battles, as well as a unique messaging system that allows you to leave messages for other players regarding treasure, caution alerts and if you are feeling evil, you can also leave misleading messages by guiding other players into traps.

    .:The Environment:.
    Dark Souls takes you from lush forests, to the depths of sewers, to swamps, to pitch black dungeons, under water ruins, crystal caves as well as a beautiful marble like city that seems to float timelessly. The environments are rich, dark, gritty, disturbing and quite amazing. The impressive aspect of all the zones is, however diverse, they are all connected and yet they flow quite seamlessly with each other. You can find yourself in one zone and you unlock a path that all of a sudden connects you to another zone in the game and it all makes sense. They interconnect and flow very naturally.

    It is also worth noting that the game virtually has no soundtrack except in boss battles or certain events that may take place. It just adds to the lonely feel of the game and allows you to be that much more engaged in your surroundings and gameplay.

    .:In Conclusion:.
    Dark Souls is not for the faint at heart and I truly mean that. If you want to be repeatedly challenged and feel a true sense of gaming accomplishment, then this is the experience for you. It’s addictive, has a very high replay-ability value, offers a plethora of content, has an innovative PVP system, a wide range of weaponry and armors with a massive variety of upgrade paths, infinite NG+’s, difficult boss fights, diverse character creations, immersive environments and gameplay, and just an overall great gaming experience.

    I only noticed two things that I thought could’ve been better yet they were so minor that in the end, they are not worth mentioning but I will nevertheless. In certain zones in the game, frame rate does tend to get a bit choppy. Enough to notice but not enough to deter from the overall gaming experience. Finally, the “storage” in the game is unorganized and could’ve been created to be a bit less time consuming to go through.

    In conclusion, this is a title that is a must have in your game library, and if you are on a budget and must pick and choose what to buy, it is a definitive purchase. You will not be disappointed, and you will get your money’s worth over and over and well...You get where I’m going. Buy it, Play it, love it!
  • Moonlight HavocMoonlight Havoc12,909
    13 Jan 2014 13 Jan 2014
    13 1 1
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    Dark Souls is revered for its Difficulty and tendency to make people pull their hair out in frustration. The game is very
    intimidating to a newcomer and shouldn't be taken lightly at all. This game is challenging and will punish you for mistakes, but all you do is brush yourself off at the bonfire and try something else. Trial and Error!

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    Dark Souls from the start lets you know you are in for a world of pain. The setting starts you off in a dark and gloomy Asylum with a bunch of Hollows stalking around destined to suffer forever, and it doesn't stop there. The whole Dark and Gloomy factor just hangs over you and stays with you the whole game! Everyone and everything is diseased, mutated or just undead everything looks like it belongs there.

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    The combat is incredibly smooth and flows perfectly, from parrying and riposting to jamming a sword through your enemy's back. Everything that you want to happen, happens. There really isn't a lot of complaint here. There's a plethora of weapons, spells and items in your arsenal and you all but discover more as the game progresses. It has you dungeon crawling from the start, you're always encountering new enemies and nothing seems stale. Every turn you take you're wondering, "Uhoh, what is that?" as you slowly approach a lingering figure. This game also really enjoys its secrets, hidden walls that you could only stumble on by accident. Hidden items and even hidden quests/questlines. In Dark Souls anything is possible.

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    The multiplayer is new and interesting, players can drop a summon sign to have you summon them into your world to dispatch foes and bosses, or players can actually invade into your world and kill you themselves! I have to admit that being invaded was something I wasn't incredibly happy with at first. The invading and multiplayer play a really main part of the game. So always have a Sunbro ready to help you out!

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    This game has one of the best soundtracks for a game and fits every boss fight perfectly! From the Taurus Demon's pounding theme to Gwyn's solemn theme. Motoi Sakuraba really outdid himself. Make sure to take a moment to listen to some of it while you're trying out that boss for the 3rd time. ;)

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  • HartlandHartland591,792
    12 Jan 2014
    12 2 0
    First of all may experience of this game went like this: Neutral, I like it, I hate it, I like it, I really hate it, why did I buy this game, neutral, I like it, I love it, this is one of the best RPGs in existence.

    The first thing you will notice about this game is the difficulty involved in the combat. It can be very challenging and annoying during your first few hours until you get used to it. I recommend having a friend guide you through your first few hours to make it less frustrating for yourself...I lost count of how many rage quits I had during my first 10 hours.
    You play as the chosen undead fated with a pilgrimage to find your humanity and obtain the Lordvessel. The rest of the story I will leave for you to discover.
    The combat is well thought out, it's fluent, realistic and satisfying to perform huge crushing attacks! You can play as your standard Knight, Sorcerer or Theif along with other classes like the Wanderer and Cleric, so it's your typical RPG when it comes to character creation.

    Weapons are varied and feel true to form when you weild them. Although I can't say the same for spells, so far I havn't run into any lightning or frost based spells which is pretty disappointing. Buffering spells are next to useless, Iron Flesh buffs your defense but slows you to a literal crawl so it's really not worth it.
    The game has a lock-on feature which helps so much during combat, but can also hinder your combat if caught in a narrow corridor or a cliff edge due to the sometimes utterly stupid camera angles.
    The scenery is gorgeous and original and there are very few generic enemies aside from a few skeletons or ghosts. Graphics are still appealing 2 years down the line and textures are very detailed in a lot of areas. Battles are intense and has some of the most iconic boss fights in modern gaming.

    The invade system keeps you on your feet as people can constantly invade you and try to kill you for a share of your souls, or you can summon people to help you out which helps alot if you have friends who have gotten far in this game already. However you are unable to be invaded if you have died and not used a "humanity" to make yourself human again, basically giving you the option to play alone and not be invaded or have a friend with you and fight for a share of their souls if they die, so there are PVP elements to this game.

    Despite a lot of praise about the difficulty from reviewers, there are certain areas in the game that are close to impossible, and most arn't boss fights. An area in Anor Londo with some archers on the ledges was RIDICULOUSLY difficult due to the sheer force the arrows hit you at (even when blocking) and the precarious way you're standing on the ledges is just silly. A certain boss, whilst not particularly difficult to kill, can be very frustrating due to the tiny room you are in and the moronic camera angles. The only time you'll die during that fight is when you can't see an attack coming because all you can see is a wall.
    It's also one of the most well polished games I've ever played, glitches are few and far between and never game breaking. Although a few areas have terrible framrates.
    Overall, Dark Souls is a fantastic game to play; it's immersive, long, satisfying and above all, varied. Truly one of the greatest games of our time and the best RPG I've played for years.
    If you're fond of the Elder Scrolls, Borderlands, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale etc, then don't miss this epic game!
  • SpellersSpellers50,398
    12 Apr 2012
    17 7 2
    This is coming a bit late now, but having put over 100hrs into this game and read the reviews which are there so far i feel a need to make some comments about this game and the perception alot of people have.

    As with every other review for this game the thorny issue of difficult needs to be tackled first. and like most others I will tell you that the reward you get from doing well in this game is well worth the effort. The best way i can suggest to look at it would be picking up a chess board and your first ever match being agasint a grand master..... Fine you can understand the rules and mechanics but you don't have the experiance to know what works and what doesn't. this is you playing dark souls for the first hour or so.

    To all that would try and play both offline and without a guide i'd say you a mixture of both brave and stupid. a prime example of why would be the first 'proper' boss, where the most effective tactic is to use a plunging attack. What's that you say? figure it out yourself...

    and that's the story of this game, at no point does it mislead you or present you with an impossible challenge, it simply doesn't tell you what to do. It highlights how much we have our hands held in games these days, it wants you to learn to do it yourself. but rest assured it will let you know when your doing it wrong.

    For a game that many suggested wasn't even to be considered a AAA title the details put into both the gameplay and the graphics are outstanding. You'll find each area has it's own set of unique enemies that fight in their own way with very few exceptions. Each boss fight presents a differant challenge for you, NPC's have a healthy distain for you (as they should your a curesed undead) and it doesn't stop there, the scenary is breathtaking and it truely feels like a journey.

    at this point I think the NPC's in this game need a mention. they offer something that is opften overlooked. Most of the people you will meet will be imprissoned or in need of your help, if you help them some will help you in return. and i need to stress the some. Just becasue you help a character in dark souls that doesn't mean they trust you or you should trust them as i discovered on returning to visit a bonfire to find it dead and unusable thanks to someone i had previously saved. Armed with this knowlege when you play again you can take action and stop this happening, equally if a merchant annoys you there is nothing to stop you killing him where he stands, or anyone else for that matter.

    For me Dark Souls was an emotional journey, at various points in the game you will feel happy, frustrated, mad, confused but finally you will just have a great feeling of achievment. Easily one of the best games i have played alongside FF7. the only obvious and notable drawback is the lack of a story. Inuitive combat, emersive envirmoent and a great sandbox feel with how you go about the game really do let you play it out how you want. just be ready to pull out a guide a few times along the way :)

    PvP and co-op play are a somewhat differant matter than the main game. Using both the NPC help and human players to complete a boss can be invaluable (first time on the gargoyles especially). but the risk of being invaded is always a risk when being in your human form.
    For those eager to make other cry PvP will allow you to get that gratification in a few ingenious ways. You can invade others, but be warned only players of a higher level. or for some covenants you can wear a ring that will automatically invade for you when people tresspass no your land. While these are good, you'll often find in the main pvp areas strong characters will be waiting for you and often have receuited someone to help them, so this is often unfruitful and somehwat unbalanced. but again, when it goes well and you score a massive soul haul for brutally murdering someone this is all forgotten.

    for any of those contemplating getting this, i'd say do it. but remember 1) be patient, 2) keep your shield up. :)
  • Pope SlaysPope Slays23,635
    24 Dec 2014
    16 13 4

    First and foremost, I know I'm late, very late. Didn't play this game until it was free on Xbox Live. Nevertheless, I feel this game is worthy of a review. Let it be said that I have a love hate relationship with this game and my opinions are going to go from praising to assaulting like a bipolar midwife on her period. There will be profanity and possibly some small spoilers. There's your warning. With that said, let's get started.


    There are very few pros to Dark Souls, but fortunately, they're very big pros. Enough to keep you coming back and playing even once you realize how shoddy the rest of the game is.

    Level Design

    For the type of game that it is, I couldn't really ask for better. Never have I seen so many atmospheric environments that instilled dread, wonder and overwhelming adventure all at once. For a 2011 release, the graphics and clothing textures weren't anything to complain about. You'll go from an old, frozen prison to a tranquil, grassy mountain peak, to a dragon hounded European styled castle district crawling with undead knights, to an ancient flooded city haunted by lethal ghosts, to a treacherous, poison filled swamp with grotesque and dangerous enemies.

    Each with their own atmosphere and vibe that will keep you on your toes and hoping you reach that next bonfire before something one hit kills you. You know, because it's Dark Souls. You can be one hit killed before you realize what the hell. I guess that's why you're kind of immortal?


    This aspect isn't half bad. I'm a customization freak and I absolutely love how many options this game gives you to look how you like. Not only do you have a wide variety of armors to play around in, some of them offer additional effects aside from your standard chainmail suit, a very wise game design choice in my opinion. I noted a stat (Poise) that essentially allows you to eat enemy attacks without staggering if you raise it high enough. You can do that by wearing actual tough armor, not flimsy clothing. This makes total sense. I have no arguments against it. It's something I'd like to see in other games with clothing options.

    In addition to a huge wardrobe, you get just about as many different types of weapons. Standard knightly straight swords, quick and deadly curved swords, sneaky, high critical damage daggers, punishing greatswords, axes and hammers, spears, claws, whips, you name it. Of course that includes ranged weapons like bows and crossbows and magic too. It doesn't end there, all these things that are available to you are able to be upgraded to become more powerful. If you want these upgrades, you have to explore the world and find the embers to give to the blacksmiths. This is an excellent way to reward wary players who'd rather not risk venturing out of their comfort zones to explore.


    As I just partially mentioned, exploration is astoundingly rewarding in this game. It's hardly ever not worth taking a look as you'll always get something out of it, even if you decide to turn back. (Assuming you make it to the treasure) There could be a sweet new set of armor, a huge amount of souls, some free humanity, a useful ring, a powerful weapon or even a rare upgrade for your Estus Flask. There are also NPC's to find throughout the world that will help you in some way or another, be it giving you an item or teaching you pyromancy or other spells which can really help things go quite a bit smoother. With each bit of major progress you make in the game, more of these NPC's will become available and the ones you've encountered will often change their whereabouts, which adds even more reason to look around in areas you may have already gone through.

    After beating the game, I found out that the amount of unnecessary content in the game was quite high and I was quite pleased with that fact. There were still many weapon and armor abilities for me to experiment with, NPC questlines to complete and locations to visit and revisit and weapons to collect and upgrade. There were even more covenants to find and join to see what kinds of unique rewards or benefits they offer, and all of these things are off the beaten path to story completion, giving ever more reason to get out there and explore that beautiful, yet terrifying fantasy world they've built.


    Gotta hand to the guys who worked on the enemy abilities and appearances. I loved encountering new enemies every time I did. I always thought, "What the hell is thaaaat? What can it do?" It was very tense and it urged me to approach my fights in a strategic way most games don't. I'd often wait and dodge a few of the new enemy's attacks just to get a look at the range and charge up times before I decided how to approach. Certainly boring to watch someone study every new enemy like that, but if the controller is in the other hand, it becomes a worthwhile experience that other games probably never considered.

    All the Badness

    I know Fromsoftware isn't the greatest game company in the world. I only know them for making Tenchu Z and the Armored Core games. But here, it seems they were really shooting for the whole double edged sword philosophy...or something equally idiotic or at least questionable in their game design choices. Here we go. Why this game just isn't that good is because...


    Yep, I said it. The control scheme is absurd. Not only that, you can't even customize it. Or look at it for that matter. Luckily for my I learn quickly, but what about other gamers? It took some getting used to and most people will tell you that it does. But what is the reason behind it? I'm putting my money on that well hidden game dev secret technique, "fake difficulty." Too few have the time or the desire to fight the controls while fighting enemies that will kill you just as quickly or usually, quicker than you can kill them.

    Its not that the controls are hard to adjust to. They just make no sense, they are extremely counter intuitive to their purposes, and they don't allow full control of everything simultaneously. (Try sprinting and controlling the camera using only your thumbs. Hint: If you stop sprinting to control the camera, you're cheating.) While mention of the camera is relevant, why can't we zoom in or out? Isn't that like, basic in most third person games with free camera controls?


    This is a big section.

    Its a huge no no to screw up the combat in a dungeon crawler. All you really do is fight. But they went and screwed it up nice and good. I don't even know what went wrong or how it did.
    There is no reason why they couldn't map quick attack to the X button and sprinting and dodging to the RB. That way, it'd be so much simpler to just hold down the X button for a strong attack since the damned things take six days to charge up anyway. That would easily free up the Y button for some other use like say, an Estus Flask hotkey so the B button could be used for all of your items, giving players an extra slot to put something useful in.

    It would be much more intuitive to allow players to do kicks and jump attacks by pressing quick attack X, and jump, RB, together. Some might argue that the controls are that way because of a dual wielding system. I don't believe that is valid because all they'd need do to remedy control muddling is to add in a sheathing/unsheathing system that changes the actions of your combat buttons depending upon whether or not you had a weapon drawn. Hell, you could even allow sheathing your weapons to let you move faster for retreats. But no. Reasons and all that. Sure, whatever.

    Combat is far, far, far too theatrically slow. So much that it just looks stupid. Its almost like Super Smash Brothers or some shit where you or the enemy holds his weapon above his head for a solid 2 to 3 full seconds before releasing the attack, somehow making it way stronger. No. Just no. I mean why? Why even? It is extremely impractical and it seems apparent that they made it that way only so they could say "time your strikes."

    Get the fuck out. Its not even realistically slow. Timing your strikes hardly matters on some enemies. It is perfectly acceptable in the case where the best strategy is not to use power attacks. I'm fine with that. Strategy is all well and good in combat. But not forcibly slow speeds that leave you wide open for no good reason at all.

    Weapon handling

    Speaking of wide open, I can't understand the deal with the heavy weapons. Even when raising your strength to like, freaking 80, why does a halberd still feel extremely slow and unstable when two handing it? It literally swings its user off balance, when on the other hand, you can take a gigantic fucking Black Knight Greataxe and one hand that son of a bitch, JUMP ATTACK with it, and be fine. No biggie, its lighter than it looks, says the 16.0 stat on its weight.

    Even swinging it side to side is faster and smoother than using a much smaller claymore or bastard sword. I must be missing the point or maybe there was some game mechanic I didn't know about. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but absolutely none of that shit makes any sense to me.

    Parry and Riposte

    Okay, I see what they were going for here, but there's still something I'm missing. Timing is quite crucial in this game. I love that. You can't just dodge constantly without timing it and expect not to get smacked. Many attacks are able to be parried and finding out which ones can and can't may sometimes cost you your life. (Subsequently, everything else with it. -_-)
    So my question is this. Why can't you parry with the weapon you attack with? And why the fuck can't you parry with a two handed weapon? You can one hand a two hander, parry with your EMPTY LEFT HAND, then reposte their guts with a huge Zweihander in one hand...but you can't parry with that Zweihander while holding it with two hands. No sense is made here.

    If they were smart, they could have even allowed you to parry heavier attacks with heavier weapons. That would have been something. It would have allowed the implementation of even more strategy on certain types of enemies. Heavy weapons for armored, heavy hitters work best. Not a bad idea...is it? o_O The already asinine control scheme makes less sense when two handing. Left bumper and left trigger does the same thing. COME ON, really? How lazy do you get? And speaking of lazy, the same old reposte animations for everything get really old, really fast. There are like, only seven of them and a crap ton of weapons. Really? Really really? This deserves praise?

    Plunging Attack

    Hahaha, where do I even begin? I'll try and keep this quick. Its a very useful attack, almost OP. But it's arbitrary. Since the controls and overall mechanics are stupid and wonky, you can't jump or even hang off of a ledge. Your characters head doesn't even track shit, you just get that little circle. The range on that marker is super limited and don't think it's going to help your aim on the way down. You just walk right off the ledge like a sleepwalking moron and hope the heavy feather physics engine doesn't bounce you off of the very same wall you dropped from.

    If it does, you just might miss your target and end up with your sword stuck in the ground, a huge chunk of health taken off of you and some smirking dickwad enemy behind you charging up that super slow attack that your ultra slow animation lock won't let you dodge. GG bro.

    Stun Lock and Collision Issues

    Do I even need to explain stun lock? I will take away points in any game where this is present and inescapable. And therein lies the problem. Stun lock is inescapable. If it happens, get out your marshmallows you're going back to the bonfire. It was 2011 when they released this game. Stun lock should not be an issue we face these days unless we're dealing with fucking tazers. No one has a tazer in Dark Souls. I would ask if anyone had any issues with fighting enemies in tight quarters where your swords would clash against the wall and cause you to get hit or killed...But clashing isn't an issue because its realistic. I don't mind it.

    I just want it to happen to the enemy as well. Enemy attacks constantly clip right through walls as if they weren't there at all. They just don't have to abide by the same rules you do. That doesn't make the game difficult. It makes it inconsistent.


    Whoops, I forgot this game doesn't have a ukemi or any kind of battle recovery system for when you get knocked down...It likes the unfeasible slowness. Sell every knockdown like you're a professional WWE wrestler.

    Cutting it short

    All in all, its as I said before. I love this game and I hate it. I just downloaded Dark Souls 2 on 12-24-2014. That's right, this year. I get the feeling I'm going to like it just as much, and I'm hoping many of the mechanics are much more improved. If I'm lucky, Dark Souls 2 will not try and pass off broken mechanics as actually challenge and difficulty. I'd rather fight my enemies than fight the game design. The first dark souls challenged me to hammer 6 nails into a wooden board, but they made me do it using a black and decker blender instead of the hammer I needed. I'm hoping part two doesn't ask me to do that. Give me the tools I need to do the job requested. And make sure they work.
  • Danny Dubs 86Danny Dubs 862,411,000
    10 Aug 2015 10 Aug 2015
    6 4 0
    Originally posted on my blog at http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/

    Dark Souls has the reputation of being soul-crushingly hard and deservedly so. It is, however, one of the best games I have ever played.

    An action RPG that punishes you for every mistake, it's brutal, but it's not impossible, even if it occasionally gets unreasonably frustrating (more on that a bit later).

    Combat of Champions
    At its core, Dark Souls boasts a surprisingly complex combat system, which is more reminiscent of quality hack and slash games than other RPGs. It revolves around about a dozen broad weapon categories, each coming with a distinct move set, encompassing everything from the quick jabs of a dagger to the slow, crushing strikes of a greatsword that is as long as you are tall.

    The real beauty of this system is that all of these weapon types are equally powerful, assuming you are sufficiently comfortable with their corresponding move sets. Your choice of weapon is therefore almost always an issue of your preferred playstyle rather than a comparison of different weapons' stats. Of course, occasionally stats will matter, especially when looking for specific elemental upgrades or the like, but for the most part, the weapon system allows a great deal of customization.

    Once you've settled on a move set, you'll have to practice it to perfection. Enemies hit really hard, so there's very little margin for error. In a sense, just about every monster you encounter is a mini boss because they will murder you if you underestimate them. To really stand apart, the bosses are epic. They're huge fights with big demons and the like, and every one feels like the hardest thing you've ever done.

    Fortunately, the game gives you some powerful tools to reward you for skillful mastery of the mechanics.

    Here's an example of one aspect of combat: your defensive moves consist of dodging, blocking, and parrying. Each has various strengths and weaknesses; blocking, for example, blunts a lot of the damage of an attack, but depletes your stamina, forcing you to wait a bit before executing an attack yourself.

    While it's certainly possible in theory to make it through the entire game using only one of these defensive techniques, it would be damn hard. Each is incredibly valuable in at least some situations, so mastery of the three, plus fluidly switching between them as needed, is almost necessary to progress.

    There are some other subtle features that make combat a deep and satisfying experience (there are several brands of magic to explore, for example). While I'd love to discuss my favorite aspects of all those details, it's not appropriate here. Let's just leave it by saying that Dark Souls may have the most challenging and satisfying combat of any game I've ever played. Seriously.

    Role-Playing at its Finest
    So the combat mechanics are great, what about everything else?

    Dark Souls also does the role-playing thing incredibly well. The basics are familiar: a variety of statistics govern your character by determining total HP and strength of attacks and all that jazz.

    As you kill enemies, you'll automatically absorb their souls. These souls can then be spent to increase your attributes, though only at the relative safety of a bonfire. Seems pretty straightforward.

    This system is complicated by two incredible factors:

    First, resting at a bonfire revives (nearly) every enemy you've defeated. All the random mobs you had to dispatch to make it to the bonfire are back, and any progress you made to your next objective is reset. You can't inch your way to victory in Dark Souls, making the danger of every zone all the more devastating.

    Second, any time you die, you drop all the souls you've accumulated. You can recover those souls if you can reach the point where you bit it, but all the enemies are back, so it's just as perilous as the first time. If you die again, you drop your souls as before, overwriting the previous recovery point - you just lost those souls for good.

    Put all of it together, and you start to experience the sheer terror that your character must feel - with imminent death lurking in every new area, you're in a constant state of heightened awareness. Every sound makes you jump; every corner makes you paranoid. It's fantastically immersive.

    There's also some complexity in terms of the way that your attributes influence gameplay. There are obvious things, like your resistance stat increasing your character's resistance to poison, but the effectiveness of weapons and spells scale differently with different attributes. This effect is amplified when you consider different weapon upgrades and enhancements, some of which alter the weapon's scaling.

    None of this is explicitly explained, which is kind of cool. You're left to your own devices to figure out how things work (much like your character would be, given his or her circumstances).

    I hope by this point you're seeing how beautifully complex the gameplay is. Not only are the enemies punishing, but you also have to learn a lot of details about the mechanics to do well. It's an exciting game to explore.

    That said, the gameplay certainly isn't flawless. There are a couple sections of the game that are simply terrible because they rely on pseudo-platforming. While the game is generally frustrating, these areas where you might frequently and accidentally roll off cliffs are miserable. Thankfully it really only happens twice over the course of the game, but they are pretty bad. The overall quality of the rest of the game more than makes up for those bits, though.

    Honestly, I think I could end the review at this point. It is an incredibly deep and satisfying RPG and is worth playing on those merits, even without mentioning the story or the world.

    But it nails that, too.

    An Intricate World to Explore
    Dark Souls presents a story unlike any other game I've played. You have to work for every bit of the lore because very little of it is fed to you.

    The game starts with a cryptic cinematic describing old gods and their war against dragons. When you take control, your character is nearly naked and decaying in a cell. Someone throws you a key and you make your way into the tutorial area.

    (As a side note, Dark Souls does something else I've never seen before - you will almost certainly die in the tutorial area, perhaps repeatedly. It doesn't pull punches at any point, including at the very beginning when it's telling you how to move the camera. I think that's pretty sweet.)

    You'll eventually find yourself in a vast world full of interconnected zones. Your only hint at what to do is an NPC sitting nearby, and he doesn't give you much to go on. What's more, it's an open world, but there aren't any obstacles to prevent you from going the "wrong" way (aside from foes that will absolutely crush you if you're not prepared). You learn what to do and where you can survive through exploration and failure, again adding to the immersion.

    If you want to know why all this is happening, you'll have to piece together fragments of story obtained by reading item descriptions and talking to NPCs repeatedly. Even then, it's all very subtle, but at the same time it's fascinating. There's detailed lore if you're willing to look for it, but it's never forced on you if you'd rather focus on the gameplay.

    Even if you opt to excuse yourself from the lore, you're still in for a treat. While the graphics aren't the best around, the world is surprisingly detailed. Each area has a unique vibe, and it's genuinely fun to look at all the scenery and doodads scattered around. Hell, the different zones are detailed enough that they tell stories themselves. Dark Souls is a beautiful game, even if the graphics are dated from a technical perspective.

    Though to be fair, the sound quality plays a big part. The music is fantastic - haunting at some times, intense at others; every tune contributes to the overall experience quite nicely. And the voice acting is similarly superb. Every character you'll meet sounds just a little unsettling in unique ways, but it fits with the context so well that I feel it has to be intentional.

    And overall there's a lot of content to explore. My first playthrough took about 50 hours. From there, I was genuinely excited to tackle a the "New Game+" mode, which added another 20-25 hours because unlike most games, it further ratchets up the difficulty. Many bosses were significant challenges even with my high level and powerful gear. Of course, you could also approach the game from scratch using a different playstyle, like focusing on magic instead of melee, so the game has oodles of replay value.

    Playing for Glory
    The achievement list isn't too crazy. Yeah, it'll be a tough completion, but that's just because the game itself is tough.

    The achievements really just force you to complete New Game+ without too much on top of that. You'll have to be careful not to use some once-per-playthrough items incorrectly, but if you plan around the all-unique weapons achievement ("Knight's Honor"), nothing is too problematic.

    Everything else can be done in New Game+ without much trouble, so you can even safely ignore all other achievements during your first playthrough if you want to try to avoid spoilers. It's nice to have that luxury as an achievement hunter.

    To sum up: Dark Souls is a satisfying game set in an amazing world. It's very hard, but if you stick with it, you'll find one of the most amazing gaming experiences of all time.

    My Rating: 10/10 - epic.

    (For more info on my rating system, including overall stats, see http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html)
  • OCP SkynetOCP Skynet127,486
    01 Jun 2012
    8 10 8
    Step away from traditional games and prepare to die..

    At first, Dark Souls can seem overwhelming but underneath there lies a deep, engaging game that if you devote the time and can handle the fact you WILL die alot then carry on reading.

    Gameplay - The controls at first seem clunky, your characters movement feels heavy and the combat takes some getting used to but this all adds to the game experience. There is a level up system which requires souls to upgrade each stat, Strength, agility, magic and even faith are among the stats to be leveled up to try and make life that little bit easier. Your character can also change armour, light and heavy sets are both in the game also there are huge varieties of weapons from your typical sword right upto power weapons which require very high strength to wield. Cross bows and bow and arrows are also here for abit of ranged combat. Nearly all weapons can be infused with elemental effects but it really does take some doing. There are also factions to get into, Good, neutral and evil. NPCs are scattered all over the world so dont hesitate to talk, you might just get an achievement. There is an open world but not Skyrim style, its all linked so it can seem quite linear but thats far from the case but be warned, venturing into unknown areas usually means death is imminent. There is an online element to this game but it just has never worked so its not worth going into it.

    Graphics & Sound - This is where the game is in a league of its own. I haven't enjoyed being in a gaming world this much since Resident Evil 2. The Graphics are just stunning, Superb animation, dark, gothic buildings, and the feeling of suspense is unmatched. The OST is so impressive, i have it on my phone, i'll never forget certain boss fights, the music made it such a memorable experience.

    Achievements - Wow, I personally think this ain't an easy 1000g. I still ain't got the full 1000g yet lol. Playing the game from start to finsh won't get you anywhere near the 1000g if you dont explore, infuse weapons ect plus you got to play it through at least twice so quite alot of dying is involved here.

    Overall, Dark Souls is one of the best games on the Xbox 360, Dark, gritty, punishing but so satisfying to play, so good when you beat that boss you thought was unbeatable. Genuine moments of greatness with a superb OST. Bring on the DLC.

    If you think i can improve on reviews please let me know. Thanks for reading.
  • InktoidInktoid742,038
    23 Apr 2013
    7 10 0
    When first presented with the idea of Dark Souls the concept was captivating. Creating a game that was meant to be more then just a challenge, it was meant to test someone to the very limits of what they are willing to take in order to complete a journey. For a majority of said journey the player is meant to feel like failure is the first option. Every encounter from the mundane to the monumental tests every skill a player has picked up through years of gaming. Muscle memory and reflexes meld together in a glorious symphony the first time that you dodge an enemy perfectly and deliver a well aimed strike to bring them down to size. But make no mistake, if those same reflexes falter for even a moment that enemy will cut the characters' heart out before the player knows what happened.

    Two words have seemed to become synonymous with Dark Souls and they are polar opposites but that does not mean both cannot have some truth to them; those being Hard and Tedious. Why most seem to toss around the word tedious as an excuse for an inability to progress through what can be best described as the video game incarnation of what burning in Hell might feel like it does hold a small measure of validity. When a few hours are spent trudging through an abandoned castle that has been littered with encounter after encounter that at times seem insurmountable, death is not a possibility but an inevitability. After being slaughtered countless times the fights can take on a stale measure but this can be remedied if the player is willing to take the time to learn the enemies, deal with them in a manner that leaves a fighting chance, and makes steady,smart, and most importantly cautious progress

    Hard does not begin to even scratch the surface of what Dark Souls offers the player in terms of difficulty or content. New Game+ can be used seven, count it seven, times with the same character and each time this occurs the difficulty of the game takes a soaring leap higher into the heavens. But this does leave the doorway open for nearly limitless customization and leveling as counting now there are just shy of 800 confirmed levels. Overall the game plays incredibly well and many of the issues are minute in contrast to what this game has managed to achieve. Most of the time any death of the character feels more like a fault of the player then of the game mechanics; thus leaving all the failure or success in the hands of the puppet master. Combat animations are sometimes delayed and occasionally an attack or block will not register until it is too late to matter. The combat does have a fluid feeling for what it is and each weapon offers small variations in ascetics and usage. Armor and shielding offer the small minor changes but they are enough to keep the player digging forward to find that next upgrade or a rare piece of loot that will give a small edge, if even for a moment.

    The multi-player component adds an interest level of depth to the game as other players can invade your game, adding an unnecessary level of grief to the already hellish journey. However the multi-player is more then just an excuse for many players to hinder the journey of others; helpful messages can be left in order to aid others during a boss encounter and portals can be created to summon other players into help on tough encounters. Both of those features also work in reverse as well, sometimes that message that states jumping off a cliff at just the right angle will bag you a new weapon will most likely be a rouse to see how many players can be duped into leaping to their, often untimely, demise.

    Another feature that plays hand in hand with the feeling of never being safe, no pause menu. Many times during an intense battle often the player can pause to take a much needed moment to regroup and finish the fight strong, Dark Souls offers no such comfort. Being thrown headlong into the fire is the name of the game and often times the first encounter with a new enemy type, will spell the end of your current life.

    In the end the features that are showcased within Dark Souls give it an edge in a market that has become more about player comforts then actually challenges. The game commands your attention because without it, success is nothing more then a pipe dream. However the sacrifice that must be made might just make the gamer have a new appreciation for what it is they are doing as they spend hours attempting a single fight in hopes of getting it right the next time. Dark Souls is unforgivably brutal and will punish the slightest error with instant death, but when the player drops that boss that has plagued them for hours on end and stands triumphant finally, the feeling is unparalleled within the gaming world. But do not let that feeling engulf you, because the next encounter will prove to be even harder but the payoff is that much greater.

    Prepare To Die
  • JaketimusJaketimus505,168
    16 Nov 2011
    2 9 0
    I didnt know what to expect putting this game into my console, but im happy id did. Generally all this its so hard talk, is true, it mite even scare some gamer's to say oh no way. But the game was worth every dollar, it has everything a RPG has ever needed. The only thing i would change is the co-op system. The fun you could have with that would be overwhelming but the reason its not there is to keep the game difficult. I am more then satisfied with this game and i look forward to continuing to play it, 5/5 10/10 110% recomend to anyone who likes RPG. Its rewarding, satisfying, intense can get you to perhaps throw a couple controllers through the TV, But end result, haven't enjoyed another game more.
  • SaVaGe ReactionSaVaGe Reaction105,837
    31 Oct 2011
    1 10 0
    Dark Souls is one of those games people are understandably apprehensive about. Is it really fun to die? Is it fun to spend £40 on a game where you die alot? Well the answer is no, however where the real fun and reward comes from is in surviving such unfair odds. Knowing that death can be lurking round every corner makes caution a necessity and in turn being cautious leads to rewards. For instance about a fifth of the way through the game you come upon a boss bigger than the screen itself an impatient player charges in and is crushed under its gluteus maximus. Whereas a cautious player study's its attack pattern before easily attaining victory. This is the mantra of Dark Souls and why it is easily one of the best RPG's money can buy. Its open world is expansive and memorable. The combat is satisfying and exciting and lacklustre graphics are made up for by the games artistic genius.
  • DevilChupacabraDevilChupacabra355,985
    21 Dec 2011
    2 12 0
    Dark Souls is an amazing game no one should miss,great game,great graphics,top notch voice acting,very consuming,u will get very involved with the game and thats all u will want to do,no work,no school just Dark Souls 24/7 ,awsome 5 stars,there are so many diff places to go,blighttown,anor londo,the depths,firelnk,and so many people to meet,rescue or help,but i strongly advise a guide because this is the most complex game ever created,there are lots of things going on at any givin time you dont even know about,and you will miss achievements because of it so get a guide,its not perfect by any means,but i enjoyed my new game plus #3 and all my 300 hours bring on Dark Souls 2!!!!!!!
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