#1009 Dark Souls

Posted: 15th June 2020 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , , , ,

875th played so far

Genre: Action
Platform: Playstation 3/Xbox 360/PC
Year of Release: 2011
Developer: FromSoftware
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games

Hearing everyone talk about it, I feel I should consider Dark Souls a big game. Although Demon Souls did it before, this is the game that started the Souls-like trend – difficult games that reward you banging your head against it as you slowly progress, giving out scraps of story and progress. FromSoftware has created a number of them with different combat focuses, such as Bloodborne, but the Dark Souls trilogy still stands out.

I’ve been skirting playing it, in part because of the frustration – Demon Souls was tricky enough anyway – but also because it felt like a big next step to take. Still, I have the time now, I feel mentally prepared and I hope to get some feel for it so I can play more of them later… They say it’s worth it.

Our Thoughts

While the ruins of Dark Souls are the result of some sort of curse that I haven’t had explained – and probably won’t be – it also made me think about how they make for such good game settings. While you rarely get to rebuild them – although I’ve been tempted to replay Skyrim with some mods that would change that – here they are the reflection of your hero, getting his power from killing others and absorbing their lives, but losing almost everything when you die – unless you get to a safe point in time. Even when you do get to a safe point, the well known bonfires, your enemies respawn and challenging them starts from scratch – hopefully while you’ve improved with the souls you gathered and from the experience of repeatedly beating the same thing.

It’s a difficult game, intentionally so. For the most part, I suppose it feels fair in its difficulty – you need to know what you’re doing and push forward – although as the tutorial is quite stretched out and I started experimenting, I unnecessarily used some items before I had a use for it or had it explained. It feels like it could have been sped up. I did find the hollowing mechanism frustrating – as I was in it constantly, I always felt like I was on the back foot and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Recovering felt expensive, and perhaps, if it didn’t have the slower start, I feel I might have been better off starting over. I hope it would have gotten better with more practice, but then again, this blog isn’t as good for getting through these games. I needed a lot more practice and just didn’t get it quite enough.

Final Thoughts

Dark Souls has this intriguing, undead world that looks fascinating, with a lore that I want to explore further. However, the game does its best to make sure that takes a long time, with a focus on dodging that I can’t quite pull off (maybe Bloodborne would suit me better) and a general difficulty curve that I was never going to beat in the context of this blog. Still, it presents a challenge that I do want to explore further once I’ve got the time available to me.