Review by DiffEQ
"Frustrating mechanics really drag this game down."
Let me preface this review by saying that I have never played Demon's Souls, so I will in no way be making comparisons to that game.
First, I want to just briefly mention the audio and graphics. The graphics are good, but nothing special; they neither stand out nor bring the game down in anyway. The sound, or sometimes the lack of, is one of the better features. It really adds to the atmosphere which is probably the best quality of this game. I really do feel like I'm stuck in a dangerous, desolate world.
Now the mechanics are what really drags this game down. I've heard so many people say that this a truly difficult game and requires skill. This has not been my experience, it requires luck more than anything.
First of all, the controls are somewhat sluggish. I know the character isn't supposed to zip around like Dante, but the controls could be tighter. Several times I have died where I know I wouldn't have if the controls were better. However, they're usually passable so this is more of a minor a minor gripe.
The biggest thing which really drags this game down is the hit detection. It is absolute trash. There are so many instances where my weapons go through the enemy and do no damage whatsoever. What's even worse is when this happens with magic spells. This is exponentially so during a boss fight where you absolutely need your limited number of spells and they get wasted due to the hit detection. Basically, boss fights come down to hoping they use their weaker attacks and hoping that your attacks actually connect when they should.
Another thing that really irks me is when I'm in a narrow hall fighting an enemy (or near some other obstruction). If I swing my weapon sideways it bounces of the wall and I can't hit the enemy. Now normally, this would be a good thing as it would add to the realism/challenge in a good way. However, the same does not apply to the enemy. Their attacks go through the wall as if it wasn't there and damage you.
Another problem was the slowdown that occurs in a particular area of the game. It's so bad that there is no way the developers could have missed it and it just shows laziness that didn't fix it. It really is bad to the point where it can make the area more difficult than it otherwise would be.
Anyways, this is a difficult game, but mostly due the garbage hit detection that makes the game more difficult then it should be. I do want to end this review on a positive note. The game is addicting, the world and atmosphere are interesting enough that it will keep you playing despite the technical flaws. The PvP system is also pretty unique and fun and, despite its own issues, will offer some good replay value.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 04/23/12
Game Release: Dark Souls (US, 10/04/11)
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