Review by swyg
"An unfortunate juxtaposition"
Dark souls could have been something special. Let me rephrase that; It could have been a better 'something special' than what it is. Instead, all it does is bring out the masochist in all of us.
Dark souls has a morbid and hopeless atmosphere that will enthrall all players who dare to play this beast of a game. As you progress through Lordran you collect souls from every enemy you defeat, which you can use as currency for items or to enhance the attributes of your created character. Every enemy you come across has a different way of fighting and forces you to consider how best to kill every opponent you come across. You will need to study every enemy you fight before making a life or death decision of striking them, which will leave you open for attacks.
Lordran is full of terrifying and imaginative areas. And it's that atmosphere and level design that will help make the constant dying somewhat more tolerable.
Patience is the key to Dark Souls. Patience......and far too much of it quite frankly. You will die in this game, a lot. It can be satisfying sometimes, but the problem is that when it comes down to it, most people will start to lose that patience and want to progress past where they are stuck, thus resulting in them rushing ahead and dying more often. You can tell that Dark Souls has forced outdated game design qualities, like it was specifically made to be frustrating with few checkpoints and horrible damage balance. It only takes a few hits to die from regular enemies and usually one or two from bosses can kill you.
Grinding doesn't do that much good either. If you're stuck somewhere, it will take a very long time to get better suitable defenses.
Overcoming opposition is generally seen as something to be proud of, but at this level of difficulty you have to consider whether or not your sanity is important to you. How much stress are you truly willing to endure? If it's a lot, then that's not good enough. You will be on a constant high level of stress playing this game, some of it good and most of it bad.
Overall it's the balance in Dark Souls that will kill the experience for most people. Yet strangely enough it's that awful balance that will keep people coming back to play the game and test their merit against every future boss fight in Dark Souls..
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 12/11/12
Game Release: Dark Souls (US, 10/04/11)
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