Review by Flare_Dragon123

"Dark Souls: A First Impression"

Dark Souls is an action-RPG high on the spectrum for gamers everywhere due to the success of its predecessor Demon's Souls on the PS3. Demon's Souls was a game known for its crushing difficulty and almost 80's arcade style of destroying your player character for making the wrong decisions. Dark Souls somewhat lives up to this tradition.

To tell the truth I didn't play Demon's Souls so I can't compare the two games by any means. I played Dark Souls for something along the lines of about 4 hours last night and what I experienced makes me want to buy the game and here's why.

Gameplay: 10/10

Dark Souls is an Action-RPG. This means that you fight monsters of varying difficulties on your way through grinding up levels so that you can beat the big bads. What this type of game typically means is that you'll have several dungeons with hundreds of minion and piddling baddies to get big wet level up on and hopefully find some decent gear before you get to the big boss. Dark Souls doesn't treat the Action-RPG like something that only Diablo 2 did correctly though.

Dark Souls is HARD. I mean that in a general sort of way, all of your actions take some time to actually pull off, and the effect in combat against tougher enemies is more akin to a fighting game, or some game that requires timing and effort into pulling off your moves, rather than aforementioned button mashers (Diablo 2). Enemies (or NPCs you pick fights with) have different attack types and when it comes down to it, this is a game of memorization.

When you do die (and you will), you respawn at set points known as Bonfires. Bonfires are your ultimate tool, they'll heal you full way, restore your health potions and magic casts, and they also respawn all the enemies. Wait...what?

Yep your ultimate restoration also resets the stage. See Dark Souls is not so much about being a challenging game as it is, seperating its game into a few different courses, based on Bonfire location. When you get through enough enemies you'll either find another bonfire or a boss. There's no going ahead, using all your resources to kill the enemies, and then run back to the bonfire for full health before taking on a big baddie, no. If you aren't good enough to avoid using all your fireballs or health potions, then you don't get the benefit of those fighting the boss. Tough bro.

In this case, it seems clear that while Dark Souls is a game of skill, an alternative solution could be done through grinding en masse. Simply put, run a course to the boss, then go back to bonfire and use your collected souls (essentially XP and Gold rolled into one) to level up your character (which only gives you one attribute point). It'll take forever, but you'll learn the courses at the same time too so that you don't use as many resources as you usally would.

There's also tons of classes. And some random drops.

Simply put this game is incredibly original to me. It's hard, but its RPG, and its a grindfest, but skill will trump that any day.

Story: Something/Something

To be honest, I wasn't paying much attention, but I know this much.

1. You are an undead.
2. You can restore your humanity (gameplay element)
3. Good voiceovers, interesting scenes, and a semi-prophetic woman narrate the story of Dark Souls, but its very hands-off.

If you've ever played Baroque or Phantasy Star Online then you know what I'm talking about. The story is really only told if you want to focus on that aspect, but you don't have to by any means go there. As such I expect the story is probably actually quite good and very well done.

Overall

GO PLAY THIS GAME!!! Don't miss out on this, because its fun as hell. You'll get happy, frustrated, angry, seething, rage quitty controller throw rage, and you'll abuse your roommate, teammate, brother, sister, spouse, parents, cousins, dog, cat, pets, fish, children, or anyone else close enough to hit when you die over and over again... but you know that you can totally beat it this time!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/11

Game Release: Dark Souls (US, 10/04/11)


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