Review by TimeOfTheDark
More of an action game with swords and magic.
Dark Souls concentrates on combat, and well it's combat certainly isn't the most spectacular thing you'll ever play despite what rabid fanboys might tell you. It's got some flaws, especially with how the camera works. The graphics haven't changed much from Demon's Souls, and the story here is almost non existent. You just basically run around killing your generic fantasy lineup of baddies.
The actual length of the game is artificially bloated by several things. One is the fact that you can die fairly easily,which isn't a problem, who doesn't like a challenge, however the problem lies with the fact that you have to go back at half power to try and find your body and reclaim everything you lost. All the enemies respawn if you die. If you use your campfire, enemies respawn too. This greatly bloats the game's length and not in a good way. It's just doing the same things over and over until you can perfect them and do 30 minute speed runs of the game.
What I don't understand is how can people claim this in amazing rpg when it completely lacks any kind of story or immersion. Who is that minotaur on the bridge and why do I need to fight him? Having text come up saying you killed a boss after you killed him completely kills any kind of immersion you had. To be honest, this is your basic hack and slash action game, disguised as an RPG because it has things like leveling up and classes. You just go to dungeon after dungeon, killing enemies, learning how to deal with some gimmicky fights along the way (run this way your dead, run the other way, you die, run over and hide over there, your good, but you took a wrong step and a dragon just roasted you back to the start to try again). The gimmicky portions are difficult for the same reason people might consider Dragon's Lair to be a difficult game. Once you figure out the gimmicks and tricks, you can just easily blow through the game on your next playthroughs.
So the strong point of this game is the combat, even though that is far from perfect and bugged down by controls and bad camera angles. The story is virtually non existant, there is no immersion, and even in the things it does well, it certainly isn't leaps and bounds ahead of it's competition.
I'm also sure if this game was made by American company, it's current fanboys would be hating it calling it unimaginative and lacking story and lacking soul. But since it was made in Japan, we get to here incessant praises and watch how anyone who doesn't claim truths like this isn't the best rpg ever made, gets attacked in multiple tirades by rabid loud fans.
For all the hype the fanboys try to create, this game struggled to sell 200,000 copies in North America. Maybe it's because the game didn't interest too many people, because it is just bland, generic, and unimaginative, or maybe it's because everyone was too busy playing better RPGs.
You want a great story, great immersion, and a challenge, there are dozens of great current generation you should be playing to get that experience. You want good combat, the ability to block and dodge, enemies that kill you in a few hits, go play an MMORPG from five years ago.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Product Release: Dark Souls (US, 10/04/11)
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