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Dark Souls – Your Dark Soul is Mine! [RETRO – 2011]

RETRO – The creator’s of Demon’s Souls have done it again, a brand new RPG where you’ll definitely die a couple of times… Yet I started the testing of Dark Souls in a pretty amateur way. After I inserted the disc into my PS3 I sat back, and talked to my girlfriend while doing the character generation (tried to model the character after her). When we were done the game started with a pretty long, and a bit boring cinematic that was reminiscent of The Lord of The Rings, albeit it was more Japanese style.

 

After the intro we started off in a cell, and we saw that our character was barely alive, and looked like a one week old corpse. So I quickly went back to the character generation screen and made an entirely new character before my girlfriend would have gotten pissed at the way the character I modeled her after looks like. This is the point where I realized that I cannot really be lazy with this game.

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This ain’t no child’s story

I was shocked to see that this will not be the usual Japanese console RPG with a light story. I thought this will be a game with a half an hour CGI intro, then I smash two monsters, and another half an hour cinematic just like in every other Japanese games. From Software however decided to break the mold, and Dark Souls throws you into the deep end right off the bat. Our corpse of a hero starts with one broken sword, and an old thief’s garb.

The basic movement and combat is “explained” to us here, and we’ll experience that the game is not a walk in the park. Although we are undead, we can die multiple times in the tutorial area.


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Luckily we get stronger as the story progresses, but the difficulty does not let up, in fact it can become even more difficult. A common scenario is that while slaying undead in the crammed streets of a ruined city, an archer is attacking us from afar. The main bosses also do a lot of damage, so perfect charater placement, and rhytm is sometimes needed, and good defense is a must in Dark Souls if we are to survive.

Sadly locking onto an enemy, or dodging left-right is not the best – this was an issue in the developer’s previous game. Also when our hero gets knocked down it can take a while for him to get back on his feet, so in the beginning there were a lot of instances where I could not even get back up, as I was getting slashed to pieces. Later our character does get stronger, and more Agile, but in Dark Souls the entire game is a challenge: it is not just a hardcore game, but it really requires patience, and a lot of free time.

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Mazerunner

You still with us? Great, because Dark Souls is a true RPG gem, with a lot of interesting ideas. The game’s currency for example is the soul that can be acquired from our fallen enemies. New abilities and equipment can be bought, but we need to think twice on what we buy, as we won’t be basking in souls throughout the game. Another challenge is that if our hero dies in the game, all of our collected souls will be lost.

Did I mention that this game is extremely difficult? Luckily we can restore our health, and flask with energy at bonfires, and this is the place where we get revived in case we die. Before we get too comfortable I must note that once a bonfire is used, the enemies also revive, so we’ll have to kill them again.

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Multiplayer with an actual soul in it

In Dark Souls our hero exists in two forms: Human, and Soulless. When we dies we return to the former, and our humanity is only restored if we sacrifice “humanity” points at a bonfire. In our Human form we are much stronger, but have to deal with more dangers (provided if we are playing in multiplayer mode), as then other players can invade our world. We can get Humanity points from killing monsters, eat certain items, or in multiplayer when killing an enemy player.

Just like souls we can lose the humanity points, so we’ll have to get them back from our blood puddle, otherwise we’ll lose them forever. We can only join multiplayer soulless if the player invites us into their game. Also we can only conquer the player’s world if we are “human”. If we play online we can always count on some enemy player invading our world, and killing our hero.

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Dying world

As the world of Lordan opened up to me, it was a beautiful, yet it is also a frightening world. I was also shocked how huge it is, and its opponent will be probably The Elder Scrolls Skyrim in the gaming world. The graphics are great, and every ruined castle, spider web filled catacomb, and dark forest is superbly detailed. The creators went especially nuts however with the huge demon bosses, dragons, and even made us forget that we were playing on a console not on PC. The game looked best on the PS3, as the Xbox 360 lacked some of the horsepower.

The developers are gave us the player, a heart attack with the level design, as there are so many shortcuts, alternative paths that you’ll be unable to figure out which one to choose. The levels and scenery also changes a lot during the playthrough. From mountains, to catacombs, to castles, we get to visit the different worlds, of course all of them are filled with enemies. We’ll feel that we are truly alone in this decaying world, and that the monsters can attack us suddenly at any time. Tension surrounds the player throughout the story.

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Put your soul into it! 

I guess based on the above description that this game is definitely not for the faint of heart, or for those who are burnt out on World of Warcraft. However if you have a lot of time, patience, and energy for this game, then it is worth to try out Dark Souls, this brand new world filled full of horrors, and monsters. A definite must have to all RPG fans.

-BadSector-

Pro:

+ Big, beautiful world
+ Full of original ideas
+ „Dark” ambience

Against:

– Only for hardcore and patient persons
– Problems related to the control of you character
– Character animation isn’t the best


Publisher: Namco Bandai

Developer: From Software

Genres: RPG

Publication: 2011

RETRO - The creator’s of Demon’s Souls have done it again, a brand new RPG where you’ll definitely die a couple of times… Yet I started the testing of Dark Souls in a pretty amateur way. After I inserted the disc into my PS3 I sat back, and talked to my girlfriend while doing the character generation (tried to model the character after her). When we were done the game started with a pretty long, and a bit boring cinematic that was reminiscent of The Lord of The Rings, albeit it was more Japanese style.   After the intro we started…
I guess based on the above description that this game is definitely not for the faint of heart, or for those who are burnt out on World of Warcraft. However if you have a lot of time, patience, and energy for this game, then it is worth to try out Dark Souls, this brand new world filled full of horrors, and monsters. A definite must have to all RPG fans.

Dark Souls

Gameplay - 9.1
Graphics (2011) - 8.1
Story - 7.8
Music/audio - 8.6
Ambiance - 9.1

8.5

EXCELLENT

I guess based on the above description that this game is definitely not for the faint of heart, or for those who are burnt out on World of Warcraft. However if you have a lot of time, patience, and energy for this game, then it is worth to try out Dark Souls, this brand new world filled full of horrors, and monsters. A definite must have to all RPG fans.

User Rating: 4.3 ( 1 votes)

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