For the last few days I have been playing Dark Souls, a fantasy RPG from Japan’s From Software. I was unable to play the spiritual successor Demon Souls because I was unable to get it locally and was drowned in a pile of new games that were released around the same time in 2009. I regret allowing it to slip through my fingers as although I watched many a trailer and gameplay video of Dark Souls, I believe playing the first game would have better prepared me for what was to come.
Prepare to Die ( a lot)
I’ve never been this nervous playing a game since Dead Space, but dispite all the deaths (stopped counting at around 38) I was really caught up in the game. There is no set story to follow, the game kind of allows you to discover things and peice everything together like a jigsaw puzzle. The graphics aren’t top of the line but good enough that when coupled with great level design, environments and audio really immerse the player into a dark fantasy world that has you crawling through a variety of dungeons. I’m about 20 hours in, I feel accomplished with each new discovery and take great pride in handing out my vengence to enemies that have wronged me early in the game when I was weak and wearing crappy gear.
Did I say Dark Souls is Difficult?
There have been many time when I was stuck in a rut at a particularly difficult boss or unsure which area to proceed to next. Dark Souls is difficult, the pain of failing and the many deaths are only soothed with that feeling of accomplishment when you finally achieve a goal. Then there are the times when I am on a roll and vanquishing enemies around every corridor. My only bit of advice to players is to respect every enemy, from the cutest sewer rat to the most handsome fire spitting Dragon. The enemies are sufficiently varied and all quite deadly.
The online elements of this game are very different and I am not sure I have seen, played or heard of a game with anything remotely similar. Players can play through the game while connected to the internet and fom time to time will see “ghosts” of other players in the game area or be able to interact with them by touching blood stains to see how they died or summoning them or being summoned to assist each other against particularly difficult opponents. You game can also be “invaded” by other players and there are times when spells or other interactions in the game can be felt or heard by all players online. There is no friend system however, and the game randomly controls the online interactions so it is damn near impossible to play with a friend.
I just killed a giant gaping dragon who was hell bent on having me as a light snack and I anxiously await all demons, dragons, lizards, spiders, skeletons etc who would dare stand in my way. At the time of this writeup I was at level 24 playing as a Thief/Archer with a hint of pyromancy. Look out for more on Dark Souls here on Geezam.com as I progress through the game. Dark Souls was release on Octobber 4th in North America and October 7th in Europe. Love epic dark fantasy RPGs? Pick up a copy today via Amazon for Playstation 3 or Xbox 360.
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