Dark Souls

Perfect Soul

By canana, Posted 15 Oct 2011

Dark Souls is the successor of Demon's Souls, the PS3 exclusive that was a critical success. Unlike before, the game is now a multiplatform game, giving Xbox 360 owners the opportunity to have the same experience. Dark Souls adopts a somber and almost completely dedicated proposal to a rough gameplay, ie without automation or too many cutscenes. In return, the player is thrown into a fantastic universe where everything conspires against whom you play, since enemies to level design.

The game is technically pretty decent, with good use of lighting, and an excellent sense of weight / speed of the character, depending on the equipment and / or situations encountered. But like every human work, the game is not free of defects, with some poor textures, physical rubber weightless in dead bodies, sudden framerate drops in some parts and a few crash problems - although the latter is likely not to affect the progress in the game.

Dark Souls, Review

Artistically, there's not much to complain about Dark Souls; it is simply one of the most impressive works of recent years. The location details, the equipment and enemies design, the immense variety and contrast that the world shows, everything works in perfect harmony to help create a unique ambiance that makes the player not only engaging, but to feel inside the game.

Dark Souls’ soundtrack is another highlight, all orchestral and choir. The game basically takes place only with an excellent and detailed surround sound (which is ideal for the player to concentrate power around him), but in certain places and battles against bosses that the beautiful, melancholic and desperate melodies ring to further increase the tension and adrenaline.

Dark Souls is a little different from other games of the genre, giving minimal attention in cinematic storytelling and betting all the chips in the background and in the environment. The results could not be better; Dark Souls is a game of pure gameplay where the player feels inside that armor, facing overpowered monsters and unspeakable dangers, and getting lost in the immensity of the world to experience a unique relief via bonfires, which act as checkpoints throughout the game. Players who like to feel emotions with stories certainly will not be on hand but will have a big difference. It will be directly linked to the tightening sensation of button smashing. Dark Souls literally throws the player into a huge world to explore the world freely, and finish it the way you want, depending on just a few keys, and efficient equipment and spells.

Dark Souls, Review

Like its predecessor, Dark Souls’ unforgiving difficulty is in the question. The game severely punishes anyone who plays with random equipment and weapons, because even the most basic enemy can kill the poor protagonist with well invested blows. Enemies also have a pretty decent AI; besides being extremely aggressive, they do not act with a pattern, and some even set up traps and strategies. With this in mind, players must study and master the game mechanics, as well as the dozens of villages and hundreds of enemies you will likely encounter if you want to go any further.

Despite the difficulty, the game congratulates the player for their achievements, either with the purchase of good equipment and items exploring the sites or with the acquisition of more powerful spells after collecting souls (the universal currency of the game, both for purchases and to level up). There is also great pleasure in killing one boss after another however you want. The most interesting fact of the bosses in the game is that they are in some way, references to the bosses of Demon's Souls (citing the old names just to not give spoilers--a Maneater 2.0 or a Flamelurker 15.0). Of course they’re just there in essence, as the strategies and appearances are obviously different.

Those looking for a helpful map should be discouraged to know that there isn’t any. Instead, the player must look at the landscape around it and manually navigate. That won’t be much of a hassle, however, as everything is visible. Another major highlight is the world design, as it has brilliantly well designed maps with alternate routes, secrets and shortcuts that expand, more of the adventure.

Dark Souls, Review

Being an action RPG, the combat system is complete with combos based on stamina, magic, defense, dodge, counter attack and ranged attacks. Size, type and weight of the weapons and equipment can directly influence the performance of the character, making it tough, loud and heavy or nimble enough to go unnoticed and take enemies by surprise. The growth system also does not leave much to be desired in matters of freedom, because each level represents an increase of one specific attribute--some of them even necessary for certain spells or weapons. It is up to the player to adapt their own style to get the best possible performance and survive against the many dangers that you'll encounter.

Unfortunately, the game is not free of some negative points, however insignificant they are. You may notice some flaws on enemies, such as animations between stairwells make them invincible, some react like nothing happens while the player is not close enough, and even random enemies that should be appearing in the same location aren’t always there. Some people might be put off with the fact that enemies automatically respawn whenever the player reaches a bonfire. This could prove to be an annoyance when you die at a specific level and you restart to the last bonfire and fight the enemies again all the way up to where you died.

In Dark Souls, the player does not always control a living character. Basically, the main character is an undead, which influences many features and game mechanics, especially in online mode. Collecting items called ‘Humanity,’ the character can finally come back to life. While alive, the player can invade other players’ worlds. Like Demon’s Souls, you also open the risk of being invaded yourself. Basically the sole purpose of this event is to battle to the death. As a human, you can also call other players and non-playable characters to help in dangerous locations. The game also features a system of covenants, which is equivalent to the guild system of some games and other multiplayer modes, with each sect having its benefits, activities, rules and specific punishments.

Dark Souls, Review

Dark Souls is certainly one of the best designed online systems and structured today, depending only on the type of interaction with their world and / or world of others. In addition to the online mode, the player has a lot to do in the game, like exploring the world through secret passages, hunting rare materials dropped by enemies to forge unique and powerful equipment, and even find hidden NPCs to see events or to buy equipment and spells. Dark Souls also encourages replayability because it has more than one ending.

Dark Souls is a game almost without comfort. It will consume much of your time, patience and sense of strategy, but also give you a sense of completeness for the effort spent. Dark Souls offers a larger world for players to explore, and they’re pretty much free to do whatever they want. If you feel brave enough to take up this challenge, you are on your own, but if you perceive the rules and are able to get the best out of them, the experience is definitely worthwhile.

Marco Cecilio, NoobFeed

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  • This game looks so amazing. Doesn't look like a game I'd enjoy, what with the trial and error; but still it looks so incredibly varied and deep I still would want to experience it.


    Posted Oct 15, 2011

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General Information

Dark Souls

93/100

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Namco Bandai Games America
Developer(s): From Software
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: 2011-10-04

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