Ok so I still can't decide if I want to try this game or not.
I tried Demon's Souls and the experience was pretty negative for me. At first it seemed like I could kind of figure out what to do, it was slow paced and a little grueling but workable. Then I got past the first area, got my body back and things went south from there. I tried exploring a different area, I can't recall what it was called but it was basically a big pit with some walkways and planks and you climbed down it. There were a lot of falling deaths, some I can say were me, but I blame few on the camera, which kept getting tied up on other objects when I was trying to traverse a tricky bit. Also there was one point where some enemy was stuck in a wall, and then suddenly warped out of it and knocked me off, that one wasn't very nice. I could kind of understand the game as a difficult combat and exploration game, but "try not to fall in this hole while we make that hard for you" was the opposite of fun, also it seemed really unfair given the games controls and camera. I couldn't find my way out of there and basically gave up as it seemed too aggravating.
Now that said, there are some things about Dark Souls that look like I could give this another try. I like the checkpoint idea, looks like that would make exploring and going back for your souls a bit less time consuming. The humanity thing seems better than the whole you lose 30% health as a ghost thing. I'm sure humanity plays some larger role later in the game but it at least looks like it doesn't hamstring new players who are trying to figure things out.
So for people playing it, are the ledges and pits still a big feature of the game? Are the controls and camera any better? Does the removal of the hub world make it easier to figure out where to go or do you still get lost in places you "shouldn't" be? Is it more technically sound than Demon's Souls was?