#1 Edited by Beaudacious (927 posts) -

I recently purchased Dark Souls on Steam, full well knowing it was a hard game.

Now from my understanding this is a masochism type game where you repeatedly die trying to figure out the mechanic. Ok that's fine, but my question to people who rally behind this game is; how do you tolerate the gameplay? In my eyes this gameplay is quite terrible ranging from skill variety, level design,camera, and just control intuitiveness. Playing a game like Arkham Asylum on hard NG+ to me makes perfect sense because the gameplay in that game is amazing. The variety of play style, the complexity of the systems, and the rewarding feeling of accomplish those goals. In Dark Souls I never feel as if I'm struggling with the mechanic placed in front of me, more so my Avatar doing what I want it to do. Then when I do get my avatar under control and accomplish the task I don't feel nearly as rewarded due to the fact that the mechanic was simple,but the gameplay was the only thing stopping me form accomplishing that goal.

Whenever I beat a goal I simply feel I circle strafed enough, or glitched enough to accomplish the task. In B:AC when I accomplish the goal, I feel like I've learned something, improved, and am ready for greater challenges. I'll finish this game, but this has definitely turned me off from any future Dark Soul related purchases. I adore difficult games, but difficulty for Dark Souls seems due to poor design and badly implemented gameplay. Maybe it will grow on me, but I definitely feel like this game was way over-hyped.

#2 Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

That game is my worst nightmare in game form. I honestly bow down in respect for the human beings who have the ability to penetrate that hellish mystical strange eerie unorthodox game and come out on top.

#3 Posted by FirePrince (1763 posts) -

I think I figure out where the appeal comes from, but It still feels like I'm alone in the hardest MMO ever. New zone, kill some dudes, find a secret, kill a boss. Rinse and repeat. And the lack of a story also doesn't help.

I kinda respect the game for what it is, but that doesn't make it any better.

#4 Posted by Akeldama (4244 posts) -

This thread makes me sad.

#5 Posted by Casey25 (138 posts) -

I didnt find the game insanely hard, it just doesn't hold your hand (it hardly acknowledges your hand exists). I would suggest a few things:

Use a controller

Use a shield and spear if you're having trouble learning the systems to ease yourself into it. Block and poke, and make sure to let go of block when they're not attacking so your stamina regens faster.

Go human and summon allies to help you.

In combat try to avoid fighting multiple people, as you're not batman. Early on all you really need to do is block and attack, but you should try to familiarize yourself with the different attack animations of different weapons.

Use a wiki if you're having trouble.

http://darksoulswiki.wikispaces.com/

One of the main draws of the game is that it basically makes the player responsible for figuring out EVERYTHING. This is a huge part of the fun for a lot of players, but it can make it frustrating for some people, so if you're really having a bad time go dive into one of the various wikis for anything you'd ever want to know.

#6 Posted by golguin (3876 posts) -

@Beaudacious said:

I recently purchased Dark Souls on Steam, full well knowing it was a hard game.

Now from my understanding this is a masochism type game where you repeatedly die trying to figure out the mechanic. Ok that's fine, but my question to people who rally behind this game is; how do you tolerate the gameplay? In my eyes this gameplay is quite terrible ranging from skill variety, level design,camera, and just control intuitiveness. Playing a game like Arkham Asylum on hard NG+ to me makes perfect sense because the gameplay in that game is amazing. The variety of play style, the complexity of the systems, and the rewarding feeling of accomplish those goals. In Dark Souls I never feel as if I'm struggling with the mechanic placed in front of me, more so my Avatar doing what I want it to do. Then when I do get my avatar under control and accomplish the task I don't feel nearly as rewarded due to the fact that the mechanic was simple,but the gameplay was the only thing stopping me form accomplishing that goal.

Whenever I beat a goal I simply feel I circle strafed enough, or glitched enough to accomplish the task. In B:AC when I accomplish the goal, I feel like I've learned something, improved, and am ready for greater challenges. I'll finish this game, but this has definitely turned me off from any future Dark Soul related purchases. I adore difficult games, but difficulty for Dark Souls seems due to poor design and badly implemented gameplay. Maybe it will grow on me, but I definitely feel like this game was way over-hyped.

Where are you in the game exactly and what bosses have you killed? Have you rang any bells? What weapon are you using and what is its name? How much armor do you have on and what is your equip load (changes roll speed)? All these things matter in your enjoyment and determining how far you are in the game.

This could also help https://mugenmonkey.com/darksouls/

#7 Posted by Inquisitor_Sif (58 posts) -

First, in this game knowledge is power. Second, Dark Souls isn't some cheap-shot super hero game where you can mindlessly spam attacks and win. Keep that in mind and soon you'll find that this game is quite entertaining. If not, try to get a refund and move on, this game isn't for you.

#8 Posted by TobbRobb (4600 posts) -

Stop spamming RB like a moron. Press it once to hit, twice if you think you can get away with it. Excersise patience, this isn't a twitch based game like Batman.

You are NOT supposed to wail on enemies til they fall, you are supposed to find their openings and abuse them. When you get used the the controls and the mindset, they are basically pitch perfect. Blame glitching or clunkiness all you want, but if I can make my way through the entire game without it "glitching out" and getting me killed. Then so can you.

I also think it's hilarious to compare Batman and Dark Souls in "The variety of play style, the complexity of the systems, and the rewarding feeling of accomplish those goals". Because all those things are part of what make Dark Souls amazing. And are part of what finally bored me with Batman. But it sounds like you haven't even got outside the Undead Burg yet. So I'll accept that it's not very varied at the moment.

Online
#9 Posted by TAFAE (150 posts) -

@Akeldama said:

This thread makes me sad.

Me too :(

If you aren't using a controller of some kind, you probably should. The m+kb controls can be made alright with the DSFix mod package, but this is a game where two analog sticks beat the hell out of digital movement/fine analog aiming. Also, this game is all about animations, so if you absolutely hate that, then you're SOL here. As for why I like it, it and Demon's Souls feel to me like some crazy union of about 1/3 Morrowind and 2/3 Castlevania except even the weakest enemies will murder you in about 3 swings. The game is (almost) always fair to you, the world is a joy (but also fucking harrowing) to explore, and the way multiplayer is handled is awesome (but also harrowing at times).

#10 Edited by TheHT (11133 posts) -

It's just the opposite for me, someone who loved Demon's Souls and Dark Souls but doesn't find it masochistic or have much interest in 'insanely hard' games.

Things that I find enjoyable in the Souls games:

  • the weightiness to characters
  • the momentum of actions
  • the lethality of combat
  • the tension from working through a new area
  • the thrill of going 'to hell with it' and dashing through a new area
  • the sense of accomplishment from events ranging from succesfully ascending some stairs to conquering the entire world
  • the subtlety of the story
  • the eerie style
  • the novel integration of multiplayer elements into the main single-player experience

Things that I don't find enjoyable in Souls games:

  • PvP; I've got no interest in fighting other players, though the idea of griefing some poor soul trying to survive the world does sound like devious fun

The game is never unfair with dangers and difficulty. It's a horrible world with ghastly terror around every corner, and you start as just a simple duder with a sword.

I'd suggest you find a playstyle that you enjoy. If you like action games like the Batman Arkham games, going Wanderer may be up your alley. Fast movement with a focus on fast attacks, dodging, and parrying. Or, if you're really not so comfortable with the movement and controls, create a knight and arm youself with a spear and shield. Poke everything to death and keep an eye on your stamina, lest your guard breaks and death swiftly follows.

But don't get me wrong, this game is nothing like the Batman Arkham games. You are incredibly powerful in Arkham Asylum, and the world is essentially your playground. Dark Souls is the total opposite. You begin as a squishy meatbag, and the world is your enemy.

#11 Posted by TobbRobb (4600 posts) -

@TheHT: Thank god, a good post. And you were nice too.

Saved me the trouble of writing a long passive aggressive rant.

Online
#12 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4713 posts) -

Hey someone in this Dark Souls thread says there isn't a story.

I'm assuming you know what to do here.

#13 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

I'm tired and can't express it now but I think the combat in Dark/Demon's souls is fantastic. There is just such a great feeling of weigh to it. It is simple in theory but with so many variables to take into account and different weapons and armor will give different approaches to how you tackle fighting. You must take into account, length, with and speed of your weapon. Do you want a huge sword that will do a ton of damage at range but if you miss you will get punished for it, or a small dagger that does little damage but offers many strikes and quick recovery.

You also have to pay attention to the environment. The fighting feels like an actual fight and is often tense due to the challenge of the game. The stamina meter is a great tool as you have to manage attacking, blocking and dodging.

The combat is easy to grasp but dynamic and with variety, depth and a lot of fun and tension. It is more more than animation priority that Jeff seems to think it is.

#14 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon: I have moved on. ;)

#15 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

I think calling the game "hard," as everyone seems to do, is a bit of a misnomer. It's simply that the game takes patience and strategy. If you can develop a good strategy for each enemy (and some environments--I'm looking at you, Sen's Fortress) and take your time to execute that strategy, you will prevail. Unfortunately, there are some "cheesy" ways to deal with many encounters, but that doesn't diminish what the game does for me.

#16 Posted by Loafsmooch (348 posts) -

@Beaudacious said:

....

Whenever I beat a goal I simply feel I circle strafed enough, or glitched enough to accomplish the task. In B:AC when I accomplish the goal, I feel like I've learned something, improved, and am ready for greater challenges. I'll finish this game, but this has definitely turned me off from any future Dark Soul related purchases. I adore difficult games, but difficulty for Dark Souls seems due to poor design and badly implemented gameplay. Maybe it will grow on me, but I definitely feel like this game was way over-hyped.

Bolded sentence makes me sad. Would you consider Mona Lisas smile a poor design choice simply because you personally don't like it? Games are art too. For me, Dark Souls was a breath of fresh air, restoring my faith in the games industry.

#17 Posted by Giefcookie (598 posts) -

Like other people have mentioned, its the weight that made me enjoy the combat. And the fact that you can influence that weight on pretty much a moment to moment basis.

And yes, its all about knowledge. Understanding the math around the stats is really important, such as knowing the % limits for light, medium and heavy movement speeds etc. and how to utilize those in different parts of the game. If you are a stubborn asshole like me and don't want to use the wiki or a FAQ for your first playthrough, figuring out those things can be hard. But also amazingly rewarding. Just remember the wise words of our Lord and Saviour Vinny, "If it takes damage, you can kill it".

#18 Posted by Dark (378 posts) -

The issue here is animation priority, dark souls is designed around every animation having to play out and that can make some people feel less 'in control' or the controls aren't responsive. The difference I find in Dark Souls is that once you get used to the way the game animates and learn through time, the game becomes actually fairly easy. Its responsive in some ways as I can still dodge and avoid many moves a boss brings at me, the issue is I didn't know they where coming at first so I had to learn how the boss would attack to learn to avoid it.

Besides, I have never felt such tension when a boss is low on health after 15 minutes of fighting. One wrong move and its back to 15 minutes of fighting, just pacing and waiting for that one moment to go WABHAM and boss dies.

The gameplay is essentially bad but that's what makes the souls games so amazing, once you get good at it you realize controls are actually responsive enough you just need to learn the timings for them.

#19 Posted by Maajin (1059 posts) -

@FirePrince said:

And the lack of a story also doesn't help.

But there is a story! A good story! And I think the minimalistic way it is presented is awesome!

#20 Edited by Akeldama (4244 posts) -
#21 Posted by Drakoji (220 posts) -
@Dark You praise the thrill of the fights and say that when you get used to the combat the get easier and then say the gameplay sucks... The hell?!

Gameplay is perfect in this game, you could say that the combat doesnt feel like most of the modern action rpg games, and that doesnt make it bad.
#22 Posted by believer258 (11794 posts) -

I've played some of it. I'm still in the Undead Burg, but I actually think the gameplay is a bit fun. It asks you to be patient and attack at the right times, not like the Arkham games where, in a fight, you beat the shit out of one dude and then counter. That's not to say that it's anymore complex than Arkham - it isn't - but it's very, very different.

No, what baffles me most is the lack of a pause button. As petty as that sounds, having to pull up a menu and exit the game just to "pause" is pretty much the single reason I don't want to get invested in the game. I don't give a fuck how "hardcore" this game is, nor about the multiplayer, I should be able to pause any game like this at a moment's notice because that is too often a necessity for me.

#23 Posted by FirePrince (1763 posts) -

@Akeldama:

Do I really have to watch a YouTube video and look stuff up to understand the story? Shouldn't the game make sure I get the story? Isn't it enough that I have to consult a wiki in order to understand what I'm doing/buying/leveling etc?

I've gotten to the first bell, and I have found no semblance of a story. Am I honestly missing something, or is it the game's fault?

Question everything.

#24 Posted by Drakoji (220 posts) -

Well, I can see your point, if I was a dad or something like that, and something around me required constant attention. But it needs to be like that for the multiplayer elements to work.

#25 Posted by Drakoji (220 posts) -
@FirePrince No, fiction can come in many forms not just cinematic naration. For games based on exploration like dark souls i rather take story told by the world my avatar lives in.
#26 Edited by Ares42 (2621 posts) -

I remember back when I bought Demon's Souls the first time, I (much like you) absolutely hated it. The animation priority, the lack of any form of defensive cancels etc. The problem is that you're expecting this to game to be something that it's not. First off, no the game isn't about some masochistic achievement thing. I hate games like that and I've completely fell in love with this series. Most of the stuff in the game can be beaten pretty quickly (less than 3 deaths) if you just approach the game in the right way. Actually, outside of bosses (and a few traps here and there) you really shouldn't be dying much at all.

Secondly, the game isn't anything like any other melee-based action game you've ever played before. It's not about beating up a bunch of dudes and doing fancy moves etc, it's a thinking game. The purpose has always been for the challenge to come from figuring out "combat puzzles" not your twitch control. The animation priority etc is all there so you need to think about when to swing, when to dodge and when to block, and the heaviness of consequence is there to discourage just brute-forcing it. It might seem easy at first (especially if you're using a guide, which I did with my attempt at Demon's Souls and it ruined the game), but as you get further into the game and start meeting more challenging opponents it gets more interesting.

Thirdly, the game is about style, and this is probably the thing that has kept me coming back over and over. It's the dark fantasy setting, all the armor and weapons are just done fantastically well (just like people love certain shotguns in shooters, I've never ever played a game with a better axe than the Greataxe in Dark Souls), it's the exploration of these elaborate dynamic dungeons. Most of the sounds and sights are just fantastic.

And lastly, it's the character costumization. This might sound stupid when you look at the character creator, but when it comes to being a "stat whore" and dicking around with different builds and setups this game is just amazing. The freedom of choice you have and the multitude of options is great. While it's easy to get lost in it and fuck up, the fact that it's so simple of giving you a bunch of stats and letting you go wild makes it into something you can play around with for ages and ages.

I've put in well over 200 hours into Dark Souls (300+ if you count Demon's Souls) this year, and I'm still learning and finding new things.

#27 Posted by FirePrince (1763 posts) -

@Drakoji: Yet another reason this game just isn't for me.

And I tried so hard to like it. Well. The gameplay is fun at least. Too bad it's kinda cheap in some spots.

#28 Edited by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

How can you say Batman has highly variable play styles and in the same breath say Dark Souls has low variety?

I haven't played AA in a while, but I 100% completed it, and I think Batman had something like 11 or 12 moves total?

Dark Souls has a totally different move set for almost every weapon and 3 spell schools. Not to mention stats and leveling. You could have 5 different characters in Dark Souls that play completely different from the last. At the same time you could be getting invaded by someone who plays differently, forcing you to learn and adapt or lose. Variety it's got.

I feel like Dark Souls plays like constantly adapting to changing situations whereas perfecting Batman just plays like a memorization game. Don't get me wrong I think both games are good, but that part of your complaint seems so backwards to me.

@FirePrince: The game is obtuse, but everything you read in a wiki or hear in a youtube video all has the same source. People played the game and figured it out -- for a lot of us, that's part of the fun.

#29 Posted by Maajin (1059 posts) -

@FirePrince: But you don't need to have a wiki by your side to enjoy or finish the game. It helps a lot and I did use it all the time, but you could just experiment with stuff to see what they do.

Also, when you ring the first bell, you're really not supposed to have a good grasp on everything that's going on yet, but to say you don't have a semblance of story even after the CG opening and what happens in the prologue? You should at least know what is happening to the world, why you're undead and what you're supposed to prevent if you want to stop that.

From now on, though, you won't have a lot of exposition. Aside from a few talkative NPCs, most of your understanding of what's going on should come from reading items descriptions and observing the world. I think it's awesome, for instance, that you can already find out what is the Dark Soul. You probably have it on your inventory!

#30 Posted by Nights (611 posts) -

You either "get" Dark Souls, or you don't. It's as simple as that. If you've played the game and feel that you still require lengthy justification as to why people find it entertaining, it's probably not for you. @ExplodeMode said:

How can you say Batman has highly variable play styles and in the same breath say Dark Souls has low variety?

I haven't played AA in a while, but I 100% completed it, and I think Batman had something like 11 or 12 moves total?

Dark Souls has a totally different move set for almost every weapon and 3 spell schools. Not to mention stats and leveling. You could have 5 different characters in Dark Souls that play completely different from the last. At the same time you could be getting invaded by someone who plays differently, forcing you to learn and adapt or lose. Variety it's got.

Spot on.

#31 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1763 posts) -

@Beaudacious said:

In Dark Souls I never feel as if I'm struggling with the mechanic placed in front of me, more so my Avatar doing what I want it to do. Then when I do get my avatar under control and accomplish the task I don't feel nearly as rewarded due to the fact that the mechanic was simple,but the gameplay was the only thing stopping me form accomplishing that goal.

I think that's kind of it. Souls games are not execution heavy games. They are all about knowing what your enemy is capable of and employing the exact right countermeasures. It took me to my second play though for this to click and now I'm at about half the level of my first character was at the same point.

I feel like it's also harder to appreciate Dark Souls without having at least played Demon's Souls first. The Bonfire and Estus systems, to me, encourage carelessness and remove much of the risk in doing anything, so the seams in the combat become more apparent.

#32 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

How do I tell someone their first impressions are completely wrongheaded, off-base, and disconnected from reality?

I can't. So I'll just move on.

#33 Posted by Dark (378 posts) -

@Drakoji: The Gameplay is bad, you can enjoy something and say its bad. If on paper everything the game does should be bad, it is bad, but you enjoy it, it still bad.

#34 Posted by david3cm (635 posts) -

I find a lot of the periphery aspects of the Souls games quite interesting, but I agree that playing and looking at that game are its worse properties.

#35 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

It seems like Dark Souls hasn't "clicked" with you yet. I had the same experience up until the Taurus demon where I repeatedly beat my head against the game in frustration. I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the way some part of my brain changed gears and Dark Souls suddenly made sense.

So my advice would be to keep at it for a little while longer and give your gamer brain time to subconsciously figure things out.

#36 Posted by mordukai (7150 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

It seems like Dark Souls hasn't "clicked" with you yet. I had the same experience up until the Taurus demon where I repeatedly beat my head against the game in frustration. I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the way some part of my brain changed gears and Dark Souls suddenly made sense.

So my advice would be to keep at it for a little while longer and give your gamer brain time to subconsciously figure things out.

It's the battered spouse syndrome. After a few beatings you started figuring out that you'd better say you fell down some stairs.

#37 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

It's not for you don't bother playing it. I fucking hate people that say "I've played a several hours of dark souls and made it to the undead burg." Undead burg is like 10 minutes into the game, what the hell are you people doing?

#38 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@mordukai said:

It's the battered spouse syndrome. After a few beatings you started figuring out that you'd better say you fell down some stairs.

It's more like, now I'm looking for stairs to fall down even when my husband isn't around.

#39 Posted by Nightriff (4990 posts) -

It's like Demon's Souls...that's all I got

#40 Posted by mordukai (7150 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@mordukai said:

It's the battered spouse syndrome. After a few beatings you started figuring out that you'd better say you fell down some stairs.

It's more like, now I'm looking for stairs to fall down even when my husband isn't around.

Awww the love.

Well I'm glad it finally clicked with you. The Souls game are very unique in their approach to combat. The same thing hapened to me on Demon's Souls. First time I played it I didn't like it at all. Then three months later I popped the disc in and this time the game just clicked.

#41 Posted by Akeldama (4244 posts) -

@FirePrince said:

@Akeldama:

Do I really have to watch a YouTube video and look stuff up to understand the story? Shouldn't the game make sure I get the story? Isn't it enough that I have to consult a wiki in order to understand what I'm doing/buying/leveling etc?

I've gotten to the first bell, and I have found no semblance of a story. Am I honestly missing something, or is it the game's fault?

Question everything.

My point is not that you need to watch that (excellent) series of videos to absorb the story, I am pointing those videos out to show you the story indeed exists. You can speculate and dig through the world just like that guy and thousands like him have.

#42 Posted by psylah (2170 posts) -

Batman combat is about as bad of a comparison as you can make to Dark Souls combat. Pressing a button when an enemy flashes isn't engaging, compelling, or rewarding to me. Couldn't stand that first batman game.

#43 Posted by golguin (3876 posts) -

@McGhee said:

How do I tell someone their first impressions are completely wrongheaded, off-base, and disconnected from reality?

I can't. So I'll just move on.

I sure can. These types of topics with people complaining about the gameplay when they have barely completed the tutorial section always talk about their expectation not matching the reality of the game. People come in thinking the combat should play like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, Batman, or whatever other fast combat game you can think of and then complain that the game doesn't allow them to play like that.

Expectation vs Reality and the refusal to adapt to the reality presented to them is why people don't get the combat and controls. The game controls exactly as its meant to control if you accept that reality and only then can you truly understand the game.

#44 Edited by Itwastuesday (957 posts) -

cool game where you fight big and small monsters with magic and stereotypical medieval weaponry

wrt the story; there's a moment in Anor Londo where I realized that I was walking on a giant staircase. next to that, I noticed a normal, human-sized staircase. Anor Londo is a place where humans and giants lived together. little bits like noticing the seperate staircases are the best story moments. the outright exposition that (only very few) characters give isn't the strongest part, but it's a rare occurence

#45 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1850 posts) -

@Itwastuesday said:

cool game where you fight big and small monsters with magic and stereotypical medieval weaponry

wrt the story; there's a moment in Anor Londo where I realized that I was walking on a giant staircase. next to that, I noticed a normal, human-sized staircase. Anor Londo is a place where humans and giants lived together. little bits like noticing the seperate staircases are the best story moments. the outright exposition that (only very few) characters give isn't the strongest part, but it's a rare occurence

For me, it was right after the Moonlight Butterfly with the blacksmith turned to stone atop the tower, huddled around the Divine Ember. He had stayed up there expecting his faith to save him, and it did not. He felt so strongly about his beliefs that they became real but in a way that could not help him. I felt so sad for some reason, and there wasn't a single word uttered.

Online
#46 Posted by JordanK85 (140 posts) -

The only thing you have to know about the game is that it punishes your mistakes. Animation priority is not bad design. It makes sure that you can't spam your way out of mistakes that you make. This requires that you act methodically and with precision. If you prefer fast-paced, chaos then this game may not be for you, but I would at least play until you get past the Capra Demon and get to the Depths since that's when the game really opens up.

#47 Posted by mordukai (7150 posts) -

@Akeldama said:

@FirePrince said:

@Akeldama:

Do I really have to watch a YouTube video and look stuff up to understand the story? Shouldn't the game make sure I get the story? Isn't it enough that I have to consult a wiki in order to understand what I'm doing/buying/leveling etc?

I've gotten to the first bell, and I have found no semblance of a story. Am I honestly missing something, or is it the game's fault?

Question everything.

My point is not that you need to watch that (excellent) series of videos to absorb the story, I am pointing those videos out to show you the story indeed exists. You can speculate and dig through the world just like that guy and thousands like him have.

I pretty much found it a futile exercise trying to convince people the Souls games have a story. You either get it, or you don't. Those who do get to enjoy just another layer to the game and those who don't simply enjoy the gameplay the game has to offer.

On a more personal note, I feel Demon's Souls did a better job at conveying it's story to the players. I might just be missing NPC's but it feels like Demon's had a larger number of NPC's who actually had interesting stories. I just got into Anor Londo so it might change soon, but so far I found the game to lack any real memorable characters.

#48 Posted by Animasta (14673 posts) -

@mordukai: there are quite a few NPC's in anor londo, plus you aren't done meeting new ones after that either

#49 Edited by Hungry (165 posts) -

Dark Souls is pretty damn amazing. It combines a lot of amazing concepts into one bundle and pulls it off with amazing expertise... with a couple of flaws.

For one, the combat is supposed to be slow and weighty and almost feel like a real swordfight. In Dark Souls you are an unimportant piece of shit. The dude sitting at Firelink when you got there basically pointed that out. Oh you think you're the chosen undead? Yeah, same with the other half dozen guys who came by here last week and are now mangled corpses. You aren't a badass, so you can't fight like you think you are one. Take everything slowly and punish the enemy's mistakes. Find out what little advantages you have over bosses, because bosses are strong. You are weak, but you may be clever.

It is true, there is little story to Dark Souls. However, there is tons of backstory and flavor in the world within it. Dark Souls doesn't have that much of a main plot (but what it does have is very interesting), but it is filled to the brim with intricate and colorful details of the world and the few inhabitants you meet within it. The way the gameplay, items, aesthetics, level design, and even music (or meaningful lack thereof) combine together to deliver the game's themes and backstory make it one of the best examples of how interactivity can immerse people into a world or story better than any book or movie.

Basically, stop trying to play Dark Souls like a lot of boring action games. Imagine it to be a game like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, or Ninja Gaiden, but the pace slowed down to a tense crawl. There is nothing more heart-pounding than dueling other players in Dark Souls, even if everyone is pretty slow.

EDIT: I am not implying DMC, Bayonetta, or NG are boring, in fact quite the opposite. I am saying that the combat in the recent Batman games is boring. At least once you stop feeling awesome for being cool like Batman. In Batman you don't do the work, Batman does. In Dark Souls, it is you who is skillfully taking out bosses and enemies, and nobody else.

#50 Posted by Sisyphean (73 posts) -

I just finished up the second bell, myself. I'm playing on the PC with MKB, and it's playable with the DSfix mods. I certainly understand why this game doesn't jive with many people. The mechanics are excruciatingly deliberate, and animation trumps all. On a Bombcast, Jeff specifically mentioned these things in reference to why he doesn't care for it. Those are perfectly legitimate reasons to not like something. I can relate. I like games where the action is fast, animations submit to action, and execution is paramount. But, that doesn't mean I can't sit back and enjoy this style of game. It's not bad game design, it's just how the game is designed. To top it off, the game gives you almost no direction at all, and gives you little information on even the most basic mechanics, many of which are not immediately obvious. This is a break with modern game design, so it usually requires an adjustment. That's all not to say the game doesn't have some issues. It's certainly not perfect.

Frankly, the game is not "hard". It doesn't take large amounts of practiced skills and execution ability. It becomes ridiculously easy when you apply some patience and forethought. It's one of those things... If you push hard against it, it will push even harder back. If you use a soft touch, it's putty in your hands.

The story... well, I don't know much about it. It's my impression that you really need to pay attention to item descriptions and NPC conversations to glean the story, and I care about doing neither.