Wow, so this is now pretty much a completely different system from when it was unveiled. As shitty as their initial vision was, I would have respected them more if they had stuck to it. At least partially so. All the changes they have made are most likely smarter business decisions, but it gives me the impression that they are radically redesigning everything in a relatively small time frame so they can be competitive with Sony during the holiday season. Hopefully all of this isn't as complicated and rushed as I'm imagining because this paints a picture where we could have another disastrous launch for a Microsoft console.
@mcghee: He either dies fighting in Lost Izalith or goes hollow in Ash Lake. Like so many other characters in Dark Souls he seems destined to meet a tragic end. Hell, saving him leaves him feeling defeated and inferior and causes him to give up on adventuring. So yeah, he either dies or you're an asshole.
I too almost lost interest in games completely. And then I played Dark Souls and fell in love with gaming all over again. Sadly, not many other games are anywhere near as exciting and satisfying to me. I think it may just be that I find modern games do too much hand holding or are too focused on giving me a movie like experience. I liked the hands off, adventurous feel Dark Souls had. I wasn't directed where to go or what to do, the game allowed me to pick my experience and discover everything naturally. If the game had been clearer about how some of its core systems work and why things like humanity matter then I would say it is the best game of the console generation.