By Palantas 1 Comments
Today I'm going to share some more Dark Souls impressions, both good, bad, and weird. I'll probably split this into several entries.
Dark Souls is an odd game. In some ways, it's a very old school RPG experience. And I don't mean Final Fantasy old school; I mean Rogue old school. First off, you don't get to save and reload your game. I know you're thinking, "I must not have read that right." What I mean is that in a lot of old-timey PC RPGs (CRPGs), save/load didn't work the way it does today. You could save your game so that you could exit and turn your computer off, and then load when you started up the game again. However, you couldn't reload in the middle of a game (because you died, lost a valuable item, said the wrong thing to an NPC, et cetera). In-game actions were permanent. Dark Souls functions in precisely this fashion. Rarely is this an issue, but let me tell you a little story. I had a special item that's supposed to increase the effect of healing potions (all of them, permanently). This is obviously pretty sweet, so I used it. Instead of upgrading my potions, it manifested a different and much less valuable effect. Apparently, I wasn't supposed to use it. I was intended to give it to some NPC instead, even though there was no in-game clue to do this. Then it hit me like a kick to the dick: I can't reload my game and take the proper action with that item. That was a harsh realization. I'm still not sure how I feel about this.
PvP (Player Versus Player) is handled in Dark Souls in a fashion I have never seen before. Other players can "invade" your game as "evil spirits." You'll be killing monsters, minding your business, and a giant warning will appear at the bottom of your screen "SoAndSo Has Invaded!!" Then they find you and kill you, usually when you're in the middle of fighting some tough enemy. Once they kill you (or you kill them), they are removed from your game. This is just bizarre, and I have never played anything like this. Imagine if you're playing Halo, killing enemies, then the screen flashes "Douchenozzle117 has Invaded!!" Now in addition to worrying about all the normal enemies, there is some human player somewhere in the level, who is deathmatching you! Does that sound like fun? No, it doesn't!
This invasion mechanic is one of the strangest I have seen in any game ever, and a glance at Dark Souls forums reveals its controversial nature. Personally, I do not care for PvP; I enjoy co-op or solo gameplay in RPGs. If I want to PvP, I'll go play shooter. Every since Ultima Online, there are a small but vocal group of PvP fans who want to ensure that everyone gets to "enjoy" PvP. Naturally, these people exist in Dark Souls too. At present, my inclination is simply to disconnect when someone invades me.
I've been killed twice through these stupid invasions. The first time, I was in the middle of fighting some very tough enemies. The other time by some guy with way better equipment than me, who literally killed me in one hit. As the system exists currently, it just seems like a way for people to troll. I've read online there are a lot of cheap tactics involved in getting good at invasions. Why From Software didn't include an online arena or PvP zones, I have no idea. They took an otherwise solo or co-op game and just tacked on this PvP element in a fashion that seems like it would only please people who like to ruin other peoples' fun.
In the next couple days, I'll talk about some things I dislike and like about the game. I don't care for those invasions, but it's so strange and unprecedented that I file it under "weird" instead of "bad."
On an unrelated note, it appears everything is still here, on Earth I mean. The world has about five more hours to end so I don't have to pay back that loan shark.