REAL TALK; Rorie, Vinny and Kessler On Dark Souls

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Posted by MattBodega (2277 posts) -

Dark Souls is out today, but there's no review on Giant Bomb. Why? Because none of us have beaten the dang old game! While we try to finish the game, I sat down with Matt Rorie to share our current opinion on From Software's latest release, and discuss what elements of this new release have most stood out. Also, Matt Rorie wears a Dog shirt and Vinny stabs a man with a spear!

Like our discussion? Would you like to see more, similar video conversations about the latest games? Let us know in the comments!

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#1 Posted by MattBodega (2277 posts) -

Dark Souls is out today, but there's no review on Giant Bomb. Why? Because none of us have beaten the dang old game! While we try to finish the game, I sat down with Matt Rorie to share our current opinion on From Software's latest release, and discuss what elements of this new release have most stood out. Also, Matt Rorie wears a Dog shirt and Vinny stabs a man with a spear!

Like our discussion? Would you like to see more, similar video conversations about the latest games? Let us know in the comments!

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#2 Edited by EuanDewar (5160 posts) -

Oh fuck. I thought you were joking. Also Rorie look's like he's drinking cooking oil at the beginning.

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#3 Posted by eroticfishcake (7857 posts) -

Oh God, half an hour of REAL TALK!? You're a saint, Matt.

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#4 Posted by FluffyZombeh (58 posts) -

Whoa, no conversation about Dark Souls is as real as this.

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#5 Posted by shivermetimbers (1334 posts) -

TBH, this is better than a review. Just talking about the game with others gives better insight than simply writing about it.

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#6 Posted by Hooded (495 posts) -

Awesome, more DS coverage :D Keep it coming Duders.

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#7 Posted by OldGuy (1669 posts) -

Yes. More. Yes.

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#8 Edited by jacksukeru (6563 posts) -

Any particular spoilers for the game? Ah heck, I'll watch it anyway!

Kingzetta's comment below is pretty spoilery and should be approached with caution.

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#9 Posted by Aishan (1066 posts) -

@RockmanBionics: Doesn't seem so, they mainly talk about the core concepts and mechanics and the issues that arise from them.

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#10 Posted by kingzetta (4497 posts) -


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#11 Posted by jimi (1149 posts) -

Awesome. Keep it real duders.

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#12 Posted by Robinson (213 posts) -

I love this format, much more informative than a review would be. I wish Rorie was Mic-ed better, hard to hear him on my tiny laptop speakers.

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#13 Posted by kingzetta (4497 posts) -

Involves everything "related" to Gwyn and it's followers. You get this covenant not by talking with Gwyn himself, but by communicating with his body guards while having a lot of humanity. "This covenant is for helping out other players online. Players who are in this covenant will automatically be drawn closer to each other on the network. This makes Miracle Resonance easier to perform, as well as helps block people from antagonistic covenants from coming closer on the network." [1]

"Apparently reduces or eliminates certain invasions".

Everyone in the Way of White is supposedly closer on the local connection list, so you'll see a lot of your friends more often, and won't be invaded nearly as much.

Gwyn's daughter, Gwynevere, asks a favor of the player after the "Ornstein/Smough" boss fight. She mentions that, after her father's "change", she has been trapped. She provides the player with the Lordvessel, an item that allows the player to "warp" between bonfires. She requests that you destroy her father and obtain his soul flame - "The fire of our world". It is also speculated that joining this covenant increases your total amount of flasks, but it is not confirmed.

This is the true Gwyn covenant. He wants to destroy all other lords and get their flames, so he can get enough power to lead the

rest of the world into his perfect future. You get it late in the game. This covenant allows you to obtain the Dark Knight armor that has special effects. "The goddess of Sin Velka oversees this list of the guilty, who have disrespected the Gods or their covenants, and shall one day face the
wrath of the Blades of the Darkmoon." The Blade of the Darkmoon's primary objective is to assassinate other players who have broken their covenant by using a list of names found in the "Book of Guilty" item.

How to join:
Equip the Darkmoon Priest Ring, obtainable from the Catacombs. Proceed to Anor Londo's second bonfire, below the church, where the statue of Gwyndolin is. With the ring equipped, the statue disappears, revealing a hidden pathway. Follow this pathway, but DO NOT enter the fog you see ahead. Use the Kneel gesture at the carpet area just before the fog, and you'll be asked to join the covenant. The item Blue Eye Orb and Blade of the Darkmoon Covenant Ring is given to the player upon joining the covenant, which is used for invasions.

It is related to the Solaire of Astoria, a member of a kingdom different from the one you are in. Think of it as the "South Boletaria" of this game.
According to Japanese wiki, 50 Faith is required to join.If you gesture in praise towards the sun, you will receive the "Spear of Lightning" gesture in return.
This covenant takes Sun Medals as pledges.The Japanese wiki speculates they will give you items in exchange for your medals.

How to join:
To begin with, 50 Faith stats is required to join this covenant. The 50 Faith requirement can be obtained by:
  • Having 50 Faith stats on your character.
  • Help others as a white phantom in their gameplay. For each successful clearing of the area in their gameplay, the Faith requirement reduces by 5.
  • Alternitavley, If you are in human form. You can summon Solaire as an NPC. If he survives through the bossfight, he will award you with a Sunlight's medal.(Not recommended for late-game bosses)
    • For example, if you have 25 Faith, and you helped 5 online players clear their area boss, you fulfil the requirement(25 + (5 x 5) = 50).
Proceed to the bonfire below the Hellkite Dragon, there's a altar where the sunlight shines outside to the right. You will be asked to join this covenant if you fulfil the Faith requirement. 1 The miracle Thunder Spear and gesture 'Praise the Sun' is awarded upon joining the covenant.
Effects of covenant
  • White Soulsign stone is changed to Gold soulsign stone(you will be summoned as a gold phantom instead)
  • Upon clearing a boss as a gold phantom, all members(summoning players and other phantoms) are awarded a Sunlight's Medal.
  • Players inside this covenant is matched up much easier from other players in the same covenant during online play.

The player finds this covenant in the dark forest by talking to the huge cat referred to as "Alvina" in a small stone building towards the wolf boss. Joining this covenant will result in Alvina giving you a white pearl ring, which she will use to summon you when other players, whom aren't part of the Forest Hunter covenant, journey into the first part of the forest. This covenant exists to make the walk to the giant wolf extremely difficult towards the end.

Killing enemy players that don't belong to the covenant will result in you gaining a reward of sorts. It is not confirmed whether it will be humanity, souls, or a mere token you can use for something. It does, for sure, however, result in you gaining something for your efforts.

With this covenant, you learn that Alvina hates the wolf that guards the large sword and she actually prefers that you kill him. Not doing so results in the breaking of the covenant, and your name appearing in the book of the guilty for the members of the "Blade of the Darkmoon" covenant to hunt to their hearts' content. Breaking the covenant by letting the wolf flee results in the gaining of a sword, however, in exchange for this disadvantage.

Breaking the covenant is extremely easy, otherwise, considering your not allowed to kill ANYTHING that lives in the end-part of the black forest. No trees, mushroom men, hunters, ghosts, and the catbear. Making an attempt to kill Alvina will also result in the breaking of the covenant.

Alvina rewards faithful service with a ring that cane make you transparent to a certain degree, making detection in darker places impossible.

How to join:
Talk to Alvina in Darkwood Garden, at one of the castle-like ruins. She's located at the window pane before the bridge to the second castle ruin. She gives you a Cat Covenant Ring which enables her to summon you to fight off intruders(other online players) entering the forest.

A hidden covenant. You get it by speaking to the "Absolute Darkness" that wishes to engulf this world. It's nice to have this covenant because you apparently do not have to fight a more difficult boss in the game. Apparently when you join the covenant, you receive a shield/weapon called dark hand which is the key objective in this covenant. The Dark Hand can be used to steal humanity from other players. By stealing humanity from players, you increase the player's covenant level. When you get 10 (+1 level), you will obtain a Red Eye Orb. When you get 30 (+2 level), you obtain the Dark Sword and Dark Armor. We have no data regarding what you will get after reaching a higher covenant level at this point in time.

Joining Darkwraith covenant:
Joining the darkwraith covenant requires you to gain the ring, which says 'Traverse the Abyss', from the great wolf sif.
You can enter the abyss with the ring at New Londo Ruins. There you will be able to fight the four kings.
You must defeat the four kings BEFORE obtaining the Lordvessel. If you don't you will not be able to join Darkwraith for the
rest of the current playthrough.

When you have defeated the Four Kings, primordial serpent will appear just after the bonfire. Speaking with him will let you
join the covenant.

Pictures of the Dark hand and the Dark Armor & sword. Click image to make it popup larger.

The dragon covenant is obtained by swearing alligance to Seath. The objective of the dragon covenant is to invade people with the items called dragon scales. Once you kill them you take souls/humanity/and dragon scale(s). Once you get scales you offer them to your covenant to "rank up". With each rank you become more dragonoid. You gain the ability to breathe fire.

According to the reviewer from IGN one of the things you can get from this covenant is a hat/helmet that allows you to spit Dragonbreath. Having seen it in action making mincemeat of a character around level 35, it looks like it might be fun. - Curt Connors

You gain scales from beating other Path of the Dragon players online, from dragon mobs or by purging/harvesting a (fully?) developed larva egg (unconfirmed, rough translation from a japanese fansite). From said scales, you can rank up in the covenant. the higher rank you are, the more dragon your appearance becomes. Assuming since there are only a limited number of dragons, defeating other players may completely rob them of their scales.

How to join:
Talk to the Old Dragon NPC located in Grey Lake. Upon joining the covenant, you will be given an Old Dragon Eye, and a Dragon Head Stone.

The start to getting the gravelord covenant is in the room with the titanite demon in the crypts. A coffin is farther out than the rest, and unoccupied. Looking at it will prompt you to enter it. Once you do, sit there for a moment, and a first person cutscene will commence. When you enter the large, spacious room, head away from the coffin to the larger coffin at the other side. Create your covenant with the Gravelord Nito, receive your sword and spell, and happy hunting.

Must have the lowest possible humanity. You embrace your undead existence and gain access to curses. The covenant is gained by going to the lowest part of the catacombs and sitting in the open coffin by the titanite demon,look around the area you are transported to for the npc you need to talk to. This doesn't create the pact itself, however the pact is supposedly formed during the fight with Nito himself. This is doubtable, and will be confirmed.

Being a Gravelord's servant allows you to invoke the gravelord ability, which consists of you placing a soul sign of your own on the ground. This soul sign will appear in 3 other player's worlds, wherever you sat the sign down. It is in the best interest for
players to hide the soul sign to avoid what I'm about to mention. While the gravelord is invoked, black phantom monsters (upgraded versions of already difficult creatures) will be summoned in 3 other worlds.
The reason for invoking the gravelord isn't to gain humanity. Invasions are. When using the gravelord, if a player dies while under the effect of it, his blood stain will be robbed of half of his souls, all of which are given to the gravelord. If a player finds the soul sign of the gravelord, he can invade the gravelords world and kill him, thus freeing all 3 worlds of the curse. To be frank, all 3 players can invade at the same time, which makes the gravelord very risky, abeit extremely fun.

Being a member of the gravelord also grants access to "Illness inflicting" weapons and spells. The skull lantern, in particular, can breathe a miasma that inflicts both plague and poison. Other weapons and effects are unknown at the moment.

Nito will eventually reward you with Lich form.

This is the witch's covenant. You get it by proceeding deep into sewers and arriving at the chaos area, just after the swamp. Taking an oath with the witch will result in you gaining much more powerful fire spells for a pyromancer, namely a large lava bomb and a very, very random firestorm.

To break the covenant, you need only hit the witch, kill her, or hurt/kill a daughter of chaos.

One of the stranger, more interesting things about the covenant is that upon joining the covenant, you can receive a egg of sorts on your head that replaces your head. When you have this, it feeds on a portion of the souls you obtain (half at first), and grows accordingly. When enough souls are acquired the egg will hatch (number of exact souls unknown). When it hatches the players kick animation is replaced by a "Head larva" attack, which is significantly slower than the kick and thus can leave players vulnerable after executing it. Other advantages include: fully developed eggs can be traded for dragon scales (unconfirmed). The eggs are also very flammable (as in you lose fire resistance). Not entirely sure if you even have to break the covenant to recieve said eggs, but it is most likely the way to get them.

Note: in the early gamespot review of the game, the reviewer mentioned that he got infected by the eggs by idling in a certain boss' lair for too long (2nd last paragraph).

How to join:
Proceed to Quelaag's Domain and talk to the White Spider Lady NPC at a hidden pathway. Equip the Old Witch's Ring in order to talk with her. You will then be asked to join the covenant. Upon joining the covenant, the spell Chaos Great Fireball is given. Spells can now be bought from the eggs-on-the-back guy just beside her.

If interested on how the head looks you can check the following video. Shows the 1st stage of the egg, the hatching and later the larva attack.

A side note: If you break the chaos servants covenant, and gain eggs, you will no longer be able to buy the antidote for the eggs. You may be able to get it from rare drops from egg carriers (not 100% confirmed).
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#14 Posted by zombie2011 (5502 posts) -

Fuck Dark Souls, lets talk about Rories shirt.

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#15 Posted by MooseyMcMan (12541 posts) -


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#16 Posted by rjayb89 (7811 posts) -

You guys need to clone Vinny so he can do this and video things at the same time.

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#17 Posted by Rayeth (1169 posts) -

@MattBodega: You have a heart of gold. Don't let them take it from you.

Great video. I can't wait to play this game. Hopefully Amazon gets their shit together and gets my order out soon.

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#18 Posted by chilibean_3 (2185 posts) -


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#19 Edited by Julmust (1640 posts) -

I'm pretty sure I'll get Dark Souls now. Matt should let Matt (Rorie) talk some more though. Good video!

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#20 Posted by Dalai (7868 posts) -

@EuanDewar said:

Oh fuck. I thought you were joking. Also Rorie look's like he's drinking cooking oil at the beginning.

It's how he keeps his coat so shiny.

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#21 Edited by RuneseekerMireille (337 posts) -

This was very entertaining and informative! Much better than a written review!

@kingzetta: Thanks for the information! That was useful to me. The covenants almost seem like internet clans or something.

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#22 Posted by jozzy (2053 posts) -

@RuneseekerMireille said:

This was very entertaining and informative! Much better than a written review!

@kingzetta: Thanks for the information! That was useful to me. The covenants almost seem like internet clans or something.

It was extremely spoilery and way too long for a comment, not a fan of posting it here myself.

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#23 Edited by buckybit (1517 posts) -


  • I approve of everything Bodega is doing which includes Rorie and/or Vinny.
  • Kessler is media savvy, only 1up'd by Ryan "MC" Davis himself = knows how to keep audio/video rolling and interesting. Asking questions. Keeping the conversation going. Making people talk... on topic.
  • There is a special quality to the Dark Souls QL - watching Rorie playing for over an hour, progressing (and failing) slowly and thoroughly, made that particular Quick Look stand out. The game was interesting to watch. Giving the game time, giving the video stream 'time' to progress, made the game 'click' with me. Would never have happened with a 10-20min video.
  • I like clever, thought out games, that leave it to you, to discover the content. No "arrows pointing down". No hand-holding. No glowing objects. But the game must be well made!
  • conclusio: REAL TALK? Eff yeah!

btw, I closely watch the websites publishing Dark Souls reviews day one - these websites are on my blacklist. Equally found a video game website about PC games praising Rage without any mention of PC related issues - blocked for life.

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#24 Posted by jacksukeru (6563 posts) -

I agree with Matt that having played through Demon's Souls I feel a lot more prepared going into Dark Souls without resorting to the Wiki (I do know some minor stuff from the early part of the game that might prove useful though..)

Another thing, isn't kicking just a replacement from the "shove" move from the first game? You push forward and press attack with the right timing right?

I also love pushing people off of stuff, that's how I got the Gloom Armor in the first game.

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#25 Posted by laserbolts (5506 posts) -


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#26 Posted by ManiacMaysin (426 posts) -

I like this! More please?

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#27 Posted by PureBacon (39 posts) -

This is perfect. I would love nothing more - Nothing. More. - than to see more of these on Giant Bomb.

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#28 Posted by Marz (6018 posts) -

So are they making Kessler Review the game? it's better than nothing I guess.

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#29 Posted by Yummylee (24646 posts) -

@Jolt92 said:

I'm pretty sure I'll get Dark Souls now. Matt should let Matt (Rorie) talk some more though. Good video!

Definitely. There a lot of times where it looked like Rorie wanted to pitch in but was blocked by Kessler's somewhat long-winded explanations and analogies. Was still a great video and everything that I'm letting myself see (I've actually gone ''Dark'' {ugh} for Dark Souls and haven't even watched the GB QL because I want to experience as much as I can firsthand) thus far only raises the anticipation.

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#30 Edited by HerbieBug (4228 posts) -

Hey Rorie, or Matt if you know the answer to this:
Which NPC died 40 hours in to mess up your game?  How did it happen? 

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#31 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

This is too good an idea to be relegated to a Youtube channel.

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#32 Posted by ViciousAnchovy (830 posts) -

I'd definitely like to see more videos in this format.

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#33 Posted by Vexxan (4633 posts) -

Of course Rorie's wearing a dog shirt.

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#34 Posted by beard_of_zeus (1774 posts) -

I like this feature quite a bit. Seems like a cool thing to do when multiple Whiskey folks are playing a game, to rouse up the MOST REALEST TALK. I found this especially interesting since I've been playing the game for a while this evening. Been playing a pyromancer, which I'm really enjoying! I pretty much didn't use any magic in Demon's Souls, so it's a nice change of pace.
The lack of explanations for things in both this game and the previous title is still a bit of a mystery. And I'm not talking about leading the player along with directions on where to go, or things like that; I think the exploration and finding things out for yourself (usually by getting super murdered) is a great part of the game. I'm talking about explaining some of the key systems like humanity (which I'm glad it's not just me that's confused about it). It's strange that there's not much of a penalty anymore for being non-human - it seems to mainly prevent one from using some the PvP and PvE features, making you unable to kindle, and lowering your drop rate - sadly the game doesn't tell you for sure, but it seems like you guys came to the same conclusions. It's kind of silly that the manual for Dark Souls is like 4 pages long; the original game (or at least the first-run copies of it) came with a 140 page guide, explaining everything in great detail, which was insanely helpful for playing through Demon's Souls. Luckily, a good portion of that knowledge carries over, as you guys mentioned in the video.
I already ran into the situation you guys mentioned of having multiple bosses that could both kill me pretty quick, and having to pick one to just tough it out with. I got murdered by a butterfly, so I had to find something easier to do :P The open-world nature of the game is definitely a big change, but I think I prefer it. The lack of a map is not a big deal at all, I find. You get pretty acquainted with the areas pretty quickly, especially after re-treading them a couple times, either through dying or passing through via shortcuts.
There seem to be multiple good weapons you can get from cutting off the tails of enemies - you guys mentioned the rat-tail thing, and I already got a pretty good sword from someone else. I'm still pretty early on, so that should give you a good idea of which enemy it is ;)
Somehow, I think the targeting in Dark Souls is actually worse than Demon's Souls, mainly because it seems like you can't switch between enemies by flicking the right stick once you've already locked onto a different enemy. Am I crazy, or did that feature get taken out? I've had to unlock and re-lock the targeting to switch enemies so far.
Anyways, sorry for the wall of text. A lot to respond to in your 30 min video, plus I think the Souls games are super interesting to discuss. Keep the coverage coming, great job!

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#35 Posted by Nentisys (926 posts) -

Sweet vid, dog.

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#36 Posted by tekmojo (2362 posts) -

Awesome great insight!

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#37 Posted by pweidman (2590 posts) -

Great stuff, and yes more please Matt B., especially on this monstrosity that is Dark Souls. :)

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#38 Posted by TekZero (3379 posts) -

Not a big fan of this video.

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#39 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

@MattBodega: Dog shirts and man-stabbing? Sign me up!

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#40 Posted by Godak (167 posts) -

I want more of this. SO much more.

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#41 Posted by Jothel (1017 posts) -

Can someone post the "famous" gif that Rorie refers to in this video and the QL too i think, please?

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#42 Posted by Nate (798 posts) -

Love it. Thanks, Matt!

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#43 Posted by sagesebas (2431 posts) -

Glad to hear a conversation about dark souls that isn't completely negative we get it Ryan and Jeff don't like the game

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#44 Edited by MrOldboy (1048 posts) -

wish Kessler wasn't holding the camera. Need to turn up vol to hear Rori...Ahhh too much Kessler volume!

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#45 Posted by Brackynews (4387 posts) -

Well, I have my collector's edition on the way this week. I'm a little nervous that the pace of combat will become frustrating and relentless in a way that Demon's Souls wasn't. But some of the insights they shared makes me a bit more confident at least. I think if I was already on my NG+ of Demon's Souls I would be a lot better adjusted to what the challenge seems to be. It sounds like even though the gameplay is very similar, the underlying systems have been tuned and improved.

I'd also appreciate a "progression path" guide with a good world route and spots to level. I made one for myself in Demon's Souls as I gradually found the path (basically the world order) that is working best for me. Let's just say all roads lead to Poison Cloud. ;) Then the game opened up pretty quick after that.

@HerbieBug: They spent a bit of time talking about Yurt, so it's possible one of the trainer NPCs that Yurt kills early on. Otherwise I can't think of another important Nexus NPC who can be killed without player involvement.

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#46 Posted by nights (658 posts) -

Giant Bomb needs more real talk, yo! Especially with Rorie. Preferably in the dog disguise...

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