berva's Dark Souls (Xbox 360) review

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Review: Why Dark Souls Hates You & Why You Love it Back

Developed by From Software, Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to the PS3 exclusive Demon’s Souls, an action RPG, renowned for its difficulty and trial-and-error approach.

Dark Souls will not hold your hand throughout its lengthy campaign, in fact it will slap you in the face and kick you while you are down for good measure.

Over the 12 hours I have spent with Dark Souls so far, it is not uncommon to have played over 2 hours in a single sitting and to have made little to no progress at all. Dark Souls demands a lot of patience from the player, something that has been lacking from recent games. In a world of frequent check points and auto saves, we have become accustomed to things being easier in our games.

Dark Souls is not interested in making things easy, in fact in the early stages of the game it reveals very little about itself. There is no user manual, or over-world map, even the items you collect in the game are described in a way that you will need to read a few times to develop an understanding of what those items actually can be used for.

Why would you want to put yourself through such an experience you may ask. Well for all the frustration and trial-and-error, there comes extreme satisfaction. There is no better feeling than killing that ridiculous boss that takes up the entire screen and 20 minutes to defeat.

I can’t remember a gaming world that is this intense. Every time I play I feel as though I am in the world and that each step needs to be calculated and each battle be thought out prior to engaging it. The moment you clear an area and defeat one of the many bosses you feel very good about yourself and of Dark Souls.

Dark Souls is quick to remind you that its the boss however, as many enemies can and will kill you with a single strike. I will not lie, there have been a number of rage quits, however those rage quits have been quickly followed by a mental breakdown of what I could have done better. Sooner rather than later I find myself back in the depths taking on that “Gaping Dragon”, this time with a plan of attack.

Dark Souls is not for everyone, in fact its for a very small percentage of gamers. Those that are patient enough to discover its inner mystery will be rewarded with a very satisfying action RPG that will not be forgotten any time soon.

RENT IT - Hard to recommend a buy on this one, give it a rent and see whether Dark Souls demanding gameplay is for you.


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