Something went wrong. Try again later

    Dark Souls

    Game » consists of 14 releases. Released Sep 22, 2011

    A quasi-sequel to From Software's action-RPG Demon's Souls, set in a new universe while retaining most of the basic gameplay and the high level of challenge. It features a less-linear world, a new checkpoint system in the form of bonfires, and the unique Humanity system.

    laszlokovacs's Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition (PC) review

    Avatar image for laszlokovacs

    Light Prevails

    You probably suck at Dark Souls.

    That's not a boast or an attempt at provocation; it's a statement of fact. Unless you've played a lot of Dark Souls, you'll probably do very badly. In fact, even if you have played a lot of Dark Souls, you'll probably embarrass yourself. It's an unforgiving game, famously so, and it expertly dispenses rope enough to hang yourself (figuratively) again and again. The PC release tells you up front what to expect: "Prepare to Die".

    It's usually the right kind of difficult - the kind where you know you could beat it if you could just avoid mistakes. The combat requires precise timing, and it can be difficult to learn the right patterns for new enemies. Simply thrashing your way through encounters is a good way to die, a lesson learned hard and early. Eventually, the more basic enemy types become a second nature, and as you become more comfortable in your character's skin, you'll go looking for bigger challenges. Optional minibosses in the form of black knights, and repeatable areas with harder enemies exist to sate this urge. Beating many of the tougher enemies will earn you Humanity, an item which allows you to summon human and AI players to assist you, among other things.

    The one area where the game can seem genuinely unfair, though, is this online interaction. The game requires an active Internet connection to play - at least on the PC - and while you are connected and alive, another player may invade your game at any time and attempt to murder you. Generally, these players are very experienced, and have top-tier equipment, and if they want you to die it is going to happen. It makes the entire summoning mechanic essentially inaccessible, or at least unappealing, after you waste your first few Humanity items. It's a real shame that this is such a hurdle early on, when the difficulty seems so finely-tuned in the other areas.

    Dark Souls is also utterly opaque. Item descriptions are vague at best, and almost nothing beyond basic controls are explained explicitly. Rather than frustrate, though, this actually intrigues. Because the game's difficulty generally does a good job of guiding you through the areas in order, the air of mystery that surrounds every aspect of the experience is a draw.

    It's an uncompromising game, one that must absolutely be approached on its own terms. If you're willing to allow yourself to be smashed on the unyielding difficulty curve, and tolerate some cryptic (and sometimes downright badly-translated) text, it's an awesome experience to lose yourself in.

    Other reviews for Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition (PC)

      They Warned Me Right In The Title... 0

      Here’s a simple test to see if you should play Dark Souls. When games required incredibly precise movement and death was just one slip away (think MegaMan, Contra), did you enjoy that? Ever play an RPG that threw a lot of complicated stats and items at you with virtually no explanation? Was that fun? Was there ever a moment you got stuck on in a game and died again and again? Do you remember the rush when you finally beat it?If those conditions don’t apply to you, prepare to be very frustrated ...

      1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

      3D Castlevania done right. 0

      Dark souls is a gorgeous, intricately constructed and tightly honed game. The combat is fantastically balanced, and the world is a mysterious and confounding joy to explore. A massively replayable game, with so much depth, detail and ability to effect the world and characters around you in often small but fascinating ways. It presents itself fully formed, unwilling to compromise, and this works incredibly well. The infamous difficulty of the game is certainly there to some degree, but is certain...

      1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

    This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.