Gamescom 2011: Dark Souls Updated Impressions

We got to see a new area of Dark Souls created just for Gamescom. Spoiler: It's very hard.

While the gaming world may be heading toward short, simple gaming mechanics, it's refreshing to see just how old-school Namco Bandai is when it comes to Dark Souls. "The game is going to be even more difficult than Demons' Souls," says our representative. To demonstrate the fact, albeit in an unintentional way, another Namco Bandai representative died repeatedly during our demo of new content from the game. So, to summarize: Dark Souls is so hard that the guys who are making it can't even play it without dying.

Our demo started about halfway through the game, with our character trapped in a jail cell. The guard outside is sleeping, so you can kill him and steal the key to break out of jail. However, things aren't well after this seemingly easy encounter. Soon, octopus monsters are roaming the area and out to kill anything that's alive. While you can run away and even climb ladders to avoid them (octopi can't climb), when you get to the top of the ladders, snake monsters await you to kick you back down to earth.

The answer, it turns out, is to find the device that the snake monsters are guarding and then kill the larger snake enemies to take control of it. However, it took many attempts to get to this stage, as our demonstrator constantly died trying to get there. Namco Bandai was using a character that was pretty buffed up, but in an age when most publishers just cheat their way through game demos, we liked the fact that Namco was prepared to show off the difficulty of the game.

Difficulty is definitely an issue that will follow Dark Souls around. While it's not a direct sequel to Demons' Souls, it inherits many of that game's features, such as the ability to leave hints for other players to find when you die. However, there will be new features, such as the ability to summon other players to help you complete difficult tasks, as well as invading other people's games from afar.

The game will be out on October 4 in North America and October 7 in Europe, and it's on show on the Gamescom floor with 16 units on offer. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more information on Dark Souls as we get it.

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Discussion

45 comments
Sagem28
Sagem28

So....Skyrim+Deus Ex+This masterpiece+Xenoblade ....Goodbye social life, we had fun.

JBStone
JBStone

Um, guys? Summoning other players to help with tasks, and invading other players' worlds are not new features.

rasputin177
rasputin177

This, then LOTR War in the North. That will last me at the very very least until Skyrim which will last me?? Forever? Then Rage and Batman AC to mix things up for the Holiday season. Still not done with Fallout New Vegas and DA 2 will be getting a new DLC. Then Diablo 3 will be out in early 2012. I will be happy gamer for the next 12-17 months.

Joolsy
Joolsy

If the 1st game was anything to go by this should make for an interesting last stretch till the mighty Skyrim lands.

Cygnus421
Cygnus421

Demon's Souls owned me. This should be interesting...

Scaryfighter888
Scaryfighter888

@2-1st-names Oh thats good. I was hoping there would be something like that.

cenap_turan
cenap_turan

"However, there will be new features, such as the ability to summon other players to help you complete difficult tasks, as well as invading other people's games from afar." Did you guys even 'played' Demon's Souls? I'm sure there'll be improvements on these but they aren't new features.

2-1st-names
2-1st-names

@Scaryfighter888 Yes, my understanding is you can choose off of some sort of a preference list so that you can more easily play the entire game with the same people. but ALSO that the mechanics used to find specific friends is better. But I'm no insider I have had to quit and reboot DS several times simultaneously with my online friends before seeing their blue stones although my friends and I could see other people's blue stones all the time.

Scaryfighter888
Scaryfighter888

@2-1st-names How is it different? is there a list or something? I hope you can invite them straight from the friends list instead of having to lay down a sign. that got annoying because it made it hard to actually play with friends

2-1st-names
2-1st-names

@Scaryfighter888 I think the mechanics of "how" you summon friends to play with you is changed as they received a number of complaints because it's not always a consistent, straightforward choice

Scaryfighter888
Scaryfighter888

Why does it say "However, there will be new features, such as the ability to summon other players to help you complete difficult tasks, as well as invading other people's games from afar."... You could do that in Demon's souls....?

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

@quinholo Thanks, That sounds awesome. This game is at the top of my list now for most anticipated this year.

jprussell
jprussell

As mentioned already, the ability to summon or invade other players are not new features. If there is something new about those features it wasn't mentioned in this article.

INewIRave
INewIRave

Definitely going to utilise the ability to summon someone, game looks good. The monsters are what made it for me, they look amazing especially the boss fights and unlike other games where your main character always hits harder and can take more damage demon souls felt fair so when you beat even just a red knight it felt like you had accomplished something.

camverge
camverge

@ aermeus Haha, the problem is in the "trial and error" process I'm mostly in the error area; I don't think I'll ever see the accomplishment side. You really gotta give it to the makers though; sticking with the brutal difficulty even if it may affect sales to some extent. I bought demon souls, but like I said before I won't buy this just because I know it's probably not for gamers like me. These guys stuck to what their true fans want, hopefully it pays off for them.

aermeus
aermeus

@camverge I understand where u are coming from man. I have the job, wife, 2 kids thing going on to with limited time to game. However, i dont think Dark Souls (like Demons Souls) would be as enjoyable if it was easy. There isnt much story, the satisfaction/fun comes from the trial and error and the accomplishment of finally completing a level.

camverge
camverge

As a person who sucks at this sort of game, doesn't have a lot of time to play games outside of work and a child, this kills me. These games look so great and I just really don't have the time to sit down and adjust to them! I seriously wish they had a "you suck at this game" mode. I'd happily swallow my pride and play it.

varunvikram1
varunvikram1

why am i gettin a feeling this is gonna be so hard that you gonna be pissed. i mean demons souls was hard but it quickly become manageable. i hope this game doesnt screw things up.

Sahle123
Sahle123

"However, there will be new features, such as the ability to summon other players to help you complete difficult tasks, as well as invading other people's games from afar." Haha, No. That's not new at all! That mechanic was always present in Demon's Souls. Please pardon my troll-edness.

parkurtommo
parkurtommo

I want to try and do this without any strategy guide, since I played all of the first playthrough of DS with the strategy guide that came with the black phantom version.

quinholo
quinholo

@ChudWarrior You can summon a friend wherever and whenever you want (and the guy places a "calling stone"), but he acompany you until you either die, or defeat the boss. In this case, your buddy revives!! But this happens since Demon Souls...it's definitely not a new feature. You can look very straight forward without a doubt...this is an awsome freacking game and you'll not regreat it for sure!

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

Can you summon a friend to essentially play through the whole game with you, or is it only in certain spots I wonder. I did not get a chance to play Demon Souls due to it only being out on PS3. I am really looking forward to this game, and to a day when there are no more exclusive titles. Probably not going to happen though.

Keeper_Artemus
Keeper_Artemus

If only the NG series would make their sequels harder... so sad. Gettin this one fo sho

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

C'mon...as other posters have pointed out summoning other players and invading other players games was in Demons' Souls. Those aren't new features!

quinholo
quinholo

I just want my crescent fashion for my mage!!

CEMETARY_GATESx
CEMETARY_GATESx

Can't wait. However, the ability to summon other players and invading are not new features.

calvinsora
calvinsora

Looks awesome, might be one of the best games coming out this year.

RubiksGenius
RubiksGenius

God damn it gamespot! Namco Bandai is not developing this game!

guilhem_r
guilhem_r

Wasn't "invading other people's game from afar" already in Demon's Souls?

taco_paco
taco_paco

the solid gameplay and emphasis on tactics make this game unique among today's mindless mainstream shooters and hack-n-slashers. the difficulty just expects you to actually USE everything you know, unlike what so many other games expect. loved demon souls; can't wait for this XD

guitarpunkfb87
guitarpunkfb87

demons souls wasnt too hard. If you couldn't beat a part you could just go to a different world that might be easier, up your soul level and then go back and beat it. Also just learning from your mistakes will help you beat any boss.

devrindare
devrindare

Again post related to this game in PC section, WHY WHY WHY GS Why are you doin this, are you teasing PC gamers by showing like this is a great game & you PC gamers won't get it. Stop showing a game in PC section which is not a PC game.

psycho75
psycho75

I love Demon Souls,one of the most challenge games i ever played and they will make it HARDER!!... obscene...

Pete5506
Pete5506

Huge fan of Demons Souls, can't wait to get my hands on this

Shenji06
Shenji06

game is even more fun when you dont use wikis or faqs and figure it yourself after a few deaths and maybe rage quits.cant wait to play this loved demon souls cleared it x3 and add fun on all clears. hats off too the true gamers who will beat this honestly on there 1st runs and prehaps wiki or faq the other runs for completion or trophys.

irishdude199210
irishdude199210

@jeffbordonaro You pretty much sumed it up perfectly. Patience is rewarded in a game like Demon's Souls. It's tense, tactful combat. Anyone could finish the game through perseverance and being in the correct state of mind. Rushing recklessly repeatedly leads to deaths.

dstv
dstv

@SilkX lol ....that didn't sound perverted at all

nuitscorpion
nuitscorpion

"the ability to summon other players to help you complete difficult tasks, as well as invading other people's games from afar" -- are NOT new features. Did you play demon's souls?

somefreaknfella
somefreaknfella

IMO the game's difficulty isn't its selling point, rather the amazing combat mechanics. . .

SilkX
SilkX

Very hard is the way i like it!