Dark Souls Review
Dark Souls is an extraordinary role-playing game that transports you to an awesome and menacing world you may never forget.
- A gorgeous and frightening world you won't want to leave
- Abundant, amazing bosses test your skill and determination
- Superb combat in which every attack feels powerful and precise
- Fantastic online aspect lets players both cooperate and compete
- Covenant system and other features lead to constant surprises.
- Frame rate gets choppy in certain areas
- Finicky target lock.
Any game can deliver a few cheap scares. It takes a special one to terrify you. Dark Souls is such a game. It's a thoughtful, atmospheric, and mysterious role-playing adventure that challenges your mind and your mettle. It takes the concepts of deadly environments and unflinching difficulty introduced by 2009's infamously tough Demon's Souls and cranks up the challenge, the fear, the frustration, and the eventual triumph. Dark Souls' enormous world is vast and dangerous, filled with terrifying fire demons and homicidal lizardmen, all with a single goal: to annihilate you. And so you die, over and over again, as you make your way through this strikingly fearsome land. But in Dark Souls, death and resurrection is a core mechanic, not a roadblock, and because the combat is so precise, you ultimately feel in control of your destiny. Dark Souls plays by its own rules, and in doing so, provides an unforgettable adventure that seeps into your being and invades your thoughts. It's a landmark game, destined to be loved and talked about by anyone who has the pleasure of unraveling its mysteries.
Like Demon's Souls, Dark Souls is a third-person dungeon crawler with precise and responsive combat. You create a character, select a class, and enter a bleak kingdom populated by undead horrors, shrieking gargoyles, and iron-clad knights. The tutorial introduces you to the impending terrors in fine fashion. You fight a gargantuan ogre, get rolled over by a giant ball, and encounter a sad fellow who issues you a warning in his final moments. After this sinister and enthralling introduction, a giant raven flies you to the shrine that serves as your initial hub. And so begins your exploration of Lordran, where non-player characters offer a few vague notions of where you are and what you must do, but little else. NPCs muse on their undead conditions and emit disturbing giggles, but Dark Souls doesn't focus on plot, character development, or questing in the traditional sense. Rather, it provides you with a captivating world spiced with narrative details, and encourages you to craft your own tale. You might expect that such thin storytelling might lead to aimlessness, but Dark Souls is anything but aimless, in part due to the structure and design of its large, seamless world.
Demon's Souls was a collection of large levels attached to a hub area; Dark Souls is a single, massive realm, separated into distinct regions. You can't explore with impunity, however: certain areas open up to you only when you beat bosses. Watching a giant closed gate swing open after a nail-biting battle is a fantastic reward for proving your dominance: You are filled with trepidation and excitement at the prospect of investigating a mystifying new territory. That region might contain dim forests, crumbling castles, dilapidated bridges, and ominous fortresses. Each area has its own defining visual characteristics, yet feels like it belongs to the same melancholy medieval universe. A giant red dragon perches above a stone bridge and breathes fire upon you. Undead knights clad in capes charge at you. Ghostly figures descend on a murky village. Dark Souls is beautiful and terrifying all at once--yet as horrifying as it is, it draws you in. No one should ever want to reside in a land in which death lurks around each corner. Yet once you're there, Dark Souls convinces you to remain, promising new vistas to ogle and new creatures to slay. The biggest blight on this land is the inconsistent frame rate. It isn't a pervasive issue, but things get choppy in certain areas. The slowdown isn't likely to affect your exploration, but it's noticeable enough to stand out.
You eventually unlock shortcuts between regions and make good use of them, especially when trying to best Dark Souls' immense and numerous bosses. They include twin gargoyles atop a parish roof, a giant fire demon, a huge wolf with a sword in its mouth, and a deceptively beautiful butterfly that sings a soothing lullaby when it isn't trying to murder you. And there are minibosses too, such as a blue dragon guarding a narrow path and a giant diseased rat skulking in the sewers. Every boss looks gruesome, and each plays differently enough to keep you on your toes. Even standard foes are wonderfully hideous in Dark Souls and are suited to their environment. Each enemy attacks differently from others, with some taking advantage of openings to whittle away most, if not all, of your health bar. However, smooth animations and clear sound effects signal the most powerful moves, allowing you to block properly or roll out of the way. Yet each dog and demon has enough different attacks to make every encounter a surprise; it's a great mix of consistency and unpredictability. And with so much combat variety, you might find use for multiple weapons and sets of armor, each with its own attack and defense benefits (one for fending off poison, one for fire protection, and so on). One moment, you might look like a hooded wraith in your gold-trimmed cloak; the next, your gleaming armor gives you the look of a virtuous silver knight.
Fortunately, the combat is weighty and exact, which is why Dark Souls feels fair and rarely cheap. In all but a few instances, the collision detection is flawless. When your blade makes contact with a shield, it glances off; when it meets flesh, it sinks into it. If you hit a wall rather than the flaming minotaur rising above you, he will take advantage of your error. These might seem like small details, but without such accuracy, Dark Souls wouldn't be such a triumph. Combat isn't perfect: a drake might clip into a mountain and get stuck, or you could perish due to mistakes caused by the finicky lock-on mechanic. But such issues are easily overlooked, and more apparent than they might otherwise have been, because the action is usually ultraprecise.
Thank goodness for such precision. Without it, you could never survive in this wild world. On your travels, you cross narrow beams and avoid deadly swinging blades. Evil shrubs spring to life and pierce you with their branches, and the bones of skeletons you just defeated reassemble themselves before your very eyes. And so you die. Often. Afterward, you resurrect at the most recent bonfire you rested at. These bonfires are scattered around the world, though they are far enough apart that you don't feel totally secure in your travels. Resting at one saves your game, replenishes your health and your supply of health flasks, and restores the number of times you can cast a particular spell. (There is no mana bar in Dark Souls.) The catch: every enemy, apart from bosses, respawns when you rest.
Death also means losing the souls you have in your possession. Souls are the game's currency and are used to level up, buy equipment, improve your weapons and armor, purchase new spells, and more. If you want to retrieve those lost souls, you must return to the bloodstain that marks the ground where you expired. And so you must ask yourself while exploring: Is it worth the risk to press onward, and accumulate more souls, or should you spend them now? It's a more difficult decision than you might think. With so many beautiful and terrifying possibilities waiting out there, you will feel yourself drawn to continue, even knowing you might sacrifice your very lifeblood.
I sincerely wish this idea that a game can be broken down into a metric score that somehow encapsulates all that a game is would die already. How can anyone fairly decide how many points to dock for whatever reasons? Playing a game is not like taking a multiple choice test -- you cannot easily deduce the total score. I feel the same way about movies by the way... it's ridiculous to put a metric score because you're literally pulling a random number out of your ass. I'd rather just see recommendations -- such as must buy, rent, play if a fan, don't touch with a 50 foot pole...
As for Dark Souls... the games immerse world and fun combat completely overshadow the sometimes wonky camera and lag. It's hard, everyone knows its hard, you are going to die a lot. It harkens back to a time where a gamer would die on a stage all day before completing it and than miraculously be able to clear that same stage in a few measly minutes. It's very rewarding to see your skills and reaction times sharpen and how once formidable foes fall to your blade without a sweat being given.
Playing through it so far and I'd say the game is a solid 8- 8.5. I don't dig the minimalist storytelling too much, but I like the atmosphere and combat. My complaints with the game are mainly with the camera. There are many times where you're in a cramped corridor and if you try to lock onto an enemy the camera will get caught up on a wall or something and you can't see it. I died a few times on Gaping Dragon because I was near a wall and his huge mass blocked my character so I couldn't see what I was doing. Aside from that, pretty good game so far. Although not for everyone... This is definitely a "gamer's" game.
This is fantastic game , for hard core players , i prefer playing it in co-op , but next part should have better story teling .
Downloaded it on Xbox. Great made game, great mechanics, great graphics. Too difficult for average gamers. Unless you want to spend 2 hours trying to kill one boss, having to go ALL the way back, and start allover again about thirty times the game is beyond frustration. If i could get my money back i would. 7.0.
thanks @NuarBlack that was very helpfull,,last question .. i dont have the strength to carry some weapons why ?what do i have to do ?
@walehinmi Yea you need humanity. This is accounted for by a number to the left of your health and stamina. So you actually need it to say you have at least one not just have consumable humanity in your inventory. Using a consumable humanity item will add to that number though. Then access a bonfire and there is an option in the bonfire menu to turn you human.
@NuarBlack please add me on skype am having porblems with this game id :wale.hinmi
Great Game but by no means did it deserve a 9.5. Blight town problems were enough to dock it the .5 alone. Then the lock on system is a very core mechanic so that is almost another point. Next is that the game gets really redundant. Pathing through most levels is too linear on narrow walkways so you just end up parrying your way through 90% of the game which seems cool at first but gets old. Magic Casts were about the worst I have seen in a fantasy RPG. Character development was a double edged sword while it was nice that it never outpaced the game and made things too easy it did feel like your character stopped developing in a way that impacted game play too early. probably only deserved an 8-8.5
@NuarBlack Yeah, blight town can get crazy and character stat scaling development seems to slow down somewhat after level 145. The lock on system is perfect and i've never heard any complaints about it other than in this review. But you dumbing it down to 8-8.5 because you don't like the spells and you think it's easy...? You must be from the mmo world.
@RustedTruck650 @NuarBlack Never heard complaints about the lock on system except in my review? Gamespot's review complains about it. The only addition I made in my review was I pointed out it was especially troublesome on large bosses since it lacked the option to target specific body parts but wasn't part of my comment. My actual review goes into more detail on the casting as well. How it was more than just aesthetically displeasing. Casting felt cumbersome especially compared to the melee combat. Sorry I didn't hone my criticisms in my quick comment.
@RustedTruck650 *two maxims*
@RustedTruck650 @NuarBlack True enough. That is what a review or opinion stated in a comments section is after all. And people are free to disagree. I'm just giving my honest take on the game. There is no such thing as an objective review. You have to evaluate them in context of other gaming experiences especially so when evaluating them on a scale with to maxims that forces comparison with all other games rated by the same scale.
Wow, some users actually rated this game with awefull scores. They obviously are your everyday-illiterate-unintelligent-casual-COD-can't learn from experiences Twits!! Well, i guess the world does need people like that, after all the world thrives because of both, stupid and intelligent people.
I like the fact that you can always be sure that you will never know what's going to happen next.
The most frustrating yet exciting part I've explored was the catacombs, not being able to kill those dreaded skeletons until you've removed their immortality. It's aspects like these that make a game shine. Brilliant!
@tuckie27 Then you accidentaly figure out that divine weapons kill the skeletons. The level design is pure genius. You can travel that huge world in short amounts of time with the brilliant shortcut system. Cant wait for Dark Souls 2
To anyone who hasn't played Demons Souls or Dark Souls i have something to tell you; you are missing a hardcore gaming experience. Buy it, fools!!!!
i bought the game .... played it ... hated the repetition in combat and all the dying... did not feel like continuing .... then a friend persuaded me to try investing a little more time.... I am thankful to him.... to all the people who are frustrated .... "Atleast kill the Tauras demon and proceed a little and see a whole lot of things DS has to offer ... There is a reason why you have repetitive combat .. But you have to stick with it a while and be patient to understand .....
@shravan_perne Repetitive combat? Dks is not a game for the usual skyrim player. If something doesnt feel right about the way you are playing then you're doing something wrong! Souls is not a "I want to finish it on the weekend " kind of game.
It took me 92 hours... what else can I say... one of the bigest gaming experience of my life... The scarry thing is: Once I finished it, I immediately started playing with the thoughts... What if I would try a knight this time... sick.. so I immediately gave it to my friend just to avoid temptation...
Everyone whose died a million times playing this game remember, "It's just a flesh wound" (Monty python)
things i've learnt from this game:don't fuck with black nights, don't run around corners without your shield up, kill anything before hesitation, never surprise attack a dragon, spend your hard earned souls before losing them all, get that mothafuckin' drake sword before you do anything, never roll/jump backwards, don't think your shield is indestructible and will block anything, don't expect to kill the boss the first go (or twenty), and blighttown is your worst enemy. otherwise this was the most challenging games i have ever played, but non the less amazing.
@obey21 Never lock onto an enemy on a skinny cliff
I really like this game. It's tough, probably more difficult than Demon Souls (which I've played through many times.). But, there is something about the graphics, I think possibly the zoom level, that makes the game much tougher to visualize, for my eyes at at least.. I really have a tough time watching this game the screen. I didn't experience that with Demon Souls.
Also, I really do wish that classes were slightly more partitioned.
I love the RPG features, the controls, and the combat. But it's just too difficult and frustrating for my casual gaming skills. I've spent the entire day clearing the same board over and over again just to get killed repeatedly by Taurus Demon. That's not fun. If the game restarted me in front of Taurus I'd love to keep trying. But the monotonous 15 minute journey to get to him is so miserable that I just can't do it anymore. This game beat me.
@toolboxwi don't give up. Beasts like Taurus Demon dont wear any armor, so buy 15 fire bombs and you're done with it xD. You can also jump from the tower and stab him in his head to take out 1/3 of his health bar. I believe 90% of the players died a LOT on first bosses, even if they say they didn't (which is a lie or pure massive no-life nerd bragging skills) It's the way of the game to make you learn enemy patterns, keep that in mind , you need to LEARN PATTERNS. Proceed the game, level up, train your shield skills and be brave ;)
guys i have better metode GRINDING, grind your self until lvl 23 (i use knight,focus on endurance,and strenght) then get the astora straight sword bellow on the area bellow firelink shrine (use the lift) on the cliff near the half drake, then jump attack the boss, on this metode he will drop the health to 1/4, then finish him
@toolboxwi welcome to dark soul! :D
@toolboxwi Man if you still haven't beat him I can help! The fight is not straightforward, there is a trick that is supposed to be used to slay Taurus Demon. You must run from him to the first tower (clear it of archers first), then jump onto Demon's head from the top of the tower (jump-strike). Do this 3 times and Demon is dead, and you don't lose any health.
@toolboxwi Did you get any online help or try this solo? Use online help
I've just beaten Knight Artorias... I've said it over a hundred times and I'll say it a million more... Best Game Of All Time
@666Rich666 Aww man, now I'm jealous, have to wait a bit longer until I can DL the add-on, definitely looking forward to it though and Agree with you, my favourite game hands down and has simply 'lived' in the CD drive since I purchased it!