I'm playing Dark Souls:
This game is...hard. It's got a steep learning curve, and you die a lot. It doesn't help that right next to the starting area is a graveyard full of skeletons that are extremely tough. They take about ten hits to kill (and I'm playing a knight), while they can kill you in half that, plus you fight two at a time! Then I come to find out you weren't supposed to go to this graveyard. You were supposed to go to a less obvious area that's the actual starting dungeon. There enemies die in a couple hits, and do far less damage. I wasn't supposed to go to that damn graveyard until many levels higher. Nice.
That lack of direction itself in an issue I have with this game. It is not at all obvious where you're supposed to go or what you're supposed to do. The first NPC in the game makes some reference to a couple bells I need to ring. He doesn't say why I need to ring these bells, and he gives only the vaguest directions. Modern RPGs have a little overabundance of directional help (e.g., a compass that tells you exactly where to go) which removes some aspects of exploration. This game has the opposite problem. Not only is there no compass of any kind, there is no:
- Actually, no map of any kind
- No conversation log
- No quest log
Imagine playing most any RPG you've ever played...with no quest log. I feel like I'm eight years old, playing The Bard's Tale, or some other old school game where you needed a pad of paper to actually play the game. Dark Souls is what you call a Wikia game.
Death has two penalties: One, if you don't make it back to your corpse, you lose all your money. So, die twice in a row, lose all your duckets. Secondly, in this game, you collect "humanity," which is dropped somewhat rarely. You can use this to turn from undead back to a human. This gives you various bonuses, notably higher drop rates. The catch is that when you die, you revert to an undead form. Usually, getting back to your corpse and collecting your money isn't too hard. However, the humanity mechanic ads a significant level of tension to the game.
I was human, and stumbled on a boss battle on the roof of an abbey, against two gargoyles.
And... I beat them on my first try!! I'm so happy right now. Sometimes, life is good. There are some tense fights in this game, and it's definitely a grinding game. I certainly succeeded in finding a grind to replace Too Human. Go Palantas.
so I gather no complaints about this one being too easy.
it does seem there are very few games that find the happy medium between too easy and too hard doesn't it
I'm happy with the difficulty. I feel like I'm being challenged, but I'm also making progress. Enemies in the first dungeon are a complete cake walk now, and other enemies that were once very difficult are now easily dispatched. That to me is the core of the RPG experience: Feeling like you're progressing.
Dark Souls also has a good death penalty. It's fun to have a second chance because A.) There are some cheap deaths (i.e., falls) in this game, and B.) It greatly raises the stakes when you die the first time, but haven't found your corpse yet. It creates tension. The tension of dying, especially in an RPG should be tied into something in the game mechanics. It shouldn't be tied to simply wasting your f*cking time like in Too Human.
I think not having any direction at all is where I lost interest in it. But I did love the tension of losing all your stuff by dieing twice. I left off at a point where I keep getting slaughtered by a giant minataur. :?
Awesome man. Dark Souls is an excellent game, and while it lacks most helpful information, once you learn the ropes the challenge drops dramatically and all that's left is to explore, find new toys, and experiment with different classes. It gives it great replay value.Once you get about halfway through the game you should be dying more from silly mistakes like falling off a cliff as opposed to fighting.