A bad port to a bad game... let the hate commence!

User Rating: 3 | Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition PC
I had a feeling I would not be particularly fond of Dark Souls when reading about it. Sure, it sounds cool and all... but basing your game around dying over and over again is not good game design.

Take any normal game. Give it incredibly sparse checkpoints, slow, clumsy combat, awkward platforming, way too tough enemies who cause way too much damage, no directions on where to go, no map, no quest log, very limited instructions, haphazard level design, constantly respawning enemies, extremely dark environments, cheap knock down attacks, no pause function and no story whatsoever.
Would this game get a good score? No, it would be torn to shreds by the critics. I have played games like these, and they were all terrible. And when you throw all of these things together, getting Dark Souls, the game suddenly becomes great? Is there some line for terrible game design you can cross where suddenly your game becomes good because of how terrible it is?

I wonder if From Software actually realized how sh*tty Demon's Souls were (their track record with Steel Battalion and Ninja Blade are not exactly great...), decided to call it "the hardest game ever, you can't beat it!" and then tried to sell it on that. And of course, gamers responded with "Oh yeah? We'll see about that!", and started their trip to gaming hell, a magical journey filled with curses and broken controllers.

Having played through 2/3 of the game (with cheats, just to have a look at the design. No way I'd put myself through this "the real way"), I actually got a decent grip on the game's mechanics. Using the DSfix och mouse fix made the game very much playable, but also made it very clear just how bad this game really is. Yes, it's immersive. Yes, it has great art design. Yes, it has some very interesting level design. But none of that makes up for the game's many problems. I don't die from enemies in this game. I die from sh*tty design choices. Want to dodge an attack? Expect at least a half second delay before your guy starts dodging. Same with attacking. It's a terrible way of making the game harder. The AI is a joke, they will kill themselves as often as they kill you.

Still, this is copeable. Not excusable, but copeable. However, the cheap deaths put into this game solely for the purpose of "being hard" are ridiculous.
Want to loot that chest? Too bad, it's actually a mimic that eats you whole right away!
Want to move through that door? Too bad, there's an enemy waiting to backstab you as soon as you enter!
Want to see where you are going? Too bad, cause everything is pitch black and you can only see 2 feet ahead of you!
Want to traverse this area? Too bad, because the walkway is f*cking invisible and will kill you even if you follow the directions!
Die or need to quit the game? Too bad, get prepared to re-do half an hour of farming!

A game where your success at victory is determined by grinding the same section over and over again until you can remember every little enemy move, is not a good one. Trial and error for 100 hours isn't skill, it just means you really have nothing better to do. I don't know about you, but I'd rather play 10 different games while you have been killing that same skeleton for the 478th time...

As for the port, it's locked at 30 fps and frequently drops to maybe half that. It's internal resolution is 768p and has to be fixed by a mod. The keyboard support is almost non-existent, and the graphics are pretty damn poor.

I'll give it a 3 for the cool art design and monsters, as well as the entertainment value it might give to some of the more "hardcore" gamers. But a 9 would indicate that the game should be playable by nearly everyone, which really isn't the case here. If they would want their game to actually be good, they would have included an "easy mode", with quest logs, mini map, and overall less cheapness. That way, everyone would be happy; the game would be playable by all, and the "hardcore" gamers could get their super hard game as well. Ironically enough, I'm pretty sure people would complain about From Software selling out by even including the option... sigh.

In short: Dark Souls is not fun, it's cheap. It sells itself on being the hardest game of our generation, but the way it does it is by having clunky controls, tons of fall-deaths, and by telling the player nothing whatsoever in regards to what they need to do or where to go in order to progress, rather than giving the player an actual challenge.

Oh well, end of my rant. Now go down-vote this review for disagreeing with you, you classy elitist gamers!