Are the Souls games the best gameplay in the medium?

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#1 Posted by TheEroica (18429 posts) -

I understand there are a few camps of people when it comes to dark souls. Those who have played it, understand the gameplay depth, tactics and possibilities and those who either just skimmed the surface, giving up after their first boss encounter or flat out didn't play it because.... Hard.

I'm often critical of the vastly inferior gameplay world of AAA games when compared to many indies. Big budget gaming increasingly leans on story, narrative and performqnce as opposed to Iron clad focus on quality gameplay....

...but Dark Souls gameplay is an absolutely savage. It's the best use of human control in combat I think I've ever played. There is so much depth to the character you can build and how you can express it through gameplay... Its like the best rpg qualities mixed with the most refined meaningful gameplay set ever created, and 7 years after its come out, I've played enough to see why this game commands its respect... You can feel free to cower away from the game, but such rich rewards to those who adjust their thinking to chip away at what it offers.

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#2 Posted by DoomNukem3D (360 posts) -

Ninja Gaiden Black has better gameplay than any of them. Souls gameplay is still generally great and satisfying though.

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#3 Posted by Heirren (2208 posts) -

First question, are there glitches and can the ai be exploited?

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#4 Edited by BoxRekt (2003 posts) -

I love Demon's/Dark Souls

But God of War is a AAA with Story narrative, performance and amazing gameplay to boot.

Also, God of War above normal setting is also harder than any Souls games I've played.

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#5 Posted by DoomNukem3D (360 posts) -

@boxrekt: Again you mean the newest God of war? I heard it takes a lazy route with its difficulty by simply making enimies hurt you more and take more damage to kill. That said Souls games arent that hard they just dont hold your hand, and require learning. Once you've beaten a Souls game once it's far easier on the second run.

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#6 Posted by Vaeh (538 posts) -

I prefer DMC and Asian PC gaming scene.

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#7 Posted by blamix (858 posts) -

I think God of War is way better

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#8 Posted by Litchie (24087 posts) -

Gameplay is damn good, that's fur shur. Love it.

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#9 Posted by osan0 (15452 posts) -

I don't enjoy them (Well demon souls and dark souls 2). I just don't like the combat. Everything else: the exploring, the world, the way the story is told, the whole "here is some vague instructions...go out there and figure it out", the looting: all great stuff. But i just don't like the combat. If one is not enjoying the combat in a souls game then that's not good.

I'm not the type of person who gets a sense of satisfaction out of finally beating a boss after 10-20 attempts. Even when i finally beat them i chalk that up as a loss. I dont get the high that I see others getting then they beat a boss after many attempts. So i don't think i'm the kind of person the souls games are made for.

For me continuing to play would be just grinding it out.

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#10 Posted by Renegade_Fury (20622 posts) -

No, I would say Nioh has the best combat of this gen.

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#11 Posted by enzyme36 (4256 posts) -

So many viable ways to build your character in Souls game, with a ton of weapons that all change how you approach enemies. I cant think of a game that does this better.

Also the enemy design in Souls game is detailed and gothic, with a lot of variation. Top it off with a well crafted, intertwining world map and you have a good formula that is hard to replicate.

The combo games like DmC, GoW have a good fighting systems, but I think they fall short to the Souls series as far as all your options to build your character and advance through the game.

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#12 Posted by DoomNukem3D (360 posts) -

@osan0: Sounds like your issue is difficulty rather than gameplay.

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#13 Edited by BoxRekt (2003 posts) -
@doomnukem3d said:

@boxrekt: Again you mean the newest God of war? I heard it takes a lazy route with its difficulty by simply making enimies hurt you more and take more damage to kill. That said Souls games arent that hard they just dont hold your hand, and require learning. Once you've beaten a Souls game once it's far easier on the second run.

Yes the new one.

And NO to the bold.

Santa Monica made a mode called, "Give me a Story"for people like that.

It's actually the opposite!

levels below the 2 upper settings, "Give me a challenge" and "Give me GOD OF WAR" are for people that are too lazy and to actually learn how to play the game and simply want to be able to get by with button mashing and complete the game.

Every skill based game has higher tier enemies that can 1 shot you if you don't utilize your abilities properly, even in Dark Souls.

The higher levels demand you learn how to actually play the game properly in order to succeed.

The main difference between God of War difficulty and Dark Souls, is Dark Souls doesn't give players the option to back out of the challenging mode.

I didn't even bother with the normal setting in God of War when I first played because I understood when looking at what Santa Monica labeled them, exactly what they were trying to say.

As a fellow lover of Souls games, I can tell you God of War's combat is incredible!

People who complain about the higher difficulty of God of War simply aren't skilled enough, or are just too lazy to learn how to actually play. AKA noobs.

God of War Doesn't hold you hand at higher difficulty, but is vastly more satisfying.

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#14 Edited by uninspiredcup (34288 posts) -

Couple of things I don't like.

There is a complete lack of impact on enemies unless it's a pre-canned animation.

Check out something like RE2, or even something much older like Left4dead 2, that level of reaction should be the norm.

Also not a fan of some of the design, like the archers at Anor Londo.

It rewards repetition too much as well. It's possible to steam-role enemies simply by doing the same shit over and over unless you're dmg is through the roof. And parrying sucks in the first game.

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#15 Posted by DoomNukem3D (360 posts) -

@boxrekt: Ahh I was just going off what I heard. Not gonna lie I'm actually getting more interested in playing the game despite hating the older ones.

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#16 Posted by BoxRekt (2003 posts) -
@enzyme36 said:

So many viable ways to build your character in Souls game, with a ton of weapons that all change how you approach enemies. I cant think of a game that does this better.

Also the enemy design in Souls game is detailed and gothic, with a lot of variation. Top it off with a well crafted, intertwining world map and you have a good formula that is hard to replicate.

The combo games like DmC, GoW have a good fighting systems, but I think they fall short to the Souls series as far as all your options to build your character and advance through the game.

To be fair DmC and GoW are based around pure hack-n-slash action games.

Souls are actually supposed to be RPGs, so that's how it's supposed to be.

Even if DmC and GoW have light RPG elements, they can't be criticized for not having the role playing depth of titles that are focused on being RPGs.

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#17 Posted by Pedro (35400 posts) -

I can't say I agree at all. The only thing I can concede to being excellent about the game is the level design and that is it.

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#18 Posted by osan0 (15452 posts) -

@doomnukem3d said:

@osan0: Sounds like your issue is difficulty rather than gameplay.

Yeah maybe. Its the eternal problem of where to pitch difficulty to maximise fun....combined with the definition of fun and that changes from person to person.

I never ran into a situation where I thought "Yeah this is impossible. I will never beat this." (though in fairness i didn't get very far). It was just more of a case of "oh: 4 attempts to beat the pursuer and yet no jubilation at the end...". I wasn't having fun with the combat. So i just don't think i'm the type of player that would get a kick out of the series.

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#19 Edited by sakaiXx (5893 posts) -

Dark Souls combat is awesome but provides diminishing returns. By the time you get familiar with its combat the game is pretty trivial with many boses just pushover at best. I mean if you want to play easy mode in each DS game just turtle your way to victory.

Edit: few more thing. Get a greatshield and still able to roll. Watch your stamina let go of shield if stamina low, learn what is boss AoE attack, usually just stay close as possible. Preferrably at the rear. Boss is slain.

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#20 Edited by BoxRekt (2003 posts) -
@doomnukem3d said:

@boxrekt: Ahh I was just going off what I heard. Not gonna lie I'm actually getting more interested in playing the game despite hating the older ones.

It's honestly nothing like the older ones in terms of gameplay.

You could honestly do a lot of button mashing in older God of War games, try that in God of War 2018 and you're dead even from fodder enemies.

The level of alertness you need to have in Souls games when in combat, you'll need to have the same or higher in God of War to make it out alive.

Here's a hilarious video of someone who didn't take the time to learn the game before jumping in the deep end.

Loading Video...

And heres a vid of someone who's mastered the gameplay on Give me GOW.

Loading Video...

You could always try "Give me a challenge" first because Santa Monica made it where if you choose "Give me God of War" you won't be able to change the setting back after you start.

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#21 Edited by with_teeth26 (9589 posts) -
@Renegade_Fury said:

No, I would say Nioh has the best combat of this gen.

ah yea Nioh's combat is pretty great, but that is only one part of gameplay and I think the Souls games outdo Nioh in other areas like level design and flexibility. progression in Nioh got kinda grindy in the second half as well.

it also owes a lot to the Souls games.

I don't think I could say either are the flat out best in the medium in terms of gameplay though... certainly both the above games are in the top tier for melee combat systems.

not sure you can really say the best melee/action gameplay is better than the best RTS or shooter gameplay or the best in any other genre.

if I had to choose one game or series that has the best gameplay in the medium it would be Company of Heroes

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#22 Edited by sakaiXx (5893 posts) -

@enzyme36 said:

Also the enemy design in Souls game is detailed and gothic, with a lot of variation. Top it off with a well crafted, intertwining world map and you have a good formula that is hard to replicate.

Only Dark Souls 1 have great interconnected world. Bloodborne too if you want to expand to Soulsborne

DS2 semi open world just does not make sense. I mean just how the heck we go from heide tower of flame to no man wharf, eathern peak to iron keep or aldia's keep to dragon aerie. The locale in this game is broken.

DS3 is linear as heck. You literally have no options to sidetrack till you kill gwndolin at anor londo and yhorm at profaned capital to access the optional area at lothric and nameless king. Technically there is Smoldering Lake but the boss room is just a sprint from one of the catacombs bonfire. Cannot go to present (or actually, future) Firelink as well from lothric.

Agree with rest of ur point though.

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#23 Posted by enzyme36 (4256 posts) -

@boxrekt: I certainly can compare those games to Souls series. It's a valid comparison... seems like you are trying to set up parameters as to why GoW is the best game ever. It's like kicking off a tee from the 25.

Both these games are competing for my time... both have high production value... both have RPG elements with action/adventure combat. One just does a lil more to keep my interest.

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#24 Posted by enzyme36 (4256 posts) -

@sakaixx: I definitely agree with that take. They definitely were less clever with the shortcuts as the series progressed.

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#25 Edited by BoxRekt (2003 posts) -
@enzyme36 said:

@boxrekt: I certainly can compare those games to Souls series. It's a valid comparison... seems like you are trying to set up parameters as to why GoW is the best game ever. It's like kicking off a tee from the 25.

Both these games are competing for my time... both have high production value... both have RPG elements with action/adventure combat. One just does a lil more to keep my interest.

😂 lol naw that's you buddy.

I wasn't alluding to any such thing and I included DmC in the same category (as it should be) as GoW so you're reaching hard with that assumption there.

I don't mind if anyone likes souls better, but I have slightly different expectation for a traditional hack n slash game than I do for a dedicated RPG. I never said which was better or whatever.

All these games do have a lil spill over into the other genre but that's probably because people expect want a lil more meat on their games than ever before so it's all good.

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#26 Posted by enzyme36 (4256 posts) -

@boxrekt: Understood and that's fair. i was just reacting to the statement of not being able to criticize or compare games because of what each game decided to focus on.

Every factor is in play when it comes to which one is going to get me to hit start.

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#28 Edited by Vaasman (13800 posts) -

How could you possibly judge any game as the best gameplay of the entire medium? There are certain standards and qualities that can be judged but the quality found in the way something fundamentally plays is purely subjective.

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#31 Posted by MarkoftheSivak (380 posts) -

I think Ninja Gaiden Black still has the best combat, though Bloodborne is pretty damn close.

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#32 Edited by AsadMahdi59 (7121 posts) -

Yes definitely
Yes definitely
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#33 Edited by Macutchi (6848 posts) -

for me it's the dishonored the games, particularly the second. the intricacies and detail in the gameplay mechanics and level design are utterly masterful. i love games which reward creative thinking and experimentation and i can't think of a better game than dishonored 2 in that regard. i love how it scales with the new game+ mode and how combining maxed powers as a result opens up whole new gameplay avenues. you can sense how passionate the developers and designers were and how they've agonised over even the tiniest of details. i'm devastated that d2 didn't sell so well and we likely won't see a third

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#34 Posted by deactivated-5d35e2183f2b7 (80 posts) -

Dragon's dogma is better than all the souls games.

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#35 Edited by ellos (2052 posts) -

When it comes to combat they excel in enemy designs and mechanics. The action can be very janky compare to the best combat games. Games like Nioh exposes Fromsoft jankiness. Of course level designs is second to none so put it all together and you have greatness.

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#36 Edited by BassMan (10534 posts) -

@AsadMahdi59 said:
Yes definitely
Yes definitely

LMAO

That is like my character with the Havel Armour.

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#37 Posted by VFighter (5113 posts) -

@AsadMahdi59: LMAO

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#38 Posted by foxhound_fox (98011 posts) -

I probably poured over 300 hours into the first Dark Souls, and made probably three dozen different characters (mostly all taken to Anor Londo and beat Ornstein and Smough for delicious co-op action)... but at the end of the day will still place Devil May Cry 3: SE as the epitome of third-person action gameplay.

You want to talk about possibilities and depth? Play DMC3 on Very Hard and try to S every level.

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#39 Posted by BassMan (10534 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

I probably poured over 300 hours into the first Dark Souls, and made probably three dozen different characters (mostly all taken to Anor Londo and beat Ornstein and Smough for delicious co-op action)... but at the end of the day will still place Devil May Cry 3: SE as the epitome of third-person action gameplay.

You want to talk about possibilities and depth? Play DMC3 on Very Hard and try to S every level.

I don't have patience for that. My backlog is too big. Other games need playing. hehe :)

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#40 Posted by Howmakewood (5949 posts) -

Nioh > souls

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#41 Posted by R4gn4r0k (31407 posts) -

RTS are way deeper than "Oh hey, here is this enemy that will kill you in one hit, until you learn how to beat him".

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#42 Edited by pyro1245 (5132 posts) -

Hell yeah.

Even if it's not it's Souls so yeah it is.

@BassMan said:
@AsadMahdi59 said:
Yes definitely
Yes definitely

LMAO

That is like my character with the Havel Armour.

Mmmm the fatty roll

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#43 Posted by cainetao11 (36679 posts) -

@ellos said:

When it comes to combat they excel in enemy designs and mechanics. The action can be very janky compare to the best combat games. Games like Nioh exposes Fromsoft jankiness. Of course level designs is second to none so put it all together and you have greatness.

yeah I think Nioh pushed From Soft to make better combat in Sekiro, which is tops in gameplay combat imo this gen.

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#44 Posted by jg4xchamp (61698 posts) -

Bitch, no. They have good melee combat, with exceptional level design. Devil May Cry and other action games of its ilk, wipe the floor with Souls games n shit.

Also Nioh plays way the **** better than any from Software game. f

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#45 Posted by TheEroica (18429 posts) -

@Vaasman: certainly we've played enough games to determine which are a special breed of gameplay. Certainly everyone has their own opinions, but a census could be reached on a universally great gameplay experience. No?

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#46 Posted by BoxRekt (2003 posts) -
@TheEroica said:

@Vaasman: certainly we've played enough games to determine which are a special breed of gameplay. Certainly everyone has their own opinions, but a census could be reached on a universally great gameplay experience. No?

Most people on the board give 2 general answers. DMC 3 or Ninja Gaiden Black.

Personally I didn't get all the praise for Ninja Gaiden Black. I played every version on OG Xbox and I love hack n slash games, but it was always a very stale game IMO.

DMC is clearly above NG it in gameplay, But I find the new GoW the most enjoyable.

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#47 Posted by Shmiity (6279 posts) -

The first thing I noticed back in 2011 when I first played Souls was how much weight each weapon had. It felt really good. Really precise but really derpy and fun too. Such a strange franchise of games- really dating back to Kingsfield. I remember I beat Souls 1 and then Skyrim came out. I put down Skyrim and was like "I think this new Souls shit is better"

and it sure as hell is

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#48 Posted by GoldenElementXL (3332 posts) -

@blamix said:

I think God of War is way better

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#49 Posted by Archangel3371 (28354 posts) -

I really enjoy the Dark Souls games but I would put a number of other games above them when it comes to the quality of the gameplay. A few of those would be:

- Ninja Gaiden Black

- Bayonetta 1 and 2

- Devil May Cry 3, 4, and 5

- Vanquish

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#50 Edited by AJStyles (1007 posts) -

The souls games are some of the worst games ever created.

From Software is one of the worst developers of all time.

Everything they make is completely broken. They have always made terrible broken hard games.

Everything from Armored Core to dark souls is bad.

The games aren’t designed well at all. The combat sucks. There is no “getting good” at these games. You just have to pray you don’t die after you repeat the same sequences, areas and bosses over and over again.

The games are broken. Hit detection is all over the place. They are also grindfests and require you to spend ages in menus to upgrade weapons by 0.000001%.

These games are tedious chores.

But because there is a bunch of masochist gamers with ADHD online who loves terrible niche games, they somehow convinced millions of gamers to buy these bad games.

Hopefully the millions were disappointed and stop supporting this trash series and trash developers.