First Impressions: Dark Souls

10 11 2011

I can sum up Dark Souls in four words: This game is brutal. I knew going into Dark Souls that this game was going to be hard, but I wasn’t expecting anywhere near what I got. This game is borderline sadistic in the ways it causes your death.

Graphics: 8/10

My main complaint with the graphics is the way the lighting is handled. Everything seems really…shiny. And yet the settings are really dark as well. The combination of this just doesn’t look very good to me. The world, on the other hand, is beautiful. It’s vast, detailed, and actively trying to kill you. The way everything connects together just makes the entire experience feel so seamless.

Gameplay: 6/10

This game is brutal. I can’t stress that enough. It is kind enough to give you a tutorial on the controls before it throws you to the wolves though (even though you can easily die during the tutorial as well). The controls feel really awkward at first until you get the hang of them. And the stamina bar depletes WAY too quickly. After three attacks I was unable to even raise my shield until some of my stamina returned.

I found some of the enemies really cheap in their attack patterns. The fact that zombies can attack multiple times in a second after knocking back your shield comes off as really cheap. Spear Hollows are also my mortal enemy. Unless you are somehow able to get down the horrible mechanic that is parrying (God, I hate timing based controls) you’re going to have a hard time with these things.

Most bosses have specific strategies that can be used to take them down with relative ease, which is nice, but brings me to one of my main issue with this game. I don’t understand how normal encounters can be harder than the boss battles in many cases. This doesn’t seem right to me and really feels backwards.

On a good note, the customization in this game rivals Oblivion and really gives you a lot of options regarding what kind of character you can create.

Story: 4/10

The opening cutscene was really cool and really set up the world well, but after than the story kind of fall flat. Apparently your character is a “chosen one” of some sort. Like we haven’t seen that before.

Music: 5/10

Pretty average I guess. Standard epic fantasy fare.

Overall: 6/10

This game is definitely above average, but I don’t know if I could reccomend this game to anyone other than hardcore RPG fans with a lot of patience. Regardless of how careful you are, you will die and it can get really frustrating. Especially when your EXP and Gold are the same currency which you can potentially lose forever each time you die. The game is fun in a sadistic way and its definitely not something I think I could play straight through for long periods of time. I would probably say rent this game before you buy it as its not going to be for everyone. And be forewarned: You’re going to die. A lot.

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