Dark Souls

Namco Bandai – From Software– PS3/Xbox 360 – Out Now

The medieval style world of Dark Souls is not for the casual gamer. One word can be used to describe the experience of this fantasy RPG – Hardcore. If you have no patience and little desire to be challenged, then this game is not for you. Overwhelming enemies, giant monsters and the occasional booby trap are all in your way as you set on your quest to capture the Dark Souls.

Starting out in a cell of the Undead Asylum, you are given the key by a mysterious knight. Making your way through the dungeons, you get through a control tutorial while trying to escape. Where as most games would break you in gently, Dark Souls throws you in at the deep end and holds your head under the water. Let’s get one thing cleared up – you will die, many, many times. This game is as much trial and error as it is laying waste to zombies and demons. You can spend a long time trying to get through one section, but keep getting cut down. The feeling of triumph and elation after completing a tough section is unrivalled. The first Taurus Demon I killed was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had playing a video game!


The gameplay comes across as the standard hack ‘n’ slash RPG affair. You start with your character, acquire your weapon and stab your way through certain enemies. However, it’s never as straight forward as it seems. As vast as the environments in Dark Souls may be, if you take the wrong path, you’re in for a hard time, and by that, there’s a 99% chance you’ll die. Even taking the correct route you’ll run into trouble and no doubt die many times over. As mentioned, the game requires a lot of trial and error, meaning it’s wise to grind those levels up. With each enemy killed, you obtain souls. Souls are used as a means of levelling up as well as currency. To level up you need to be at a camp fire, which also act as a save point and respawn area. If you get cut down anywhere, you will regenerate at the last campfire you saved at. If you’re killed you will lose all the souls you have collected, but return to the point where you were felled and you can claim them back. Die en-route, and they are gone forever.


For those really in a bind with this game, a co-op player can be summoned to assist you in your quest, and with most co-op games, it does add that extra element of fun. It’s not as simple as drop in/out co-op though. A special item is required to enable your call for assistance. As unforgiving as Dark Souls is, progression through the games feels extremely rewarding. Each section is unrelenting but there is a vast sense of achievement for every boss, giant monster and horde of zombies you take down. The game boasts an epic scale, with absolutely gorgeous visuals, making this a fantasy world to savour. It’s definitely not a game for the easily frustrated, and those expecting to whizz through the game like most single player campaigns these days are in for a shock.


It’s extremely refreshing to see a title really push the gamer in this age of multiple check points and virtual hand-holding. Yes it’s extremely tough, and yes, it will eat away at your time, but when the game is as satisfying and addictive as this is, you relish the challenge. Recreational gamers need not apply; this is strictly for the core.


Avatar photo
About juanvasquez 373 Articles

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.