Dark Souls Review

Developer From Software

Publisher Namco Bandai Games

Platform PS3, Xbox360

Release Date Out Now

Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to the 2009 critically acclaimed game Demon’s Souls which was a Playstation 3 exclusive. This time around From Software has decided to branch out to both Playstation 3 and X-Box 360.

Dark Souls is a dungeon crawler role playing game in which the player must traverse across the very expansive open world of Lordran in a hope to change your cursed faith and to realise your destiny.

The story for Dark Souls centres on the themes of dark and light (or fire in this particular case). In the founding of the world, dragons held sole dominion over the world. Eventually, The Fire of Lords came into being, along with the human race. Four beings: Nito (an undead), Gwyn (a knightly lord), a sorceress, and an elusive pygmy harnessed the Fire of Lords to combat the dragons, eventually overthrowing them. Since then, a disease known as the Darksign has begun to afflict the beleaguered human race, turning them into undead Hollows.

This is the time set in which the game takes place and which the player finds that he or she is cursed by the darksign. A curse that will brands you as a hollow, an undying creature that is cursed to become a mere shell of their former selves and roam the world mindlessly lost forever to the darkness. The player though retains some of its humanity. Your journey is to change this cursed destiny of yours and it is by no means an easy task.

Demon’s Soul was praised for its rewardingly difficult gameplay and boss battles and Dark Souls has taken this a step further. Traps set to kill the player in ways they would never suspect, towering boss battles that are awe inspiring to watch as they are to lose to, and that’s a major factor in Dark Souls, you will die A LOT. Players will be driven to the point of frustration at how they could grind there character into a well-crafted killing machine and suddenly to be killed by a death trap and lose all the collected souls (which works as the currency in Dark Souls) they’ve accumulated on their run through and having to start over from scratch.

This may sound quite unfair but Dark Souls rewards you greatly for every obstacle you overcome in the game which is what makes this rich fluid of gameplay so fun to do over and over again. There are a number of bosses within Dark Souls, covenants to join and pledge allegiance to, armour, weapons and souls to find along with a few hidden extras you may not all find on your first playthrough. Online capabilities have also returned with the ability to leave messages for other players either forewarning them of dangers ahead of perhaps deceiving them down a pathway and into a trap.

Online multiplayer has also returned with players being able to team up in co-op to defeat the game or to play against each other as Black Phantoms and pillage the souls the loser drops or else is banished back to their own world if the Phantom player is defeated.

Visually Dark Souls is very impressive from the towering fortresses off in the distance to the mountains and valleys down below when you’re at great heights and the feeling of vertigo. Fire, magic and even shadow effects are tremendously done and the entire game drags you into it.  The characters within Dark Souls are very deep and intricate and may require the player’s assistance at times. This is advisable as such NPC’s within the game can later help out greatly be it by teaching you new spells, selling weapons to you or having a summoning near a boss fight for you to summon them for aid with a particular boss.

Overall Dark Souls is a very rich game that fans of its predecessor are going to love and it is a must buy for any role playing game or fantasy game fan or just a gamer who is looking for a brutally outright challenge. It has lots of re-play value and has over 40+  hours of gameplay in one playthrough.

 

Rating 10/10

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