Dark Souls Blog

Dark Souls Blog

Review author Kevin

Kevin says...

First game I managed to get a hands on with is Dark Souls for the 360/PS3. I originally played the first game and the way the rumors went for the first one it was a pretty solid game with no difficulty curve what so ever. From what I can remember in the first game the customization wasn't paticularly vast and you couldn't do very much in terms of character creation, but in this installment it goes into a little more depth with character creation.

But as we can see from the character creation screen it's fairly basic, you can choose your name, class, gift, physique, a facial style, style of hair and hair colour. But there is an option to go that little further in depth with your character.

Dark Souls screenshot

You could choose one of 10 character classes: Soldier, Knight, Vagrant, Thief, Bandit, Hunter, Magician, Shaman, Jobless or Cleric. With my run through of the gameplay demo I had my hands on I picked a Cleric as with any RPG be it MMO or otherwise I've always felt more akin to healers.

But we get launched into the demo with a stunning cut scene setting the scene for this installment. After the the cut scene ends you find yourself in some form of dungeon trying to escape it while on your way down the corridors of the dungeon there are little hints set throughout detailing what buttons can do what.

Dark Souls screenshot

After about 5-10 minutes of gameplay you find yourself in a psuedo boss fight, you can choose to try and fight the monster with little equipment you have at this point or you can run to fight another day, with this being the spiritual successor to Demons Soul, I thought that it would be better to bolt and not get bodied completely by this boss that would be about 4-5 times my level with a monsterous amount of vitality.

So I continue through this castle to find myself against a few monsters who are known as "Undead" after picking up a few items: a shield and other such items I carried up a vast staircase following after one of these "Undead" creatures fighting against the "Undead" with what little health that I had at that point. So once I reached the monster I fought against it and launched it down the staircase and me being dopey as I was I ended up chasing after it and found that tall drops crippled my character and he died.

So after my 15-30 minute experience with Dark Souls I found it pretty enjoyable. Will be a good investment to go with my copy of Demons Souls. Hopefully I won't be AS bad as I was with my time in this event.

Vaughn says..

Dark Souls aims to tear you limb from limb around every corner; it aims to traumatise you with its mind boggling boss fights, vast maze like levels and its crippling difficulty. Dark Souls also aims to keep you coming back for more of its thrills and challenge, just like its spiritual prequel Demon Souls aimed to do. This game is hard, there is no doubt about it, however From Software have really tried to make it a more appealing prospect to those who found Demon Souls incredibly hard, but luckily they haven turned Dark Souls into a walk in the park.

Combat is basic but effective, you have your heavy and light attacks as well as a dodge, parry and block. Depending on one of the ten classes available (at least in the build presented) you can use long-range weaponry, heavy weaponry, close combat weapons, and defensive and offensive magic too. As before enemies tend to have more health than you and bosses are gigantic, however now a rather handy combat mechanic allows you to drop in from a high ledge and perform a piercing aerial lunge into enemies below, which really can give you an upper hand in combat situations. Menus have now become much more streamlined so they don clutter the screen when being navigated, as you are always vulnerable to enemy attacks no matter what you are doing in this game.

In terms of the game presentation it blows away everything the dated visuals of Demon Souls soiled your eyes with. Environments are now lush and detailed in every way. Levels are powerful in how they convey atmosphere, dungeons are dark, dank and feel claustrophobic, whilst other areas open out into verdant green sprawling cliff sides. The sound design has had a complete overhaul, now you can hear the distant sound of a hulking opponent lying in wait for you, you can hear the cries and whelps of the undead around corners and down corridors, the sound of splashing water or clunking iron gives you clues as to where opponents are, or indeed clues your opponents in to where you are. Background noises provide the atmosphere for each section of the game, with music only coming in at notable periods, the silences in between only add to the dark air surrounding this game.

From Software have now really gone to an effort to create a world that is truly integrated into the story. The Nexus from Demon Souls seems to have disappeared entirely and now cut-scenes weave levels together into the huge story that sweeps across the land found in Dark Souls. Narration over these scenes further adds detail to the proceedings, and some top notch voice acting from NPCs only further adds to the depth and believability of this medieval fantasy world. It evident that From Software have really slaved over this beautifully dark creation, and so when it launches later this year youl really notice all the minute improvements as well as those gigantic leaps forward in gameplay experience.

Whether you are a fan of Demon Souls already or, like many, you have never played Dark Soulsprequel, Dark Souls will be the best entry into the series and will also blow you away and challenge everything you thought you were good at in games. Its an incredible experience that is completely unforgiving, but it wont ever be one you ever feel cheated by. Now Dark Souls is available on both Xbox 360 and on PS3 you really have no excuse to go out and pick up what is guaranteed to be a must have game for 2011.

Ross says...

Dark Souls is hard. But more than that it is a mixing pot of ideas and themes as varied as LOTR( including a burning ring of all things) Kingdom of Heaven, Dragon Age 2, Dungeons and Dragons (especially the Dungeon) all with a hint of Van Helsing, Robin Hood and Gears of War 2 style monsters. It basically a miasma of death and disease, littered with the undead and giant rats- all of which make it jolly good fun. Though as I say it quite hard.

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