There have been no shortage of amazing games this generation. Games Like Bioshock, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Uncharted, and so many others are making my top ten list change monthly. 

(Probably my favorite game of all time)


When I look at my favorite games, they all have a few things in common, great gameplay, characters, atmosphere, and a strong story. However, one certain game I've played recently takes a different approach. The story, cut scenes, set pieces , and pretty much anything that takes control away is kept to a minimum. That game is: Dark Souls

(You aren't going to breeze through this one over the weekend)


Dark Souls is one of those rare games that comes along every once in awhile that feels completely different then anything else. It's standout moments aren't from story twists, or set pieces. They come from the gameplay itself. When you're looking over the world from a rooftop after a tough boss battle, and see the sun for the first time.  When you defeat a monster 30 times your size, or when you finally emerge from a dark-as-night swamp. These are the moments you'll remember.


While most games now try to ease players in, Dark Souls does the complete opposite. The tutorial basically consists of "L1 light attack, L2 heavy attack". Then it sends you to fight a boss capable of killing you in two or three hits. You learn by dying in this game. This can be frustrating, but it also means dying isn't a waste. When you enter a new area, and get completely torn apart within seconds, you know you aren't ready for that area yet. No map markers, or floating arrows here.

(This guy's one hit kills make the tension nearly unbearable)


Dark Souls feels like a game from the SNES/Genesis era, just as much as it feels modern. Enemies aren't there to give you something to beat down, they're there to kill you. Bosses aren't merely obstacles between you and the next level, they're worthy opponents that will probably kill you more then a handful of times. Death isn't a simple five minute set back, it could mean the difference in a level up, or losing your XP. 


This is a game that has made me sigh with relief upon finding a bon fire (this game's version of checkpoints), turn my console off in disgust, and fist pump after delivering the killing blow to a tough boss. All in the same afternoon! 

(Running up on one of these is most often a relief)

Basically, the point I've taken way to long getting to is, I don't want games like Bioshock, Red Dead Redemption, The Elder Scrolls, or Assassin's Creed going anywhere. I'd just like to see more games put more thought into challenge. Make boss battles standout fights that take strategy. Make enemies more then guys to mow through. Because when the odds are stacked against you, it just makes it more satisfying to overcome them. 


What are your thoughts?