I was not ready for this. - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

I was not ready for this.

Never before Mirrors Edge's speed runs have I played a game that required such precise timing and perfection. Dark Souls is a relentlessly difficult game and the player will be fully aware of this within the first 15 minutes of playtime, they will fail and die, a lot, over and over again. I can't really say much for the story, because I didn't really feel that there was one. Essentially the player is set free and is destined to be the fated one who will end the bad guy's reign of tyranny. It is worth noting that there are two endings, but it doesn't really matter which one the player gets though, both are rather arbitrary and make no real difference.

Graphics
Despite its large enemies and even larger environments the frame rate only suffers once or twice throughout the entirety of the game and the graphics manage to stay looking beautiful in almost every area. The environments themselves are fairly diverse and have had plenty of detail instilled upon them. With areas ranging from lava filled caverns, to mountain top castles, and giant forests, amongst many more. Each of which also containing their own set of unique monsters for the most part.

Enemies
Because of the new variety of enemies in each passing area, the player is constantly challenged to change up their strategy and equipment that may have gotten them so far in the past. Regular enemies possess the ability to kill the player in a small number of hits and depending on how much XP the player has put into their HP stat, bosses may even be capable of one shotting the player outright. To counter this though, the player is capable of performing dodges / rolls and a set of special moves such as parrying or back stabbing the enemy for massive amounts damage. These moves however, can really only be used when the player is up against one or two enemies and it's hard to pull off when fully swarmed.

The bosses themselves are all rather intimidating, both physically and mentally. With almost all of them coming in titan size and possessing attack ranges and scales that vastly overwhelm the player. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the majority of the bosses all have an exploit that player can choose to utilize if they want to. I imagine a lot of people did this, I certainly did. Boss fights can go over either easily or very hard. In most cases the player can simply run around the boss forcing it to turn around repeatedly only occasionally getting off a shot whilst the player takes as many hits as they want. In other cases the boss will possess an area of effect spell that can stop players from doing this forcing them to get in and out in an instant without taking any life threatening damage.

The World
The game world is very large but there isn't really much to do with most of it and backtracking and getting around can take a while even at later stages in the game when the player is given the ability to warp. It can still be frustrating because the player is limited to only certain points to fasts travel to. It is filled with plenty of hidden easter eggs for the player to discover though. Some fun, some annoying, and some very useful to progression.

Sound
The sound effects are all good and at times can be used as notifications for what an enemy is capable of and / or is going to do next. With most enemies letting out a different kind of shriek or roar before they use certain attack, I thought this way a nice way of indirectly helping the player. The soundtrack is great. The themes can range from being fast paced to softer and more serene all setting a perfect tone for each area and boss fight, even if they do use the same music in some areas. Sif's theme is a personal favourite.

Achievements
I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about the achievements that the game has. A lot of the achievements are missable but it is possible to garner more than half of them in the first playthrough. A large number of them will require that the player put a fairly lengthy amount of time into them and completing more than one playthrough to get them all. None too difficult, but rather time consuming.

In closing, for RPG fans that love a long grind and like the satisfaction of finally overcoming an enemy who they just could not defeat I would recommend Dark Souls. For those not familiar with it from trailers and stories I would ask that you research it a little before deciding to shell out for it.

Comments
  • Mod

    Excellent review Adym. I only played under about 10 hours of Demon Souls and tapped out from the abuse. But your review makes me want to give it another go and check out Dark Souls as well. I also like the structure of your review. And the last picture sums up the series perfectly.

  • I had never played Demon Souls, and really knew nothing about Dark Souls (aside that it was incredibly difficult) before I jumped in... And I was not ready for it either. I've gotten as far as the castle filled with narrow bridges and swinging pendulums, and I'm now thoroughly discouraged. THOUSANDS of souls, down in the depths...

    Great review!