The lights are on
Demon Souls was an R.P.G. that defined the rewarding aspect in the difficulty of gaming. With every boss came a key to the next challenge lying behind that corridor. Every enemy gives you the resource you need to improve, souls. This idea is restated in Dark Souls, but it is also improved upon to the point where the punishing difficulty is actually more of a good thing. I'll say this before I go into the review: Anyone who ever considered buying this game but was intimidated by the difficulty should look past it now.
Dark Souls isn't just a good R.P.G. It's a game that pulls you in and never lets go until that last demon is slain. It's a game that grips your mind and takes you on an epic ride through a world where death and horror lie behind every corner. Its a game where you aren't playing as some character. Instead, you are the character, thrown into a land of destruction by a prophecy (and a giant black bird). Because of just this, Dark Souls is my favorite R.P.G. of all time.
You start your journey in an undead asylum under a city, waiting for the little bits of flesh on your bones to rot and for you to be taken into insanity from the Curse, but when a dead body falls from a hatch in the ceiling, coincidentally holding the key to your cell. You decide that you're getting out. Within thirty minutes, you're thrust into a boss fight with your weapons and five Estus flasks (your potions). The game gives you basic instructions and a few small fights to warm up, but afterwards you're immediately thrown into a spiteful and bloody world. With little instructions as to any strategies, you have to find out on your own. I personally loved this way of "forcing" you to learn for yourself, but it means that the first couple of hours in the game will be the most difficult.
Don't get me wrong, though: This game is hard. It is so astonishingly, unbelievably difficult that the only things that ever kept me playing were that there was always a reward at the end of that boss and that nearly every death is completely fair. Every time I struck down that huge boss, there was something coming from him, whether it be souls, a key, or some special weapon (Sometimes, it was all three). The feeling you get from slaying a demon is great, especially when you realize that you did it. You didn't cheat your way through it. It wasn't some fluke. You brought the death of a gigantic demon that will never come back. Every death you experienced before that was fair because of your mistakes. That's another thing that's so awesome about Dark Souls. It's simply difficult. There aren't hardly any technical glitches other than a somewhat finicky target lock. Whatever killed you did it fairly.
The graphics are fantastic. Everything is detailed wonderfully. Normally, the frame rate is flawless unless there's a lot going on on the camera. The animation is especially great, with detailed and realistic movements.
Technically, Dark Souls works amazingly. Strikes are very accurate, meaning that you usually won't just strike through a wall. Your sword will bounce off of it. With a good strike, you could hit two or three enemies at a time. Like I said, there are few glitches.
The sound is great. Everything, from the scream of majestic dragons to the eerie grunt of the Undead, sounds fantastic. The only real orchestral music comes in boss fights, but it all sounds really good.
Dark Souls is a game that will keep you up just thinking about it. It's a game that rips you from reality and drops you into its world. Everything about this game is just amazing. It'll last you a long time, especially with all the classes you can pick from (Oh, did I forget that?) The level of entertainment in this game, the scope, and the thought that was put into it are mind-blowing. Even after I've stopped playing it for now, I still think about what will become of me next in the deadly world of Dark Souls.