Dark Souls 2 has ruined gaming forever

Tuesday, 24th June 2014 11:47 GMT By Dave Cook

Dark Souls 2 and its predecessors have changed the way many of us view gaming, and in the case of VG247′s Dave Cook, he can’t stop comparing it to other new games.


Every so often a title will come along that forces players to think differently about gaming. It’s possible this has happened to you already.

Maybe you felt that the story-telling in The Last of Us was so emotional and profound that other narratives suddenly seemed limp by comparison? Perhaps the entirety of Half-Life 2′s Ravenholm section made subsequent tutorials feel clunky and intrusive?

All it takes is for one expertly-crafted piece of gaming to force our expectations to shift dramatically, and for this gamer, that was From Software’s original Dark Souls.

The game was by no means perfect, I admit that, but there was something wickedly old-school about its design that it spoke to the retro gamer within, and has since informed the way I view and appraise new games. Other releases often feel weak by comparison.

I feel the first game is better than Dark Souls 2, but I still had a bloody great time with it, which is more than can be said for a few new-gen titles already. Some of these new games just feel pandering, easy, restricted and almost – dare I say it – passive.

Here’s why:


Dark Souls is largely ambiguous

Can you tell me what the story of Dark Souls 2 is about, from start to finish? I guarantee very few people actually can, and that’s because From Software wants you to seek out what little plot there is and fill the gaps using your own imagination, something that I fear has become a little too much like hard work these days. Developers seem content to spell out every single piece of lore and detail explicitly so that you don’t miss anything. They’re telling you what the story is almost word-for-word with no room for deviation.

“Developers seem content to spell out every single piece of lore explicitly so that you don’t miss anything. They’re telling you what the story is almost word-for-word with no room for deviation.”

That’s horrendously dull. I liked the original Mass Effect 3 ending because it was largely open-ended, so that whatever I thought happened after the credits rolled was correct. That ownership over a story is personal, emotional and well, very special indeed. It’s like the classic case of Half-Life’s Gordon Freeman, a mute hero who we never see, and who never speaks. We project ourselves onto him. His thoughts and feelings are ours, and vice-versa.

Ambiguity can be powerful when there’s ample context. Dark Souls 1 & 2 both have that context buried deep in NPC dialogue, item descriptions and clues around their worlds. YouTuber VaatiVidya has made a stunning playlist of Dark Souls lore videos that threads the strings together to reveal remarkable things about both stories. I like to guess and to seek out mysterious elements of a games plot, not have everything explained to me in long, boring detail. Games that waffle too much now feel weak compared to the Souls series.


Dark Souls doesn’t tell you where to go

Entering the worlds of Lordran and Drangleic for the first time is incredibly daunting, because neither Dark Souls or its sequel tells you where to go. You get a simple task – ring two bells, seek the king – and wherever you go next is up to you. There are no HUD markers or crumb-trail mechanics. There isn’t even a radar or map. You have to memorise where everything is, and bore it into your skull so whenever you need to back-track you can find your way.

“Aimless meandering in Dark Souls can lead to the discovery of brilliant secrets and loot drops that are massively beneficial, so it pays to wander.”

Does this mean you’ll get lost? Undoubtedly, and I understand why some gamers find this frustrating. What frustrates me more since playing these games is having to dutifully follow big, intrusive arrows telling me where my next mission is. This is worse when said game offers little deviation from the one true path. I like to explore in games, to seek out secrets and go it at my own pace. From Software lets me scratch that itch well.

This exploration isn’t possible in corridor shooters and other narrowed experiences, as it probably wouldn’t sit well in terms of pacing, but where possible, I’d love to just turn off the HUD, remove all my mission markers and just do whatever the hell I want. Aimless meandering in Dark Souls can lead to the discovery of brilliant secrets and loot drops that are massively beneficial, so it pays to wander, but I just feel stunted or intruded-upon in some new games.


Dark Souls doesn’t treat you like a child

I remember playing inFamous: Second Son for review and wrestling with the game’s final boss. It was a simple encounter with predictable attack patterns and a checkpoint at the half-way point should you die near the end. This weak-sauce battle offered very little in the way of gratification after the dust settled because I didn’t feel like I had actually overcome a challenge. I felt coddled, as if Sucker Punch was patting its players on the head and calling all of them winners.

“I felt coddled in inFamous: Second Son, as if Sucker Punch was patting its players on the head and calling all of them winners.”

The original Dark Souls features some of the most gruelling boss encounters I’ve ever suffered through since maybe Mega Man 2 or Contra: Shattered Soldier. To win against the likes of Ornstein and Smough (pictured above) you need to spend time honing your character’s skill and gear, while taking time to memorise their various attack patterns. If you don’t know how to dodge around their moves, when to block, when to heal and various other variables, you will lose. Repeatedly.

That sounds like a ball-ache, but again, I’m getting tired of instant gratification in games. It’s as if developers feel that unless you’re getting huge explosions and set-pieces every time you press a button, then gamers will get disinterested and switch off. Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 were both bad for that to the point that the gunfire and collapsing buildings provoked no reaction at all. I sat there bored by the mayhem because I didn’t earn the pay-off. In Dark Souls, I earned it through perseverance and skill.


Dark Souls makes other games feel easy

We’ve all heard this claim before, and it’s usually countered with, ‘It’s not fair, it’s full of cheap, unfair moments.’ I absolutely disagree. If you die because something feels cheap in Dark Souls, it’s probably just because you were caught of guard. Chances are you won’t be caught out next time. That’s not cheap, that’s a learning curve. In both Souls games you learn by doing, and through each death your own understanding of the rules grows.

“If you die because something feels cheap in Dark Souls, it’s probably just because you were caught of guard. Chances are you won’t be caught out next time.”

The lack of checkpoints is also called unfair and the result of poor game design. Let me ask you this then, do you feel as emotionally invested and engaged in a game when you know that if you die, you can simply respawn a few steps back without any further penalty? Maybe some people do, but when I know I’ve got upwards of 50,000 souls at risk and I have a long way to go before the next safe area, you can bet I’ll be giving that run 100% of my attention.

If I die in something like Uncharted 3 for example, I know I’ll respawn just a few minutes or seconds earlier. It almost becomes conveyor belt thinking, where you just keep on repeating the same section over and over until you make it through. By comparison, Donkey Kong Country Returns on 3DS requires real, old-school levels of skill and perseverance to make it through many of its brutal stages. Broad checkpoints aren’t always bad design, it’s because we’ve been coddled for too long that we feel hard done by.

I’ll stress again that the Dark Souls series is far from perfect, but it has made me think differently about new games coming out of the industry. We all have games like that; experiences that speak to us on a whole new level. Maybe shooters never felt the same after you played Halo 3, or maybe Skyrim has left other RPGs feeling hollow?

Has your perception of games been altered by a title that really resonated with you? Let us know below.



  1. pacmom

    Dark Souls II HD Wallpaper:

    #1 6 months ago
  2. Xbone

    Aaand now we have 4 different IP with the exact same gameplay. Its worse than Cod. Activision and EA would be proud.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @pacmom Thanks?

    #3 6 months ago
  4. OrbitMonkey

    I cannot play this series, i cannot afford to keep buying new game pads.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. Dave Cook

    @OrbitMonkey I’ve yet to break a pad thanks to Dark Souls, but I did throw my 360 pad pretty bad once.

    #5 6 months ago
  6. Yamiji

    Only thing I didn’t like about DS were twinked people invading my world and one shotting me…
    Made me play rest of the game in offline
    Other than that I have to agree, gaming doesn’t feel the same after dieing to tutorial boss xD

    #6 6 months ago
  7. polygem

    Sweet article.

    This extreme handholding kills gaming, at least for me. These games play themselves these days and playing them feels like such a waste of my time.

    I can´t enjoy some games anymore. I am playing Infamous Second Son atm. It´s beautiful but utterly boring – i don´t think that i will be able to finish it. Bioshock Infinite, i forced myself through that one, Far Cry 3 as well. These games feel shallow, like a complete waste of time. The stories are also shit if you compare it with a good book or movie. I´d rather play a game that wants to be a game and watch a movie that wants to be a movie.

    The Souls games really suck you in. They aren´t story driven they are driven by atmosphere and gameplay that has become a rarity and these games…they make it feel very very right.
    They challenge you, deliver a feeling of true accomplishment.

    i don´t want to but i can´t help it…i am getting more and more cynical about gaming. it´s just because i find most games unenjoyable. i try and try again, buying them, playing them but more and more often they disappoint.

    i am glad that we have stuff like the souls series, some weird pc phenomenons like day z, nintendo, some indies and all that retro glory. without it my hobby would slowly dry out.

    gaming has reached a mainstream level now that really makes it too vulnerable for shallow cash grabs. too many games scream convenicene, aiming for the broadest possible agreement. gaming will suffer from this trend in the long run.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. CycloneFox

    That is something only Souls-players can understand. So I try to bring all of my friends to one of the souls-games (most likely Dark Souls, as it’s cheap and available for any platform).

    Every time I talk about a new game, I almost every time compare something to Dark Souls.

    -Multiplayer: Talking about Watchdogs, the new Metal Gear or Assassins Creed Unity: The MP in (some way or another) reminds heavily of Dark Souls MP;
    -World Design and bonfires in the new Tomb Raider -> Dark Souls;
    -Battlesystem in RPGs: (mostly western RPGs, as Japanese RPGs such as Dragons Dogma for example manage to be unique and good, themselves) -> “Every Action RPG should be like Dark Souls”;
    -Difficulty/Questlogs/Maps -> “Instead of just getting from A to B to get some cake, Dark Souls makes you appreciate any achievement and makes you really satisfied;
    -”Build your own story”;
    -Zelda: Dark Souls feels more like the old Zelda games (NES, SNES) than Zelda’s actual successors.

    Almost any topic of modern video games design was executed so well in Dark Souls, that it really almost destroys any other game.

    At the time when Skyrim came out, I bought the Dark Souls Prepare to die edition which also came out at that time for the PC. And when everyone played Skyrim, I just couldn’t do it. The fighting mechanics felt so dumb, that I could never enjoy it after Dark Souls.

    #8 6 months ago
  9. YoungZer0

    “If you die because something feels cheap in Dark Souls, it’s probably just because you were caught of guard. Chances are you won’t be caught out next time.”

    Or it was cheap. Sometimes it’s really as simple as that. FROM are not masters of balance. They simply aren’t. Just because you managed to complete the game, does not mean it’s some sort of brilliance on their part. You just sticked to it.

    I know you’re a fan of the series Dave, but you have to be fair on some of the things here. It has a lot of major issues and a lot of cheap tactics.

    Terrible framerate issues; that’s bad.
    Terrible aiming-mechanics; that’s bad.
    Introducing a new enemy by killing you without any hint (mimic for example); that’s bad.
    Cheap mechanics like 360° attack tracking for enemies that look like fucking turtles and are supposed to be super slow; that’s bad.

    It might have had a huge impact on gaming, but they are far from being masters of their craft.

    And seriously the way they tell their lore fucking sucks. There are very few direct answers, EVERYTHING is left to the players. That’s why there are so many ridiculous videos of players trying to explain the lore.

    There’s a reason why FROM tries to tell a better told story with Bloodbourne. Because they suck at it. They always did.

    It’s just different, but far from better.

    I hate handholding as much as the next guy, but the way the game tells the lore and “story” … it’s like listening to an artsy person trying to explain why the dog turd in the corner is actually great representations of capitalism.

    I said it once and I’ll say it again; Demon’s Souls did it right, I managed the game and felt proud of myself. I managed Dark Souls and felt frustration fading, but nothing else. I managed Dark Souls 2 and I felt absolutely nothing.

    Bloodbourne better delivers, or they are going back to making games for a small crowd again.

    #9 6 months ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @Yamiji Yeah I agree with all of that. I played offline the first time – I had to actually as I was running debug code – and since playing the first Dark Souls I’ve been looking at games differently.

    #10 6 months ago
  11. Legendaryboss

    Title is so overdramatic its not even funny.

    @Xbone Four? Demon. Dark. Bloodborne. The fourth? Worse than COD? LOL! This isn’t an annual series and each of those souls games have unique differing elements to them. But don’t be giving them any ideas!

    #11 6 months ago
  12. polygem

    hmm i hear you and i completely agree with you that demons souls made it better in some ways but many points you have criticised are imo things that are pretty damn good.
    the framerate issues suck, sure (you wont have that on pc though) but
    the way the story is told is fantastic. just fantastic and i deeply hope that this will never change because this is what gives the game it´s rich atmosphere.
    i don´t want a story rubbed into my face- cutscenes, loading screens in bookform with story bits in it. i don´t want npc dilogue lines and chat with them having multiple options like in mass effect…it is perfect as it is. in that regard, please, no changes.
    the mimic issue is not an issue at all to me. you fail once. it´s a great surprise and a real wtf moment and then you wont fail again…unless you are getting uncareful. i love that. what this does it, it makes you very very cautious throughout the whole game. you might be a level 120 vikingwizard from hell but one of the first world lowlife enemys could still kill you if you rush things too much.
    that´s just great and it is there by design. it´s not a design flaw.

    #12 6 months ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @polygem I’m so, so bored of following HUD markers like a dog. Woof.

    #13 6 months ago
  14. Dave Cook

    @YoungZer0 Not having a go at your opinion in the slightest here – sincerely! – but do you have examples of cheap moments that lack balance? I hear this often and it confuses me.

    #14 6 months ago
  15. Dave Cook

    @CycloneFox Dark Souls is like a gap-filler in that it excels in areas long abandoned by modern blockbusters. They’re just getting so easy now, and severely lacking in consequence. Death in a CoD campaign means nothing, besides going back a few steps. You keep trying until you do the tricky section, and you don’t feel much better for it. Well, that’s my personal take of course.

    #15 6 months ago
  16. Dave Cook

    @Legendaryboss The title is a joke, lighten up.

    #16 6 months ago
  17. Dave Cook

    @polygem Yep, once you get munched by your first mimic, you will hit every single chest in that game, or if you’re lucky, someone will have left a helpful warning for you.

    #17 6 months ago
  18. FlyBoogy

    Dark Souls 2 is a huge step back compared to the first Dark Souls…

    #18 6 months ago
  19. polygem

    @Dave Cook

    yes, i´d rather be a wolf…

    #19 6 months ago
  20. orren

    To be able to win, you first have to be able to lose.

    Many of the modern games forget that.

    #20 6 months ago
  21. Xbone

    @polygem Love it :D

    #21 6 months ago
  22. Moonwalker1982

    @FlyBoogy Why though?

    I recently started playing Dark Souls, bought it for like 5 euros a year ago or so and never got around to actually play it. I also thought it really wouldn’t be my kind of game, but are you NOT gonna buy it for 5 euros?

    Long story has become my new addiction and i absolutely love it. Clearly a much much bigger learning curve than any other game, but that is also definitely part of it’s charm if you ask me. The feeling of satisfaction after surviving a certain area or boss fight is fantastic and i struggle to remember what other game gave me that feeling.

    Yes i did curse a lot at the game for not explaining a goddamn thing about certain very important features and items, but they clearly want you to experiment and find it out for yourself. I am afraid if i’d start playing another game now…i’d hate how easy and non-challenging it is. Luckily we got two games coming up that can be definitely considered similar to Dark Souls. I am talking about Lords of the Fallen and Bloodborne.

    #22 6 months ago
  23. Bomba Luigi

    Pfff, Dark Souls. Its just Pong with Guns!

    But to be serious, I was a bit disapointed with DS2. Its not really bad, its solid and I had Fun, but it lacks a lot comoared to DS1. I cant help but thinking it was a B-Team who did it, while the A-Team is busy with Bloodborne.

    #23 6 months ago
  24. Moonwalker1982

    Please add an edit button!!!

    The one thing i really dislike though is how i can not be in party chat if i want to use the online mode in the game. Most of the time when i am gaming in the evenings, i am in party chat with several friends. Been like this for years.

    #24 6 months ago
  25. Legendaryboss

    Sure :?

    #25 6 months ago
  26. Ge0force

    I agree with polygem. Most modern AAA-games play as one huge tutorial that tells you exactly where to go and what to do. This, combined with the lack of challenge, makes those games boring as hell for me.

    #26 6 months ago
  27. Opalauge

    I dont get it at all…

    @YoungZer0: Totally agree!

    Demon/Dark Souls is not that hard…it requires attention and patience, and that’s it.
    The technical side is in need of improvement to say the least.
    Storytelling is great…for an NES game.
    This game seems to me like THE hipster in the world of videogames and reviews seem like copied & pasted…like it’s defamatory to have an own opinion.
    FROM’s Armored Core was always branded as mediocre or worse, even though it’s gameplay is similarly demanding and punishing…but DS is the shit!?
    Sorry, but after 28 years of gaming I really don’t get it! I played it for around 20 hours in anticipation that it gets great, awesome, stunning…that it will become the gamechanger and savior of gaming…but it simply bored the shit out of me.

    I do not begrudge anyone’s fun with it, but I think it’s completely overrated.

    #27 6 months ago
  28. AdamMeerfeld


    Mimic aren’t rly cheap in this game, they are cleverly designed, with just a few small visuals hints, you can tell them apart from the get go. Never got munched by one, even on 1st playthrough.

    #28 6 months ago
  29. AdamMeerfeld

    @Dave Cook

    And as much as I agree with this article, Dark Souls 2 just didn’t come close to comparing with the original. Yes much technical improvment, but lacked the brilliance of the 1st. Like it’s a Souls game without it’s soul, before it released I didn’t think Miyazaki made such a difference.
    It lost all the awesome lore, whittled to just a few extremely vague remarks. The seamless interconnected open world replaced with a linear branching disconnected world. PvP lost a lot of it’s shine and isn’t diverse at all. Actually not many builds all around for pve as well. Boss, enemy and level design, but especially the boss, is pale in comparison.
    It was a great game, and kept me playing for 2 whole.months, but the original kept me hooked for 3 years.

    Hopes are high for Bloodborne!

    #29 6 months ago
  30. Dave Cook

    @AdamMeerfeld Dude, I simply can’t wait for Bloodborne :D

    #30 6 months ago
  31. The_Red

    There is a disturbing lack of Demons Souls in the main article. I actually agree with all of Dave’s points but if anything, Dark Souls itself was ruined by Demons Souls.

    The atmosphere and themes of that game (Demons) were so effective and inspiring that most “fantastical worlds” in other games feel like Bubsy 3D levels. While the actual level design / edit in Dark Souls was superior in parts, nothing in it came close to the magnificent and memorable nightmare of Latria tower or the harrowing swamps of Valley of Defilement.

    Dark Souls even tried copying pasting many aspects Valley but without the atmosphere and the troubling subtexts, it felt rather shallow. Of course not all of it was like that. Some of the characters and backgrounds in Dark Souls 1 were definitely great and in parts, exceptional but still, I think Demons deserves a whole lot more credit than just a mention among story tags :(

    (Also, Demons had better RPG mechanics and more balanced elements outside those ASSHOLE MANEATERS!).

    #31 6 months ago
  32. YoungZer0

    @Dave Cook

    For example, that fat demon in the asylum. His movements are way too fast for someone his size, there’s also way, wayyyy too much tracking involved in his moves. It’s cheap and lazy, to be honest.

    #32 6 months ago
  33. Dave Cook

    @YoungZer0 I’m not sure how the disparity between his size and speed can be called cheap to be honest, but then again we all approach these things differently. I respect that.

    #33 6 months ago
  34. YoungZer0

    @Dave Cook

    Then explain the tracking for me. Take a huge club and throw it will all your might against the ground, then a millisecond before you hit the ground, turn it and yourself 180° and hit another target that is placed there.

    Sorry, but that’s just lazy. And him being totally obese and yet superfast is not what I’d call smart monster design, especially in a game where following hints is part of the experience. If they fool with the hints, they fool with you.

    #34 6 months ago
  35. Dave Cook

    @Ge0force That’s precisely where I’m coming from :)

    #35 6 months ago
  36. Dave Cook

    @The_Red Oh god the Maneaters. Such a painful memory.

    I love Demon’s Souls, honestly. It’s amazing and I can’t wait for Bloodborne.

    #36 6 months ago
  37. Game Hunter

    @Dave Cook the spiders in the Brighstone Cove Tsoldra are cheaply designed.I mean,c’mon,I’m at level 116 and have a fucking Drangleic Armor and those little pricks still manage to eat a lot out of my health bar.and not in group.

    #37 6 months ago
  38. Rafa_L

    @YoungZer0 I don’t think Dark souls is perfect, and there lways are balance issues, especially with pvp. But I don’t agree with any of the aspects you pointed.

    The asylum demon has fast swings, but moves slowly, I don’t see why a giant or fat character has to attack slowly. I rarely noticed the sudden change of attack direction you mentioned, but it happens sometimes, usually you have to dodge attacks the second they are about to hit, or it will track you.

    Dark Soul is my favorite game, but the sequel felt a little off to me, like to many, maybe cause I already mastered the mechanic in the first, or maybe it’s miyazaki.

    #38 6 months ago
  39. polygem

    @Game Hunter

    “I’m at level 116 and have a fucking Drangleic Armor and those little pricks still manage to eat a lot out of my health bar.and not in group.”

    I think it´s great that some enemies always stay a threat to you no matter the soul level and i don´t think that it´s a design flaw but supposed to be exactly like that. like i said earlier, this makes you vulnerable all the time, forces you to be careful, to never get lazy – it builds up the tension and really helps to make the player connect to the world. it´s one of the key factors why i like the series so much actually. those early skelleton fuckers in the original ds..they become a one hit kill very soon but if they can get a nasty slice em up combo going on on you because you haven´t been careful enough with your dodging or blocking – you´re screwed – that´s great design if you ask me.

    #39 6 months ago
  40. PrinceEV

    @Dave Cook I’ve read so many reviews about this game. yours was great. but the most perfect review imo is this one:
    it’s a little long. but I highly recommend you to watch it.

    #40 6 months ago
  41. fearmonkey

    Well I am glad there are games for all types of players, because playing a boss over and over again is not fun for someone older with a limited amount of gaming time. I don’t have hours and hours and hours of gaming time like I used to, I care more about the story than combat as I have gotten older, and I want to get through a game steadily without major hardships.

    Thus Dark Souls and it’s type are not for me. I didn’t enjoy Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox for the same reason. Maybe it’s the reason I love Skyrim and bethesda’s games, they allow you to explore and save at your leisure, not hard at all, and allow so much choice, all without having to reply sections over and over to get to the next part.

    #41 6 months ago
  42. DarkElfa

    I played it but I wasn’t impressed honestly. It was very drab and dreary.

    #42 6 months ago
  43. Agt_Pendergast

    I like the Souls series well enough, but the terrible hit boxes in DS2 can lead to some very cheap deaths.

    #43 6 months ago
  44. TheWulf

    I KNEW IT. >_> I looked at this article and I thought ‘Daaaave?’ and I was right. That’s not a negative thing, Dave, I just know that you love rock hard games. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Makes me wonder how you feel about VVVVVV.

    #44 6 months ago
  45. Seventizz

    Dark Souls 1 was free last month on Xbox Live Gold. I’m not a fan of medieval games but it was free and I tried it out. After 15 minutes of gameplay, I deleted it, and I’d never go back. It’s not that it was hard, but it was incredibly boring, looked horrible, and controlled even worse.

    #45 6 months ago
  46. unknown_gamer

    Stay salty , your Xbox wont smell some of them :D

    #46 6 months ago
  47. NocturnalB

    MAN! I want to be on the Dark Souls bandwagon so FUCKING bad but I can’t even jump on it! I bought Dark Souls 1 and I’ve made a vow to myself to not buy the 2nd one until I’ve played and beatrn the first…. well fuck me running sideways with a pitchfork it’s hard!

    I have made so little progress with so much frustration and work. I love it and yet I hate it to death. I watch walkthroughs constantly to the point that every time I die I’m cursing out my iPad as the YouTube video attempts to instruct me yelling “DUH! No shit Sherlock!” It’s a beautiful frustration that 9 times out of 10 ends with me giving empty threats to my Xbox and renewing promises to my liquor cabinet.

    Speaking of which I have a date with that wonder horrible game tonight.

    #47 6 months ago
  48. NocturnalB


    I miss the edit button.

    #48 6 months ago
  49. Templar0929

    @FlyBoogy Why? Because of PvP? The Souls series isn’t about PvP. Dark Souls 2 is fine. Its only massive flaw is the level transition design.

    #49 6 months ago
  50. Templar0929


    -No one said the Souls series were extremely hard, they’re simply challenging.
    -Enemy AI is in need of much improvement, I agree there.
    -How can you say that of the story when you only played for 20 hours? The story of the game unfolds throughout the game with the lore you discover and the character stories that develop over the course of the game. But of you course you didn’t play till the end so you wouldn’t even know that Solaire has three different fates awaiting him based on player action, nor did you play Artorias of the Abyss, reach New Londo or speak to Kaathe and Frampt which all give more heavy direct content on the main story but the real story comes from the lore, the background and the unique dark fantasy world.
    -That’s Skyrim and Call of Duty for you. Apparently we can’t criticize them because they quote “sold well” unquote even though they’re pretty bad games which only sell well due to mass marketing and an established fan base who agree that each game in these series keep getting worst and are holding out for a better one still.
    -From Software’s Armored Core series was branded positive up until the fourth game. Check Metacritic.

    Perhaps you’re being the hipster here? Your comment contradicts you, especially when you claim the game is not that hard but later claim Armored Core’s gameplay is “similarly demanding and punishing” to Dark Souls. Personally I don’t think you’ve played it otherwise you wouldn’t be wondering about what the big deal is.

    The big deal is that it’s got a fantasy setting with detail put into every environment (Dark Souls 2 not so much), exploration is actually worth it as every area contains it own unique bosses, enemies and treasure, the game has traditional RPG elements and isn’t afraid to punish you for killing NPC’s (there’s actually permanent consequences to your actions in the game world and even world-altering ones in the first game such as how you can change the area of Anor Londo), there are nearly an infinite amount of builds you can create, customization is nearly unlimited (the game doesn’t stop you from ridiculous weapon combinations either such as having two shields or dual wielding two giant greatswords), there’s a metroidvania feel to exploration and to top it off, the game has a fantastic combat system.

    Whilst Dragon Age: Inquisition gives us flashy MMO combat and Witcher 3 gives us fast action combat, Dark Souls remains one of the only (if not the only one currently) RPG’s out with slow and steady combat. I’m sure Inquisition and Witcher 3 will be good but some of us prefer more realistic combat where we aren’t shoe-horned and limited into certain weapons and being locked into those certain weapons for each class. The Witcher 3 gives us only a longsword, Inquisition will give us swords, daggers, great swords, bow, cross bows and magic staves (maces, hammers and other weapons are simply swords re-textured as they behave the same whereas in a Souls game, a mace or hammer will swing as expected and you’ll even the receive the benefit of it as unlike swords, maces and hammers will be more effective against armored opponents and will break through shields better)

    Dark Souls has one of the most expansive weapon arsenals in an RPG with each weapon type having different attacks. The only other game I can remember that also included exotic type weapons (such as whips and two bladed swords) was NWN and that released way back in 2002. The Souls series is the only RPG series out since then that actually incorporates a wide range of medieval western/eastern weapons too that actually all work as well as one another.

    It’s fair to criticize the game (I actually have a list of criticisms) but I can see you clearly didn’t play. Your comment doesn’t even detail what’s wrong with the game, you just say it’s boring and that you didn’t like it. Before you come back calling me a fan boy, keep in mind that I think there are several games better than the Souls series, I think Dragon’s Dogma far surpasses any Souls game in gameplay for example and I think of Dragon Age: Origins as being equal to Dark Souls in enjoyability, so I’m no mindless fan of the Souls series as it doesn’t hold the #1 spot for me.

    #50 6 months ago

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