When Demon’s Souls first arrived back in 2009, few expected it to be such a surprise hit. Aside from its appealing aesthetics, ingenious level design, methodical combat, and numerous customization options, it boasted a brutal yet rewarding difficulty level the likes of which haven’t been seen since the days of the NES, and never did a game feel it did so as fairly as Demon’s Souls. Now, Dark Souls, its spiritual successor, seeks to take those same positive traits and add onto it substantially. How, you ask? By making it harder, more beautiful, deeper in its lore, and more open in terms of exploration and customization so that more people can enjoy it, that’s how. And it pulls it off splendidly. Dark Souls succeeds where Demon’s Souls fell short, and ultimately becomes the better game because of it.