Do you like dying in video games? Do you enjoy defeat? For most gamers the answer to both of those questions is no, hell no. Unfortunately, From Software's Dark Souls does not take no for an answer. You will die in Dark Souls, a lot. "PREPARE TO DIE" is boldly stated on the of the game's box, and that could not be any closer to the truth. Lets look into the fray that is, Dark Souls.
The story, dare I say, is not that important. As a matter of a fact your main objective in the game is to ring two bells and obtain a vessel to defeat a Lord named Gywn. From my understanding, if you devote yourself to putting the pieces together you will have a better clue of whats going on and why. But that is if you're not getting mauled by a number of enemies. You start off as a nameless hero in the Undead Asylum(you're dead by the way) who has the potential to be the chosen undead to end Lord Gywn and the Darksign…yeah I don't get it either. After you make your escape from the Undead Asylum, you find yourself in Anor Londo, whch is where your quest begins.
Here's the fun part and where the difficulty lies, nevermind the story because you will be too busy trying not to die and not lose your souls. Dark Souls has some strict rules, don't die and you'll do well, die one too many times and you'll have a lot of trouble. The player must collect the souls of his defeated enemies and ensure that he/she does not lose them. Why are souls so important? Souls are everything in this game, they're precious; you must use the souls to level up, repair your armor and weapons, or buy items you may need. Souls are your currency and your hope to advance further in the game. Should you die, you will lose all of your souls, your enemies will respawn and you must carefully return to your place of death to retrieve your souls, if you die on your way to your souls, they will be gone forever and you're back to square one. Preparation is key, you must know when and where you should use certain gear and weapons. Bonfires are your only safezones in the game, its also your one stop shop for everything you need, keep in mind that resting at the bonfires will spawn all of the enemies you have killed. Dark Souls offers a strange and different type of online play, you can enter other player's world to either help or kill them. Furthermore, skill plays a huge role in this game, Dark Souls punishes the reckless and rewards those with patience and skill. You will encounter your fair share of tough enemies and bosses, but then again, if you can keep your cool, you'll eventually overcome the challenge.
Graphics and Sound:
The graphics aren't top notch from what we're used to seeing. The NPCs hardly move, hell, they don't even move their mouths when they're speaking to you. With that said, the game has its moments of beauty throughout your quest, the landscape and some enemies are just admirable. The sounds are spot on, weapon sounds add some empowerment as you swing to the rotting flesh of your enemies. The music is incredible, it can add some soothing relief throughout your frustrating journey.
There is so much to do and dicover in Dark Souls, it all takes time. A playthrough can take you roughly 40 hours to complete. Starting a new game after your first playthrough will have tougher enemies and bosses with more health and more strength. The online aspect is always awesome, the satisfaction of being a dick and invading a helpless player, or being a good guy and help them defeat a boss is fun…as a game should be.
Dark Souls is a difficult game, but rewarding nevertheless. It is uncommon to come across a gem game like this and it should not be missed.