This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
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If you've been around Bitmob — or any gaming website, really — for the last week or two, you've probably seen some articles about Dark Souls, From Software's super-deep, super-difficult action-RPG. In fact, we've had so many great stories about the game, both from staff members and community writers, that we wanted to gather them all into one place. Sort of like a group therapy session.
So whether you've been seeking solace in Anor Londo or have yet to venture beyond the Firelink Shrine, this is a safe space. Come join hands with your Hollowed brothers and sisters here. We're all in this together.
I'm prepared to die (a Dark Souls rookie's primer)
By Matt Polen
With gallows humor aplenty, Matt talks about his experience with Dark Souls' predecessor, Demon's Souls, and what he expects to find in this new nightmare. "I wonder what my own level of dedication will be," he writes. You'll have to give us an update, Matt.
Dear Dark Souls: I'm ready to die. A lot.
By Peter Livingston
Like Matt, Peter has hurled his challenge at the foe. "It will be beautiful, it will be brutal, and it will be unforgiving," he writes. "But you will press on." That's exactly the kind of encouragement we all need…right, group?
Dark Souls isn't hard, gamers are just stupid and impatient
By William Harrison
On the "tough love" side of the motivation scale, William tells us all to just take our beatings and carry on. He counsels us that, if we are patient and use our brains, we will triumph. How's that working out for you, William?
Return on investment: Time and loss in Dark Souls
By Tristan Damen
As everyone in the group knows, the most frustrating thing in Dark Souls isn't dying. It's knowing that, once you die, you'll have to fight your way back to retrieve the souls you lost. And that takes time…time that Tristan isn't sure he has any more. "If I invest four hours in a game, I expect to have made four hours' worth of progress," he writes.
Dark Souls: A review after 15 minutes of play
By Eric Koziol
Even after such a brief time with the game, Eric came to a startling conclusion: "Dark Souls is the school lunch table of video games." He's right — few games in recent memory have sparked as much discussion as this one. That's why we're all here, aren't we?
Dark Souls: Battle hymn of a virtual tiger mother
By Grayson Hamilton
"Tiger mothers" subscribe to a strict, non-permissive code of child-rearing. "Without mercy and demanding perfection at every moment," Grayson writes, "Dark Souls is not a game meant to punish but to discipline." I dunno, man…if my parents had treated me like Dark Souls does, I probably would've run away from home.
The atmosphere of defeat in Dark Souls
By Judson Rose
Dark Souls makes no attempt to hide the fact that it will kick your ass. Judson writes that the game's stark, bleak world and the constant presence of death add to the "almost nihilistic atmosphere Dark Souls attempts to create."
I want to buy intentionally difficult games
By Jeff Heilig
Jeff says that Dark Souls' difficulty level is more than just an effective game mechanic — it's a publicity tool. He argues that, while publishers seems to believe that lower difficulty means higher sales, Dark Souls proves that tough titles can succeed.
Dark Souls seems difficult because it's more realistic
By Jay Henningsen
"Realism and fantasy don’t have to be mutually exclusive," Jay writes. He praises Dark Souls' "common-sense approach to mythical encounters," where a blast of fire actually roasts you to a crisp instead of subtracting a few numbers from a total. This game-design philosophy means every step, every sword stroke, and every spell matters.
Dark Souls: A game for adults
By Rob Savillo
Rob breaks down the first few encounters in Dark Souls and illustrates the mature way the game communicates with the player. "From Software’s brilliant use of environmental clues and subtle suggestions reward those with a careful eye," he writes. It's like we always say, group: Communication is key.
Rob argues that From Software has captured in Dark Souls the essence of Nintendo's pioneering Zelda and Metroid series better than Nintendo has itself in recent years: "The seductive embrace of open exploration drives our hearts to push further, dig deeper, and look closer. From Software reminds us how a game can titillate our imagination in ways that other mediums cannot."
After 15 hours of play, Layton's done with Dark Souls. The problem, he says, isn't with the difficulty level but the inaccessibility and lack of tangible rewards. "Whatever wonders lie ahead, I don’t have the will to seek them," he writes. "Why? Because Dark Souls asks too much…and rewards too little."