Dark Souls

Release Date: October 4, 2011
Genre: Action RPG
Developer: From Software
Review by: R2D2111

Dark Souls is an action role playing game developed by From Software, released onto PS3, XBOX in 2011 and on PC in 2012. Players take control of a character in a 3rd person view which they customize to take on hordes of enemies, traps, and epic bosses lurking around every corner. You are encouraged to explore with caution and learn from your mistakes as you venture off into the medieval themed open world of Lordran on a pilgrimage to collect souls, humanity, and kindle the bonfires.

One of the boss you will encounter in Dark Souls

Even though Dark Souls is a re-imagining of 2009 PS3 exclusive Demons Souls, it is completely different from its predecessor. It’s based in an open world with bonfires as your save points, you can summon NPCs to help you in combat, join covenants giving you access to unique content, combat now includes jumping to reach distant areas and poise to absorb a hit without your attack being interrupted. The graphics and sound design are fantastic, combat is much improved, and each area is esthetically unique filled with enemies unique to that area.

Much of Dark Souls charm is how the lore is told through brief descriptions for each of the numerous items you collect throughout the game and NPCs you encounter along the way. The lore and gameplay mechanics are largely discovered and shared through an online community of dedicated fans. The wiki is updated regularly with information about everything there is to know about the content, and a character builder was made to help players plan out their builds. There are countless youtube videos and live streams of players doing different things with the game which very entertaining, not to mention tons of music, art, and animations all designed by fans because of their love of the game.

Dragon blocking the tower entrance. Can you survive the dragon's breath?

An online peer to peer feature allows players to summon each other for help in defeating enemies or invade another players world to kill them for items and souls. Because each area of the game has a unique aesthetic duals are often held in different areas to test each others skills. There are tons of armor sets, sorceries, pyromancies, miracles and weapons to collect through out the game, and each weapon has a variety of movesets to play with. With up to 10 character slots available, you are encouraged to replay and explore the game in different ways. That’s what is most addictive about it, re-exploring the content in new ways and coming up with builds that you can test out on other players. Since Dark Souls is a Peer to Peer system it will still be active as long as the PS3 is supported by Playstation Network, unlike server based systems that tend to shut down after a few years.

Dark Souls PVP tips

On the downside, the game can be very frustrating; when connecting with other players (especially on PS3) you often encounter frame drops and latency issues affecting your gameplay while other players appear to defy the in game physics. Most of the weapons movesets don’t get used, players tend to solely fish for backstabs, or use exploits and glitches to have an advantage over other players. Players have even gone so far to tamper with the hardware creating lag switches and hacking the game. You can block these players, but there is a limit of 50 blocks per account. It was a shock to see thousands of obvious hackers in the book of the guilty when it wasn’t that long ago Sony had millions of accounts stolen by hackers.

Allot of the content once fully explored can be very disappointing. It either doesn’t work the way you would expect it to work, or even work the way it’s described. I wanted to curse a player by casting dragon breath, inflict an egg head onto another player, or use a miracle to deflect magic back onto the caster, the games is full of little things like this which if it worked would have been a much more rewarding experience. Even though there are 9 covenants, allot of them are useless, I wish they did more with each covenant provide quests and items you could use outside of the covenant. It seems that allot of the content was not fully tested and dumped into the game as filler.

This is one of my most replayed games of all time. I loved rediscovering the game through the online community, exploring the content with unconventional builds, and coming up with new strategies to overcome my disadvantages against 1-3 players at a time. There is just so much to explore and fun to be had.

  • Graphics: 9.5/10
  • Game play: 9/10
  • Sound FX & Music: 9.5/10
  • Story 10/10

Overall Score: 9.5 /10



Feb 17th 2014


Dark Souls Wiki
Dark Souls Live Broadcasts
Dark Souls Character Builder
Dark Souls Music Video Collaboration

The games you might like if you enjoy Dark Souls:

  • Demon's Souls 9/10
  • Spelunker HD 9.5/10

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