Dark Souls (ダークソウル Dāku Souru) is an action role-playing open world game developed by From Software based in Tokyo, Japan, who are best known for other titles such as Demon’s Souls, Tenchu and Otogi. It was published for both PS3 and Xbox 360 by Namco Bandai International. The game is the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls. While Demon’s Souls was initially exclusive to the PS3, the hype from the fan base brought Dark Souls to the 360 and later to the PC. The game was released for PS3 in September 2011 in Japan and in October for the PS3 and Xbox in NA and Europe the same year the PC version was released on August 24, 2012. The game is known for its considerable difficulty.
The story of Dark Souls is a rather cryptic one, most agree that there is no real story to the game. If the story is there, it’s up to you to find it, through item descriptions and locations, NPC dialog and a lot of it is left to the players interpretation. A brief summary of the story; In ancient times the world was controlled by Dragons who were neither living nor dead, those were weaknesses the Dragons did not have they simply existed as part of nature. But than people found Souls which gave them incredible powers, and the most powerful souls were found by Gwyn Lord Of Sunlight, Gravelord Nito and The Witch Of Izalith. A fourth one was found by the Pygmy but that’s another story. They fought and defeated the Dragons and started a new age, the age of fire.
While I feel the game is superior to Demon’s Souls in everyway it’s also very similar to it, NPC’s such as Logan and Lautrec are two that come to mind. In Demon’s Souls we had Sage Freke who was obsessed with the Soul Arts and thought that Demons were the next evolutionary stage for humans obtainable through Soul Arts, in Dark Souls we have Logan who wants to be more like a dragon and does a lot of crazy stuff to try and reach his goal. Lautrec is similar to Yurt the Silent Chief from Demon’s Souls, they are both assassins who will kill off important NPC’s. Some may say I am nit picking but no one want’s to play Demon’s Souls again with different enemies. I really hope From Software go in a whole new direction with their next tittle. If you’ve seen one Freke you’ve seen them all.
When all that is said and done the game has a lot of positives. What keeps me coming back is the difficulty and just trying out new builds. A Strength build that uses heavy weapons and heavy armor is very very different when compared to a Dexterity build that uses Light Weapons and Light Armor. Dexterity weapons let you recover quicker after an attack, they use less stamina. But Strength weapons deal a lot more damage they take off more stamina and you also recover much slower. But this is where heavy armor comes in, who has the stat ”Poise.” Poise is an in-game statistic that increases your resistance to being staggered or stun-locked as an effect of taking hits from opponents. While this stat is mostly exclusive to Heavy Armor theres also a ring that gives you a pretty high amount. There’s also a very wide variety of weapons, from normal Daggers to crazy stuff like Dragonslayer Spear or Dragon King’s Greataxe. The game also has no class restrictions, meaning your starter class only decides your starting stats and it’s up to you after that.
I really enjoy the game and will probably rack up many more hours of play. I even have this crazy new Magic and Dexterity bui..okay, okay, I’ll stop myself there. The new DLC Artorias of the Abyss is to be released in October for the Consoles and is already out for PC, it adds a lot to the game in terms of lore, some unique armor sets and new bosses. I’ve played the DLC and it is fantastic, it adds up to 10 hours of gameplay and Dark Magic kicks ass. I give the game a solid 7/10.