You are here
Dark Souls Review
Dark Souls is an action fantasy RPG developed by FromSoftware Studios and published by Namco Bandai Games in 2011.
- Dark fantasy setting
- High skill orientation
- Large open world
- Unique multiplayer
Dark Souls Gameplay
Dark Souls is the second episode of the series that started with a Demon’s Souls game developed by FromSoftware as well. The game received overall positive reviews for the depth and uniqueness of the combat system, although the difficulty of the fighting is quite complicated to master. Still, the gameplay complexity stays relevant to this day; it became the primary feature of the Souls series and migrated into the other projects later in the years. All of the similar games earned a name of “souls-likes”, as a praise for the genre origins.
The plot of the game tells a story about the kingdom of Lordran, where the player takes up a role of the cursed undead creature who begins an adventure to uncover the mysteries that gave birth to their kind. The protagonist collects the souls of the most powerful monsters which allows to fulfil the prophecy and open up the truth. The main character travels throughout the worlds using the central hub called Firelink Shrine. Each unique world has specific monsters and traps that require the player to learn, explore and think out how the adventure would continue and how to evade death.
The primary concept and feature of the Dark Souls RPG are based on death itself; the characters will irresistibly die a lot. The protagonist will get stabbed with swords, crushed with axes, hammers and boulders that fall from above; they will be burned, poisoned and electrocuted, as well as pushed off the cliff ledges and accidentally jumping off themselves. Dying will cause you to lose the souls of the previously defeated enemies; however, they can be obtained back by killing the foe that eliminated you, although this chance is given only once and in case of failing before reaching the particular enemy, the souls get permanently lost.
After death, the main character gets resurrected at the bonfire - a checkpoint that is unique for the whole series of souls-likes, but all of the enemies that roamed along the way will be brought back to life as well, except bosses and friendly NPCs. Each enemy possesses unique strategy and skills which require the watch the unfriendly mobs to learn how to evade their attacks and defeat them. Souls that are gained for assassinations can be spent on bettering the physical statistics of the player, and at the vendor’s shops to buy weapons, armour or additional items.
The combat of the game includes a wide variety of melee-oriented attacks. In the world of this RPG, there is an extensive range of highly-detailed medieval weapons, such as swords, greatswords, axes, maces and clubs. Aside from conventional weaponry, the player can obtain specific magical wields that can put additional harmful effects on the enemies. The armour can be found, bought and upgraded throughout the game progress. As the project doesn’t require to choose a specific skill, players can decide themselves who they want to be, what kind of gear they want to wear and whether or not they want to use magic. Archetypes can be created to immerse in the RPG aspect of Dark Souls fully. However, some classes might find it more challenging to complete the game, as they do not have a needed level of protection and armour.
Another unique feature of Dark Souls is the multiplayer system, connected with a humanity scheme. The protagonist can travel the worlds in two forms: human and hollow. The human form allows to summon other players and NPC’s to help them in battle but brings additional dangers, such as aggressive players’ invasions who seek to restore their humanity. Hollow form grants the game progress but takes away the summoning and multiplayer ability. It can be restored by seeking out the last dying point or by consuming a particular item.
The communication between players is restricted, which allows them only to use limited messaging in certain places and a small number of common phrases and gestures. This feature creates an immersive and dark atmosphere in the game, granting a feeling of danger, insecurity and fear. The game has several different versions, expanded Prepare to Die Edition released in 2012 and Dark Souls Remastered with improved graphics and controls. Pay attention that different editions have different system requirements.
Dark Souls System Requirements
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 460, 1 GB
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz
- File Size: 8 GB
- OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 660, 2 GB
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2 GHz
- File Size: 8 GB
- OS: Windows 10 (64-bit)