Sunday, 19 August 2018

Developer Appreciation: Dark Souls

I previously talked about how I enjoyed Stalker's oppressive and challenging environment. Switch it up to medieval times, plug in a haunting sound track, up the graphics and add a whole cluster of WTF lore and you get Dark Souls, a game series known to be punishing and brutal. While that is somewhat true, especially at the beginning while you learn the timing for parry/counter and possibly at each boss fight after, it is also amazingly beautiful and rewarding.

Not everything is an enemy, but they can be if you play it that way.

It offers what seems to be near impossible situations, but through perseverance, skill and a bit of luck you can and will overcome them - and that feeling when you do is just amazing. Despite the grim surroundings, there are many moments of beauty as well - and the maps are so well designed to loop on itself as you open shortcut after shortcut giving you that feeling of progression.

Then there are the choices, those terrible - terrible choices. Do you use a limited resource to restore your humanity which increases your life and combat abilities but then leaves you open to other players invading your game? Most of them have murderous intent. On the flip side, while "human" you can summon other "human" players to join your game in a cooperative fashion which often helps with bosses. Dark Souls is a work of art.

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