Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review'd: Dark Souls

Dark Souls Being a fan of games like the Fable series, Kingdoms of Amalur, etc., I was somewhat looking forward to Dark Souls. It went for cheap on Steam this week, so I went ahead and bought it. I expected an enjoyable Fable clone. Instead, I got a kick in the balls.

This game is bad. Really bad. The controls are uncomfortable. Character creation is minimalist, and typically leaves you with a horribly ugly character. The combat system is counter-intuitive (shoulder buttons to swing your sword, srsly?). The game barely explains anything, leaving you to dig through menus to figure out how to control your character. I can usually adapt to sub-par traits like these, but the game lacks anything resembling a story. And the biggest strike against this game is the difficulty. This is the most difficult game I've ever played, and I'm not saying that like it's a good challenge.

Within the first twenty minutes of actually playing (having spent 40 minutes or so troubleshooting and finally getting this buggy pile of turd to run, and enduring the 5 minute long intro), I had died at least three times. When you die, you keep all your equipment and respawn at the nearest save point (called bonfires). You lose all of the souls (unspent experience points) on you, though you can go back to the spot you died and reclaim them. That is, if you can get there. It seems like everything respawns when you die...so if you died in a particularly nasty spot, you're likely going to die again before you can collect your lost power. And if that happens, the power you lost in the first death is permanently gone. Forget to spend souls at the bonfire for an hour? Yeah, you just lost all that progress. Some of the strategies I found on this game suggest running through areas and avoiding most combat until your second or third playthroughs. That's right...popular strategy has you avoiding the game's content altogether.

The graphics are actually fairly good, but the art fails to capitalize on that fact. The environments, characters, enemies, etc., are so dull and bland that it's almost painful to look at. Again, there is no real story, and trying to follow the inane nonsense in the intro movie gave me a slight headache.

I won't dignify this game with screenshots. There's just no fun here. My advice? Avoid Dark Souls like the plague.

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