First Impressions: Dark Souls

Somehow I completely missed out on Dark Souls when it first came out back in 2011, and then never got around to correcting that. After watching the Monster Factory episode for Bloodborne I did give that one a shot, and had a ton of fun in the character creator before playing for about 15 minutes, and shutting it off because it was too hard.

A few months back, I got Dark Souls III in a Humble Monthly bundle, but I didn’t really feel any push to play it. Then, I joined the Pipe Dreamers and started to see other people playing the Dark Souls games. They seemed fun, and just as brutally hard as I remembered Bloodborne being, so I started thinking about giving it a shot.

I talked with a few different people who all recommended at least starting the first game before playing the third, so yesterday I checked out a copy from my local library and gave it a shot.

Right away, I liked the art style of the game. It’s an excellent rendition of dark, gothic, grotesque horror, and it immediately puts you into a bit of a quiet, despondent mood. This is crucial because that slightly beaten down attitude helped me get through the deaths. Because there were deaths. There were so many deaths.

In the 3 hours I streamed, I died 48 times. The game is hard, but it’s mostly not unfair. Almost every one of those deaths was because I didn’t play as well as I needed to, not because the game was unfair. I completely understand the complaints people make about this game being hard, because it is, but it is also absolutely something you can get good at.

What is less forgivable, to me, is that the difficulty is amplified by the onboarding being awful. The game has little notes spread all throughout the opening bit that tell you about controls, but they don’t really explain anything well. I’m very glad that I tried it out on stream because a few super helpful chatters were able to give me some clues that helped me figure things out way faster than I would have on my own. I appreciate that the game puts you right into peril instead of having a genuine tutorial, but I think it goes too far towards assuming you’ll just figure everything out.

I didn’t make much progress in the game, but I did have a lot of fun with it. I absolutely want to see more of what this series has to offer, but I don’t think I’m going to worry too much about going in order. I booted up DS3 after my stream, just to see how it looks, and that game is absolutely gorgeous in comparison to the original, and I really want to get into the best version available to me. With Red Dead Redemption coming out this weekend and having just picked up Assassin’s Creed Origins, I’m not sure when I’ll play Dark Souls, but I am sure that I will!

You can check out the VOD of my Dark Souls stream over at twitch.tv/troytlepower/videos.

 

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