Dark Souls. It’s a brutal, dark, slow, hell of a game — constantly being defeated by undead foes, giant beasts, and ghastly horrors. The areas are bleak, yet strangely beautiful, and the ominous setting only makes the encounters with the world’s unnerving creatures more tense.
The world is entirely open, but you won’t be running back and forth easily. The Combat is tough, and surviving takes skill, patience, and precision. Still, the combat feels tight and fluid. Every hit has weight to hit, and the pary-repost system is very well done. But no matter how good you get, or how fun it is to fight these monsters, the fact remains: they will kill you. A lot. When you die, you’re sent back to a bonfire — the game’s check points — and must fight your way back to your body. Every time you die or rest at a bonfire, the world’s creatures (excluding bosses and special monsters) respawn. Thankfully, you can summon other players to help you take them down, or get hints from messages placed around the world. But take heed: some messages are misleading, and players can invade each other’s worlds in an attempt to slay the other player. It’s rough, but fighting your way for every inch of progress — no matter how slow the going gets — makes every inch won that much more rewarding. It’s an intense game, it has it’s issues, but it’s one of the best we’ve played this year.
Pros: Extremely fun and well done combat; unique multiplayer; amazing atmosphere and art direction; vast open world that will take multiple playthroughs to see everything; the game doesn’t hold your hand, and allows you to find new things every time you play; steep levels of challenge makes for highly rewarding gameplay; totally unique multiplayer.
Cons: Little in terms of plot; numerous deaths can lead to frustration; some areas require a lot of grinding; some framerate drops in dense areas are not only unsightly, but can cause unnecessary deaths; some things may be missed; can sometimes be confusing.