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Generally favorable reviews- based on 877 Ratings

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  1. Oct 4, 2011
    Back in 2009, I spent 120+ hours of my life on Demon's Souls, and since then, I have not found its equal. As dark, challenging, and repressive as the game was, Demon's Souls still managed to feel like a breath of fresh air in the staling game market, throwing back to classic mechanics that were left in the 80s and early 90s with 8-bit, 16-bit, and arcade games. I find it interesting that Demon's Souls was far better received in North America than in its native Japan (790,000 copies in NA to Japan's 300,000, many of which were sold after the game's subsequest success overseas), as the game reflects more western RPG conventions and D&D-esque styling than the increasingly common anime-styled games that get labeled as "JRPGs." Dark Souls is a spiritual successor in the purest sense of the over-used phrase. Its controls are identical to Demon's Souls, yet they are even more precise than before. The artistic style, starting classes, soundtrack, and multiplayer options are all quite similar as well, but again, they have been tweaked to be a bit superior to that of Demon's Souls. The graphics are more detailed and crisp than ever. But the biggest change here is the open-world structure. Unlike Demon's Souls, which had the Nexus serve as a hub between several more fragmented worlds, Dark Souls has interconnected areas that form one gigantic, seemless world. It's also at least three times the size of all of Demon's Souls' areas combined, and the zones are still diverse and well-conceived. The linking of various zones works kind of like classic Metroid or Castlevania maps, where shortcuts to previous areas can be unlocked, making exploration valuable and rewarding to the overall mission. Instead of the Nexus hub zone, players can rest at bonfires, where they can also upgrade weapons and armor, among other things. Combat is also enjoyable and very deep, and enemy mobs are more varied than in Demon's Souls. In short, Dark Souls improves on every aspect of its predecessor, and with the new open-world structure, Dark Souls can easily stand up to the industry's western-developed heavy hitters (like Dragon Age and Elder Scrolls). In fact, I can honestly say that Dark Souls could steal some serious thunder from Skyrim by offering a more fresh yet hardcore approach to the genre. I also think that it's astounding that developer From Software could make lightning strike twice - it would have been far too easy for some developers to misinterpret Demon's Souls overwhelming success in North America and try too hard to tweak the subsequent formula to cater to American tastes. Instead, From Software stayed true to its original form, even deciding to increase the challenge for Dark Souls. And as one final point, let me also say this: Anyone who has not tried Demon's Souls or Dark Souls should not let the now-legendary difficulty of the series discourage them. The challenge that these games offers is not the same kind of hard-for-the-sake-of-hard frustration that some games fall victim to. Even if you are normally frustrated by difficult games, it's usually because of cheap mechanics and the feeling of having to fight the controls or poor design, and none of that is an issue with the Souls games. They just demand a little more observation, a bit of strategy and thought. From Software trusts that its gamers are intelligent, diligent, and skilled enough to handle that challenge, and that's what makes every victory in Dark Souls feel like a real achievement. The game may not be for everyone, but I would at least encourage every PS3 or XBox360 owner to try it. Expand
  2. Jan 11, 2012
    Do not be fooled by angry rage quitters, 10 year olds and bad players! This game is hard, it wont hold you by your hand, it will not make your opponent easier so you can beat it, you will not be able to Hack and Slash everything with one sword swing or fight 10 enemies at a time.

    [How hard?] We have been spoiled! We are used to vanilla games that say you are playing in "normal difficulty"
    when in reality a 6 year old can play that difficulty and eventually win. We are used to bad, unrealistic and god-like-forgiving games where the AI usually allows you to punish them and continuously do damage to it. This game is hard for anyone that is used to going into a room guns blazing dying and that death meaning nothing. If you are used to walking with a big sword and doing tons of damage and your opponent be helpless then this game will be super hard. You could be level 100 and if you don't parry/block and wait you will die to a mouse.

    [Story and Gameplay] I won't spoil the game, there is a storyâ
  3. Oct 26, 2011
    Dying has never been more FUN. This game is like no other. Atmosphere, the feel of this fantasy world is outstanding, the fact that you can never truly relax will have you on the edge of your seat. Seems to me that the biggest gripe people have with this title is its difficulty. Well, I loved it although it came as a surprise at first. You need to study, take few calculated deaths even, and then act upon what you've learned! You can't just run around without paying attention as it's ever too easy to fall off the cliff or get jumped by few of the low mop-up mobs who will wipe the floor with YOU if you aren't careful. There's no way to gauge mobs level, so any new enemy you encounter may be your last... in that particular life cycle at least! Dark Souls is extremely hard at places but most of times, with adjusted tactics (ie approach to any given problem, different spell, change of weapon to another one with a certain element) it rewards you by being fair. I have only killed one boss the first time i fought it, it's more of a DIE AND LEARN approach but it works great. I was literally standing up at few points trying to get to this bonfire few ledges over... If you pick this up, prepare mentally, because tonight you will not only dine in Hell, it's more like 24/7 Hell buffet over there! Expand
  4. Aug 13, 2012
    Challenging, addictive and exciting but eventually proves to be too user-unfriendly and unrefined for it's unforgiving level of difficulty. Lacking of all but the basic plot and scenario, forwarding the story at a very slow and repetitive pace that strongly resembles the early 90's -fun- yet now obsolete trial-and-error mechanics.
    Compared to other titles of its age, feels more like an
    arcade than a complete-game experience.
    Unforgivable flaws include taller enemy attacks hitting you through walls, slippery surface glitches, frame rate drops, difficult multiplayer mechanics, dull combat mechanics, doesn't pause, and eventually subjects you to an unavoidable charade of almost endless farming and backtracking.
    Adult players should be warned that this game shows no respect of your time spent playing it. If you are playing video games only for a few hours of high-quality fun, then steer clear of this game.
  5. Oct 4, 2011
    I got Dark Souls early after a mom and pop store broke the street date.I only own a 360 so i never knew about the soul series.After the fair bit of hype generating around the title i decided to look up the previews of said game and it's progeny before a purchase.One forum user said if you like ninja gaiden black this game is the kind of game you'll be interested in..boy were they right.This game DOES NOT hold your hand whatsoever, and if you're the type of person to get annoyed by deaths skip this title enticingly as you'll be doing alot of it( as well as learning from it.)

    Even at the beginning of the game From Software makes their intentions clear,their goal is to kill you if you aren't going to learn the mechanics of block or staying clear from enemy attacks.I know you're thinking " well it's an RPG and any idiot will know not to go running in blindly and pull a **** load of aggo it's only common sense" but sometimes they like to trick you into making you feel like you've succeeded in something then crush your ego as soon as you step into another room.After you managed to bypass/clear a current area you've been stuck on,you'll be guaranteed to have the biggest smile on your face and the best feeling from playing a video game in years.

    From enemy an area design to some of the best atmospheric sounds you'll ever hear, this game has everything covered perfectly... if you're up to the challenge that is.
  6. Oct 10, 2011
    People rave about this game and Demons Souls, i really thought "wow, they must be great games." but they aren't! The movements of characters feel and look unnatural, the story is virtually nonexistent, the controls are so clunky i almost think the Difficulty people rave about (which by the way is one of the most retarded selling points I've ever heard) was put there specifically to make it look like the crappy controls were part of the difficulty, There's a giant Raven early on and if you just sit and watch it, you see it goes through only 3 animations. That wouldn't be so bad if they were actually natural looking instead of look down look up look right, and it just repeats. There's a dragon and i literally saw no animation in it from far away and i could see almost every part of it. I understand wanting a difficult game, i play every game i can on the hardest difficulty available, but does difficulty make a game worth buying? no, neither do clunky controls, lack of story and unnatural animations. Hell i prefer Too Human over this, i was originally going to give this a 5 but putting my thoughts down actually made me realize how bad this game really is. I'm giving it a 2 literally only because the graphics are very nice. P.S. i don't even find the game hard i only stopped playing because the game was crap in my eyes. Expand
  7. Oct 15, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I wanted very much to like this game. It just didn't give me an opportunity to. After your initial tutorial, you have a boss fight that would be the equivalent of the last boss encounter in most games. The trash mobs that follow?.... killed me about 20 times in a row. That just isn't fun. Dark souls is for the hardcore only, and they will likely enjoy the hell out of it, but if, like me, you play most games on the 'normal' setting? you wont last ten minutes playing this game before you give up in frustration. Save your money for Skyrim. Expand
  8. Dec 28, 2011
    Whilst there's fun to be had in Dark Souls it is also a prime example of how dumb, sad and gullible it's core audience is as reading through comments and user reviews people seem to be more bothered about the fact that they can play a tough game as some kind of badge of honour than the game itself. You see, the game is actually very lazy - great graphics but naff all music, barely any RPG elements of which to speak (with hardly any plot or story to drive you on), and worst of all repetative gameplay that just makes the game DRAG. I don't mind fighting a tough boss 5, 10, 20 times to beat it, but when I have to run down an empty path for a few minutes just to get there first and then be killed in one hit it's hard to look back on the time spent travelling and finding any fun in it. Also, the game could get away with being to tough and merciless if it's mechanics worked well, but the camera gets stuck behind trees, you roll through solid walls, and most unforgivingly of all the targetting mechanic spins you round in the opposite direction if you're not close enough to an enemy - by which time the enemy has usually jumped you. Dark Soul's also doesn't allow you to pause the game....ever. Now, I don't know about you but sometimes I need to pee, eat or actually do things in real life such as answer a phone call, the fact that this wasn't included is beyond a joke. If you're batteries die mid combat? No pause screen, your man just stands there and dies. But, slap a tag on it that this game is for "real games" and the drongos will buy en mass *facepalm*. On the plus side the combat can be fun and once you're a bit tougher it isn't so bad - until you come to a new area which means hours grinding to get tough again. I've probably focussed a bit too much on the negative aspects of Dark Souls, but folk need to be warned that it's more than just a case of it being a hard game - it's a hard game that's mechanics are poor and doesn't allow for glitches or reality. Deffinately try before you buy. Expand
  9. Oct 4, 2011
    I bought a ps3 for demon's souls.Now that this game is multiplatorm i can purchase it on my main console.(360) If you hate difficult games, stay the hell away.If you're up to the challenge this game can provide you with enough joy and playtime for the rest of the year.
  10. Oct 21, 2011
    I have actually already reviewed Dark Souls. I originally awarded the game a '9', but felt the need to upgrade it to a '10' considering the circumstances. I'm about 55 hours in and I still haven't completed the game. The wealth of content is extraordinary, and the world From Software has built is absolutely staggering. This far in, I'm still fighting new and creative enemies, discovering secrets I had missed, and involving myself in the rewarding and immensely satisfying combat. In a year surging with triple A titles, Dark Souls pushes forward, and can proudly stand alongside the best games of the year. Expand
  11. Oct 4, 2011
    Got Dark Souls this past Saturday @ Video games New York (the old St.Marks video games) and it's been giving me anxiety ever since. Anxiety, heartbreak & depression mixed with pure joy. That's how I would describe the last few days with Dark Souls. I literally grinded around the same bonfire for 5 hours straight, 30,000 souls...I call it "Soul Spamming" I transformed my pyromancer from rape victim to rapist...until I decided to explore the forest with the gigantic crystal monsters that explode. I have now gone back to being a rape victim. Damn you Dark Souls. You may hate me, but I'm starting to fall in love with you. Expand
  12. Oct 16, 2011
    I had fun setting up my character, and starting thru the tutorial... that's about it. After I escape the first dungeon, I meet a knight and decide to fight him and take his soul (I'm a thief in the game after all...). He kills me in 3 hits... Fine, try again. Respawn/reload the game, he kills me again! The fighting is so lame... He hits me, and my character has to go thru this delayed reaction/animation, realizing he's getting hit, and by the time I regain control, I'm hit again, then dead... again. Fine, can't fight him, I'll reload the game and run away. Nope, he just follows me no matter where I go, and how far I run. My hits are so weak, they barely register, and of course, he has no slow down from my hits, just continues thru his attack motion as if I'm not hitting him multiple times. 9 Deaths later, and screaming at he TV, i quit. Not fun. Why not at least "reset the scene" if the player is killed? If it was a mistake to fight the first character I meet, why not let me learn that, and leave him be upon reloading? Do i have to restart the whole game, and go thru the tutorial dungeon all over again? How many similar situations would ruin my evenings if I decided to keep this torture session disguised as a video game? I would have loved to play with a friend to help me, why restrict me from doing so? Multiplayer is random and can't be coordinated. Not fun. I gave it a rest and tried again the next day, still not fun. At all. Trading it in for Batman Arkham City. Expand
  13. Dec 13, 2011
    I would definitely give this game a solid 9.5. First off, if you've never played Demon Souls (like me) and are still hung up about the notorious difficulty of the game, I advise you not to buy into the hype. While the game can still be very challenging, it's something that can easily be overcome once you get the combat down properly. I've never played Demon Souls before and I had heard a great deal about this game, so I decided to finally give it a go. The game is so thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to finish mainly due to the satisfaction that it brings when you overcome a new challenge. I've read several reviews where people say that the game is a chore and like "eating brussel sprouts" until you complete a challenge, whereas it turns into "eating ice cream". This could not be further from the truth. The game is CONSTANTLY like "eating ice cream", rewarding you at every turn with exciting new gear or spells to fuel you're ongoing push towards the final boss. I believe the IGN review has something along the lines of: "If you play games for fun, than this game is not for you". This statement is also extremely false and is very misleading to newcomers who are thinking about potentially purchasing this game. The game simply requires you to be more open-minded as well as patient in contemplating the best strategies to overcome certain situations and boss fights. The graphics of the game are gorgeous, giving players a huge variety of stunning environments ranging from murky catacombs to snowy fortresses set upon a mountainside. It's essentially an open-world experience, since you can go almost anywhere at anytime, but there's still a decent amount of linearity. If you stumble upon an area where the enemies take 15 hits to kill and are capable of killing you in 1-2, you probably shouldn't be at that area yet and should return there at a later time. The combat mechanics work extremely well, never feeling overly repetitive nor becoming a chore. The game tries to get players to "bond" with their weapons and develop a sort of attached relationship. I've definitely felt this before, as I was reluctant at one point in the game to cease using my Fire Spear that I crafted since the monsters were all basically immune to fire. The game has you select from one of many starting classes, which primarily only affect you're starting equipment and attributes (except the Pyromancer, who might be the only class that can utilize Pyromancy spells). Spells are an absolute blast to use and there's tons of variety for a myriad of situations in which they can be implemented. The storyline is almost nonexistent, save for a few cutscenes and cinematics here and there, but this does not hinder the experience whatsoever. It may even bolster it, depending on who you ask, granting the game a more "realistic" feel. It gives the sense that the storyline is essentially what a "real" hero's journey would be like, with many difficult trials and failures along the road to success. Let me be completely honest when I say this, however: you will die. You will die alot, but overcoming death in this game is part of the grand satisfaction I mentioned. You die to an extremely difficult boss, losing your souls temporarily (if you can recover your "body", similar to Diablo 2), come back, and annihilate the boss. These moments are uniquely crafted, leaving you feeling like you're on top of the world when you achieve them. The game is about as dark of a fantasy as you can get and leaves very little to no room for comedic relief, save for a few moments that are few and far between. The game's crafting system is addicting in many ways, constantly dangling that carrot in front of you to collect that last Titanite Shard to upgrade you're weapon. The game does, however, have some issues that are worth mentioning. My biggest complaint is the framerate tearing in certain areas and scenes of the game. Blighttown is the worst offender, making it close to maddening to explore without tilting the camera towards the ground. There are also some other sequences and boss fights that briefly experience this, but no other notables. Another issue I've noticed is sometimes a delayed reaction in the control scheme when activating items. During boss fights, timing is crucial, and when I press X to use my Estus Flask to heal myself, I expect my damn character to pop that baby open and drink instantly. Multiple times, I've done this only to see a 2-3 delay before my character finally drinks, and this is after I've resumed dodging attacks. My character has then stopped during an attack, and I either die or sustain a serious blow. This doesn't happen that often, but when it does, it's frustrating. Overall, Dark Souls is one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I've ever had the pleasure of playing. If you're still hung up about purchasing it, give it a rent, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Highly recommended. Expand
  14. Oct 11, 2011
    The two negative reviewers are idiots. That is all. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
  15. Dec 30, 2011
    This game is incredibly repetitive. I like a challenge more than the next guy, but goddamnit! I play video games for fun and entertainment, not for bitter frustration. If you constantly like dying from cheap shots while putting up with such a lame battle sequences. This game is for you. I don't know about you, but i don't have the patience to fight nearly impossible bosses and their cheap hits to reload from a checkpoint ten minutes to fight that same boss again, with all the annoying enemies respawned again. Its not the challenge that really gets me, its the repetitive battle sequences, not to mention complete and utter boredom. At least in Skyrim, there's alot more ways to fight an enemy. This game is going to make you get so mad to the point where it just becomes, not fun. I admit, the games out today make it to easy for you to win, but you have to draw the line somewhere. At least make the game with some kind of variety. I love well written storylines and DS doesn't have one really. So it almost for me, becomes pointless to let this game drag on more than it has to. I had to turn off the game after dying 574897539 friggin times before i start putting unnecessary holes in my walls. This F--- this game! A video game should be fun to play and not a hassle! Skip this atrocity of a game and buy Skyrim. Expand
  16. May 17, 2012
    This is quite possibly the worst game I've ever played. Using a scale of 0-10 it falls somewhere between 90 and 100. Not because it's SO good, but because it earns *both* the 9/10 *and* the 0, and the zero is enormous. Tremendous. Overwhelming. So much so that the 9/10 doesn't count.

    Just to get the irrelevant out of the way, everything it does, it does everything extremely well.
    Graphics, sound, environments are all beautiful. Controls are pretty good, some things on the stick are awkward but almost nothing is bad to the point of detraction (archery is garbage), and there aren't many instances of 'screw you cam' (when you're trying to run across a narrow path and the camera rotates around your character making a straight path nearly impossible but falling to your death *extremely* easy). Inventories are deep and enemies are varied. In short, nearly every thing the developer attempted was successful.

    Sadly, the developer chose to do a lot of things which aren't good. Some are absolutely awful. And those aren't the worst.

    Open the case and you have a disc and 16 page manual. The manual is in four languages, so you have a few pages in your native tongue. The deep inventory uses icons which are never explained. Attributes and abilities are never explained. There's a Bonus system which is never explained. There are loads of things which are never explained. Including what you're actually trying to do, unless a single statement in the middle of a cut scene with a character whose relevance is never mentioned counts. This game needs a serious manual more than anything I've seen in several years. You're given a few pages. Have fun googling for the information that the developers should have given you.

    There was a time and place when it made sense for falling to your death to be integral to a game. Actually it's still that time, but the place remains what it was: platformers, particularly 2D platformers. In a 3D RPG it's awful, particularly in conjunction with Dark Souls next absolutely miserable failing...

    The ability to save progress is something that there's no compelling, or valid, argument against. Unless you're the maker of Dark Souls, in which case they apparently believe differently. I say "believe" rather than "think" because I said "valid." To put it in the form of a question that pertains to Dark Souls, "What's wrong with making a player repeat what took nearly 90 minutes, only to die by falling because the moving walkway slid out from under the player's feet?" What's wrong with that? *Everything*. It's awful to have few checkpoints, but much, *much* worse when the game makes them easy to miss.

    Leaving a number of other major shortcomings (4 off the top of my head) I'm just going to move to the last, the net effect of the fully intended and incorporated failings of Dark Souls. It's frequently called a difficult game. It isn't. There are a few points in the game that are hard, but most of it isn't more challenging than most of what's out there. Rather than difficult, Dark Souls is frustrating. For the linguistically challenged, difficult is getting stuck at a point, failing over and over before passing on the 40th (or more) attempt. Frustrating is forcing players to spend fifteen (or forty) minutes passing tedious obstacles on each of those forty+ attempts. That's why mistakes are made, and how weak enemies gain the potential to defeat your character. And it's complete and unforgivable garbage.

    In short, the people that made Dark Souls should be pleased with how well they succeeded in making the game they set out to make. Unfortunately, most of what they tried to do in inherently detritus.
  17. Dec 22, 2011
    Honestly the game is pretty easy once you know how the game works. Difficulty is a fun learning curve that most people with no patience will not enjoy. This is a real man's game, and i'm happy to own it. This really is the only 'adult' game I can think of. I thoroughly enjoy the dark nature of the game, the realistic color scheme which isn't cartoony like most games. The graphics are so jaw dropping that you'll want to spend your time looking around your environment. The open world landscape lets you see other parts of the world as you think to yourself, "i'll be heading there soon" The best part of this game that deserves the most attention to detail is the combat mechanics. This game has the most polished and deeply rewarding combat system ever imagined. This isn't a game where you can mash a few buttons and expect to live. You need to take into account consideration for what an opponent wears or doesn't wear, is it weak to slash attacks from a katana or will a stunlock from an ultra greatsword work well? Is this mob weak to fire? Once you master and become proficient with parry/riposte you'll be killing some enemies in one hit. This is very satisfying because the risk/reward for timing this will earn you the kill instantly, but fail by a 1/2 second and you may end up dead. It's this very nature of the game that makes you feel like you are always on the verge of death if you make a few wrong decisions. This realistic sense of life and death will have you shiver going into areas you know will be difficult. The voice acting in this game is top notch and has to be some of the best i've ever heard. You won't hear the same voice overs for multiple characters like other games either. The ambiance is really well portrayed here as well, you don't hear annoying background music every area you go into, rather you'll hear eerie screams, crows flying around and bickering, maybe if a skeleton shaking his bars on his cell door. This kind of thing immerses you into the game, especially when it's pitch dark and you hear a Darkwraith clanking as he runs across the room towards you crunching the skulls underneath his feet. You will be scared, you'll laugh (probably not), you'll cry, you may even get mad. But the payoff is the rewarding feeling you get once you accomplish what you thought was possible each time you die. I've sunk 300 hours into this game and i'm not even bored yet, talk about a great $60 well spent! Buy this game now! Expand
  18. Oct 4, 2011
    Yes, 10. This game singlehandedly has restored my faith in rpg's. You will get stuck, and feel the rage of your gaming forfathers. You shall either expose yourself as a superficial gamer and quit to go play fluffybunnies, or you shall overcome and experience true accomplishment. The choice is yours.
  19. Oct 13, 2011
    Borderline terrible controls and hit detection at times. Framerate suffers immensely when the screen is full of characters. Multiplayer is probably the worst I have ever experienced, tried for over an hour multilpe times to join other people or have them join me met with failure save for one time. Difficulty is as stated, but the game flirts with completely unfair/borderline impossible with some of the enemies in the game. Overall, it's an ok game, nothing to write home about. Expand
  20. Oct 18, 2011
    Dark Souls isn't a bad game, but it isn't great. I am a hardcore gamer, in fact I have been playing my whole life and I love challenging games, but this game has the sharpest difficulty curve anyone will understand. The first boss is probably one of the most easiest bosses in gaming history, but the second (which is probably 5-10 minutes right after the first) seems as if you played the final boss of Zelda: Ocarina of Time "Ganon" with your controller upside down, blinded. Then after THAT boss, theres even a harder one requiring lots of grinding just to defeat him. Then the next, then the next, then the next. Very repetitive grinding, any console RPG game shouldn't have grinding, at all. We're not playing World of Warcraft.

    It's not a bad game, but before going deeply into difficulty, you have to give players a more grip of the game before giving them a near-impossible boss for a beginner. Yes, I did beat it, I love challenges.
  21. Nov 10, 2011
    Dark souls is a good game if you like games to be really hard (like me) but it is repetative and ign thought it was going to destroy skyrim. not even close to as good as skyrim.
  22. Oct 6, 2011
    This game is Amazing.I loved Demon souls on the PS3,But I love the fact that dark souls is available on the XBOX 360.Now to all those who do not play rpg's or are not good at rpg's DO NOT GET THIS GAME!!!!it is very hard and I mean this in a huge way.this game was made for people with alot of patience and who know how to play rpg's I'm not saying I'm the best either but I play alot of rpg's and dark souls still gave me a run for my money.Dark souls is a must have. Expand
  23. Nov 19, 2012
    It's not the challenge of Dark Souls that is so refreshing; it's more that the game treats you like you are a veteran. It holds your hand in so few ways, but the exploration and learning is the best part anyways. The world is one seamless area with no central hub. It's a nice system, but the directions are lacking too much in my opinion. Getting lost is a bit too easy when you don't know that you should backtrack to an area in order to advance in the game. I could just be a baby. I'm not quite sure. Other than that gripe, this game blew my mind. From Software, on a mediocre budget, produced this sixty+ hour masterpiece with gorgeous graphics. The music is tense and rare, but the silent moments of this game are almost what I look forward too the most. Defeating one of the many well-designed bosses leaves me feeling accomplished more than I have felt in any game before it. Just traversing a small group of enemies can feel accomplishing, because of how difficult this game can be at points. The combat is smooth. Really smooth. It's not like Skyrim, where hacking away at enemies is just a matter of smacking the right trigger and occasionally blocking. It's an art that has to be mastered by memorizing the moves of all of the enemies around you. Don't be too turned off by the magic system either. It's not the greatest system, but it actually works pretty well. I just wish it took more skill sometimes though to kill enemies with magic. It's fair and requires strategy, but it's a little easy to kill some enemies with (many bosses). This is one of those games that I just try to get everybody to try out because it seems so different from what the video game world is used to. It has a minimalist plot and is hardcore, yet somehow, a major video game company chose to make it this way. Against the odds, this game was made and I don't see many hardcore rpgs coming in 2013. Pick this up. Expand
  24. Oct 6, 2011
    There is only one way to describe dark souls and that is....AMAZING!!!.this game is a must have if your an jrpg fan or just an rpg fan period.Now I will say this, the game is Very and I mean VERY hard and is not for people who get angry fast since this game is made to punish you(and it will)I have died more times than I'd like to admit but I'm cool with that since when I do progress I feel a sens of accomplishment and excitement beyond anything I've felt in any game in awhile(besides Ninja Gaiden)I loved Demon souls on PS3 so I knew I had to have Dark souls, and even better yet on the xbox 360.this game get's my highest score.Rpg fans go get some Dark souls. Expand
  25. Aug 24, 2012
    Overrated, uninspiring and boring. So this is the game that my friends pictured to me as the ''Panacea of Gaming'' and turned out to be completely wrong.
    The gameplay is clunky as hell, especially when you engage in a boss fight.. The map design feels bland and very empty, not to mention that the graphics are downright terrible. Is this 2012 or 2004?
    Ok, continuing with this, its not
    open world as some people told me, its completely linear and boring and the character lacks personality and charisma.
    Also, it has GFWL. That is enough for anyone to stay away. I don't even know why companies still use this.

    I'm glad i got it as a birthday gift, but sometimes i wish my friend didn't have to spend that amount of money. I'm not ungrateful, on the contrary, but this game is definitely not my cup of tea.

    Definitely one of the most dissapointing games of 2012.
  26. Nov 10, 2011
    This is my all-time favorite game. It is seriously amazing in every aspect, and no review could do it justice. I recommend that if you are even slightly interested, rent or buy the game and you will see why it is such a masterpiece!
  27. Nov 10, 2011
    Dark Souls is an adventure that is both fulfilling and exciting. The game itself can be brutally hard. But this is good, it's a challenge that IS possible. You're free to make your decisions on where to go almost as soon as you enter Lordran. The world is huge, and offers plenty of hours of gameplay. The multiplayer is an interesting aspect of the game. No voice chat allowed as they prefer for "Silent assistance" which I find perfectly fine. Invading is always enjoyable (who wouldn't want to make someone throw their controller in frustration?). This is an epic and expansive RPG that has placed my faith back into immersing myself for countless hours in a single game. From Software did an amazing job, and I only hope they release another. Expand
  28. Nov 26, 2011
    This is quite possibly one of the best games I have played in the past 10 years. It feels like a return to the old school style action-adventure game, with RPG elements heavily incorporated. If you, like me, feel like video games have become incredibly dumbed-down, mindless and easy; this will be an incredibly refreshing experience. The immersion this game creates is amazing, as the difficulty makes you pay close attention to the movements of the AI and the world around you. For the first time in years I felt immersed in a game, the environment and sheer difficulty invoke feelings of despair and anxiety at times, but this makes the reward for overcoming challenges feel much more like an accomplishment than anything I have experienced in a contemporary action/RPG game. Expand
  29. Dec 7, 2011
    I never played demon souls so I did not know what to expect when I bought Dark Souls. All I knew was that it was an action RPG and was supposed to be "hard". Talk about an understatement... I have long been dissatisfied with RPG's and console gaming in general mainly due to them being too easy. Most RPG's you can save your game every 3 steps, or just grind your way to victory. Dark Souls went far beyond my expectations.

    Combat: The combat is some of the best I have played in a video game, second only to Mount and Blade. The strikes feel slow at first but it really works. The strikes of characters and npcs feel like they have some weight behind them. The endurance mechanic for blocking is well done as well. You can block as long as you have endurance but when it runs out hits will stagger you. You can only attack if you have endurance as well. The responsiveness of the controls are is wonderful. You may find yourself hiding behind your shield with your endurance gone and know the next strike will stagger you. In this game you can actually use the dodge button to roll out of the way if you time it right. The rolling dodge in other games feels useless not activating fast enough or moving quick enough to save you. In dark souls you can go from a shield block to a roll in no time at all.

    Aesthetics: The game doesn't play like a movie as you wander from cut scene to cut scene like modern (and worthless) RPGs. You are given very little direction and left to your own devices. You will feel brilliant when you connect the small clues and discover something. The game seeks to create atmosphere which it does well. The atmosphere lends itself well to the game and you will find your own story.

    Difficulty: The best selling point. I get the same feeling playing dark souls that i used to get playing the old wizardry games. Dark souls goes out of its way to kill the player. Enemies are often hiding in a way that they surround you if you run past. Occasionally bottomless pits are found just after emerging from thick foilage. The bosses in this game will murder you if you don't come up with a plan to defeat them. You can lose your souls if you die in a bad spot or get killed on the way to retrieve them. When you have collected a lot of souls, it can be extremely harrowing when you run into a tough encounter far from a bonfire. Closing note: Dark Souls is the most fun i have ever had on Xbox. Probably the best single player RPG ever. Better than fallout 1, 2 and 3D. Better than Oblivion, Morrowind, and Skyrim...I am really happy that this game is so popular in north america since people often talk about hard core games as not appealing to westerners. I always found that insulting and now we have a game to point to when we say "You are wrong!" I hope other developers follow suit and tap the hardcore gaming market.
  30. Nov 7, 2012
    This game is a masterpiece. The people who say it requires grinding are retarded. The only time I grinded was when I suddenly decided 35 hours in that "Ya no, heavy armour ain't for me, I'm going for a dodge build". The game does not require any grinding, it requires observation and skill. Nothing more.
  31. Dec 19, 2012
    TL;DR A great RPG that'll have you raging one moment and cheering the next.

    Dark Souls is a highly debated game with one side crying of "artificial difficulty" and the other being fanboys defending it. However, if you're in the middle (hopefully), you'll realize that its a great game that still has its flaws. Addressing one of the most argued point(s), pertaining to the "artificial
    difficulty", learning curve, or anything in between, I can say that there are legitimate and also illegitimate complaints. For one, those mainly complaining of the difficulty either tried to A) Blow through the game and got their **** promptly slapped, then complained. or B) Don't understand how to fight or address the different enemies/situations in the game, and would rather not go through the "trial and error" process. Don't be fooled, there is a LOT of trial and error at times. Outside of that highly debated topic, the game is interesting. The beginning and end cutscenes are the only story related scenes, the rest of the story is to be figured out through the player's exploration (another unpopular feature among the modern gamer). The world feels vast, being that you can actually see a lot of the zones from within each other, and they seem so large in view. The characters, while eccentric, aren't exactly memorable, but they aren't very bad either. The game has a depressing atmosphere to it, and it can be felt at times. The art design is great, and really fits the theme, along with the enemies of the world.

    The combat is another learning curve that definitely takes some getting used to. Parrying is an interesting mechanic that isn't reliable to the average player, but getting better at it makes dealing with small minions a breeze, but unfortunately it ruins one very important fight in the game. All the classes seem rather balanced although mage/ranger are play styles that seem better suited to the more experienced player, but being proficient at 2 is a big plus. The stats system holds true to any traditional RPG, and while gear doesn't make a world of difference (unless you're worried about your roll...), there is still a lot of customization.

    The PVP, while being a very large part of the game, still has its flaws. Summoning is unreliable at best, and doing Co-op with friends isn't exactly easy. Another problem arises with twinks (experienced, very low levels who have beaten the game and NG+ and have their best possible setup) will easily make any newcomer confused and angry at their first online invasion experiences. Lag turns any fight into a "who gets the lucky backstab" duel, and gankers can get very annoying.

    I'm not really sure how in-between you can be with Dark Souls, its either something you love, hate, or your friends are making you play to torture yourself with. Despite what many naysayers will complain about, the game still has its strong points, and I would argue that these will outweigh the complaints of "artificial difficulty" and other excuses.
  32. Oct 6, 2011
    Call me a naysayer. I hated Demon's Souls. It wasn't the difficulty (Because Dark Souls is surely more difficult.) It was just that once you looked past the difficulty, the game felt... bland. Dark Souls, on the other hand, feels a lot more refined. A true sequel that built upon the foundation of the first game to deliver what I felt Demon's Souls SHOULD have been.

    This game does
    lose .5 point for its tutorial and worthless manual. Okay, so a bad tutorial makes the game difficult, since you don't know what you're doing, but even once you do know what you're doing it's still hard. It's just FAR less frustrating. Such as:Tap B twice to jump WHILE sprinting. Once I got my bearings straight, I've been sailing. And by sailing I mean dying. But they've been legitimate deaths. Each enemy knicking away my health bit by bit, forcing me to refine my tactics to save my potions for the big fights. Get completely destroyed in a single blink from an ambush.

    Which brings me to the other half of a point lost. The boss fights aren't "difficult" so much as they are poor design. Horrible camera, juggling, and invisible walls make boss fights more irritating than difficult. Especially when the boss jumps, you try to roll under them, and it somehow throws you off a cliff because the game uses cylinders for placement. Fortunately, there aren't too many of them like this. So I can't dock off too much for it.

    All in all, it's the ideal game to bring you to the November Gaming Marathon that surely awaits you coming 11/14/11.
  33. Oct 10, 2011
    I picked this up yesterday not knowing what to expect. I read all the reviews, I heard all the hype. I decided to give this game a shot. Never played Demon's souls, but I know it recieved similar praise and I wanted to know what was so great about these games that sounded so frustrating. Twenty hours of game time later and I am here to tell you that this is one of the most original games I've ever played. Not since the very first Zelda on the NES have I played something so unique and uncompromising in its design. Full of secrets and easter eggs, tons and tons of cool weapons and armor, and beautiful art design. It's totally true the game is unflinchingly hard. Every section of the game is built around the concept of learning from death. I spent the first twenty minutes or so in the game dying over and over again only to realize I needed to equip a different weapon to deal with different enemies. Once I did so I walked right through them. It all started to click. There is almost always a solution to the situation your stuck in, you just have to use your brain and figure it out, and when you do you feel like a total badass. The controls take a bit of getting used to as you cant just mash the buttons fable style and expect to get anywhere. You really have to carefully plan each strike but again when you learn the enemies attack patterns and weaknesses you smash right through them. I can't reccomend checking this game out enough to those sitting on the fence. If your tired of the same old crap over and over again this was made for you so don't cry about games being repetitive and full of sequels if you don't pick this up. If you consider yourself a hardcore gamer you owe it to yourself and the industry to have this in your collection-no excuses! In over 20 years of playing games this is one of the finest experiences I've ever had with a game not only because the game is great but because it "gets" the psychology behind what makes gamers tick and uses that to keep you playing even when it feels like the odds are 100 percent against you and then rewards you when you do finally overcome them amplifiying your emotion to the point where you feel like you just won the world series when overcoming a difficulty you never thought you were good enough to handle. Nothing else in gameing compares to this experience-period! Expand
  34. Oct 4, 2011
    Dark Souls is simply amazing, an addicting challenge, one the most beautifully made hardcore RPG games ever. It's hard to put Dark Souls down, it sucks you in early on and keeps you grinding through hours and hours of death and rewarding conquest. This game will test your nerves and make your blood boil, you will die and you will die often. I guarantee your adrenaline will surge through the roof and you might even find yourself checking your pulse. Dark Souls is a **** of a game and one hell of a good time. Expand
  35. Oct 16, 2011
    Got this game 3 days ago and can't stop playing it. Yes, it's hard. Yes, you will die. A lot. However, this is probably one of the best rpgs of all time. Ignore the cry babies and the kiddies. They're just mad because they can't handle it.
  36. Oct 4, 2011
    Short and simple.This game is hard.This game is good.freeframeratedrops but otherwise awesome.
  37. Feb 1, 2012
    A game that demands your attention. A true work of art that other developers should use as a template. I spent 80+ hours on Demon's Souls, and Dark Souls is just as and more addicting then its spiritual predecessor. This game uses creative tools to make it stand out amongst other RPGs. The punishing diffuculty only makes you a better player. Those who rage quit do not give this game enough of a chance. Expand
  38. Dec 6, 2011
    This game is very underrated. A lot of people seemed turned off by the difficulty and apparent lack of story, but those people don't know they are missing out on a jewel. This game is the perfect example of what games should really be about: gameplay. Dark Souls has a very good combat system featuring evasions, parry attacks, backstabs, special moves, poise and target lock. Coupled with a very efficient UI that allows players to easily and rapidly toggle between weapons, items and spells. All very fluidly and dynamically. In addition, the game offers incredible variety in weapons. Each weapon is unique and has different set of moves, animations, speed, range, stamina usage and recovery. With many different ways to upgrade and ascend them. Dark Souls depth simply puts many other rival RPGs to shame. The game also has brilliant level design all around. Areas are very beautiful and unique, and they each have different types of enemies, challenges and rewards. It's a little hard to explain, but the levels are actually "gameplay themed" in addition to color-themed. The levels and their obstacles represent a challenge in themselves. But another part of the challenge is being able to manage our items, spells and souls between smartly placed bonfires. Not to mention the very satisfying and truly epic boss fights. Furthermore, this game offers great multiplayer through online play items such as the whitesoap stone which allows players to summon help (coop) and various orbs that let you invade the world of other players (player vs player). Story wise, a lot of people criticize the lack of narrative in Dark Souls. But I think the story is still interesting. It's just different than your typical soap opera RPG that have those interminable dialogues and cut scenes. In Dark Souls, the story is more like a big puzzle and the player needs to put pieces together to understand the people and the world that surrounds him. You get clues by reading item descriptions and talking to various NPCs, but also by looking at the environment. I thought it was actually pretty clever and original. That being said, the game still has its fair share of flaws. The most unfortunate ones are the bad artificial intelligence and lack of dedicated server. And that is the main reason why I'm not giving this game a perfect 10. But Dark Souls is still a nearly flawless game that in my opinion deserves to be GOTY. Expand
  39. Dec 28, 2011
    "You Died" "You Died" "You Died" Get used to that as you're going to see it A LOT. Let me start off with some positives: considering how large the game world is, there is zero load time. The world looks amazing and is vastly populated with seemingly endless, forever spawning enemies that are so hard, their nightmares are afraid of them. But that's where it ends for me. Don't get me wrong, I love a challenging game, but when I say a challenge, I mean one that isn't a chore to grind through for three hours whilst dying and returning to your checkpoint 15 minutes sprint away.

    And that's a massive failure to me, not only do the checkpoints happen only during a full solar eclipse, but if you stop by after killing 5 baddies, and you heal up, be prepared to kill those guys again, as they seemingly come back to life.

    Enemies also seemingly never run out of stamina, and despite the belief that the move set is varied you will be killed by the same 2 hit combo over and over by every enemy that is near you.

    "You Died"

    Bosses should be this hard in all games, but what they shouldn't do (and in Dark Souls they do EVERY TIME) is hit you with an area of effect attack that knocks you down, wait for you to just start getting up, then as you stand hit you with same attack again and again and again and again and again ad infinitum.
    I say that though, you'll most likely die from the evil stare they give you as every weapon an enemy wields, seemingly does about 10000000 HP of damage.

    In all if I was told why I started in a prison at the games start and what the outlining plan was (after 4 hours I'm yet to get out of Lordran as I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing or where I'm going) it may be forgivable.

    Suffice is to say that this game is unforgiving, aimless and boring.
    After defeating bosses for a reward that seemingly does little more than look nice, and levelling up to find I'm still getting killed in 2 hits, I find little else to praise.

    Poorly implemented targeting and boring "story" make this feel like a chore rather than fun.

  40. Apr 10, 2012
    Dark Souls in an incredible adventure, and sometimes a slog into the darkness of humanity. Many give up on the path to understanding, but for those few souls who are resilient enough to take on these evils, and look upon the face of death will find themselves a god amongst men.
    This is a good game, a hard game, and it will break you until you break it right back. It will not treat you
    nice, it will not give you an easy out, but you can always find a way. Are you a bad enough dude to face your own mortality? Expand
  41. May 13, 2012
    Dark Souls is the "War and Peace" of video games, a vast and epic immersion, a world into which one disappears in rapture. Highest accolades, tears of joy.
  42. May 13, 2012
    Difficult, rewarding and sadistically beautiful. One of my favorite games of all time. I spent over 300 hours playing this it has a fantastic replay value.
  43. Jan 7, 2012
    This is an example of a great open world-ish fantasy game. There isn't much of a plot and there are countless tough enemies that are far more powerful than you are (and are quite able to kill you in one hit), but the beauty of the game, which may come across as a real pain to others, is the whole trial and error aspect. You have to figure out which path is safest, and make strategies on killing enemies. Some areas prove to be absolutely impossible - dark lords, black knights, ice creatures, and countless other monsters all lurk the lands and corridors of ruins, and, save for a few bosses, can be snuck around if too difficult to kill. It doesn't take long to realize that one of the purposes behind the games creation is that YOU WILL DIE. You will die countless times. Even at the very beginning, you will die many times. Every time you die and/or leave to save at a bonfire, all enemies (except bosses) will reappear. One great aspect of this game is that there are different creatures lurking around, obviously with some history - and even if the history of such creatures was never imagined, anything can be interpreted. Some enemies you only see once, and they'll just be there in the least expected of places. Its truly a magnificent, bleak open world game that all true gamer lovers can find something to enjoy behind. It requires patience and strategy which is something not seen in most modern games outside of certain franchises. Expand
  44. Oct 5, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Dark Souls, A open world, Action Rpg with an extreme difficulty and great graphics.
    To say Dark souls is an immersive experience would be an under statement. Dark Souls is a work of art. A hand crafted masterpiece. A game that takes us back to the old days when games were extremely challenging. You will die a lot in Dark souls, this isn't a game for everyone but for those that stick with it the feeling of accomplishment is massive. If you like a challenge? a Rpg experience that spans 60+ hours buy this game.
  45. Jul 16, 2012
    Okay, I'm gonna make this quick. Dark Souls is quite probably one of the best games EVER MADE. I stated that in all caps to let you know just how serious I am.

    Dark Souls Isn't just a game: It's an experience, an adventure that you will never forget. It has depth, atmosphere, tweaked and challenging gameplay, great visual design and an almost beautiful musical score. I implore you. Buy
    this game. Right now. If you hate it you probably think that it's too hard. If you do, you are soft, play it and gain skill through experience, because it will pay off, I assure you.

    Best game of year? definately. Best game of the decade? I'd say so. Over-dramatic review? yeah, sorry 'bout that. But get this game anyway. It'll be the worth every penny.
  46. Nov 26, 2011
    One of this years better games, challenging with an interesting story and setting - character development is good and you can mould your character around the way you want to play (I have been playing a sorcery caster and am currently in Anor Londo, unfortunately skyrim is taking huge chunks out of my life at the moment but I hope soon to be back and finishing this game off as I would really like to find out how it ends). The developers also appear to be supporting the title well as is apparent in the patches they have been putting out. This game is hard though - take your time to level up and play smart and you will find a very rewarding game here, try to rush through and be prepared to die lots. Expand
  47. Dec 30, 2011
    This is a good game, so hear me out.It's the falling attack gimmick that irks me and made me quit.Most boss fights revolve around finding some place to climb up, waiting and using said falling attack to do a huge amount of damage to him.Not only does this kill the mood of the fight but it makes no sense to me whatsoever.I just can't take a game that presents itself as "difficult" and "challenging" seriously when such simple and illogical methods defeat these monstrous bosses we are presented with. Expand
  48. Jan 9, 2012
    This "game" is literally HORRENDOUS. This is one of the worst creative endeavors ever undertaken. I made a metacritic account just to shut all these people up who say otherwise. If you like this game you have a serious ego problem because you are trying to be "mr hotshot" and "mr hardcore gamer" please give it a rest. Anyone could beat this game if they put in the time to memorize the areas and grind their way to victory. First off the voice acting is horrific, I could have done a more believable job than their hired voice actors, its laughable how bad the voice acting is. Also, the game atmosphere is all dark and lonely. No fun or excitement to be had here. The graphics suck and I dont know why people keep saying they are good and the interface reminds me of old NES or SNES games, sorry I will pass on crappy old japanese video game feel in the year 2012. I would rather play a game like Skyrim or Red Dead Redemption where the voice acting is amazing and the world is beautiful and wonderful stories are told. Speaking of story......there is NONE in DS. You run around facing mindless enemies who just come straight at you and swing. Not dynamic whatsoever. This game makes you think its open world but really its not because if you try a certain area you will quickly realize your supposed to "grind" more to get there and then come back later when you have leveled more and it will be easy to defeat the enemies. Some people claim this is how you know you have come along and gotten better. No this is not skill. This is memorization and learning. Your attributes are now better because you grinded. Doesnt mean you are good. Like I said people only like this because they want to feel like they are talented video game players, again WRONG you are just the only losers who waste the time to sit and memorize and replay areas over and over and over. If you want to prove your skill go play MLG halo or starcraft and then come talk to me. I have played in two MLG halo tournaments and have never placed higher than top 84 out of 200 teams and I dominate every multiplayer game I have ever played and have beaten every game I have ever played on the hardest difficulty. Dark Souls is just a terribly made game and one thing I am really sick of reading about is the "great" game design here. This is about the laziest game design I have ever seen. I am all about challenge like the next guy but they dont even teach you how to play the damn game. Everyone is like "thats the beauty they throw you in and you have to figure it out" no thats called lazy design. I need to learn how to play the damn game and I shouldnt have to look at online guides to help me. They teach you a few little things and thats it. Even basic inventory management is not taught. Would you call an Mixed Martial Arts coach good if you walked in and he taught you about wrestling and then threw you into a fight without teaching you any of the other facets of MMA? Of course not you would get your head ripped off standing up and would blame him for not teaching you. But apparently teaching you a few concepts in this game while you figure out this rest is "great" game design. Am I in college now? Where I just teach myself? No thats why we pay you for your game so you teach us how to play it. In review DS is a horrific game and I am telling you DO NOT but this game and if you buy it for the challenge and to brag I am here to tell you that you are not a skilled gamer just because you beat it so get off your high horse. Please stop. Like I said go play MLG and then come back and tell me how good you are. Any lemming can sit and memorize and grind and beat mindless horribly implemented NPCs. Beat SMART human that takes skill. Re doing areas again and again to learn and level up is how you win in DS. Thats not skillful. Mindless spamming magic spells and blocking and evading dont make for amazing or skillful combat. Expand
  49. Jan 27, 2012
    Wonderful game. It is refreshing to see a company rely on gameplay rather than graphics in their products. The combat is fun, diverse and mechanics are well thought out. The difficulty, as you've probably read, makes the game challenging. It's not just an easy walk spent admiring some developer's artistic talent. Overall the best game I've purchased in a while. With a little tweaking a ten for sure. Expand
  50. Feb 11, 2012
    If you've read any of the other reviews, then you already know what Dark Souls is all about, so I can skip the facts and get right to my opinion. I don't think that Dark Souls is that hard. I'm not even a hardcore gamer, and I didn't find the difficulty curve to be unbearable. Nothing in Dark Souls is unfair to the player. Every challenge can be met with an eye for observation and a proper strategy. That's what I love about this game. It is possible to complete it without leveling up at all, not that I'd recommend trying it. Too many modern RPGs do away with skill, and leave the player's power to be determined by stats and numbers. Dark Souls is purely skill based, but it does help to have some good equipment. I've seen many reviewers complain about clunky and slow controls, and I'm almost positive that this is because they're trying to use equipment that they don't meet the stat requirements for. Dark Souls controls are fluid and easy to get used to. If the player tries to wear armor that weighs 20lbs and their equip weight is only 50lbs, they'll move slow and their rolls will result in falling and slow recovery. The tradeoff is that heavy armor obviously provides more defense. The player can sacrifice their heavy armor for robes or clothing and be able to dash, roll, and survive by evading. Either method works because Dark Souls allows for characters using any type of build to be effective.

    You can choose to be whatever you want, and the stats that you choose to level up can benefit or even restrict you. Weapons and magic scale with different stats, and the player must choose which weapon to use based off of how they plan on leveling up their character. You can't effectively use a weapon that scales with strength if you are only going to level up dexterity, and it isn't advisable to level up all of your stats equally because you'll end up limiting your own power. The max level is over 700, but for the average gamer, it will be very difficult to get anywhere past soul level 100. That means that you have to be careful about where you spend your stat points.

    A lot of the fun that can be had in Dark Souls comes from building a unique character, and strategizing based off of the skills and abilities that you have. The rest comes from exploration and discovery. Finding a new area is always a challenging and rewarding experience. There could be fake walls, sudden drops, archers from above, or any number of challenges, but they are all reasonable to overcome. The feeling of success that comes from seeing your strategy for an area pay off is unlike any other game. I could go on about the creativity of the different areas of the game, how seamless the world is, the different paths that could be taken, the innovation of the multiplayer, the genius planning behind the covenants, and how deep and incredible the story is, but you just need to play the game to find out about it all for yourself. If you make your decision based off of how hard everyone says that Dark Souls is, you will be missing out. It's hard at first, but the difficulty level is completely reasonable. We've been spoiled by the simplicity of games these days. By the end of Dark Souls, I was wishing for an even greater challenge. Luckily, the game gets even harder in New Game Plus!
  51. Feb 17, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I got Dark Souls after looking at gameplay and thought to myself, this looks like it could be one of the best games of 2011. I got this game and I immediately got used to the controls, RB didn't feel like such a bad button for attacking and it ended up becoming quite fun. However after easily killing the Asylum Demon the game just went downhill for me. The way the game is layed out just doesn't suit my gaming style. Don't get me wrong, the way the map links up is absolutely incredible and like no other game I've ever played before. The way that there is no loading screens when walking around the map is also good. It took me a bit of time to kill the Taurus Demon but by that time I was already bored by this repetitive piece of junk. The soldiers (or whatever they are called) are some of the most stupid things I have ever seen in a video game. I got to the Capra Demon and was a bit apalled to see that all the enemies seemed to have been called demons up until then. I have struggled with the Capra Demon for several hours of my time and I think if I put enough effort in I could finish him off, but why put effort into something which is such a time-consuming piece of rubbish that should only be found at a landfill. The NPC's mouths don't even move when they speak (or they barely do) which is unacceptable for a game of 2011 when games from 10 years ago even had mouths moving. If you are thinking of getting this game, buy a better RPG such as Skyrim or something from the Fallout series. There is absolutely no competition to Skyrim from this game. The only reason I give this a 1 is because of the way the map links up. This game is hard but hard in a boring way not fun. A game can only be so hard until it gets on your nerves. For some people this may not be the case but for me it was. Expand
  52. Feb 17, 2012
    This game has the potential to be game of the year, it is by far the best game I have ever played on my xbox 360, Before I got this game the gameplay videos for this game really made me want to get it, however was made unsure by reviews that complained of a too hard difficulty, and they are right that the difficulty is high, but not too high, the difficulty makes the game more fun and makes you be more cautious while playing the game which I think is a good thing, the games locations and enemy's vary throughout the game, leading to a fun and exciting experience which under no circumstances at all feels repetitive, especially since there is a diverse range of weapons and magic to choose from not to mention all the different armour that can be acquired in the game, This game is brilliant, I highly recommend it, there is only one problem with this game, and that is that I don't know if i can survive the wait between now and the next souls game is announced. Brilliant game well worth the time and the money. Expand
  53. Mar 22, 2012
    Do you remember the first game you ever played? Mine was Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle 4 on the Gameboy Color. I loved it. I meticulously documented every level code. If I got stuck, I'd spend hours, days, even weeks throwing everything I had at the problem. And when I finally beat it, it felt like a huge accomplishment. The sad thing is that I know that now I could breeze through it without even trying. And that's why I love Dark Souls - it recaptures that wonderful feeling of having to make your own way in an unknown world, earning your own successes and paying for your own mistakes. You're setting off on an adventure, and you don't know quite what you may find. The most obvious aspect of Dark Souls is its difficulty, so we'll start there. It's hard. There's no escaping it, but it's almost never unfair. If charging at that Hydra gets you killed time and time again, try something else. Success in Dark Souls means switching your gamer mindset. You need to accept that this is true dark fantasy, cold and brutal. Running away is a valid strategy, and dumb heroics will almost always get you killed. But it's not frustrating. Death in a video game too often means groaning "Ugh, now I have to do all that again". But here, death is an experience in and of itself. Each time you see the words "YOU DIED", you've learned something new - and if you haven't, you're not being creative enough. You will die, over and over, but you'll never feel like you made no progress. And that's why I - someone prone to nerd rage - have happily thrown my miserable, hollow avatar to his end again and again, and several hours later looked up and wondered where the time went. To focus solely on the difficulty is almost a sin, though. Dark Souls is gorgeous. From soaring cathedrals to vast crystal caves, giant ash lakes to dark, claustrophobic catacombs, sunken, burning cities to dripping, noxious swamps, every corner hides something new, beautiful and almost invariably deadly. There's nothing quite like the feeling of uncovering a shortcut and realising just how ingeniously the map fits together. The story is cleverly minimalistic - there will seem to be none at first, but read around enough and you'll discover a plot that challenges almost all fantasy conventions. The RPG elements of gameplay are strong, yet fluid - while you're required to pick a class at the start of the game, the way you play is almost exclusively determined by the equipment you use and the stats you choose to level up. A knight can become a cleric can become a pyromancer, as long as you have the stats and weapons to cover it. This freedom carries over to your equipment choice - there are very few weapon combinations you can't use if you so desire. Dual Zweihanders? Go for it, as long as your strength's high enough. Similarly, if you want to try beating your enemies to death with two shields, you can. It's a wonderful way of giving the player as much freedom as possible, allowing you to choose your own path.
    An aspect of Dark Souls which doesn't get as much attention as I think it should is the morality system. There is none. The only person who will ever judge your actions is you, and few NPCs are safe. See that knight by the bonfire, desperately searching for her father? If you want, you can kill her and steal her Humanity. No-one will care. There is no good or evil in Dark Souls except what you make, and even when you've finished you may be left wondering whether those bosses really deserved to die. Of course, it's not a perfect game. The impact analysis is occasionally off - in a game like this, where realism is paramount, it's irksome when your character gets hit from around a corner or through a pillar. It rarely happens, but it's still a problem. Similarly, the game occasionally dips from hard into unfair - dying when a boss smacks me with a giant tentacle is fine, but when I deliberately dodged it and still expire from some ungodly splash damage it feels cheap. There is framerate drop (particularly in Blighttown), and very occasionally the map is simply unfinished. But to focus on Dark Souls's failings is wrong. It's an excellent game. You'll hear a lot about it being for hardcore RPGers, but I don't think that's true - while some people will want to tear it apart and dissect it, there's a lot to be said for the simple joy of tumbling out the other side, slightly confused and too busy wondering how you survived to realise you've won. It's not solely for the L337 PR0 - it's for anyone that's willing to devote themselves to puzzling out and conquering a unique and immersive experience. What ultimately makes Dark Souls great is that it strikes right at the heart of what it means to be a gamer. When I pick up that controller, I'm an 8-year-old again with my Gameboy. I'm setting off, ignorant, into a strange and cruel new world - and when that world is as brutal, eerie and desolately beautiful as Lordran, you can't go far wrong.
  54. Apr 3, 2012
    My first review!
    Dark Souls ruined TES for me. I believe that that is all that need be said, but I suppose I should explain. I loved Morrowind (my introduction to TES). I lost more time to Oblivion than I care to admit, and had immeasurable fun doing so. And so, I was thoroughly excited to get my hands on Skyrim. Then, I played Dark Souls. A spear is not simply a weapon you choose for the
    look it grants your character, but a tool used to keep a vicious enemy at bay. A rapier doesn't just alter the way your character swings his or her sword, but acts as a rapier should, with lunging, piercing attacks. Small shields are effective for parrying. Large shields absorb vast amounts of damage. This is how any hack and slash game should work from here on out. This game is not for everyone. If you enjoy casual games that spell everything out for you, don't play Dark Souls. If you enjoy running mindlessly into a crowd of baddies, mashing buttons and potting till all lie in ruins around you, don't play Dark Souls. If you enjoy the threat of death at every corner, a well timed and planned attack, a genuine experience of accomplishment for having beaten some SOB demon who has killed you 10+ times in a row, definitely, definitely, definitely, buy Dark Souls! More on how this game ruined TES: Did I mention how incredible the combat feels in DS? I believe I did. After sinking many, many hours into Dark Souls, I finally decided I needed to set it down so that I could play my beloved TES. I popped Skyrim in my box, palms sweaty in anticipation of the new shouts and dragon slaying to be had. I was looking forward to conjuring and casting and hacking and slashing and customizing again. What I was not prepared for was the utter disappointment I would experience with Skyrim. Don't get me wrong, I have played a lot of Skyrim, and I did eventually begin to enjoy it again, but the combat system in Dark Souls surpasses that of Skyrim on so many levels that I have had to mentally place TES in a category separate from Dark Souls. Dark Souls is a dungeon crawling, hack and slash and magic casting RPG that caters to the masochistic (I say this lovingly). A combat-first game in which story is subtly told and sparsely given (to great effect). Skyrim is a game of world exploration, where combat plays second fiddle to discovering and exploring new locations. Story can be found within book after book, heard through the ever-repeating voices of the towns' denizens, and followed along with the main quest line to a neat and tightly wrapped ending. In Skyrim you are the great and almighty hero who no man or beast may stand against. In Dark Souls, you are constantly fighting for your life.

    So why did I compare Dark Souls to Skyrim? These two games are really not comparable. I did so under the assumption that a person reading this review has not yet played Dark Souls (nor Demon Souls for that matter), but has played Skyrim, Oblivion or Morrowind (as I said earlier, I have not played TES titles prior to Morrowind). The assumption seems safe given the sales numbers of TES. And, why should I pretend any longer, I'm a little peeved that Dark Souls was so fun that Skyrim was ruined for me. In fact, I'm a lot peeved. So much so that I want others to experience the joy and bliss that is Dark Souls, and to return to any TES title as pissed as I am. Perhaps, we can demand future RPGs to have equally incredible combat systems as Dark Souls if enough people get torqued!

    P.S. Editing this is a real pain. Excuse me if I rambled.
    P.P.S. Play Dark Souls!
  55. May 4, 2012
    Dark Souls is a masterpiece, but it is not for everyone. What it provides is a dark, rich, intense world with danger lurking around almost every corner. It also has a nasty tendency to punish mistakes, even small ones, with death. While this makes for an experience that can be intensely frustrating, it also makes it an extremely rewarding one as long as you are prepared to put in the effort required. Ask yourself what you want from a game: Do you want a game that holds your hand while you waltz through it, or do you want a game where you are dropped, alone, into a world where you constantly have to fight for your life (and frequently die)? If it's the former, then look elsewhere. If it's the latter, you may just get as much out of this as I did. Expand
  56. Nov 9, 2012
    Being a gamer for over 20 years has led me to a lackluster world of cookie cutter games with insane hype and terrible delivery. If you can remember how revolutionary Halo 1, Knights of the Old Republic, Resident Evil, Mario, Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid were to the video game arena, you will understand this review. Right before I packed my video game life up to sail it away with my mid twenties, I took a gaming friend's advice and plunged into the world of Dark Souls. Not only did I become insanely immersed in this diverse, action filled and challenging world but I also regained faith in the video game movement because it was so enthralling. I played through with three different character classes and every time I found something new, joined a new covenant and giggled after falling from ledge after ledge. I loved getting punished in the game because it served as a reminder how unforgiving games used to be and the rewards left you with an adrenaline rush. It simply is a game for excellent gamers who desire a new wave of video games and anyone without the tenacity and skill to beat it should just keep playing Fable. Expand
  57. Apr 1, 2012
    I love this game so much I almost resent it. This has messed up my standards for games now. You get such a rush from succeeding in this game that everything else pales in comparison. This game does sooooo many things right that other games don't even attempt. For example, the environments. The environments are not just pretty, but they are a reward. Almost everywhere is hard to get to in this game, so feel such relief when you get to the next bonfire. There are whole areas of the game completely hidden to the player unless you know exactly where to look. This game is so incredibly dense. The story seems really stupid and weird on the surface, but once you do some digging and look into some online resources, everything, every item, character, enemy, everything, has a reason to exist. It feels like a hell that exists by itself and you are intruding on it. The multiplayer is also very well done. The covenant system is interesting but some of them seem kind of empty and broken. Nonetheless, PVP in this game is exhilarating. Only get this game if you have a lot of time on your hands. People say Skyrim will steal your life. No, THIS will steal your life. Expand
  58. Jan 5, 2012
    Clunky, inefficient design doesn't belong in games that are so challenging. For most gamers, challenge is fun part of any game. In most cases, the harder the better compared to today's super accessible casual games for the masses, so I was looking forward to Dark Souls based on what I had heard from around the web. But boy were those opinions misleading. Its not that the game is too difficult.. I mean it is difficult, but that's not the problem, the problem is that its horrendously designed and when games are this poorly designed it really isnt a good idea for them not to have a forgiving nature. The game itself tries to mix western style high fantasy with outdated traditional Japanese design sensibilities which isnt a terrible idea, but its so poorly executed that the player constantly finds himself dying through no fault of his own. Camera's getting stuck on the surrounding, rolling directly through solid walls and falling to your death etc. Add to that the unfriendly user controls and interface with multiple button presses when one would suffice, odd control layout (left and right bumpers are the primary attacks / defence), the huge eye-saw of a HUD and inventory system, and the fact that game regularly slows down and gets very laggy even when there aren't any enemies on screen, and it all boils down to a terrible port of a mediocre PS3 game. And to top it all off, the environment GFX and sound are bland and uninspired... Anyway, I've wasted enough of my time with this game, so I'll end with the warning, regardless of what you have read about the PS3 exclusive Demon Souls (which apparently did have some potential, Dark Souls the sequel is not a worthy successor or a game I can recommend to anybody, especially on the 360. Expand
  59. Dec 10, 2011
    My toon, originated as "deprived" and is now level 61 and capable of healing, fire, magic and also is fairly deft and adroit with spears and shields. After minimal patching, unlike some similar newer games of its ilk, DARK SOULS runs spendidly and has the full gamut of expected tropes and conventions of many dungeon-crawlers from yesteryear including a "difficulty level" that would make the Marquis de Sade cry. Ironically, buoyed by player-choice and an open world, DARK SOULS hammers home the challenges with brutal combat and spikes in difficulty that might hamper less hardy players. Great game and world. Tough to master, impossible to tame. Expand
  60. Oct 7, 2011
    Dark souls has a decent enough opening trailer, and the starting tutorial/prison is pretty fun. After that the game gets serious. A lot of people complain about the difficulty, but it isn't just that the game is hard. The game is cruel.

    Let me explain further, after the tutorial ends you are dumped at a campfire with 4 paths to take. 2 of those paths are the wrong answers, and if you go
    down them the game is impossible to beat. Not just hard but literally impossible due to you being the wrong level. Of course there is no way to actually know that at first, since enemy levels are not shown. Once you find the right path the game gets decent again, until a new boss to get stuck on or a red dragon who seems to be impossible to get past.

    If you are looking for a hard game this is it, but be careful since the game isn't just hard but unfair.
  61. Jan 21, 2012
    Everybody who writes a bad review about this game never gave it a chance or are far too satisfied with the "on rails" game play of CoD Modern Warfare 1, 2, 3, etc...

    The visuals are stunning, there are tons of unique monsters and boss fights are all unique and very well thought out. The environment is huge and differentiated away from other games. I even rank this game above Skyrim simply
    for the method in which it tells a story - it leaves you to fill in the gaps with imagination but doesn't leave out specific details.

    Those who ranked this game at 7 or similar, I can understand not liking the concept or game play. Those who ranked tis game under 5 have never given it a chance or are simply too bad to learn that you can't hack and slash your way to the end (you need strategy!).
  62. Oct 11, 2011
    An excellent and worthy successor of the hit 2009 video game; Demon's Soul. Dark Souls is easily in my top 10 games of all time and probably had the best first impression of any game I have ever played. The gameplay is extremely accurage and precise, positioning is key and knowing what your opponent is capable is gold. In addition the bosses in this game looks absolutely gorgeous and you can easily tell FROM software has spent hours and hours on each stage making each level as 'evil' as possible. If you look up the term 'Dark Fantasy' in a dictionary I can guarantee you it will say Dark Souls. The only negative aspect I can think of on the spot are the rare graphic pop-ins and clippings. But to be honest the only reason this game has negative reviews is because those people are spending several hours trying to kill the Asylum demon lol fail nubs. Expand
  63. Oct 12, 2011
    I never played demon's souls (I play 360) but I've heard that it's REALLY hard, and apparently Dark souls is harder. Within 5 minutes of game play I was sold, the graphics are amazing, the open world is great, and the weapon selection is nearly limitless. Not to mention the cool enemies and almost impossible bosses. all in all the game was worth $60 and I've probably not even explored the entire world Dark souls has to offer yet. The game does live up to its tagline though "prepare to die" Expand
  64. Oct 5, 2011
    BEWARE to all you casual gamers out there, this is NOT for you! This game is not for everyone, if you never enjoyed or played Demon Souls stay away, if you are a casual RPG gamer stay away this is not for you. I really want people to understand this before they start hating the game. If you never played Demon Souls then Dark Souls will be very frustrating at start. There's no tutorials explaining game mechanics (not explaining you the difference between humanity and undead, the use of souls and so on...)no directions on where to go. It's all about trial and error, going back and forth to the same locations, farming souls, leveling up, finding gear/items, upgrading gear, leveling up , boss battles, to then compete in pvp. There, just a clarification for the people new to the series. Now, if you are familiar with the series I could go off on an entire page but I'll just say that I highly recommend the game to you all. I have to say the graphics though do look a little outdated but there are some slight improvements in animations from the previous title. The text grammar is also sometimes not up to standards. However you forget about these things very quickly in a game like this. If you are not sure on what console to get this on then i would recommend you the 360 version, why? because it has a slightly better frame rate and is less effected by fps drops imo. Community wise such as the pvp, I'm not sure which version will go barren more quickly but what I can say is the japanese on ps3 are already farming this game to death so I'll let you decided. Expand
  65. Dec 30, 2011
    I reviewed this game a month or two ago when I first started playing, when I was playing offline- so I figured it was worth re-reviewing taking online content into account.***

    First things first- if you do not have online capabilities, this game is frustratingly difficult, and you will miss a good portion of the content. I had a lot of fun playing offline, but I wouldn't recommend it
    to anyone except the most hardcore. The couple patches and the ability to do online co-op have made the game much much easier.*** You will still die. As someone said a while back, what you quickly begin to realize is that it isn't your character that needs to improve, it's you. Those hollows in the burg? They won't even touch you after a while. Your armor won't improve enough to absorb the damage they do until long after killing them is worth your time. YOU have to improve. Know when to dodge, and when to block. When to cast magic and when to attack.***

    That bit of trepidation you feel when entering the catacombs for the first time? I can't think of a single other game out right now that feels that way. Not one. And that is just the PVE.***

    When you are in human form, (necessary to summon aid, or kindle a bonfire) you are vulnerable to attack by players. I find that the rate at which I am invaded is not terribly high. Certainly not enough to avoid going human over, assuming you have an aversion to PVP. The pvp is fun, and oftentimes, will have several factions pitted against each other. While gravelording, It is not uncommon to be invaded by both a spirit of vengeance and a darkwraith simultaneously, which results in interesting scenarios. Sword dance is designed for these situations.***

    As you creep down those stairs, or exit that lift, you are always on guard...always nervous about what lies around the corner, and with good reason. When you drop your guard, when you get lazy, or careless, you will die. It is that simple. But dying was never so much fun. Take SotN and breed it with super ghouls and ghosts, then pump it full of steroids and you have Dark Souls.***

    I take 1 point off the score for blight town framerate issues (which have improved, but still choppy) and PVP lag. Here's to hoping Gravelord gets fixed in the next patch.
  66. Oct 4, 2011
    Spent well over 100 hours with Demon Souls and about 15 already with Dark souls.... This game is no joke, and as everyone well knows by now an unforgiving experience. With that said, I have never felt such an extreme level of accomplishment when successful with any other game to date. This game may not be for everyone at first, but if given the chance can really make an impact on any type of player. Perfect score for me... without a doubt. Expand
  67. Oct 5, 2011
    Just as the creator of Demon's Soul's said in reply to why he made another game " make it even harder" he left out how it's also even more intense, maddening, crazy, & brutally punishing (ALL in a great way)!!! While I always look for, & find good deals on games as I don't like to pay the $60 price tag -$40 is a little more reasonable to me- I happily paid full price for this one! :) There is no better game to drive you up the wall one second, then turn around & reward you in such a manor save it's predecessor. With all the good/great games coming out in Q4 right now, I hope Dark Souls is voted Game of the Year just as Demon's Soul's was in 2009. Expand
  68. Oct 7, 2011
    One of the most frustrating games I've ever played, yet also one of the most addictive. Dark Souls is Unique. One of the only games where I can die countless times, and replay the same area over and over and still want to continue playing. This is definitely a game where you will spend most of your time dieing, and it certainly isn't for everyone. But once you started playing, this game hooks you and draws you into it's sick and twisted world. Killing the games many bosses is definitely one of the most satisfying feelings in gaming and the big sigh of relief when you find that next bonfire. Dark souls is hard, Dark Souls is unfair, Dark Souls is unforgiving, Dark Souls is awesome! Expand
  69. Oct 27, 2011
    I love Dark Souls. I loved Demons Souls. However, the developer alienates such a large part of the gaming base available, not by making Dark Souls hard, but unfair also. Yes I understand that there is no pause button in the real world, but it isn't the real world. I have 4 kids and a wife. Guys like us that have to schedule gaming time apart from when we were 12 and could play for hours, but now, 4 kids and family later, I NEED A PAUSE BUTTON!! It is so frustrating not being able to find a bonfire, and your son falls down, or needs s diaper change, or someones at the door. Simply put, they didn't make it hard, they made it unfair. I have no problem with the enemies, and the fact that the game gets harder as you die. But for the love of all that's good, I don't think a pause button dilutes the intensity that developers intended for Dark Souls. In fact, it's such a snub of the nose, you begin to wonder if any of the developers have kids and actually tried to give the game some time when it wasn't work related. Further more, SAVE POINTS!!! I understand that the intent is to make each time you play Dark Souls a journey. But sometimes even a trip to the gas station is journey you don't want to make. Point being, better or easier save points, ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE ISN'T A PAUSE BUTTON. Nuff said. Take it from a guy that has been playing video game for 28 years, missing these two key items are enough to turn away allot of gamers because they don't have the patience, or TIME Dark Souls demands. Now surely the developers want as many people to love and enjoy their game. I just find it so nieve they were as black and white with very little (to almost no) grey..... Expand
  70. Nov 8, 2011
    Let me see if I can give you some expectation of this game, beyond the glowing reviews of others. Combat may seem very restricting at first, with a low stamina pool forcing your strikes and blocks/rolls. Low hp and below-average armour to start will make your mistakes very costly, and most people will counter this by assuming they need to grind souls and level up some more to improve their character and gear.

    Truth of the matter is, it is not your character that really needs the improvement. It is you. Time spent fighting for those souls is just as well time invested learning the ins and outs of your characters weapon set and your enemies attacks and weaknesses. This game does not hold your hand and suggest when to use a parry, when to block, which attacks you should roll away from or roll under, what elements are better against which enemies. You have to figure that out.

    In fact you can clear Dark Souls at a fairly low level, which goes to show that understanding the foe is far more important than levelling up. When you think about it, this is a fairly unique concept. True that most RPG's will avoid any sort of grinding, but if you were to skip enough fights in an area and reach a boss who is more than a few levels ahead of it, you would have no means to winning. Dark Souls does not put that on you.

    If you want to stay level 1 and try to clear the game, go for it. It is do able, but it will not be easy.
  71. Nov 8, 2011
    This game is a throwback to the days where gaming required perseverance and intelligence. It is a rude awakening for anyone who considers themselves "hardcore" from experience with first person shooters or even other third person adventure games. You have to be intelligent in your playstyle to excel at Dark Souls, the only other option is grinding like a madman.

    There are few mechanics in
    this game that are not well thought out, every area is meticulously planned, static drops are placed with the utmost care. After struggling with an area for hours or even days, you can often find a shortcut that allows future visits to be strolled through with little difficulty.

    Magic and melee are far more balanced than they were in the world of Demon's Souls. Magic has a more sizable delay on cast and leaves you vulnerable for longer. Melee does fast, reliable damage that is relatively safe with use of a proper shield. There is versatility in job choices in that your initial character building decision has little effect on your character as the game progresses, you can bolster whatever stats you deem fit and become whatever type of warrior you desire, it is completely open.

    An equally impressive facet of the game is the replayability. Very few third person or first person adventure games hold any value in a replay. You often collect all items or are capable of performing all story events in a single playthrough. In Dark Souls beating the game grants a "new game+" style experience with increased difficulty. Any enhanced bonfires you may leave remain, making your runthrough substantially faster than anything before. Additionally shortcuts abound throughout the game. It is actually advantageous to reroll halfway through your first playthrough after you firmly grasp the concepts of the game. You can get back to where you were in a fraction of the time it took for the original run (took me 5 hours to get back to what had taken 50 hours before, no joke!).

    There is a story in this game, but it is minimalist. Many games become bogged down with wordy or overly complicated stories that can limit interpretation or imagination. You will not get that in Dark Souls. It is incredibly open-ended, to the point where exploring your environment can grant you more insight into the world you inhabit than talking to others. Do no expect depth from any conversation or any choices besides "Yes" and "No", because it just doesn't happen. It is almost reminiscent of the Metroid Prime series where you can only piece together the events leading to this world from context clues and remnants of what was once there.

    Aside from the (often times humorously) limited dialog, the few failings this game has are likely due to console limitations. The graphics are gorgeous but the framerate will often slow to a crawl when advanced shader effects and light reflection come into play (large fire/magic effects, water reflection at the New Londo ruins, lava in the Demon Ruins/Lost Izilith). The online play is interesting, and can be quite engaging (especially when you are charged with killing other players to collect humanity/dragon scales/settle vendettas), but not very reliable. Single player mode offers about as much gameplay-wise in terms of the main story as online does, sans the (almost universally worthless) messages other players may leave.

    All in all, awesome gaming experience. If you complete Dark Souls you will be in the minority, and very likely worthy of some serious gamer cred. Playing it for its duration takes away deaths sting, it becomes impossible to be frustrated at other games when you die, because you will have died 100x worse in Dark Souls.
  72. Nov 8, 2011
    This game in fact was one of the best rpg action games in my life. This game is not only difficult ,but it brings gaming towards a new dimension of classic fighting. Though you will rage quit and die in this game, you will be sucked back into playing this. Also, I bet that people who say this game sucks is most likely because they cannot beat this game without moding or soul glitching this game I do not recommend this game for rage quitters, sore losers, and little kids. Its not for you. Expand
  73. Nov 20, 2011
    I recommend this game to everyone who loves RPGs. If you think the game is too hard, get the fantastically well made, hard cover, strategy guide and play the game. I put in 140hrs into it and feel its one of the best games I have ever played. Highly recommended.
  74. Nov 18, 2011
    This game is like hell. It's one of the most addicting, desperating, freak. You'll want to shoot yourself evrytime you play and end up throwing the controller to the TV.
    I highly recommend NOT TO BUY THIS GAME. FAT SOULS
  75. Nov 21, 2011
    There is no denying the game is hard. But that does not mean it's unbeatable. I found that every place has a strategy and figuring out that strategy is part of the fun. I found myself more times than not getting frustrated and putting down the controller, only to return a short time later to pick it back up again. It's this kind of addicting play that has drawn me in. Another thing to note is this world is MASSIVE. Just when you think you found everything to be found, something opens up around the corner. Cant go wrong with that! As of this writing I haven't beat the game just yet, but I'm 66 hours in and I'm sure I'm close. Of course your time could be dramatically lower depending on how good of a player you are. TIP: To make this game is easier, take bigger risks exploring; to get Armour, weapons, and rings. They make you more powerful than leveling up. Don't play any mind to the souls you may loose. The bigger risk, the bigger the reward. Expand
  76. Nov 21, 2011
    Dark Souls is an interesting game for today's generation, where games are usually much easier. I wasn't alive for the times when games like Battletoads came out, but I have gone back to play them. They are brutal. I am a glutton for punishment, playing games like Aban Awkins and The 1000 Spikes (etc.), but Dark Souls was one of the more enjoyable punishing games I've played.

    It's a great
    fantasy game, there's no doubt about it. I like the "soul" system of currency, where you can either spend your hard earned money (which can disappear very fast) on new equipment or on levelling. It makes a guy think when he can either level a single attribute or buy that new armour from that creepy merchant, knowing both can help him. The combat is good, the system of having a left and right hand (and controlling them as such) is also good (I never played Demon's Souls). There are a few problems. Initially, the game was hard. Hard as hell. But then you realize, once you go through an area two, three, four, ten times, you just need to know where the enemies spawn and how to defeat them. Roll at the right time, attack. It isn't that hard once you go through the same area a few times. The bosses, on the other hand, are a mixed bag of emotions: they are very well thought out , and they're a blast to fight. Some of them do have very cheap tactics and moves that will see you killed without any warning or even knowing how something hit you. I also found some annoying parts, especially when starting, such as attacking someone by accident, having to kill them because they became aggressive, then losing out on a fairly important merchant early in the game.

    Dark Souls is not a bad game by any means. If you are a glutton for punishment, this is your game. I do have to tell you one thing though:

    Get TES: Skryim. It is a better game, especially if you're looking for a game that won't get you depressed considering how many times you die.
  77. Feb 17, 2012
    1 line to prove a badly put together game:
    Peoples mouths don't move, nuff sed. If From Studios cant animate mouths then what CAN they do. The games a bore and as you encounter the same enemy relentlessly the urge to rip your own eyeballs from your head increases. If you are thinking of getting this game, go for a more up to date game like one from the fallout series or elder scrolls. This
    game had the making of a brilliant game , its a shame it was put into the hands of From Studios. Collapse
  78. Dec 8, 2011
    Probably the best game i've played this gen. It does have some issues (areas of low framerate, multiplayer is a little too much of a hurdle to get into) but it says alot when those issues can be overlooked.
  79. Dec 14, 2011
    Let me start off by saying that this is not a bad game. I bought it day one and I really tried to love it like I loved Demon Souls but I could not. The graphics are wonderful, the difficulty is ramped up, and a lot of love went in to making this game ad you can see it everywhere. What made me trade this game in three and a half hours after I bought it was the fact that it was so repetitive I wanted to smash my head against a wall. In my opinion, Every single area is exactly the same and there is no variety in structure. It might be just because I didn't get far enough but that's how it seems to me. I know it's a hit or miss game but i urge you to try it yourself because at it's core it is REALLY god. Expand
  80. Dec 27, 2011
    This game is awesome! Everything you need if you want to play a RPG. The boss fights are amazing! You find a cat with a croc tail... LOL... and a lot of crazy stuffs in everywhere. This game is one of the best in 2011.
  81. Mar 6, 2012
    Dark Souls is probably one of the most polarizing games ever made. You either love it or hate it. The main thing that makes this game difficult is its unforgiving gameplay. If you make a few mistakes during any fight, you'll most likely be killed. In addition to that, the items you can use to heal (estus flasks and healing spells) have a limited number of uses. Most enemies take a sizable portion of your health away with each hit so chances are you'll run out of healing items.

    The game's environments are varied and either beautiful or intentionally ugly. The music in the game is very good. The graphics are good but they seem washed out at a distance (I think this was intentional). There are so many different ways to play the game. You can be either a magic caster or a melee-only tank. As you progress, you find many suits of armor (some of which look really cool) as well as weapons. The boss encounters are varied but they use the same enemy type 3 times in the game (the very first boss can be encountered two more times in different forms). It seemed like they ran out of new ideas for bosses which is odd considering that every other boss is different. The other two bosses are completely optional though.

    I understand that difficulty is that game's selling point but I felt that the difficulty should stay in combat and not in the menu/inventory system. The game explains what each button does, how to attack, block, parry, do critical hits, heal, equip/switch weapons, evade, how to use gestures, and how to bring up the start menu. Things that are explained easily in other games are not explained in this one. My first time playing this game I had no idea how repair/upgrade weapons, properly use a bow, or how to jump. Yes, jump. The manual only explains the bare minimum. Regardless this game is still a good buy. It has a unique online multiplayer component that I haven't seen in any other game (I believe it's in Demon's Souls but I didn't play that game). For new players: the game takes a few hours to get used to. If you're tired of easy games (Skyrim, KoA: Reckoning) give this one a try. It'll kick your ass. The best piece of advice is located right on the back of the game's box: PREPARE TO DIE.
  82. Mar 7, 2012
    I have spend an absurd amount of time playing this game and it never really seems to get old. Don't be fooled by the people saying that it's "too hard." The game is hard at first until you get used to the playstyle, but the main thing about it is that it doesn't hold your hand in any way. You are forced to figure things out yourself. The game also has a unique aesthetic to it that is very atmospheric and appealing. The story may seem lacking to somebody trying to blaze through the game, but it's there if you're willing to seek it out. Talk to characters and listen to what they say and you can start piecing things together to find some interesting tidbits of information you otherwise would never have known about. The feeling you get when you down a boss is also an immensely satisfying one. You might try your brains out for a while, but believe me, once you finally win that fight, it'll all be worth it. Expand
  83. Mar 7, 2012
    There are a lot of complaints about how easy games have gotten these days. Dark Souls is the answer to the contemporary gamer's need for a difficult experience. There are little to no tutorials. The game slaps you smack dab in the middle of whatever the hell is going on and does absolutely no hand holding. For the first time since the SNES days, I've really felt a sense of achievement with completing whatever horrors this game throws at me. Expand
  84. Oct 28, 2012
    I picked up this game with the mindset that I'd beat it for the sake of beating a hard game. Then Dark Souls ended up being one of my top 3 games. I almost stopped playing about 1/5 of the way through, its true that in one section frame rate becomes and issue and its true that the game can feel brutally hard but at the end its all worth it. Never have I felt so immersed in a game: someone commented below that they didn't like the 'no-pause' menu, I ended up loving it! It makes it feel less like a game and more like an experience. I can't remember another game that lets you play for 20 hours and then opens up a path for you that ends up right back where you were 10 minutes in the game, the level design is beyond superb and really makes it feel like your stuck in the world, with all the complexities and mazes you would expect in a castle and city the size Dark Souls is. The sparse collection of NPCs really make the world feel as bleak and the director intended. Music is fantastic. The plot is controversial, I personally love how they went with it. There is actually a huge amount of information under the surface: in item descriptions and character dialogue. You could easily completely miss what's happening for example the truth about princess Gwenevere, and you could never meet certain people integral to the plot such as primordial serpent kaathe and Gwendolyn, just like you can miss my favourite area in the game: Ash Lake. Overall don't expect this to be like other games, think of it as an experience, but one that's very much worth the effort when you finally overcome the challenges involved. Expand
  85. Aug 13, 2012
    Dark Souls is a good game, but not a great game. What makes Dark Souls a good game is the challenging difficulty, dark atmosphere, and haunting boss encounters.


    Dark Souls is one of the hardest games ever made. It takes a truly obscene time commitment and a strong gaming background to be able to progress through this title. If you're new to role-playing games, this isn't the one
    you should start with. The game punishes failure more than any other game to arrive in the last decade; every time you die (and you will die a lot) you risk losing a vast amount of progress. That can be a good thing, however, because it encourages you to persevere and become excellent. The boss fights, which test even the best players, will demand greatness from you. The feeling you get when killing a truly difficult boss is like nothing else. BAD

    Three key points. First, the game lacks narrative almost entirely. It's strange to have an RPG without a story component, but there you have it. Don't come to Dark Souls looking to be entertained by the storytelling. Second, the game comes without common conveniences like the option to pause the game or fast-travel between locations. You'll find yourself running back through hostile areas again and again just to get to another location on the (non-existent) map. Third, the game doesn't explain how to perform simple actions like upgrading weapons, invading other worlds, storing inventory items, or what your next objectives should be. Players will need to do a lot of reading online in order to even learn how to aim with a bow. Some will argue that this just adds to the challenge, but I disagree - challenging difficulty is one thing, but not explaining how to interact with the game world is another thing entirely; it's just sloppy game design. CONCLUSION

    Though Dark Souls will appeal to some, most gamers will be (rightly) inclined to steer clear. The game does one and only one thing well - it punishes mediocrity. It doesn't tell a good story, doesn't help you learn how to play, and doesn't make playing convenient. It just beats on you again and again. Some will love it; other will hate it. I'm somewhere in the middle.
  86. Oct 7, 2012
    I will start off by saying I never played Demon Soul's because I did not own a PS3. So I heard all this hype about a game called "Dark Souls" a few weeks into its release, so I decided to rent it and see for myself what it was all about, I played it for about 2 days and took it back (keep reading), I later decided to re-rent it because I told my friend how blisteringly hard it was, so I decided to give it another shot. I instantly got hooked, and I mean the game blew my balls... to the ceiling. I put over 500+ hours into it within about a 2 months or so, I had never played such a hard yet at the same time satisfying game in my entire life. The amount of builds,weapons,armor and items was astounding. I would spend hours just researching items and builds, the game has the most replay value of any game I have ever played.I also want to mention, I don't get addicted to games ever, I have played nearly every big title of the past 7 years, basically every MMORPG out there, but no one RPG/Game has sucked me in harder than Dark Souls.

    The world is small yet so large, the game has a very dark atmosphere, tie that in with the multiplayer. and the fear of always being invaded by another playing while trying to summon a NPC to help on a boss, just amazing. Every time I think about Dark Souls or something mentions it, chills run down my spine, I have only owned the game for about 6 months but the game already gives me huge nostalgia, I would go out on a limb to say this is the most unique and thought out game of at least the past decade. I know I might be over-dramatizing it, but to me this is what the game is like, I just love it, only thing that worries me is the game's community will eventually die and move on, and the soul's series will die, hope to God that doesn't happen. Please if you can, support the developers, buy the PC Version, Xbox or PS3, it doesn't matter.
  87. Nov 11, 2012
    Understand, this game is not made for everyone to enjoy. It is hard, unforgiving, it never holds your hand. Hard is not a bad thing, it's what makes this game so addicting and rewarding. Gameplay is so fine-tuned and fair, if you grasp the fundamentals and put them into practice, nothing is too hard. The game never gives you more than a slight hint as to where to go next, leaving it up to the player to explore everything to find out where they can go. Here's the genius behind this, after you've played the game thoroughly, when you play it again, you realize you can go pretty much anywhere you want at anytime, the key is just being good at the game and knowing where valuable items are. Theres no level grinding necessary. For your first time through however, with the experience system the way it is, that being earn xp from killing things, use it at checkpoints to level up, lose them all if you die, it makes every inch of the world dangerous and tense. Bosses are incredibly fun to fight. They are epic, challenging, and awe inspiring, just what boss fights should be. The gameworld is so enigmatic, it does a fantastic job sucking you right in. online functionality is creative as well. Players cannot talk to each other, there is no party chat while playing this game. Everyone is a stranger, another lost soul stuck in this purgatorial hell. Players can leave somewhat cryptic notes anywhere in the world to help guide or mislead other players on their journey. You may also summon other players into your world to give you a much needed edge. Or you can invade another players world and hunt them down and kill them for their experience and humanity, making the world all the more frightful. For hardcore gamers who welcome challenge, this game is one of the most rewarding and exciting games out there. I haven't truly loved many games in the last several years, but I LOVE this game. Expand
  88. Nov 14, 2012
    wat i booght this gaym and WAAT!!! no guns??????? wat kynd of game has no guns?!?!?!11/

    ryt anywaiz, teh game is just so terible. u do lyk NO DAMMAJ to mostners srsly?? do tey evn want ppl to win? lolol is it hard?? no its just super unballanced sword does 10 dammag??! in cod knyf kills 1 hit always so sord shud do like, 0-shot some1!

    okey so after playin sum more i got atacked by
    some **** and tey killed me evn when i hit em! wat a peece of sheet. review: bosses lol dun bovver tey kill u cause tey ****s, all plaayurs are knyfer ****s an dun fyt faare and just evrythin wong wit it. by cod an enjoy kilin ****s in one-go wit ur knyf lolol oh and cod has gunz!!!! like, so mutch coller than ****gy swords Expand
  89. Apr 22, 2013
    This game is the most overrated ever! Let me Explain why I think this game is bad.......1st: There is no choice of difficulty settings, instead you were force to be challenge all the time (which I hate).......2nd: Its exactly the same game as Demon Souls, only difference is the place, environment and the monsters, people was mad that "COD" always being a rip off from its previous game every time but what about Dark Souls rip off Demon Souls?..... 3rd: Its not "open world" type like Skyrim or Fallout 3 but instead your were force to go on a linear path anywhere........4th: There is very few dialogue choices while communicating with several NPCs (infact there were very few NPCs) on a game which its genre has being called an "RPG" game........5th There is no "cheats" or what so ever for players who are so frustrated by the game and doesn't want to be challenge.......6th: There is no storyline to it, just a linear dialogue and cutscene to push you forward? To me gaming is about "fun" and I find this game isn't about "fun" but "challenges". For me who has less "free time" and a busy person, I find this game a horrible game for me...... If I want to be challenged, I'll do it in real life like challenge myself in sports or any competition that benefits me in real life and not on a nerd virtual videogame that was made by someone who is successful at making money from giving others "challenges". Expand
  90. Oct 27, 2011
    Buy This game after uve seen more than 20 min of in-game footage and u should be fine! Great game! , not really that difficult (except the CURSE , which is really infuriating!)
  91. Oct 10, 2011
    This is by far the hardest game on the Xbox 360, which is the games curse but also its strength. The RPG elements are solid and each level up feels like my hero was getting stronger but the game behaves randomly and where once a battle was a breeze to maneuver through becomes a nightmare of un-relentless foes. This has to be the games biggest problem. When you grind you often are tediously grinding through the same environments before you can take on the boss that you've attempted a dozen times before. The strength of the game is when you over come these problems, your rewarded with well designed maps and cut scenes, although there is little story. You do feel like you become stronger and the leveling system is fun but because of the tedium grinding and the random difficulty spikes this game is only for true hardcore RPG fans. Expand
  92. Nov 7, 2011
    This game is in a nutshell a Action-RPG where you slowly get stronger. This in itself is not the strange thing about the game. That you gain strenght by actually learning the game, the moves of enemies and generally making better decisions, this makes the game unique. Yes there is grind, but is it really grind if the enemy no matter what lvl you are has a potential to dish out some real pain on you? also that you have to not just equip the heaviest armour without thought or what weapon to use. i could go on about how much of the gameplay that is actually comming from your choice and how you believe to best handle a given situation. In a nutshell, it's a great game and deserves a play. but try a rental first its not for everyone

    Happy gaming
  93. Nov 6, 2011
    This is one of the best games I have played. Why? The game is hard... even frustratingly so. So why is that a good thing? Because it makes all the content in the game matter... and you are constantly having to learn new tactics to win. Games get boring when you realize you can exploit some scripted behavior and always win. This game manages to be hard, and not in a "The computer is cheating" sort of way. The monsters react quickly and realistically, and even when you get good at the game you never truly feel safe. Then there are aspects to this game similar to an MMORPG but better... In game wealth comes and goes easily, except for items. People join each other's games on the fly. You can take certain actions to make sure those people are only there to help with bosses, (and you need the help) or if you are up for it you can be vulnerable to being invaded for PVP where you risk in game wealth. The pvp is adrenaline packed in ways that so many games have failed to accomplish because of the gambling model. The music is good, the visuals are amazing, the animation and fluidity of the combat is great and realistic. I don't know what that other clown was talking about - the crow moves his head fast because he is a bird... have you not ever seen a bird in real life? After playing this game, I can't believe I ever wasted my time playing other RPGs where your accomplishments in the game didn't matter because there was never anything hard enough to use it on.

    I had to come back and edit this review, and drop the score down to a 9 however. The problem is, the multiplayer is unpolished and the most clever covenants (gametypes) do not work. The matchmaking is bad, and you can get locked in a room for 30 minutes waiting for someone trying to join your game. That would have been the biggest selling point IMO. Also, I lost like a straight week to this game, but after that I had explored everything and new every boss and enemies behavior. Then the game became less challenging. The economy isn't perfect either, since most of the items dropped are useless - the whole humanity affecting drop rate thing would have been super clever otherwise. The game's money is also troubled, since it quickly costs a fortune to make your character marginally stronger than he/she currently is.
  94. BoG
    Nov 11, 2011
    I loved this game. It's challenging in a way that few games are anymore. Yes it's hard, yes it's frustrating. But, so was the water temple in Zelda, and anyone who has played that game will never forget that stage. What I'm saying is, the difficulty is part of what makes the game worth playing and beating.
  95. Nov 10, 2011
    This game is so satisfying. Killing a boss after dying 10 times in a row is the best feeling, it doesnt matter if you summon an npc or another player to help you - this game is so hard, but never punishing. graphics and the levelling up system are fantastic. 10 out of 10 as this is just as enjoyable as demons souls, i hope they do a port of xbox owners.
  96. Feb 13, 2012
    Instead of falling into the love it or hate it category. I am kind of indifferent about dark souls. It's certainly challenging. And there is a serious sense of empowerment from overcoming a situation based on understanding it. The combat is well constructed, and certainly involves more elements of craft than something like skyrim's. However after 63 hours with this game. I really have nothing to say about it beyond listing it's features. Nothing is memorable besides the difficulty. It's almost mathematical. With no emotion or sweeping adventure. It's cold. And kind of dead. And that might be the point of what is being presented - however it's moving parts don't create something fascinating or magical or emotional. But rather a construct for masochistic players. I don't like being punished. Or hated. I don't like mean spirited things. This game feels like a heavy metal listening programmer - He's cold and condescending, ferociously skilled and talented - however the more time you spend with him, the less you like him. I liked dark souls until I understood dark souls. Now I am happy to be away, smiling, and supporting people. Being a good person. In the nice fresh air. Free. Free to enjoy the world and smile. And smell flowers. And kiss, and hug. And love. Expand
  97. Oct 9, 2011
    I like this game in spite of the obvious and frustrating flaws that has me rage quitting every so often.

    The graphics are ugly and look ancient, the controls are clunky, the menu is in annoying, the targeting is awful and the camera is downright terrible. All these flaws angers me, but I live with them because Bandai Games understand that having to repeat a section does not kill the joy
    of a game. Repetition also means you don't have to create slow and soft sections of the game purely for players to learn the game. It's do or die as soon as you start up this game. I also love that there is one difficulty, which is Nightmarish and it uses checkpoints instead of free saves.

    I will never give a game with this many serious flaws 10 and I'm settling on 7. I think Bandai Games can make a third installment, that is 3 points better than this one.
  98. Oct 10, 2011
    The game, while not as technically impressive as other games on the market, is still a visually appealing game with interesting dark fantasy designs, plus a precise and deep combat system. However, its punishing difficulty will almost certainly be a discouraging element for some players, and definitely not for the wrong mindset, the ill-tempered, the impatient or the easily misplaced. Everyone else will have fun dieing. Expand
  99. Feb 20, 2012
    BEST RPG game ever!, sooooo underrated too, i mean how the **** can an AMAZING game like this get a 7 or 8 while other **** games like Skyirm get 8 and 9, believe me.. you MUST buy this game.. Its so much fun, the story is also AMAZING! You will really like this game, I highly recommend this game to everyone with a PS3
  100. Nov 22, 2012
    Absolutely terrific. There is no game quite like Dark Souls. Uniquely challenging yet ultimately rewarding, this incredible action RPG proves that superior design and unique world building triumphs over the simplicity of modern gaming that we have been force fed over the years. It has its blemishes (terrible frame rate in an area, strange clipping issues) here and there, but you'll let it slide. I have yet to play another game that is both terrifying to play yet so strangely addicting. This is for the hardest of the hardcore gamers out there, and you have to be a glutton for punishment. But once you beat that boss, get through that area, find that incredible weapon, or simply make it to the end of this sprawling, minimalistic, and epic adventure I guarantee you'll be hooked. 9.5 Expand
  101. Feb 17, 2012
    1 line to prove a badly put together game:
    Peoples mouths don't move, nuff sed. If From Studios cant animate mouths then what CAN they do. The games a bore and as you encounter the same enemy relentlessly the urge to rip your own eyeballs from your head increases. If you are thinking of getting this game, go for a more up to date game like one from the fallout series or elder scrolls. This
    game had the making of a brilliant game , its a shame it was put into the hands of From Studios. Collapse

Generally favorable reviews - based on 66 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 66
  2. Negative: 0 out of 66
  1. Nov 29, 2011
    All in all, Dark Souls is a more difficult, but less enjoyable (and less accessible) Demon's Souls.
  2. Nov 15, 2011
    Dark Souls' world is dense with something new around every corner. [Issue#78, p.76]
  3. Nov 15, 2011
    Dark Souls makes no bones about being unrelenting in its difficulty though, although it's by no means insurmountable. It's a rare game that's unlike anything else, refusing to pander or compromise in any way, shape or form. In this day and age, Dark Souls is hugely refreshing then, and well worth the time and effort.